For years, education has been synonymous to classroom learning. The only form of knowledge we knew was the one we learned during classroom hours.
Times changed, but the way you and I learned hasn’t. Today, our skills matter more than the degrees we hold. Practical knowledge holds more value than the theories we mug up. You just can’t rely on classrooms and textbooks anymore.
Originated during the industrial revolution; the age-old schooling system — (that we still promote!) was an attempt to produce humans capable of performing repetitive tasks — a time when science and technology mattered more than anything else.
This system reflects in the way most students learn to mug up and game the system of tests quickly. However, is it right to have the same methodology today? — when we have managed to complete many of these tasks with the use of computers or machines.
New age careers are augmented with the best of technology to do more every day. The traditional classroom learning cannot keep up with this change. The kind of fluidity that is possible in learning thanks to the internet is making smarter individuals as we speak. Today, one can start learning a subject by viewing youtube or by googling the relevant term. We are exposed to newer techniques, methods, and ideologies day-in and day-out. We consume content every day/night either on/offline.
So, how do we make our learning experience enriching enough to cater to our needs?
Through a community!
A community is a collaboration of minds, ideas, and experiences — where you learn more and validate what you have learned through the internet with discussions, debates, and open forums.
Classroom learning comes with constraints. Your brain intakes what is being told, and you think that’s the only right way. Fear of being wrong undermines any other concept or idea, eventually killing creativity.
When you learn in a community, the opposite happens. Every experience, every idea, every thought process matters when discussions occur. Failure too is appreciated and considered as a source of learning. You are exposed to different scenarios, mindsets and experiences that you wouldn’t find inside a classroom or solely on the internet. It challenges your mind and prepares it for similar situations with skills and not just speculative theories. In short, you learn better in a shorter duration only by collaborating.
In such an environment when you raise a question, it’s not just you who gets the answer, but others also learn something from your query. Nothing is wrong.
And wait, that’s not it!
Imagine a clearinghouse of free knowledge coming from industry experts — and curious souls from different fields to engage with. That’s what a community does! It creates a sense of belonging, a place you can come back to learn to, anytime, anywhere you want. It fosters growth and self-discovery with people who share similar values and interests as you.
We live in the ‘Start-Up Culture’ today. Many who have a groundbreaking idea are turning it into a business to impact millions. By being a part of a learning community, a budding entrepreneur or someone with an idea can get to meet and network with like-minded people and experts. These people might be at a similar point in life or maybe ahead or behind. You will learn something from them, get their guidance or will give something to them. Both ways it’s beneficial.
You never know when you meet your next mentor or co-founder in a community. A digital marketer might meet an e-commerce owner, or a startup idea might get an investor.
A lot of communities are coming up with different purposes that cater to everything one can think of. Some target technology, some art, and some design. While you read this, 90 meetups are happening across Mumbai that promote collaborative learning.
Come be a part of one — https://www.meetup.com/Sycabe/