Sidestep the monopoly on instruction early and often

It seems that it’s not until you work to learn something difficult and new and step out to find instruction online that you realize how vastly different in quality the instruction is and what a big difference a great instructor can make.

What a great time we live in that we’re given so much choice because of the free dissemination of great instruction online or on YouTube. It also makes me ponder the sub-optimal reality that traditional classroom teaching does not give students much choice. They are usually introduced to a subject by oneĀ teacher. If this teacher isn’t doing a great job at explaining and inspiring students to understand both why this subject is interesting or will be valuable to them in their lives and then how to work to understand it, this student is likely to be permanently closed off to the subject or have a limited appreciation of it.

And because I’d argue that it’s rare to find really good teachers (I can count the number of teachers that resonated with me on one hand) I think many students are at the very least under-appreciating certain subjects and maybe at worst completely missing out on their calling in life because of sub-par initial instruction on it.

But digital instruction and the choice it introduces is helping mitigate this.

Students should be encouraged to seek out supplemental instruction on everything early and often — maybe use a democratic voting system to watch the “most viewed” or recommended instructional videos on a topic on YouTube before you have to go into a classroom and are forced to listen to one teacher’s take on it. Access to many instructions allows you to sidestep the monopoly instruction created by traditional schooling.