Being born and raised in developing countries in the 70s and 80s, I am acutely aware of how much both formal and informal learning has changed. Last week I had several independent experiences where folks told me that YouTube was their first source of knowledge. One can find someone demonstrating whatever it is we need to learn in a short succinct, to-the-point, and practical manner.
One person learned to change a tire on a road bike, another how to drain a clogged sink, and a friend learned to improve his golf wedge game. All told me that the quality of the videos were not great, but good enough to transfer knowledge. One said after watching the video, she went to the instructor’s Facebook page and then Googled it to find other materials.
Juxtaposing this to how we all have learned—whether we lived in a developing country or not—reveals quite a transformation in learning. I have discussed this before in other blogs and I’m sure this is not particularly insightful. What I might ask you to think about this week, though, is what your sources of knowledge are and how often you access them.
It could be argued that our needs change constantly but essentially revolve around physical needs (health), spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational, and general living (like changing a bicycle tire). For each of these needs, do you have more than one source of knowledge to learn from? How are these learning needs met so that you feel a constant sense of growth – whether it is as simple as becoming “aware” of something you did not know, or actually acquiring a brand new skill and integrating it in your lifestyle.
I am convinced that the more sources of knowledge you have for each of the areas, be it number of people in each area or accessibility to data and information through organizations/groups you may belong to, or your own versatility to hunt and find the knowledge you need, you are likely to live a richer life if you view yourself as a hunter of knowledge. Like the good hunters that our ancestors were, we should have a daily/weekly plan to go hunt for new information using the dramatically changing tools we have, to feed our needs and make a positive impact on those we touch everyday.