The case for community based, shared education.

A quest to end the patronizing approach to education.

Today's educational opportunities are leaving students feeling disenfranchised and disillusioned because of the absolutely patronizing approach towards learning. The problems students are facing can be summed up into the following 3 categories:

#1 Industrialization.
For some reason, there is an insatiable appetite to industrialize everything in our lives. To create a one size fits all machine that can take a whole bunch of parts and use them to spit out millions of identical products. This system generally works for toothbrushes and t-shirts, but the trouble with modeling our education system after a production line is that what makes us special as human beings, what gives us our identity is how incredibly diverse and unique we are from one another.

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Trying to force each of us to see one perspective and learn in the same way will never offer great results. We are not cars that need built. Each of us have our own dreams, passions, and interests. Each of us has an unlimited amount of potential and can accomplish incredible things when given the knowledge that we want, when we need it. But putting us in a box, telling us how we need to think, then telling us on how valuable we are by the grade we get is an inhumane approach that quickly takes the spirit and creativity away from the individual.  

It is not the teachers educators fault, its the approach. Even the most incredible, compassionate speaker cannot show you how to address the unique and difficult issues or questions you have without conversing with you and getting to know about your personal perspective to some extent. No matter how great their lecture, their youtube or udemy video is, or how many books they have sold, they cannot understand, or appreciate how to help you achieve your unique and personal goals without a having a two way conversation.

#2 Bureaucracy.
What we learn empowers us with the knowledge and skills that we need to reach our full potential, because of this I cannot grasp why any of us are comfortable with trusting the politicians and lobbyists to determine what we need to learn. 

If I want to buy a loaf of bread, I go to the grocery store, I walk to the isle pick my bread and go on. If the grocery store were a school, there would be a team of bureaucrats that tell me that in order to buy the bread, I also have to buy eggs, milk, sandwich meat, some plastic silverware, and some cheap tabloids newspapers so that I can expand my horizons. Followed up with a by the way, this will cost you tens of thousands of dollars and take years to complete, and by the time you’re done you’ll find out you couldn’t really use the bread for what you intended anyway. It is absolutely insane!

#3 Credentials.
Qualifications to teach are not based on any actual real world experience. The people with the most knowledge to offer are the people who are dedicating their professional lives to working in the field. Whether you are qualified or not to teach me should not be determined by how long you have spent sitting in a classroom listening to somebody lecture about how you are supposed to lecture, or your ability to create a video and upload it to the internet. 

There needs to be a place that people seeking knowledge at any given point in their lives can connect with actual, real world experts, professionals, and companies who are willing to share their knowledge and skills for them to learn. Real world experts who offer in person, face to face experiences where questions are asked and the learning is personalized. Real world professionals who will teach practical, real world skills and knowledge in personalized and engaging ways. Real world companies who find value in letting their community explore and discover knowledge, career opportunities, and skill development through their organization. LearnIRL is working hard to create this solution. We are working to create an online marketplace where anyone wanting to learn anything can find a real world expert in their community who is offering to share their knowledge. It is an on demand, community based, personalized approach to education. It is Real World Knowledge & Skills, Shared.