Last Friday I received my first check from Teachers College and I jovially dashed to get something nice for myself as a reward. After some browsing online, I headed to Guitar Center and ended up buying a nice little acoustic-electric guitar, as I had been meaning to for quite a while. I had no experience playing guitar, so, like many of my friends, I headed onto YouTube and Google to learn.
Lu wrote a blog mentioning the strengths of musical communities and their educational potential a few months back. The tools for independent musical education are out there. There are countless tutorial videos online giving advice. The best ones gain popularity and become easier to find. Many forums exist where a community is ready to answer any questions that haven't been answered already. People learning to play guitar often have friends who now how to play. I personally asked some of my friends for some pointers and for good videos. Of course the experience isn't as refined and smooth as a private music lesson from a good teacher, but as it is now, a person could learn how to play the guitar without a teacher, and that is a powerful thing. If the community could create an environment where independent study is possible with just basic video, images and text, imagine what could be done with more sophisticated tools? For example, Vialogues could be used at specific points in a tutorial and clarification could be made. There are countless possibilities for streamlining the educational experience. What do you think? Should this be a model for online learning?