I believe YouTube, Udemy, Skillshare, etc isn't at the same direction at Classrr, while they are currently providing the most up-to-date learning materials (free or paid), that doesn't necessarily mean it is going to replace what teachers do best. Unfortunately with that being said, more people think that teachers aren't relevant anymore, thus creating the way our education system right now where it doesn't reward creatives and experience, just the older you are the higher your salary.
Here's a perfect example of why directly learning from teachers are different from online or distance learning.
Let’s say you wanted to learn how to cook, and being the autodidact that you are, you decide to learn by yourself through books, the internet, or just straight up experimentation.
During that process, you fall, make mistakes, you succeed, create a fettuccine alfredo without any parsley or salt (I’ll tell you, it taste like nothing), you go through hours upon hours either reinventing the wheel or looking for the answers you need.
After days after days for hours on end for months at a time, you finally become a more proficient cook. You start to know what works and what doesn’t in the process. You read more and more about the subject and become more immersed into it. You even become more passionate about it. After a while, you become a subject expert after years and years of experimentation. You feel proud that you actually became an awesome cook!
Now, one of your best friends years later wants your help in order to learn how to cook for his first date. Of course your friend wants to make a great first impression, and as one of his best friends, you want to help him succeed. So you decide to teach him how to make a simple dish: Fettuccine Alfredo.
You guys get to work and you give him instructions and theory in order to help solidify his learning. He asks you a whole bunch of questions and you answer them with ease. You’re a good guy, so you keep him accountable and give him great feedback. Being the great teacher that you are, he makes incredible progress. Too much progress actually. What the hell is going on? Does he have a gift for cooking? Kind of makes you jealous, eh?
In the end, he learns how to make the dish with minimal errors, and your best friend and his new lady friend eats a great meal for dinner and…..well, we will leave that for those two
So what happened? How did he learn how to cook so much faster than you did when you first started? How do you make the envy stop?
Easy, he had a good teacher.
In this example, what did a good teacher give him:
1.) Great feedback: The hardest part of learning is to get great feedback. Sure, you know what you did wrong, but you don’t know sometimes what you did right. When you fail, most people don’t really have any actionable advice that they are given, but when you have a teacher, then they can give you the feedback that is needed in order to give you the deliberate results that you need.
2.) Accountability: Unless you have an extraordinary amount of self discipline, chances are you are going to slack on certain days. Hey, that’s normal. We are all human, that’s fine. However, teachers are there to stop that cycle when you start to fall off the practice sessions. Having someone to motivate and tell you to practice will always make you get the practice that you need.
3.) Answers to questions that you can normally not find on google easily: When you are learning, sometimes you don’t know the jargon or the ability to express yourself as easily in words. When that becomes the case, it is really hard to find the answers you need on google. For example, if you found a steak that was cooked sous-vide style but you didn’t know what sous-vide was, what do you type in? “Steak cooked evenly perfect style”?
There was nothing about sous-vide in any of these posts, and how much longer do you think it will take to actually find the answer? I’ll tell you, a long freakin’ time!
Imagine your learning curve like a dark tunnel with a whole bunch of booby traps in it and your goal is to get to the other side of it. You go in enthusiastically….and you step on a booby trap. You have to spend time trying to get out of the booby trap and start again. And you have to do this over and over again until you finally find a path that actually works. *
A teacher is like a light in this tunnel, he/she will illuminates your way to the path that is great for you. And when you do get stuck on a booby trap, the light will show you exactly what to do to get out of it.
So no, you are not untalented. In fact, you are actually very talented and dedicated (well, at least in this example) if you are able to actually learn how to cook like a pro.
So the next time you wonder if teachers are actually worth it, either read this post or feel the pain of trying to learn a craft from scratch and see how much time and energy you will waste with very little feedback (read Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin for why it is super important to know why feedback is extremely important). To save you the trouble and the time, get a good teacher and truly appreciate the great teachers in your life. Do it!
They are very relevant, and they will continue to be relevant in this age of mass information.
I hope this can help create a differentiation between the two, besides teachers can use these YouTube contents as their own materials themselves.