January 26, 2019

Welcome to the Future of Learning: Skill-Sharing

Welcome to the Future of Learning: Skill-Sharing

My Neighborhood

My family and I live in a hundred-year-old house that was rebuilt and pieced back together about 15 years ago. When we found this home, I had been driving my then-new-husband mad by telling him I wanted us to find a “fixer upper”. He kept locating homes with holes in the floors and unfinished sets of stairs. Together, we slowly came to the realization that what I wanted was not a “fixer-upper” but a “fixed-upper” – an older house with all the renovations and updates completed.

I wanted to paint the walls, not build them!

Now that we’ve lived here for over a decade, there are lots of small things that need to be fixed again, and this time, I really do want to be the one to do some of the repairs (mostly to prove my mom wrong – I can do this!) … but I don’t know the first thing about doing home repairs.

I was telling a friend last week, “I really just need a home repairs tutor!” I don’t need to know enough to form a new career, and I don’t want to just hire someone to fix things for me. I want to learn. I want to prove to myself (and my mom) that I can fix things. I don’t have the slightest clue where to begin on my own, though.

We live on a street with amazing neighbors. One of my neighbors has a small school, and they raise goats and chickens. Her husband builds and maintains habitats for a local zoo, and if anyone in the neighborhood has a building or plumbing question, he’s the first person we all ask. He’s very busy, but he’s a great person to live near in an emergency.

The school has a little garden that the school children plant and tend to. Several of us with small children homeschool, so there are kids here all the time, and when the kids at the school are doing something special, they invite all the homeschooling neighbors over to participate. When I’m teaching my own kids a unit in Social Studies that I think might be fun and engaging, I invite the neighbors to join in, as well.

I have a neighbor who speaks multiple languages. Another neighbor loves baking and decorating baked goods with all the kids. We have a neighbor who is an artist, and one who rescues and raises reptiles. All my neighbors and friends have these great skills – skills I do not possess.  Together we help our community grown and learn, and we can share our skills and knowledge to make all our lives better.  

I don’t know what life is like in your neighborhood, but this sort of community involvement has taken years to cultivate, and we truly love it.

Your Community

If you think about it, we all already employ this idea of skill-sharing to a certain degree. We know which of our friends can sew, who knows several languages, and who cooks the best burgers. We ask our friends, neighbors, relatives, and colleagues for advice on fixing a leaky pipe, or if they mind sharing a recipe they love.

We all have our areas of expertise, as well – things we can share with our community members that will enhance their lives.

Sharing Skills Means Creating Connections

However, there is always room for another expert. None of my friends are welders. None of my neighbors grow and can berries. None of my family members create pieces from pottery. I don’t know anyone who is an archer. If I wanted to learn any of these skills, I’d have to go outside my community and meet someone new.

But how would I find a welder? I can’t just walk outside and yell, “HEY! I need a welder!”

Well, I could, I guess, but it doesn’t seem like it would be very effective, and it would probably make the neighbors uncomfortable.

Now it’s possible to extend that opportunity to learn about other things that we specifically want or need to know. With Skill Sharing and Clascity, you can teach or learn practical skills that will help in life.  There may be someone very near you who has just the skill you’ve been dreaming of learning. Perhaps you just haven’t met them yet.  

I don’t want a degree in architecture, and I certainly don’t want to build or fix other people’s homes for a living (it’s a lovely trade, but I’m a teacher and a writer, not a handy person). I just want to be able to fix the column on my front porch that fell off last spring and has been sitting in the bushes in front of my house since then.

I don’t need to be able to give a lecture on economics in Chinese, I just want to know enough Mandarin to ask my students (who are all kids) if they are feeling well when they sneeze and cough a lot during a lesson.

This is the beauty of skill sharing on a Skill Sharing Platform like Clascity. You can learn or teach a new skill based on your need, desire, or personal skill set. You don’t need a degree or a certification to share a skill, and you don’t have to pursue one to learn a skill you enjoy or to prove to your mom that you can do it.

You can choose the environment in which you learn best – private, one-on-one tutoring or in a small group lesson. If you have a skill, you may be able to create a class and get a little extra money on the side for teaching others something you do well. In a sense, all your doing is extending your community, welcoming relationships that can help you build your future.

Are you an artist or a musician? Are you amazingly organized? Are you great with PowerPoint or needlepoint? Have a hobby-turned-profession that you love and just want to share that love with others?

Are you a handyperson willing to teach a 40-year-old homeschooling, writer mom how to fix the column from her front porch so she can get it out of the bushes by her front door (if this is you, call me)?

Then Clascity is definitely the place for you!

Welcome home. We hope you learn a lot here.

Rebecca Fields is a teacher, mom, wife, writer, and editor who needs someone nearby to form a class on home repairs.