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§ June 2nd, 2011 § Filed under small business, training § Tagged , , , , , , , , , § No Comments

Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. – Henry L. Doherty

Anyone who has been looking for a job knows that there are few openings, especially for people with college degrees. Seventeen million college graduates are doing jobs that don’t require a degree. Additional folks are working at jobs that require a four-year degree, but they never get a chance to put into practice the skills they have learned. Further, many skills that are needed on the job are not learned in high school or college. So many of our students have been taught to take tests, but not to think critically or actually learn the subjects.

Add to that the fact that student loan debt is at an all time high, even higher than what we owe on credit cards.

Maybe it’s time we rethink how we handle education.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of college. I hold both a bachelors and masters degree. At the University of Texas I took courses that helped me discover what I really enjoyed. But for a long time, I have been among a group of people who think that for most students a two-year program makes more sense. For many students, landing a job after those two years with companies that value their employees is a much better plan. Some of those companies may provide tuition reimbursement so that students are not left with massive student loan debt. See this TED Talk by creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson for more about how much a degree is worth now.

I am so excited about a new venture – Skillshare, a community where anyone who has information to share can pass that knowledge to others. There are plenty of places where you can take classes online, but as someone who has taught both traditional classes and online classes, I believe that something truly magical happens when a group of learners get together with a teacher who genuinely enjoys helping. Everyone learns from everyone else.

I have been selected to be a Community Ambassador for the San Antonio area for Skillshare. I am recruiting people who want to share their knowledge and people who want to learn. Skillshare classes are primarily about the things we are passionate about, the things that make us want to get up in the morning. Some of us are lucky enough to have jobs that meet those needs. Some of us have jobs that meet other needs, and we fulfill our passions outside of work. Skillshare will give us the opportunity to test out our interests.

Why is it so important to find our passions? We need to shift education in order to produce creative thinkers. I believe that Skillshare may be one of the steps to achieving this radical shift.

Want to help me create this shift as a teacher or a learner? Join me at our first quarterly Show & Tell  event on Tuesday, June 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. (I’m still working on the venue; details will be forthcoming.) Get a taste of training, have some drinks and some fun, meet other learners and teachers, and help start a revolution. If you can’t make the event, but still want to be a part of the effort, drop me an email or call.