'Learning in Public' is when you take something you're interested in learning more about or trying to do for the first time—like programming—and putting it out into the world while you're working on it.
For me, this was sharing some snippets on my IG story and making blog posts on my personal website.
Of course, sharing thoughts, ideas and work openly is something that might be difficult for some people to do BUT everyone has something valuable to share with others, regardless of skill or experience level. And so, here are some of the reasons why I decided to learn in public.
You learn better by explaining things.
Learning in public means explaining an idea or concept to other people. The reason it works so well is because the way you learn is shaped by how you explain things.
The more you explain, the more you learn and understand; therefore, if you're trying to learn something new (or remember something old), explaining it out loud can help.
The next time someone asks me a question about a subject I'm unfamiliar with—which happens often—I make sure to get my hands dirty by actually working on it myself before giving them an answer; otherwise I'd just be regurgitating what little I've learned from Wikipedia or Google searches.
This helps me retain information for longer periods of time since it forces me into active mode rather than passive mode where all I have to do is listen and repeat what others say back at them: "Oh yeah that makes sense" instead of "Let's see what happens if..."
You get feedback from people!
One of the biggest benefits of learning in public is that you get feedback from people!
You can get feedback from your audience, whether it's the people who listen to your explanations or watch videos, read a blog post, or read a book.
"The best way to get an idea across is to explain it quickly and efficiently"
The best way to get an idea across is to explain it quickly and efficiently. To do this, you must make sure that your audience understands the concept at hand.
You may find that using examples, metaphors, analogies or stories helps you do this more effectively than simply stating what you're trying to say.
One of my favorite quotes about public speaking comes from Dale Carnegie:
"The person who makes a speech sends a message out into the world which will affect everyone he knows in some way."
In other words, if I want people around me to understand something or be interested in what I'm saying, then I have no choice but to clearly explain my thoughts as much as possible. If I don't explain myself well enough for someone on their own level (or lower), then they won't understand me at all!
On top of that...
I can also watch other people who are also learning in public on the same topic and compare them.
Learning in public is an effective way to actively teach yourself new skills.
Learning in public is an effective way to actively teach yourself new skills. When you explain something, you learn better than when someone explains it for you.
This is true for several reasons:
- You get feedback from people who understand what you're talking about,
- Listening to others and listening to your own explanations of ideas helps reinforce the concepts, and;
- The best way to get an idea across is by explaining it quickly and efficiently.
If you’ve made it this far, I hope that this article has convinced you to take up the "learning in public" challenge.
It's been a stupendous experience for me thus far, and I'm sure it will be for you!
Even if you don't want to make blogs maybe you can find a different outlet or platform to publicize your journey.
The idea of learning in public is a great way to keep yourself accountable as you advance through your studies.
If there are any readers out there who have tried learning in public or who have questions about it, let me know in the comments below!