Today I launched the new eLearning capabilities on Bansuriflute.com.
I launched my website Bansuriflute.com years ago with the goal to provide information on Bansuri to beginners. I have received a couple of hundred emails since then from people all over the world who are interested in learning Bansuri. Inspired by this, I have been meaning to offer some form of Internet lessons for a while.
Six years and countless hours of thinking later, I am delighted that this finally came true.
Why did it take so long? Simple – because I wanted to create a site that I myself would want to use if I were a student with no direct access to a teacher. By setting the threshold high, a lot of obvious options like books, DVDs or Skype were just ruled out.
What became obvious to me was the power of social networks and tools like YouTube is changing the world. And these social networking mechanisms offer a great way to collaborate and learn.
You see – when you go to a teacher along with fellow students, what are the key processes that come into play –
- The teacher explains you key concepts.
- The teacher (good one anyway) puts structure on passing on the knowledge to you.
- The teacher passes knowledge to you at a pace you would find it easy to receive it.
- There is feedback to you in case you do anything wrong.
- You can ask for clarifications.
- You collaborate with your fellow students.
- The group dynamic of your fellow students keeps you motivated and in many ways, competitive.
As you can see, a lot of these key steps are missing in traditional eLearning models. If you buy a DVD, you get information overload and no feedback. If you buy a book, you get no audio visual demonstration. If you learn on Skype, you miss the group dynamics.
So where do you get audio visual exchange and collaboration today. As it happens, we do this everyday – on Facebook.
Hence the new site with social networking capabilities. You can login to the site and explore the social networking features by commenting on articles and engaging in group forum discussions. You can even post your individual updates on your practice, any good music you listened to or anything else. The site will be a growing body of knowledge, both because of content from me, and also because of information you might be able to share.
It is important to stress that this site is meant for people who do not have direct access to a good teacher. Nothing in the world can substitute direct human contact and feedback from a knowledgeable Guru. Not even Facebook!!
This is truly exciting stuff. Has not been attempted before in the world of Indian Classical music. This can be done better through your feedback. So feel free to comment on this blog with your suggestions. I will appreciate them.