I remember I had one teacher who was absolutely obsessed with charts when I was in high school. She would make us fill in huge paper diagrams, fill in the blank comparison charts, or complete a half of a Venn diagram; this amalgam of charts were supposed to make relating or contrasting multiple ideas simpler. What I thought was more strange than the charts themselves was her policy on sharing answers we had written on our charts. As long as we could understand what we were writing down, it was absolutely okay, even encouraged, to copy down someone else’s information. So, unlike basically every class I had during that period in my life, cheating was both for our own benefit and permissible.
I guess what this taught me, more than the actual content on the charts (which I did learn, in case you were wondering), was that sharing ideas and learning information for the purpose of having to teach that information to another student was the best way I have ever learned material. This idea has helped drive the concept of tutor exchange.
What is tutor exchange? Tutor exchange is basically the implementation of the above concept. Learn for the purpose of teaching and share that information with another individual. LRNGO uses this notion to fuel its own practices. Say you majored in Spanish—you know all the tricks to memorizing those pesky grammar exceptions and some other individual near you knows how to play guitar but isn’t doing very well in the intermediate Spanish class. LRNGO works as a channel to connect those two individuals. Then, not only is each person learning a new skill, but the tutor is practicing too, enhancing their own ability by teaching it.
Why is tutor exchange a useful tool? Tutoring exchange is useful in a variety of ways. Predominantly it is a tutoring service, one person is learning information that they need or want to learn and the other is further delving into the subject in order to answer questions and explain more detailed concepts. You are also getting to make interpersonal connections. Instead of only meeting friends, or friends of friends, you have the opportunity to meet people completely out of your social circle. With this of course comes your risks. Make sure you meet potential tutors in a public place and it might take a few tutors to find the one that panders to the way you learn.
How do I engage in a tutor exchange? Even though you might not recognize that you are in a tutor exchange, chances are that you have already taught someone who has taught you something. Regardless of the formality of the situation, tutor exchange is tutor exchange. If you are looking to meet with someone for tutor exchange, you can make an account on www.LRNGO.com to meet people in your area that are teaching the skills you want to learn and offer your services to people who want to know what you do.
Ultimately, engaging in a tutoring exchange can be extremely rewarding for all involved. Not only are you meeting new people but your passing information across borders that otherwise wouldn’t have been breached, you’re learning new material and further digesting your own.
Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito