I gave a talk recently, about the power and ubiquity of social learning. I asked for the usual show of hands from people who had either shared or learned something in the past 7 days via social media, and got the usual 90%+ response.
I also voiced my view that it’s not just the day-to-day that is being learned – people are achieving extraordinary skill/knowledge levels thanks to Google, Wikipedia and the like. I shared the story of the day I played golf with 9 year-old Shubham Jagpal, the under-12 World Junior Golf Champion who taught himself how to play golf in a remote rural Indian village, through watching YouTube videos of Tiger Woods (to answer your question, yes, he beat me by about 12 shots). Shubham’s father gave up everything to move to Delhi, so that his son could play on a real golf course, instead of the makeshift green and bunker he’d shaped in a local field, and a few years later, Shubham became world champ.
After my talk, one of the other presenters said this wasn’t possible. Hmmm…well that’s what Shubham told me, and I have no reason to disbelieve him.
But, just to show it IS possible, last night I celebrated another success: that of Julius Yego. Julius is a Kenyan javelin thrower, who also learned his technique through YouTube videos. Despite tweaking his groin during the warm up, Julius won gold last night, at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I hope he taps YouTube for sponsorship… Go, Yego!