5 Key Tips to Make the Most of Online Education in 2021

How do you decide how to educate yourself? How to get the best out of being a self-taught learner?

Many of the most important structures in our lives have been profoundly changed in recent months. Our habits have forcibly changed. However, despite some limitations, new possibilities have also been created.

Acquiring new knowledge, tools, and techniques through different online education formats has been one of them. Now, with so many possibilities, how to choose what to train for? And when we do, how do we take advantage of it?

Patricio Oliver (@patriciooliver) has been teaching Illustration and Typography at the University of Buenos Aires for two decades. He is also one of Domestika's teachers. To discuss important aspects of online education, we talked with him about how to be a good self-taught student in 2021. These are his key tips:

Patricio Oliver's illustrations.

1. Use content to strengthen your theoretical knowledge on topics

“It is a mistake thinking about university training versus the specific training that online courses can give. All careers need complementary knowledge that makes interaction possible within multiple disciplines”, he assures.

For Patricio, careers give us relevant structural knowledge and fundamental practical tools; online courses can operate as links between concepts and tools.

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Patricio Oliver teaches at the University of Buenos Aires and at Domestika.

2. Take advantage of tools to respond to immediate market demands

Today we use Instagram Stories, but tomorrow we use the Instagram Reels, and after that? Nobody knows.

According to Patricio, at this point online courses have an advantage: they can immediately give you the specific training that the market demands right now. We also know the market is increasingly volatile, so online education allows you to keep up with the changes you need at the right moment, whenever you have to take the next leap.

3. Dare to use education as entertainment

According to Patricio, the entertainment component of education was revealed as an essential aspect in 2020. “People started consuming courses for fun, out of curiosity, or just to hang out. Instead of watching Netflix, many people choose to watch a course", he describes.

“This means that places of leisure became possibilities for personal development. Many people dedicate themselves to looking at courses that have nothing to do with their profession or whose projects they will never complete, but they want to know and, most importantly, now they can know”, he analyzes.

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What kind of knowledge or new skill are you looking for?

4. Value feedback

“Forums can be a wonderful place of community exchange. It's possible to achieve student-teacher, and student-peer exchange. In other words, even if communication is not done in real-time, it can generate very enriching things", he explains.

For this expert, many times we may feel like we are throwing a bottle into the sea, but although that sea is immense, it is full of people looking for exactly what we have thrown.

5. Stop thinking local, now you can educate yourself globally

What sense does it make today to choose by proximity when much of the content we want to access is at our fingertips and improved?

“Although presence will always be important in education, not limiting ourselves to it helps to democratize the content. Basically, because it cancels out a variable that was always an obstacle: distance. Today you can educate yourself with a wonderful teacher who lives on another continent and access a completely different approach”, he reminds us.

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Luz de León teaching her UX Design course at Domestika.

Bonus tip: If you work in education, get the most of it

"Creating an online course or an online class is not simply about moving your usual class to a setting with a camera", Patricio explains. He lists some of the tasks that must be carried out to design a course: rethinking the content, cutting out a unique universe, and even thinking of yourself as a teacher. "Watching the way other teachers do all this is also new learning", he concludes.

Happy International Education Day!

Patricio Oliver teaches the Designing and Illustrating Antagonistic Characters course at Domestika.

English version by @inuin.

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