Tutorial: Who should make tutorials? Should I make tutorials?

Should I make tutorials?

If you've asked this question, then you've come to the right place.

Short Answer: Yes, if you acquired knowledge that you think many people don't have, and you have a new perspective- yes, yes, yes. Else no.

 But I'm not a pro...

But I'm not a pro...


In my personal opinion I absolutely love the idea of tutorials and teaching. It's a form of contributing knowledge for future generations.

Nonetheless, if you're looking for some logic behind whether or not you should make tutorials, I've highlighted some key points below.

 

The Why?

Decide on why you want to make tutorials.

Depending on your subject there could be much 'garbage' in existence. Have you ever tried to search for cooking tutorials? You have to sift through all the junk to find your gems. There's such a large mess it's hard to find what you need. Please don't contribute to creating an abundance of trash.

Have you ever heard the following saying?

A little learning is a dangerous thing
— Alexander Pope, 1709

The full quote is "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."(Source)

My interpretation of this quote is that knowledge has layers. If you were to only learn about the superficial qualities of a subject, it would be dangerous to apply it. Especially if you were to use the superficial knowledge as a foundation and teach it (Which I have seen multiple times).

It's similar to the educational idea "If I just practice enough I will become good". However, in my opinion this is false misinterpretation of reality. A gymnastics teacher of mine once eloquently framed this as "Perfect practice makes perfect, shit practice makes *finger quotes*". A greater idea is that practice makes permanent. If you don't have a deep understanding, or aren't moving in the correct direction during your education, a little knowledge can be dangerous. Think about the whole "no carbs" movement currently still trending... Carbs are our most preferred fuel source for the body! [Along with fats] (Yes with the carbs argument I'm aware there is much more behind it. Read “Are Carbs the Body’s Preferred Fuel Source?” by James Barnum for more info). Why take carbs out of your diet if your body uses it as a main source of energy to survive? Miscommunication, and propagation of false information.

Anyway, in summary for this section- there's junk information on the internet.

Don't contribute.

Instead, why don't you curate? You can highlight gems that you think are important (granted with correct research). Research is immensely useful. Remember, it's the thing we did at school?

 

Your Perspective

You may think you are not 'qualified' to teach or make tutorials.

This may be true as specified in the above section.

However, if you have sufficiently researched your subject and can contribute a tiny bit of knowledge that is tangible and accurate, you should do so!

You are a unique individual, and your perspective on how you've learnt is unique to yourself.

If you've spent the last two weeks researching how to do a foundational skill such as creating hexagons in the 3d program Rhino, you already have a new perspective. If it has taken you such a long time to learn what would considered to be a 'basic' skill, perhaps there's not enough resource on the internet for it. Perhaps the existing youtube tutorials, and blog posts online were not adequate. There was no single destination for an overall perspective on how to learn to make the hexagon. Instead it was the combination of information across many tutorials that helped make it click for you.

Could you condense those two weeks of learning into a 2m video for someone in your exact situation?

If the answer is 'yes'- then yes please! Please make a tutorial!

You'd save many people across the world time in learning. As a civilisation we move slowly. And you'd contribute to this process and make it move just that little bit faster. If you can do it, the world needs your tutorial.

Furthermore, just because someone is proficient at a skill, does not mean they know the most efficient way nowadays for another to learn.

This especially makes sense in our current day and age. Someone from the pre-internet era may have learnt a large vocabulary by going to a good high school, and consulting a physical dictionary.

But, in the age of information, are the old methods still the only way? What about those who do not have access to the same 'good school'? How could they learn?

I am a strong believer that knowledge does not have to be specialised within geographical zones in this day and age. The internet should allow much more knowledge to flourish geographically. The idea is relevant- but I will expand on it on a later post.

Instead lets look back at perspectives of learning.

The idea that some pros don't know the most efficient way to learn nowadays hit me yesterday.

I was at Dreamworks talking to a visual development artist. He was asking me what good foundational courses there are for his 17 year old son.

Although the Dreamworks pro could no doubt teach his son foundations, he wanted to know of another place that could. However, being 20 years removed for the educational industry, he didn't know the current relevant good schools nor the greatest learning path.

Contrastingly, I'm deep in learning art within the current age. I am in a much better position for knowing how to learn the type of information he had already mastered. It was surreal.

Which led me along and made me think. If he has the skills but isn't making tutorials, then who will?

Or even if he does make tutorials, the process of learning is more foreign. It is the same with a teacher- they can only try understand vicariously how one is learning nowadays. The student is the one absorbing information. They will always make assumptions on how the student is going, and there is a less of student perspective.

They have their own perspective from their time. We have our own perspective in our time. We all have our own perspectives, and many people across the world will sympathise with many different approaches.

Therefore, I figured I'd make tutorials for the small bits of information I know to be true. And if my perspective helps just one person out there make a more informed decision, then I would be happy.

So yes.

Make tutorials if you know them to be true, and have a perspective on how to learn that doesn't already exist out there. Make a blog and write your experiences. If it is personalised to your experiences then it already is new information.

Good luck!