Learning isn’t by any means restricted to institutions. Well into adulthood we’re constantly discovering new avenues of learning, and many times we’ll choose to take different paths and explore new fields that were once unfamiliar to us. It may be suddenly sparked by intrigue and inspiration, or perhaps we’re looking for increasing our utility by learning a new skill or trade.

Information is so accessible in our modern world that we can easily research new toopics online. We can visit the library for a book to read or even take college classes. However, I’ve found that my favorite type of learning is that which is designed through interacting with others. I enjoy working with people who have personal experience and wisdom in a particular area. It’s much more valuable and fun to attend a workshop or hands-on dynamic learning course than to read static information. Not only can you soak up the information, but you can have it delivered to you in a more personable way. If you have questions someone with wisdom and experience is right there to answer your questions. Most important of all you can learn hands-on and get your feet wet.

Workshops are a great method for communities to organize teaching events for learning new skills. They don’t require expensive infrastructure as they can be hosted at a home, farm, or anywhere else available. Workshops may vary in cost between completely free to a small fee for attendance and materials. The topics I’ve often seen that utilize a workshop teaching method are: beekeeping, food canning & fermenting, composting, soap making, photography, beer brewing, making herbal tinctures, building small structures, gardening, blacksmithing, leather making, raising chickens, and more!

If you have a skill or trade that you would like to share, you can organize your own workshop and invite others to attend. It’s a great way to share you skills and provide the opportunity for others to learn.

Some communities offer other learning through specific spaces set aside and open to the community. These include community gardens and ranches, open space wilderness areas, observatories, hackerspaces, makerspaces & events, science centers, collaboration spaces, and the list goes on.

Through community learning you gain exciting new knowledge as well as valuable community involvement and interaction, and a community that learns together stays vibrant and inspired!