The power of education is extremely important at Digital Aptitude. We firmly believe in inspiring youth through sharing our experiences and knowledge with them as often as possible. This is why our involvement with programs such as Young Entrepreneurs Business Week (YEBW) and the Austin Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) at Oregon State University are so important to us. This past term, three members of our team have been guest lecturers at OSU, teaching subjects that range from product development, to marketing, to advanced sales. Students are able to learn from real examples from real people in the business world. This is invaluable to their education.
While we participate in these programs for the students because we believe in their incredible potential, there are many benefits these teaching engagements provide to our company as well. It is said that one of the best ways to learn is through teaching and we experience this every time we are in the classroom.
Teaching allows you to analyze your current knowledge on a subject. When you are given a topic to teach, you are able to assess gaps in knowledge and then seek out information to fill those gaps. Once information is gathered, you must then break it down into digestible pieces that someone else can understand. This process increases your learning because you have to use knowledge in different ways to enhance the understanding of those you are teaching.
When questions are posed during the teaching process, you are challenged to access your knowledge and use it to think critically on the topic. This again leads to greater understanding. As people learn through concrete examples and practical application, prepping for teaching makes you seek out information beyond just the specifics of the topic.
Here are some tips to use when teaching others:

  • Make an outline of the topics you want to teach. This will allow you to assess the information you need to still seek out to fill your gaps in knowledge on the subject.
  • Use examples so people can relate to the material. People engage more when you talk about their lives.
  • Speak from experience. It is easier to speak and more relatable when you talk about your experience and what you learned rather than just talking about what you know.
  • Allow for questions. Let people challenge you to think critically on the subject.
  • Follow up. Teaching and learning do not stop at the end of a presentation. Some of the best learning happens after someone has time to process the new information.

The next time you are learning something new, seek out someone you can teach the new information to. This will not only improve the knowledge of someone else potentially in your company, but you will also gain a greater understanding than just doing research on your own. Teaching is a powerful thing. As lifelong learners in our company, we seek every opportunity to teach others and, in turn, learn from each of those experiences.
What have you learned through teaching others?