Informal E-Learning

Informal Learning
Informal learning is unorganized, undefined learning that people experience throughout their daily lives.  Although it typically refers to the learning we pick up without realizing it (such as through trial and error, or by being taught casually - learning to walk, for example), the idea of informal learning can be expanded to e-learning by looking at some of the resources available online.

Asking to Learn

In the same way that people learn by asking those around them, throughout their every-day life (informal learning), resources are available online for answering questions as they come up.  One of the most popular is Ask Metafilter, a cousin of the blogging community MetaFilter.  At Ask Metafilter, people can ask questions that will then be answered by various members of the community.  Others can reply to those answers, supplying different information, rebutting the original answer, or supporting any comments.  Questions can range from queries about design, gardening, or science, and more.

Solutions-based Googling
Searching the internet for specific answers to questions can also be a source of learning.  By finding resources that answer questions and help to solve problems, the end user can learn quite a lot.  By seeking to install a wireless card in a Mac, for example, a user can type the phrase into Google and come up with many different resources, including instructions and diagrams from Apple.


A great resource for learning how to do various different things is e-How.  This website offers short tutorials on how to accomplish many tasks, including how to tie a tie, write a belated thank you note, or even use chopsticks.  The instructions are presented in a clear fashion, starting with the necessary elements (what you need - a tie, a mirror), and leading the learner step-by-step through the task.  Comments allow others to add their own thoughts to the tutorial.  Video has been added to some of the e-how tutorials, making this site an even better resource for learners.