Apprenticeship, 21st Century Style

HTS ApprenticeshipFrom day one of The Hand Tool School I have wanted to build some kind of personalized apprenticeship program. The reality is that when building an online product you have the think about scale. The success of this site since 2010 is a perfect example. Within the first 6 months we had over 500 members! thanks for that by the way

Now imagine trying to build a personalized learning path for each of those 500 people. My brain hurts thinking about it so the idea was shelved until, to quote George Lucas, we had the technology.

That time has come.

I still can’t fathom creating a complete personalized learning plan for hundreds and thousands of people but there are now ways that I can create a semi cooperative and highly collaborative environment where I can guide a student through what they want to accomplish.

A Skype sawing consultation

A Skype sawing consultation

Believe it or not I have already been doing this for many of you who have emailed me and taken me up on my offer to do video chats.

In every one of these instances, the student has approached me with a question and I just had to respond with whatever media (email, phone, video, etc) could best answer the question.

But sometimes getting the student to take the first step is the toughest thing. Moreover they may not know what to ask or even if there is a problem that needs attending. This is where the magic of Apprenticeship wins the day!

At face value, Apprenticeship is a recurring product where members will pay monthly (or annually) and they will get additional content in the form of videos and a special section of the community.

But the real excitement comes from the direct input these members will have into what the video content is covering. I certainly can’t promise a video on demand service where every question from every member will immediately have a video that addresses it. But a video may not actually be the best way to assist the student.

The key is in asking the right questions at the right time and this what I can’t possibly do without an army of clones helping me. In a lot of ways I just need to be available to answer questions and sometimes create content that answers those questions.

But if I had an army of little bots watching what members are doing on site and offering up advice based on what was just watched or guiding them with emails related to their activity. Moreover, if those emails helped them to create their own goals and build a learning path to meet those goals, then all I have to do is respond to those emails and create content that points members in the right direction.

It’s a Woodworking Coaching Program

That is what the new Apprenticeship product is all about. More helpful woodworking content, but most importantly, direct, personalized guidance (and even accountability if that’s what you need) to help you reach tangible goals.

We create these goals as soon as you sign up when you and I work together to create your personal roadmap. Certainly you can join the program just for the additional content that I create, but it is setting up and following the roadmap that turns this from watching woodworking videos to an actual coaching program designed to improve your skills by embracing your weaknesses and capitalizing on your strengths.

If you haven’t yet, go check out the Apprenticeship page and watch the video to learn more. Or just drop me a line with your questions.

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