How Learnist Crowdsources Expertise

By Crystal Morgan of Learnist

Dawn, a high school civics teacher has integrated Learnist into her class room. After a few weeks, both Dawn and her students were hooked.  Dawn excitedly decided to share her success with her peers, but was met with some resistance.  The number one push back she heard was, why use Learnist when you have a question, when you can just “Google It”.  Despite the fact that many people have embraced social learning combined with curation from experts in both academia as well as organizing personal learning information, some people remain skeptical.

While it’s true that you can Google, but when you do, you are on your own. With Learnist, you have the experts handing you beautifully curated topics tied with a bow.  Some of these boards contain simple but critical pieces of information.  Christian Termont’s board San Francisco Neighborhoods is one example.

In this board, Christian, in humorous detail, outlines every San Francisco neighborhood in order to help newbies avoid moving into neighborhoods that will get their cars stripped. I envision this type of format expanding to other urban centers around the nation, providing critical information to people relocating. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing a blind move, you’ll find this type of information essential.

When you get to San Francisco, you might take advantage of Alex Hunter’s board Where to Run in San Francisco and other boards about events, foods and culture—all of which provide information from an insider’s perspective that might not be readily available by an outsider resorting to Google.

Crowdsourcing Expertise

When we say “experts” we mean two things.  First, the intent of Learnist is to recognize that everyone is an expert in some area, either professionally or in an area that they are passionate about.  People can convert those areas of expertise into learnboards and share them with others. That’s the true nature of learning.  In return they will be able to enjoy the learnings of others right back.

But when we say “experts,” we also mean honest to goodness experts, because there are a ton of celebs and notables using Learnist, too.  The social aspect of Learnist means that you, the learner, can engage with them—comment, answer, discuss, and “like” learnings. It brings you into their circle.

Melissa Fleiss of Project Runway has shared boards on fashion and projects ranging from something simple like “How to make handmade napkins” to the amazing “Final Collection 2011.”   While I, personally, will most probably never get the honor of wearing her collection, I can make napkins.  Even cooler than that, I can discuss making napkins with someone who’s so talented in fashion that even her napkins will make me feel like I’m in haute couture.

Syndicated columnist and addiction expert Jeff Wolfsberg has created several boards on youth and adolescent health and wellness.  His boards run the gamut from topics like Alcohol and Drug Prevention Education to emerging drug trends, addiction recovery, and success for college-bound students.  Jeff also makes regular expert appearances on many national news outlets and shows such as ABC’s The View and NBC’s Today Show.

I’ve had the chance to discuss my beloved Yankees and UConn basketball team with reporter and sports journalist Laurence Scott, host of the San Francisco Giants Clubhouse.  I’ve talked politics, current events and history with retired newspaper editor Dave Stancliff, and had a chance to collaborate with winning political strategist Dina Fraioli. I even connected with “author and patriot”Amelia Hamilton and got a copy of her book, “One Nation Under God, A Book for Little Patriots” which I used to teach a lesson in my class.

Being interested in politics, I was especially excited to see Representative Marco Liias (D-WA) sign on board to use Learnist to share information with his constituents, something I’d like to see more of in the future from other politicians and public officials working toward transparency.  For those not familiar with Rep. Liias’ work, he is the author of anti-bullying, school climate legislation, which has taken a leading role in promoting student emotional and physical health in many schools today.


This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as experts on Learnist. There are leading investors, venture capitalists, authors, nutritionists, exercise and fitness experts, educators, online publishers, news personalities, entrepreneurs, and policy experts. The list goes on and on.

So, if you find yourself asking, “Why should I use Learnist when I can just Google?”  Simple–because when you’re looking for this quality of information, you can’t “just Google.”

You must “Learnist.”

About the author: Dawn has worked in a couple industries, but fell in love with teaching. She currently teaches HS civics and ESL classes in RI. A moment learning is never a moment wasted. @runningdmc; Image attribution flickr user rdecom and elevertbarnes