Friday, April 26, 2013

The On-line Lectern and "tuts"

The web is fast becoming a place where educators are making a name for themselves. Katherine Rosman of the Wall Street Journal reports that This Term, Teachers Are Trending, and cites the example of Victor Bastos from Portugal who has netted more than $250,000 in revenue for his Web Developer courses at Udemy. According to Rosman, one of the fastest-growing categories of videos on YouTube, according to the site, are "tuts"—pronounced "toots" and short for "tutorials". It seems that many educators have started to make a lot of money and that the most popular instructors and professors say they are getting recognized at restaurants and on city buses!

Image Source: Ways & How.
For years the Web has been talked about as potentially a fantastic tool for education. We've lived through e-Learning hype cycles and seen an industry created for on-line education that is worth millions as businesses look to train their employees with the best value in content. Sites like Udemy are now allowing the best teachers to create courses and make them available on a low price sell-a-lot model. Victor Bastos has 7,239 students for his web developer course at $199 a go, but most courses on Udemy seem to me to be much less than this. It just goes to show that if you create good content and deliver it successfully on-line, that people will sign and pay up to learn for the good stuff.

The "on-line lectern" is here to stay and may some day completely replace the classroom. From Monday to Friday this past week my YouTube channel had well over 30,000 views, reaching a new one-day record for me of 7,887 views. My biggest class during the same time had just 58 (for a Project Management class). I sometimes wonder if I am in the right job at all?

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