Learning used to be restricted to classrooms and lecture halls but those days are long gone. The amount of information we have access to and the immediacy of that information has changed the face of education. There is a revolution taking place on a global scale and it’s all centred around the Internet.
Access to the Internet through devices that are getting cheaper every day has given every person in the world access to new information in one form or another. SMS and USSD services exist for feature phone users which target the mass market, while apps and sophisticated mobile websites provide smartphone users with a rich and full experience.
Lessons in your pocket exist for every possible eventuality.
Universities are opening up classes, documents, readings and notes online. Professors are taking their lessons online and speaking directly to their students — and students wanting to learn from across the world. Professionals are distilling their expertise through videos on YouTube, updates on social networks and blog posts, detailing step-by-step guides, snippets of information and pearls of wisdom.
Nothing is out of reach anymore and there’s an entire industry opening up around learning new things, bettering oneself and self-education.
The last step in this process is for the pros and experts to get online, formulate their lessons, publish them online and begin to generate revenue from their expertise. Here’s to the next step for education.
Mobile Internet has opened up a massive audience hungry for information. Over the past decade there have been slow and steady movements towards providing sufficient education to this massive audience and we’re now reaching the golden years of this movement.
Social networks have grown massively and now allow app developers, educators and professionals with a large enough audience, on a single platform, to effectively launch educational content.
One such app is the newly launched Bookly Mxit app. This application is an e-reader for basic cellular devices, allowing anyone with a cellphone to access textbooks and a library of other books searchable by author or genre. Authors can now sell their content to a mass market and start generating revenue from their expertise.
The advances in responsive technology, coupled with cheaper data prices has teed up a video boom on mobile devices in the emerging markets. YouTube is mobile optimised, serving ads and aching for relevant and local content.
Classroom debates are no longer settled with textbooks, they’re won and lost by the quickest route to an answer online. Your content needs to be out there and proving its worth.
The video lesson
There’s a video that can teach you just about anything online in less than three minutes. Learn how to sharpen a knife like a sushi chef, change the oil in your car, instal a washing machine, solve a mathematical problem and more. If you search for it, it’ll be there.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world so don’t neglect it as a real source of eyeballs for your content.
The amazing thing about the masses finally getting online is that there is someone out there who is dying to learn about something that you’re good at. This means that you can become a teacher today. It’s always going to be tough to prove yourself to be an expert but consistency and solid, trustworthy content will always win out.
Post videos once a week, every week on the same topic with lessons, tips, tricks and your personal experiences and you are bound to make headway.
The money making
Many people give of their time and experience purely for the joy of educating, but capitalism is ripe and growing in the education sectors online. There are academies that will allow you to subscribe to their courses using a credit card payment – albeit at a discounted price.
Facebook has started serving adverts to mobile feature phone devices so your fanpage can start to really make you some money in the emerging markets.
You can even start your email newsletter with your educational information, course or expertise and charge people to subscribe. Try out letter.ly for this particular method of generating revenue through online education.
The box is there to be destroyed, not to store textbooks and move novels in a library. Think outside of it for a change.