I’m trying to beat this dystopian view of the post-industrial educational future that’s creeping into my nightmares:
It is the not-so-distant future. Most countries outsource most of their education to other countries. It’s online and mostly free for most of the people most of the time.
A few lucky and dynamic education super-specialists dominate massive online content delivery in each field. Education is a global commodity and these specialists are media superstars with millions of edu-tained students.
Advertising pays for the free platform for the masses, while those who can, subscribe to premium personalised content. It’s still automated… it’s just ad free.
The online platforms are owned by the technology companies who also own the information. Universities survive in this landscape as competing brands used under licence by the technology companies who own and control the information.
Outrageous…? Possibly. Perhaps I should just write a novel. However, here’s what you can do to fight the system (at least until the robots take over):
- Get technologically literate. You won’t survive if you can’t use the tools. Hint: they’re all online and they’re cheap. Spend time there.
- Make stuff and share it with the world. So you’re not going to become a super-rich education media star. But you might get someone’s attention. Or help them learn something.
- Do an online course. In anything. It doesn’t matter what. The point is that most online courses and online education as a rule is pretty horrible. You need to make it better.
- Record video. Your voice sounds funny and you look kinda stupid. That’s what everyone thinks. Now record your stuff and share it somewhere somehow online.
- Seek feedback. Your potential audience is wider than just the learners you might have in front of you right now. Expand. Spread your gospel. Train your learners to be your evangelists.
- Be prepared. Not for anything in particular. I’ve given up really trying to set goals. However, I want to be prepared for opportunities when they arise.
- Watch kids. Kids know. Because Minecraft.
- Look outside the system. The system wants to be low risk. Actually, the system wants a sure thing which means zero risk. This means innovation has to happen outside of the system.
- Become a hacker. I don’t mean one of those nerdy criminals who steals credit card details from NASA. I mean hack your own stuff. Hack and crack your content. If you don’t someone else will.
- Become a masher. By this I mean mash stuff up. Take something normal from your field, and find something else that wouldn’t normally go together with that thing. Then mash them together and see what you get. Chances are it’ll be pretty cool and give you ideas on interesting content.
Let’s get started…
I like this a lot. The challenge is to deliver a niche product and service, while reaching out to a wider audience, and convincing them (or someone) to pay for it.
That pretty much sums it up…!