I love learning new things. One day in May this year I was exploring possible options and found a workshop that I really wanted to attend. It was with a world-renowned teacher. But the course was in Cork and that meant not only finding money for the workshop itself, but also for the travel and accommodation. As costs really began mounting up, so did the reality of the situation. It was just too inconvenient, too expensive to justify. It was disappointing and frustrating.
This started me thinking. Learning with inspiring teachers could be costly. And if I felt it inaccessible then there would surely be many other people who felt it too. Education on location is great but it has limitations – time (it takes to get there) cost (of both travel and the course itself) and the number of spaces available (there’s only so many people a teacher wants in their classroom and this then impacts the cost).
That’s why the E-learning industry is booming. It seeks to address these restrictions and as a result is growing at an astounding rate. Global Industry Analysts report its global worth will stand at an astounding $107 bn in 2015.
But e-learning also comes with limitations. I had a really good look around, there was certainly a very healthy selection to be found online, particularly when it came to tech learning, but lessons were often brief (up to an hour long) to address those wanting fast answers to obvious problems, and the engagement factor often fell short of expectation. Webinars could be great too, but it all felt a little impersonal at times. The feeling of engagement just didn’t flow quite as naturally as actually being there, together in the same room as the teacher.
So we created LearnShedLive to offer an evolution in learning. A revolution, if you like. This is learning via live stream. Why? Because live stream bridges the gap between the emotion of actually being there, together with the teacher, and the ease of learning online. It’s engaging too. Members can interact with teachers live on air, ask questions and submit work before and during the show. There’s also an element of excitement and anticipation with a live broadcast – all sorts of things happen – things can even go wrong. There’s no doubt about it. Live stream is big (and it’s only going to get bigger).
Our belief is that everyone has the right to learn. It provides personal growth, gives hope, raises the conversation and creates happiness borne from newfound knowledge. So we decided to offer all live broadcasts free of charge. And if people like what they see, we also offer the opportunity to pay to download a copy to refer to again and again. We aim to make the price for each workshop vastly more affordable than the cost of many offline comparatives and every download will include bonus material. Each purchase goes towards the cost of helping us give others around the world access to the free education we provide.
Teachers and presenters will be a mixture of world-leading experts and exciting fresh new talent. We’ll be encouraging our growing community to help shape the topics we cover and nominate amazing teachers they’ve come across or would like to see on the site. If we had a vision right now it would be that in 5 years time we’d look like a live in-depth workshop version of Ted – attracting amazing talent from around the world who would leave a lasting impression
Our next hire will likely be on the tech side and we’ll be taking on freelance actors and camera crew as well as outsourcing some of our online marketing activities. Our website will be live in February and our first live stream workshop will be on Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, broadcast on 4th and 5th February 10.30am – 1.30pm daily on http://www.learnshedlive.com.
Thanks for listening and if you have any thoughts or comments on this, I’d love to hear from you.