The rise of digital education

PROCESS, Startups, TRENDS

Lifelong learning has moved from a buzzword to reality, yet colleges still think of higher education as something that happens at one time in a person’s life, in one place.
For colleges to prove the lifetime value of their expensive style of education in a world of increasing options, they need to start extending different styles of learning, to different segments of students, beyond commencement day.

Several different options have risen as an alternative to the traditional colleges and universities. Self-learned has never rang so true as now.
The options are digital platforms that are accessible and easy to use when you have the time, you can decide exactly what you want to learn and stop it anytime you want without getting a hefty student loan as a memory.

It’s a good step from the “one school fits all” formula but does require discipline and a change of perspective to realise that lifelong learning is the official way to learn and prosper in a world that will crave you to acquire new skills on a reoccurring basis.

BUT

Would it not be wonderful if the public schools became a place where you start off and learn lifelong soft skills, among them sexuality and intimacy and expressing feelings, and all the hard skills where learned only when needed, like stated in “To Reach the New Market for Education, Colleges Have Some Learning to Do, in just-in-time education.
I think I could go for trying that new form of educating.

Until then, here are some examples of the platforms:

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Lynda.com is an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, design, and business skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. With a lynda.com subscription, members receive unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials. New courses and topics are added every week at no extra cost. We carefully select the world’s top experts who are the best in their field, passionate about their subject matter, and know how to teach.  – Around 4 million students, yep.

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Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.
We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.  – Around 7 million students, yep.

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Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology.
Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.
Around 10 million students, yep.

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At General Assembly, we are creating a global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love, by offering full-time immersive programs, long-form courses, and classes and workshops on the most relevant skills of the 21st century – from web development and user experience design, to business fundamentals, to data science, to product management and digital marketing.

Established in early 2011 as an innovative community in New York City for entrepreneurs and startup companies, General Assembly is an educational institution that transforms thinkers into creators through education in technology, business and design at nine campuses across four continents. – Startup with around 100 000 students and counting.

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Skillshare is an online learning community to master real-world skills through
project-based classes. Our mission is simple: provide universal access to high-quality learning. – Startup with around 45 000 students and counting.

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Today, 3 million students in 190+ countries are taking online courses on Udemy. They’re learning Programming, Yoga, Design, Photography, Spanish, Marketing, Guitar, Finance, Cake Decorating, and so much more.

More than 16,000 courses (in 10 different languages!) have been published in our marketplace. Each course is designed & taught by an expert instructor and hundreds of new courses are published every month.

More:
http://www.codecademy.com/
http://www.saylor.org/
http://sxswedu.com/

 

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Startup Advice – piece by piece you get there..

Startups, TRENDS

I usually tell people that everything I learned about being an entrepreneur I learned by F’ing up at my first company.” – Mark Suster, Partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest venture capital firm in Southern California

So I’m reading through this extensive but well written list of advices.
When I was little I learned that you listen to the elders, I can’t say that I can follow them exactly by letter but you always find something that resonates with you, or assures you, or prompts you to continue/change.  Mark writes very strict to the point which I appreciate.
There are of course many other resources to read through, and we have been given access to books such as Crossing the Chasm and more, but reading them as a pdf is a sore for the eye. Somehow I find articles much easier to read rather than digital books. Strange I know. Anyhow this one is really worth checking:
Startup Advice

Another incubator…but not.

Non Profit, TRENDS

Why would you do a non profit like a startup?
Because the agile, fast, technical and engaging approach is bringing the change faster and amps your impact on a more vast level.

I am always looking at the tech sector for ideas and inspiration. I believe now, more than ever, nonprofits need to run lean and constantly iterate. It’s not enough to have a great product, but you have to know how to sell it, how to engage donors and design your organization for rapid scale. To reach our goals, we have to think like a tech company.
–  Becky Straw, Co-founder of The Adventure Project

 

If you looked up ‘f*cked company’ in the dictionary, our logo would be there. [But] it was the year after Friendster, and the year before Facebook … and one of the things I did was say, ‘Look, there are faster, better and cheaper ways to reach young people now. We don’t need to go through schools, … print lots of curricula and ship them all over the country.
It’s called the Internet.
‘” – Nancy Lublin, CEO of DoSomething.org

These are some of the quotes by people doing their non profit organisations in a new way, in a way where the chance of you making it work is faster and more approachable for the new generations. Even incubators are popping up with social entrepreneurship parts. But one incubator is a non profit in in itself, and it only takes in non profits.
BEESPACE in New York, looks like a typical young startup incubator but all their startups are non profits that are working on local organisation or all the way up to impacting girls education worldwide.

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They are looking for innovative startups but i think they are innovating the non profit world themselves. If anyone knows of something similar here in Sweden please Contact me!

 

 

Value of the economy and what is the aim?

Social Entrepreneurship, TRENDS

I feel there is something happening with our view on the economy. And at least for me I welcome it. Social economy , sharing economy , trading economy, trust economy, virtual economy, local economy, knowledge economy. There are so many names for what ever shift that is happening. But in the end it’s us who decide what will be the new economy depending on what we value and what we put our value into.
That is the big burning question. If the make it rain/stacks of paper/ green is no longer the ruling symbol of value, what is value? What will we think is valuable? Valuable enough to be the new economy?

For me the most valuable asset of this startup is to affect the life of todays kids and give them a good start to understand their and others sexuality, intimacy and relationships. Make them feel secure in that and help out with all the awkward parts, and in that way change a lot of attitudes towards each other and adjust tolerance level in the long run. And I believe that it will have a t trickling effect in other areas of life to.

Some of the articles I’ve seen lately that can be of interest in this are:
“I’m pro-knowledge economy”
“Marc Jacobs store takes tweets, instagrams for payment”
“Instagram pays your bill at this pop up restaurant”
How this entrepreneur build up his work by trusting
How the knowledge economy is redefining work
The rise of the sharing economy

The New Non Profits?

Non Profit, TRENDS

One of the first obstacles I met was the fact that one part of the startup project was that it had to be a profitable one, which is hard when you are going for a non profit.
Also I had a long internal discussion with myself about accepting money.

As I envisioned it I’d rather find passionate people to build it and then released it to the world, free to use, but then I realised that if I want to find good talented people that want to work with this and do it good, then it needs to pay for their effort.
So money are needed to develop it, pay people, to expand it, keep it up and running, continue to add valuable content and to be sustainable.
So HOW was the big question. I had to dive into this question and one of the first things I saw was this playlist on Ted. See it to change your view on the non profit world.

One of the best one being by Dan Pallotta:

He talks about how we have different rules and belief system when it come to the non profits and how that stales their growth. One of them being compensating people for their valuable work and he mentions that we react really bad to the idea of people making money by helping other people but we have no problem with people making a lot of money by NOT helping people. The problem is that then it creates a choice between either doing good towards your family or doing good for you the whole world. Not giving you a chance to be both.

Another being the fact that we have a bad reaction to when non profits use money for marketing, which is not seen as a an investment to make sure that the cause of the non profit gets a better spread and therefore can bring in more money to people in need.
At the same time we have no problem with brands that get money through our purchases continue bombard us everyday with a new jingle.

Another thing to mention is about the time of the investment, when people invest into non-profits they expect to see results soon. So if you are non profit trying to build up a system that would require time and needed the money to continue be invested in it, there is no patience for that. But for-profits companies can continue get money without showing profit because they are expected to do that in the end. This creates hard pressure on the non profits to create short term results instead of longterm ones.

By following the existing belief system for non profits, it creates a deficit of growth, risk and idea capital within. So I had to change my view on the money and my view how profits should work, because the non profit world deserves as much ideas, growth and innovation as any other. I simply would rather build something where you make money by helping other people.

Check the entire talk:
Dan Pallotta – The way we think about charity is dead wrong

Find what you love and let it kill you…or?

PROCESS, Startups, TRENDS

So for me social good and especially sexual education is something that I think of when people ask me what I love to do. I do love a lot of things but this I really what I envision myself doing for a long time and in todays fast paced race it’s a hard thing to do. I feel like I can build a business plan around it that will make sure me and my future team will not be killed by what I love so therefore I look into how to make it solid profitable non-profit startup. Because “Do what you love and the money will follow.”  is a well known saying that we say casually to each other but it’s always easier to tell that to someone who has chosen a good career path, rather something totally outrages or….omg, “creative“!

Here are few steps to survive as “love follower”:

1. Know your audience and stay connected with them.
Me: I have a lot of my own assumptions going on and I have looked into reports and the studies, so the legal part. Now my next step is to connect with the existing “users” & “providers” of todays sexual education and discover what are their “pains”.

2. Be easy to work with.
Me: I am a person that after several jobs in the service sector, also volunteering and especially after Hyper Island, feel that I get this one, and I try to improve it more. Though I need to find my team!

3. Be prolific.
Me: To produce, I do. I am one of those people that if I don’t have several things to do I get lazy. I need to do stuff. I am trying to learn how to focus and not do a lot of scattered initiatives and results, but rather stick to few chosen ones. Which is hard cause my problem solving side is sometimes to easy to engage!

4. Create multiple stream of revenues.
Me: I have a couple ideas but I need a prototype and then MVP to sell it!

5. Don’t lose of the passion.
Me: I won’t, even through all of life’s detours for a couple years and months I still somehow feel strongly about my chosen path and I might stroll but I know where I am heading.

If you want to known MORE than just my answer but to get the ENTIRE tip on these 5 ones,  read more here: HOW TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND NOT GO BROKE