Paid, 3rd-Party Learning Resources: Business Scam or Delivery Innovation?

laptop business womanMy father always said, “you get what you pay for.”  Generally speaking, I have found this to be true.  However, as openEd advocate, it’s hard for me to disregard free learning opportunities.  Khan Academy is a prime example of a free, yet quality, knowledge resource.

I sense that today’s learners are feeling more and more empowered to take ownership of their own learning.  Business-minded individuals are keying into this trend and beginning to take advantage of this “education market.”  When I see education peddlers, like the two listed below, I have to wonder (as an self-respecting consumer would), how can I evaluate whether these products are worth my time and money?  What can they do as learning providers to help convince me?  What I am seeing in the examples makes me feel suspicious.  E.g. Immediate requests for personal information, arbitrary discounts, a CEO telling me what I need…

  1. iPad Programming from http://www.edumobile.org — Create a iOS app with no previous experience!  (30-day money-back guarantee)
  2. Learn JavaScript with Mark (50% off Coupon)— For those who are already familiar with HTML/CSS and want to move into the creative realm of making dynamic websites.

My marketing suggestions:

  • Include raw, personal, testimonials (vids) from learners like me.
  • Give me more up front for free.  I’ve been burned too many times by scammers who just want to collect and sell my contact information.  First, let me taste the goods.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  I’m preparing to dig into these two technologies (iOS development and JavaScript) and would love to find the resources that will be the best use of my time.  Tell me, how do you make decisions when looking to purchase a new technology or tool?

*I add this image of an attractive, techy woman ironically because it seems like any tech website that encourages me to BUY something has an image of a pretty girl trying to sell it to me.
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About bryantanner

I'm obsessed with learning via the appropriate technology. My professional mission is to effectively deliver instruction to learners in a way that yields the greatest results for all stakeholders involved.
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