Another dot in the blogosphere?

DIY sales & the future of education

Posted on: December 13, 2014

Recently I jumped on the Carousell bandwagon to get rid of old electronic items. My experiences so far have been overwhelming and positive.

When I sold my old iPad Minis, I was inundated with so many messages that I could not keep up. I put the items up for sale at 11pm one evening and decided on a buyer shortly after midnight.

I just sold a 2010 Mac Mini, and while that item did not draw as many views, it got to people who really wanted the item and I sold it someone who wanted to upgrade from a 2007 model.

Carousell is a mobile app that allows you to take photos of items you want to sell, describe them, and then advertise them on an online platform. I have noticed some folks set up entire niche shops there.

I can view the profiles and ratings of other buyers and sellers. We communicate via the app and do not exchange personal information like phone numbers until we decide to meet.

The platform removes the middleman. When I sold other items before, the middleman always took a big cut. But when there was no intermediary, there was not enough reach and I could not sell my items.

What does this have to do with the future of education?

Schools, universities, and tuition centres are the intermediary brokers for education. Administrators and policy makers at such institutions do not really have to care about learners and learning.

We have entered an age where learners can seek their own paths and start customizing their education. There are already generic connectors like Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube. There are specific resources like MOOCs, the granny cloud, and Khan Academy. Learners do not need teachers or they can seek their own.

At the moment efforts like DIY selling and customizing your own education are niche efforts. But I look forward to the day when cookie-cutter, industrialized schooling are viewed as odd or even cruel practices of the past.

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