Blog Pile

Poop2013: Imagine How Many Pastures We Could Fertilize

The yup you yup agreement embodied in GIF form here is from here forward to the end of time (or til I get bored) is the iocn to represent the silliest of MOOC ideas published. The odor…

Among the buffet of dining varieties of educational web sites, edudemic reminds me most of something as tasty and nutritious as… pork rinds. I feel that sick feeling, (OMG did I eat the whole bag of THAT?) just from following a link to edudemic to find Udemy Launches Teach2013 To Bring Big Names To Online Courses.

Before even diving in with my manure repellent, let’s just look at the URL. You see, it does pay to know how to read web addresses, a fading art among the fetish of the quick/easyLike/+1/repost era. But check it out:

You know what that means? The first title the author typed into WordPress was Udemy Launches Teach2013 To Rethink How We Learn Online.

Someone (sort of) came to their senses.

But back to the pasture.

This “article” shares how Udemy is launching Teach2013:

Could the future of education be taught by industry experts in an online setting? Udemy is trying to find out thanks to their new Teach2013 tool. It’s basically a call for experts and thought leaders to teach their own online courses.

They’re hoping a crowd of people will encourage people like Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, and Biz Stone to answer the call. Udemy would of course stand to benefit from getting these big names, but it’s an interesting approach and it may not work. Only time will tell.

So Udemy is not even launching an intergalactic education reshaping program- they are unveiling a tool – that is ostensibly used to send tweets to Bill Gates, Oprah and ask them to teach a Udemy Course.

I hear Gardner Campbell’s poetic warning ringing out to us from Vancouver last October

That is not what I meant. That is not what I meant at all.

Teach2013 only be the high level brainstorm of a marketing team. That is the world changing mindset xMOOCs have in line for us? (keep those cow heads bobbing up and down, “yup. yup. yup.”

Now we have had a long standing and (disappointing to me) model in higher education- completing the process of years of intensive research, study, writing in a field, climbing the peak of Doctorate (itself yes a nig deal)- grants you the license to teach without ever (a) possibly even having taught before; and (b) possibly never learning anything about how people learn.

PhD = License to teach (in the most prestigious and color robed badge granting of traditions)

Udemy has bigger plans.

“It’s amazing what a good instructor can do with an HD camera, a mic, and some basic video editing software,” said Dinesh Thiru, vice president of marketing at Udemy. “We live in a new world where experts are building incredibly high-quality online courses with technology that often costs less than $200.. You couldn’t empower millions of experts to teach the world before this happened ““ the barriers to teaching online were too high. But that’s all changed now and that’s why 2013 is going to be the year of the online instructor. “

So now all you need is a browser and w web cam to be a global educator? Is that our Brave New World?

Now do not take me to say that only trained educators in the System of Education can teach effectively online (Udemy assure sus only the best stuff will go on the chow line). I actually am not certified at all (maybe that shows). And I firmly believe we have among us plenty of “experts” in fields that are natural and effective teachrs, people capable of sharing what they do and know.

But does sharing have to be done via a course? Is that really the only model we have of knowledge sharing is the structure of a course?

But to Udemy, all we have to do is tweet some celebrities and say “Bill Gates please teach us to be brilliant, just like you “? (Has anybody seen those mosquitos lately?)

Have no fears, Udemy has everything prepped:

Once experts express interest in teaching online, Udemy will provide an array of tools and resources to help them build and deliver courses that meet Udemy’s standards for course quality. Those resources and tools include access to Udemy’s proprietary Course Creation Platform and an invitation to Udemy’s online instructor community, “The Udemy Studio”, where experts can interact and discuss best practices for building a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Some experts will also receive production assistance from Udemy.


Online instructor community (which needs an invite).


World changing.


“Imagine what we could accomplish if every expert shared his or her knowledge with the world,” said Eren Bali, Udemy co-founder and chief executive officer. “Online instructors are now teaching millions of people around the world. But there are so many more subjects that students want to learn. We’re calling upon every expert to join us and teach the next generation, starting this year.”

Yes, Eren, we can use more expert sharing of knowledge in the world. As always it is time to roll out my link to Jon Udell’s notion of people needing to narrate the work they do.

Experts don’t need a “proprietary” system from Udemy to do this. They don’t need their Studio. They don’t need their platform. They don;t need a course to be open and sharing with their knowledge.

We have the greatest and most capable invention to do this. It’s free. It has been shown to be effectove for over 20n years, It has changed the way we communicate, socialize, plan our lives. And anyone can do it without some corporate machine.

It’s called the open internet.

Give it a try sometime.

You do not have to read between the lines to see what is on the Udemy table.

Instructors can build courses on Udemy that can be either free or paid. If instructors choose to charge for their course, they keep 70 percent of the revenue from all course purchases. Instructors retain full control over course content, copyrights and pricing.

Some gets 30% of the cut.

“YOU da ME”

And THAT is what is on the table.

A lot of poop.

But hey, maybe the big MOOc thing is the way to go…

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by istolethetv

If this kind of stuff has value, please support me by tossing a one time PayPal kibble or monthly on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
Profile Picture for CogDog The Blog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so)


  1. Isn’t one of the largest values of the MOOC that it’s free? Sorry but I’m not paying to listen to Oprah or Bill Gates or whomever tell me what’s already in their book or on their television network or on the internet via TED or other free outlets.

    Your point is well stated. If these experts want to share their story start blogging, or set up a YouTube channel or countless other open scenarios. Heck create their own MOOC. But then, maybe the expert wants an extra buck and Udemy can give them that. Who knows.

  2. 1) Edudemic is terrible. It makes me incredibly sad when I see teachers retweet their for-profit-online-college-supported-SEO-driven infographics.

    2) When I met one of the Udemy co-founders several years ago, he said that they weren’t in the business of learning or ed-tech. They were a “content-delivery platform.” As such, I have since refused to ever write about them. *shrug*

  3. Of course I naturally agree with you. But to keep my head from bobbing up and down like those cows: What if (your favorite Teacher-of-the-Year, think Bruce Lee or Luke Skywalker) wanted to use this program and charge a single dollar per user to teach a course on (the most vital topic in the world, think light saber technique post Empire) and send the 70 cents profit to address (worst human problem facing the planet, think Polio epidemic in India or somesuch).

    So, I mean to say (again, just to keep from nodding yes), under what circumstance would a paid, proprietary MOOC system/service be beneficial or out-compete the free versions? What would it look like after the miracle happened?

    1. I’d be down with that kind of class. I could list all kinds of things that might plausibly happen (pigs flying, congress agreeing).

      Although I pretty much said it, I now contradict myself- its really not whether anything done in a platform is better because of the platform; if there was some world changing dynamic class taught in a paid, proprietary MOOC, thats good. I’m on the side of good teaching/learning, not the tech.

      Yes, it would look like flying congress persons…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *