Why Online Schooling Is Better Than Learning In Classrooms

Walking is not an option for many people, so consider the benefits of online education and learning.

An online-first strategy might be the answer when it comes to educational excellence.

In an article recently published at Profit, PC Magazine writer Matt Mayberry lays out the case for why the education game needs to be changed from top to bottom. Basically, Mayberry says that if you want education done right, the answer is to not try to do it right at all. To do this, you need to make things straight forward to more students at the beginning of the program.

Mayberry likens college education to being gifted in a book, and then having to turn in all your work for a grade. This leads to lack of motivation, and sometimes poor grading, leading to the lack of follow-through. This becomes an intimidating environment for not only the students, but the teachers as well.

The solution, for better or worse, is to make things online, and make your educational offerings as short and convenient as possible. From online courses to online schools, it all boils down to “give them what they need, and don’t expect them to love it.”

He envisions a day when a starting degree will have a Netflix (NFLX)

Likewise, online public schools are quickly becoming a trend. The first start-up company to enter this space is a Washington-based start-up called Limeade. Limeade, which is launching in Oakland on November 12th, is targeting those looking for, well, meaningful support to help with schoolwork.

I had a chance to catch up with the guys behind Limeade and their plan for success. In a recent interview, Jason Best, CEO of Limeade, said that his vision was to create the most useful piece of technology, to make things easy for students to connect and do their work.

His target audience is students between 15-21, and goes up to adults as well. Right now, he says that he has been in contact with 70,000 students.

It’s not enough to just provide access to education. You need to provide something that really makes use of the infrastructure out there, and Limeade provides that. In an online-first educational delivery style, it is up to Limeade to really do something that can give a real life benefit to this elite audience. Best said that it doesn’t take a degree to join the site, as students just need an account in which they can manage assignments, check grades, and file reports.

Getting to this audience is going to be a first-class effort. One that Mayberry lays out a plan that is similar to the Skype method (video calling) in the education world. According to Best, Limeade is doing that with something called Lightning (a website), as well as a group tool called Teams. Teams gives students a way to work as a team. In addition, DynamicSync allows students to see who is available to see them at all times and make their work look more efficient.

The focus is on “socialization” over test scores, thus Lemonade’s value and viability will lie in its ability to access a segment of the market that traditionally has had limited access to a modern education.

Amazon (AMZN) was able to figure out a way to not only deliver education via AI, but I believe you will see more than just Amazon entering into this realm. The implications for a platform and a retail model is huge. If Amazon has any say in it, you can expect a higher barrier to entry than already exists in online education with its reliance on login credentials and teacher permission.

There are a lot of questions that remain with regard to Limeade’s challenge. It’s more of a socialization effort, and it is still to be determined how deep the marketing campaign can be. However, the promise of this new approach is compelling.

This is the start of something that could just take off, like it has for quite some time in other spaces. If you think that teachers and people in the classroom are the only players with an interest, think again. Those who want to get an education could easily move to a self-taught model, which a 24-hour online presence lets you do. Additionally, marketers could build a compelling student image online, and that, too, can lead to tremendous success.

Ultimately, it has to start somewhere, and Mayberry’s commentary is a start, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

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