It’s a good question actually, why pay for online learning when you can get information from websites and videos for free? Just take a look at the current glut of tutorials and other forms of education freely available at to no charge on video sites and more. Some kind of transformation may need to happen. Or maybe it already has?
If you are an educator looking harness the web, it’s time to do some serious thinking. The evolution of technology and its usage might have moved on already, even though not everyone has gotten the memo. Of course, the thing that is different between, say, free video sites versus purchasing from an expert in the field, theoretically you will get more value from the “expert.”
These days, many videos that are online and viewable for no coast at sites are not really informational at all. They are more like commercials for an educator, expert or company. In other words, you watch a video, you get tidbits that may or may not be useful, and then the pitch, overt or subluminal, occurs. You have just experienced a “taste,” a “sample,” but if you want the whole thing you need to buy the premium version. That’s the norm now with SaaS sites. You can get the free version, but for the the way you really want it…Upgrade.
Another downer of course is that “free,” actually costs you something. Your identity. Your privacy. That’s a big price. Because when it comes to search or social platforms, we pay with the currency of our personal information. You legally signed off on it when you were setting up your account and clicked the “Conditions” button. And even if everything you write into your settings is false. Does not matter. Don’t think you are fooling them. They track you. And it does not take long long at all to figure out who you are. They follow your every click, figure out who you are, then when you sign in with them, such as with “free” email accounts, they have yet another way to flesh out your composite profile the are working on and selling to others Get ready to be sold to others for a fee.
Look, you are okay with having no privacy, or have already sold it to various online tool providers, so you might as well get the biggest bang for your, well, identity. Sometimes you really can get good educational info. You’ve already sold yourself to Big Tech, so you might as well get something in return. How? By carefully picking videos and sites you go to. Usually, if you look with a sharp and discerning eye, plus have a sense of what you are searching for, you can tell quickly what is worth your time, and what is not. Trust your instincts. But this begs the question, “Why do experts give out premium information and in return do not earn a dime?”
Some people with knowledge give it away because they want to be seen as an “expert.” Or maybe want the attention. Or dare I say, maybe they really are semi altruistic and want to be seen as…Yes. An “expert.”, Also it is quite possible that they simply wanted the attention. To be noticed for doing something nice to their fellow humans with similar interests. This could have motivated them to pull out the authentic information.
The good stuff?! But how do I know if this is what I really need. Because like we hear again and again, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” That’s true to a point, but if you are industrious, you can usually patch the clues together. Meaning, in the end, it is very likely you could piece together on your own, what you actually needed. You are, after all, resourceful. Ever since those three “Ws” came around, we are not at a loss for at least feeling like we are doing something. Even if we are not.
Let’s face it, we are trying to convince ourselves that the Pandemic is over, and that we are in the process of entering what some of us have been waiting patiently for. In the beginning it was called the “New Normal.” But honestly, I haven’t heard that term in a while. But the point is that what we thought was coming, is not here yet. And COVID is far from being managed enough such that it’s “Just like the flu shots offered each year.” And now more than ever here in NYC, riding the subway has actually become that scary thing depicted in a lot of old ’70’s movies.
Informational in-person workshops are not likely to have a full return anytime soon. You can just look at what is happening in New York in that regard. So, what should we do? Wait it out until all variants are done with, which needless to say will never happen. Or should we patronize those those who have “quality” learning materials, instead of something that is the equivalent of coming from a dollar store? Needless to say, value can be found anywhere, and we have one of those businesses near us. I bought a laundry bag there a couple of years ago, and I just used to bring the wash downstairs. In fact, the bag is in a basket sort of thing, also a dollar store find.
If I showed the laundry bag to you and told you that I had paid $10 for it rather than the $1 I actually forked out, you might believe me. Which brings us to an important moment in this rant. The one we know and love: “Perception is Reality.” If someone can convince you that they have high quality educational materials, even if you can get the same stuff for free somewhere else, then big bucks are paid for the “quality” of it. Maybe not the actual “quality” of the content of information in the materials themselves, but instead rests possibly in believing something or someone is prestigious. After all, “quality” framed in different ways has varying value. As you probably figured out a bit ago, or maybe saw it coming from the very beginning, the dirty laundry is mine and that of my fam. Which reminds me, I have to go downstairs and take it out of the drier. It’s almost midnight. I usually do it around 6:00am on Saturday. Now where did I put that dollar store basket?