The online education industry has been globally estimated to be worth $107 billion. Technology has changed the way we learn. People are already taking courses online and it is fast becoming a way of life.
– By Stephanie Obi
Lynda.com, an online education platform that was recently acquired by LinkedIn, boasted of 400 million subscribers in 200 countries and was adding two new members every second. All of this was happening around the world, yet in Nigeria, we were way behind.
In 2013, I made fashion accessories, and I felt the urge to start training other ladies on how to make these accessories. I marketed these workshops online and in no time, I got requests from people all over Nigeria, asking if I could travel to their cities to host these workshops.
This inspired me to create an online course. I thought to myself, “If I can record video tutorials showing people how I made these accessories, I won’t have to travel all across Nigeria.”
It was an experiment and I wanted to test the market. There was so much news about how the internet penetration was growing due to more affordable smartphones and data plans.
To my amazement, over 70 people paid for that online course from over nine countries, and this opened my eyes to the online education industry.
Gone are the days when the four walls of the classroom or the “open field” school were the only ways to acquire quality education. Now, you can get a degree completely online, regardless of your location.
Depending on what you’re willing to learn, you only need to find an organization willing to teach it online. And by using your smartphone or personal computer with internet connection, you can now watch recorded or live video lectures, ask questions, take quizzes, submit assignments and gain certifications completely online.
At first, I was excited that my little experiment turned out to be very successful, but when I started reading thank you messages from people who had started their own businesses after taking the course, I realized that a lot more people could succeed if they had access to the right business trainings.
In order to leverage this technology, I spent the next few years, launching more online courses and creating a template for how online courses should be launched. I then started showing other experts how to launch online courses using my template, and they also started getting similar results.
However, I noticed that the most successful entrepreneurs in Africa had a lot to share but were too busy to teach. This was probably why the online education model hadn’t taken centre stage as it should have. Making online education available to a global audience also requires a high level of quality, as is demanded in offline education.
Trayny, an online education platform turned this problem into an opportunity by hosting and managing online courses from Africa’s most trusted leaders.
The platform works one on one with these successful entrepreneurs to glean through their experiences, package their lessons into online courses and make it available for everybody to buy regardless of where they live.
Getting to this point must have looked impossible at a time. With the new developments we can see, there’s no telling how technology will transform the educational industry in the nearest future. This is only the beginning, African businesses are about to change forever.
Stephanie Obi is popularly referred to as the Queen of Online Courses, because she helps entrepreneurs to create, launch and sell online courses. Through her website, www.stephanieobi.com, she has impacted over 82,000 people in over 10 countries teaching them how to change their lives and change the world by leveraging on the internet. She is also the Founder of Trayny, and has been featured on Channels TV, Guardian Newspaper, Punch Newspaper, Social Media Week, EbonyLifeTV, etc.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.