A while back when Wynn asked me to contribute to The Stingy Scholar I told him that I wasn't sure of what I could commit over the next year. Little did I know... In addition to running LearnOutLoud.com I became increasingly convinced over the last year and a half that there was a big opportunity to bring some massive (and healthy!) disruption to the education industry. While there is a lot of cool stuff going on in the space it seemed like there was something missing.
What we're soon launching at eduFire.com (BTW, the name comes from the Yeats quote "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire") is the first very small step in what might prove to be a long journey. The goal is to empower hundreds of thousands of people to make a living teaching people what they are most passionate about over the web. We're starting with foreign language training which according to some estimates is a $20 billion market globally.
We'll be launching the main service in a few weeks or so but in the meantime we've put up a teaser blog at blog.edufire.com that contains hundreds of free videos, articles and podcasts to help you learn a foreign language. While we only have a few hundred resources up right now we'll be taking that to a few thousand in the next month.
Our ultimate goal is to give you access to the best teachers independent of geography. It seems really interesting that since the beginning to time people have learned from teachers who were in close physical proximity. Through technology that has changed in the last decade but that's about to change radically in the coming decade. We're hoping to be a part of that change. I'd love to hear any comments you might have about how that can best be accomplished.
Thanks to Wynn and the gang for letting me pop in from time to time and may 2008 be your most learning-filled year yet!