Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Unlimited Classes from Live Instructors for less than $1/Day

For the last six months we've been working on something at eduFire that I'm very excited to be able to announce for the first time. It's called eduFire SuperPass and it's my personal (and far from complete!) answer to the question: How can we change education?

As anyone who reads Stingy Scholar likely knows, education has all sorts of problems. The cost of education is increasing rapidly the total cost of a year of college at many schools now is about $50K/year) and recent evidence suggests that higher education might, for the first time ever, provide a negative ROI.

Education is a raw deal for many teachers too. Most teachers take home a small fraction of the revenue that is generated every time they teach. I saw this first-hand when I worked for Kaplan and took home about $15 in pay for every $100 in revenue that Kaplan generated from my teaching services.

What we've built and are taking live today is eduFire SuperPass and here's how it works. For $29/month people can receive unlimited access to any SuperPass class on eduFire. Right now there are over 150 SuperPass classes on eduFire and we expect that number to increase greatly in upcoming weeks. These are live classes with actual instructors, not simply self-paced, computer-generated classes.

For us, it's not really about the money though. $29/month helps us create a sustainable company and helps our teachers make a living doing what they're most passionate about. In our view, education is the foundation upon which the rest of society is built. And, as we've written about on the eduFire blog numerous times before (e.g., here, here, here & here) we think there's a real (and massive) opportunity afoot to completely revolutionize how people around the world learn. We're far from the only ones who are working on this. There's a great group of companies and organizations out there who are seeing a world that doesn't exist and asking, in the words of George Bernhard Shaw, "Why not?"

So I'll encourage you to give SuperPass a try (we're offering a 7 day trial for only $1 to allow for easily sampling). Or if SuperPass isn't right for you do me a *huge* favor and drop me a line (jon at edufire dot com) and tell me what would make SuperPass something you would sign up for. We're just getting started here and your feedback will be invaluable in helping us create something that thousands (and ultimately millions) of people someday use and get a ton of value from.

It's our vision that world-class education should be available to everyone. And not just canned classes. Actual live teachers teaching students around the globe. We're excited about that vision and hope to have your help in the Revolution.