Monday, January 25, 2016

Contrasting Skillshare with Udemy

Skillshare's guide to teachers starts with this:

"1. Be a great teacher, not a filmmaker:
Many of our most successful teachers filmed themselves at home with screencasts and webcams in 2015, proving how it’s the quality of your content that makes you a great teacher on Skillshare, not your video skills."

In contrast, on Udemy it's SO much about the video and audio quality, very little about the teaching quality. Their attitude is, anyone can be a teacher, which of course is far from true.  In my experience, many teachers in high schools and colleges are weak teachers (often worse), despite experience. Someone who has no teaching experience, and is doing it online, is really creating an oral book, and that's hard to do.

Udemy's "kamikaze" marketing (enormous discounts), and all the trickery that goes on behind the scenes (instructors buying or trading 5-star reviews, for example - the numbered review system is worthless), combines with the the attitude of "get rich quick - nothing is as important as money". The result is to create an impression of "cheap and chintzy."

But Skillshare's user interface for teachers was "impossible" when I last used it many months ago, so much so that when (on top of all that) one of my courses was published in a half-finished state by Skillshare without my consent, and I couldn't add more to it, I just stopped having anything to do with making courses there.

In the past few days I've gone back and fixed that course, and several others.  The interface is still flakey, but no longer impossible. I'm adding another 20+ courses (they like them to be 20-60 minutes) that I'll publish in the next several months as I figure out projects for them

Game design doesn't lend itself to simple little projects, but Skillshare is project oriented (often, "artsy" projects). So I have to try to reconcile the two.

Skillshare is much more arts-based than Udemy, with student quality-of-life improvement more important than making money. There's no feel of "get rich quick" to it, though they certainly have financially-oriented courses.

Skillshare is subscription-based - though I cannot find, on their website, how much it is per month - as opposed to Udemy's pay-per-course approach. I suspect that in the very long run, the subscription model will prevail, but I don't pretend to be an expert forecaster., the biggest proponent of the subscription model but without actual game design courses (as opposed to game development courses called game design)), was at one time larger than Udemy, but that may have changed. (LinkedIn recently bought

My wife is in the process of making birdwatching (and photographing) courses, and I've suggested she focus on Skillshare first.

Each person's perception is different: that's mine.
"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."Mark Twain
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle