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Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert's Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market Hardcover – January 4, 2013
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Lifelong learning has become a multibillion-dollar business, with more than 60 million adults currently engaged in webinars, webcasts, in-house training, continuing education classes, and more. But it is also an industry in flux, as newcomers topple old-guard organizations that can’t keep pace with the need for instant access to materials and flexible delivery methods, as well as demands for community and connection.
Leading the Learning Revolution is the first book to explain how to tap into this lucrative market, which rewards the most forward-thinking training firms, professional associations, continuing education programs, entrepreneurial speakers and consultants, and others. Filled with insights from the author’s vast experience, field-tested strategies, interviews, and anecdotes, the book explains how to:
• Use technology to create high-impact learning opportunities
• Develop content that is faster and better than the competition’s
• Convert prospects to customers by building connection
• Focus on the bottom-line results of lifelong learning
Successful people and organizations never stop learning, and the people and organizations that lead that learning will never stop growing!
From the Author
There has been a real boom in the market for online courses and other types of educational content lately, and along with it, a lot of advice on how to get rich quick selling online courses, or videos, or Webinars - name your medium of choice. My aim with Leading the Learning Revolution was to bring real, in-depth business thinking to the adult education market and lay out a road map for long-term business success - whether you are an individual entrepreneur or a large organization.
Many people, I realize, aren't expecting a business book when they see the phrase "Leading the Learning Revolution," but that's what this is. One of the early readers referred to is a an "MBA in a Book" for being in the education business. I think that pretty well sums it up. I think it is extremely important for people who are in this business to recognize that we are in the midst of a revolution and they are leaders - very few things impact and change people's lives like learning does. The "Revolution" represents a huge opportunity to build a great business while really helping people.
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• The industry for online education is large and broad – and it’s changed dramatically in the past 5 years. So there are lots of platforms to use, but not many people know how to use them well.
• There isn’t one ‘right’ way to deliver online courses, and what you create will depend on your business. Cobb describes how creating a "Passion and Purpose" community can be beneficial for effective learning.
• There are a lot of important keywords that I found to be pertinent, especially, “lifelong learning,” “self-directedness,” “blended and collaborative learning”
The most interesting part of the book was a small section called “mind matters,” which addresses how we learn. It’s important to remind ourselves and those we teach how we are going to remember what we are learning. Cobb writes, “We ‘construct’ knowledge based on interaction with others in ways that we may be unable to do on our own.” Since I'm a big advocate for collaborative learning, this struck a chord with me.
After discussing the social and technological changes which affect the learning industry, the author goes on to consider a number of interesting issues, including:
* How to identify opportunities for providing learning services by listening to potential learners and comparing their needs with your expertise
* The importance of standing out from generic education providers, and ways in which you can make your offerings unique, memorable and remarkable
* Ways of creating high-value learning experiences which fulfil the advertised learning objectives
* How to understand the value which customers put on their learning needs, and price your offerings accordingly
* Software and hardware tools available for creating learning experiences, including learning management systems, and tools for creating and editing video and audio recordings, image editing, and hosting webinars
* The importance of continually creating and curating valuable content so that you remain a visible source of value to current and potential customers; and
* How to promote your offerings on the Internet
Although the book refers mostly to the opportunities for providing educational services, there are significant risks as well. Undifferentiated service providers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract paying customers, and the greater variety of available learning experiences is driving down prices. Considerable planning and effort is required to create a highly successful educational business.
I was extremely impressed by this book. The author has provided a comprehensive overview of the components and activities which are required to establish and run an education organization. There is significant value in every chapter, and the book ends with tools for creating an action plan.