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Op-Ed: Online learning offered anywhere, anytime, any subject

By Alyssa Sellors     Apr 21, 2014 in Lifestyle
Learning a new skill, or honing current one, is a goal many of us share, and a new business model is bringing students and teachers together online, creating an innovative global approach to how we learn.
Traditionally, if you want to learn the piano or need help with Algebra, you may either seek an individual through an online listing or go through a professional service with a list of tutors who they have approved. But there are cons to both of these options. When seeking an individual, it is difficult to know if their charges are fair, if their skill level is adequate, or if they are a trustworthy person. If you go through a professional tutoring service, you have “middle man” charges making the cost higher. With both of these options you also have the issue of location. With an individual, you have to either go to their home or they come to yours: both risky situations, and with a professional service, you have to drive to their location, not always convenient.
TakeLessons is an online marketplace where teachers and students can easily locate one another, with the ability for those seeking lessons to compare best prices and those offering lessons to set their own parameters. In the past, those offering lessons, say for example music lessons, would have to market themselves and spend time creating their own online presence and then make sure people found their website. If you were the one looking for lessons, again, say music lessons, then you would probably “Google” music lessons in your area and be flooded with websites. Then, you would have to visit every site and try to choose the best fit (and many times prices are not even posted). This time consuming and frustrating process has been streamlined with TakeLessons, making it easier and more efficient for both those offering services and those seeking services to get connected.
In an article entitled “TakeLessons Takes in $7M to Expand Its Online Market for Classes,” author Bruce Bigelow highlights the capital gains of the up and coming online company, TakeLessons. TakeLessons is a San Diego based company, founded eight years ago as initially an online market for music teachers. Since then, the company has expanded into new marketplaces offering lessons in everything from academic tutoring to performance arts, and this expansion has resulted in $7 million in new funding. In the past few years, TakeLessons has also made strides to make their marketplace even easier to use with a recent partnership with Google that, allowing TakeLessons to offer users the ability to use Helpouts, Google’s video conferencing technology.
There is an obvious need for this service, as TakeLessons was named the 7th fastest growing technology company in the San Diego area, and ranked 214 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which ranks the fastest growing tech and media companies nationwide. And it could be that safety is a huge selling point, and a major reason why TakeLessons has gained such popularity. The teachers featured on the site are pre-screened, so you know they are legitimate trained professionals, and since all lessons are online, there is no concern of going into someone’s home or vice versa. Because of this online design, teachers can also offer their services to a much wider audience base than could ever be possible on the local level. It seems to be only the beginning for TakeLessons, as they are opening the marketplace to freelancers, professionals and anyone looking for lessons, in pretty much anything.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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