Independent Educators

If one were to pursue the profession of medicine, law, architecture or even finance as in a CA, CFA or CFE ( Certified Fraud Examiner), one could choose to be employed by a large corporation, the Government or be self-employed.But these options are not available to a qualified educator. One may have a teaching credential or a Ph.D. with impeccable academic credentials, but one cannot teach as a self-employed academic for recognised qualifications. One of the undesirable consequences is that the goals of universal primary education are not bing met, nor is the desired gross enrolment ratio being achieved for higher education. With 4 recent technological trends of smartphones in every hand and more educational Apps becoming available, better data plans for Internet, more on the cloud
and  offline groups supporting online communities or forming offline communities based on online groups. These become smaller learner cohorts in an otherwise MOOC model.
Just as salaried theatre artists evolved into independent actors and now millionaire superstars, we may see independent educators, practicing as freelance professors within the framework of existing Institutions later evolving to Institutions themselves, especially in an entrepreneurial university environment.
 
Once it is made possible, it is clear that many academics would love to be a freelance professor, offering courses online and earning what they can earn. This requires two things: a teaching environment, and accreditation. Several people have already built the first; all that’s lacking is the second. And once we acknowledge that providing high quality learning for future generations than preserving old unviable models, the corresponding accreditation models would also work out.
By way of information, among the dozens of choices available for independent professors, Udemy and Straighterline are 2 very good options and in India we have wiziq and quampus as 2 similar options. As this model gets more successful, may more solutions would crop up to support one person academies. Possibly a 21stcentury version of our own traditional gurukul.

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
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