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.