Are Online Video Tutorials Responsible for this Shift?
As you can see by the headline that was clipped from a local newspaper in my area just a couple of weeks ago, the School Districts are making cuts to Continuing Education programs. No more guitar lessons, sushi making 101 instruction or craft classes!
A few years ago, news like this would have been a huge blow to me personally. That’s because I was teaching a wide variety of craft classes including tile mosaic, painted wine glasses, handmade paper, tea bag folding, and more.
I taught 3 nights a week plus Saturdays in 13 different School Districts. It was my livelihood at the time, and I enjoyed it very much. But as the kids got older, it became difficult to balance the night school routine with all the stuff that comes with raising a family.
If you want to read more about that part of my life, have a look at this article: Lessons Learned From Craft Classes Back in the 90′s
The cutbacks happening at many Continuing Education districts across the country, are primarily due to low student enrollment. With the birth of online video, it a sign of the times. I know this because of comments that come in all the time like these…
I like that I can view your home tutor videos at any time from the comfort of my home, in any order. ~Roberta
One of the reasons I like to take classes is to learn all the tips that you normally don’t see in books. Your tutorials are a way of taking a class without having to leave home! ~Katina
Also, the accessibility of online video has opened up many doors for those who: (1) Can’t fit night school into their busy schedules; (2) Prefer not to head out or drive at night for safety reasons (I was once followed to my car in a dark parking lot, but luckily the man was frightened off by a passerby!); (3) Live in rural areas without access to continuing education facilities; or (4) Are homebound due to chronic illnesses.
Cindy I really love your videos. I live in a rural area where I don’t have access to workshops, so I really appreciate your workshop-like videos. Thank you! ~Karen
I must add that your videos are worth MORE than every penny a membership costs. Especially to me. I live in a very rural area and your tutes make me feel as if I am visiting your studio without leaving my own home. Well done, and thanks. ~Sue
I am chronically ill so it is hard for me to attend a class. People like you make it possible for me to enjoy doing crafts that I might otherwise not get to do. ~Zoe
Affordability and ongoing support are other key factors that caused me to embrace the use of online video as a teaching medium.
Live event classes can be wonderful for meeting up with people and making friends. But they are expensive to host and to attend. Students at my night school classes had to pay anywhere from $30 to $100 each, for just a couple of hours with me. And there was no way for them to be able to get follow up support after the class was over.
With my online polymer clay videos, you get access to me for under $4 per month… which includes weekly lessons plus access to a VERY supportive online community at the blog. I absolutely love the way Internet video makes tutoring so affordable!
I’m a newbie to polymer clay, I’ve been a beader for a couple of years – taken several wire/beading classes. It is SO much fun getting the email each week… it’s like opening a present EVERY WEEK! ~Linda
A year ago I never would have thought that a blog community would become so special to me. Thank you Cindy for everything! ~Marsha
One last downside to note, that can happen with some students at live events, is the intimidation factor… either from other students, time constraints, or from teachers that perhaps should not really be teaching.
I am such a newbie!! Even though I have taken a couple of classes locally, the instructor went so fast trying to cram as much into the time as possible… I was overwhelmed and truthfully don’t remember all that much. ~Names Edited Out for Privacy
A few months ago I took a beginner polymer clay bead making class with a local artist and we quickly made a leaf cane. It was just an overview and my cane was terrible. I’m looking forward to actually learning how to do it through your online tutorials! ~Names Edited Out for Privacy
What I love about your library videos is your wonderful down-to-earth, chatting-with-a-friend attitude. Your depth of knowledge comes through, but it’s in a quiet way that I appreciate. It leaves me feeling encouraged, not intimidated (as many experts often make me feel). Thank you so much for being there! ~Linda
So please tell me what is happening with craft class events and continuing education in your area? Are you noticing a decline or is it still the same? Or maybe it’s growing?
I’m REALLY interested in hearing your opinions on the topics discussed in this article. What do you like or dislike about live event classes? Same question for online video classes. Did I hit on all the key points? Or is there something that you’d like to add?
When it comes time for me to do some more live event stuff, is that something that you would see yourself attending? Any suggestions on best places to do live events? Guilds, shows, cruises, tropical destinations :-) I’ll sign off with a couple more quotes specifically about live events. Maybe they will give you some ideas to expand on in the comments section.
You will be able to see pictures of our Camp Pinerock retreat at our guild web site. We do clay for 4 days. It’s fun, wish you could join us. ~Bonnie
I would love the chance to spend a few days in the shadows of Cindy and her clay. If you ever hold Personal classes I want to be one of the first to know. If possible I am already there. THANK YOU CINDY AND YOUR HUBBY TOO!! Eager for more. ~Peggy