Sometimes I make a real finding on YouTube. Of course, Google knows me well and when I listen to some music or watch a webcast over there, I mostly get Inigral’s Schools App or Learnable as advertisement. This time was different however.
So, when I was listening to Mozart’s Requiem what I like when I do some writing, I saw an ad for eTeacherBiblical. My first reaction to be honest was a mix between scepticism, fascination and also awkwardness.
But I’m too curious to not at least look at such a website. When I did, my first thought was that this looks actually quite professional and a like real business. When I did more research later on, I quickly discovered that eTeacher is indeed a pretty big education company and somewhat unsurprisingly they come out of Israel – once again.
But back to the ad I stumbled upon at the very beginning.
Their offer is fairly tight and they focus on core competences. eTeacherBiblical are accredited by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and needless to say but one can choose from a ton of courses and seminars on biblical studies. What I find more fascinating however is their offer for languages. There are beginner and more advanced courses available on biblical or let’s put it this way classical Hebrew and biblical Aramaic. Besides that they have an extra site to learn modern Hebrew and Yiddish.
I would say that of course they pull students more over the idea of learning about the bible than learning those ancient languages but it is interesting to see that the niche of learning classical Hebrew and Aramaic apparantly is a market by itself.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I then took a look on their other sites and realized that eTeacher (good brand name, on a side note) must be a rather successful teaching business with an offer ranging from these ancient languages, over modern Hebrew to English and Chinese. To me, this somewhat explains through the interest of Westeners in biblical studies and why not in the original language to Jewish people worldwide who I suppose at some point in their lives want to learn Hebrew or Yiddish. The English and Chinese offers are then likely for the Israeli population who work abroad as those two are probably the two biggest foreign markets.
eTeacher however didn’t come out of nowhere as at least on of the co-founders had a tutoring business in Israel before but then saw and took the opportunity of going entirely on the Internet with the business eleven years ago.
And they’re pretty active in using social media I must say. Besides demo videos to show you how their online lessons work, you have free lessons on the Hebrew alphabet, word structure, nouns and adjectives and so on. Needless to say that they blog a lot, regularly offer free webinars and when I had a look at their Facebook page which is pretty active either, I must say that they deliver lots of good content.
When you go on the site for modern Hebrew, Hebrew for kids, Yiddish and Aramaic you’ll see that is focuses much more on everyday situations, not related to anything biblical at all. What I particularly like is the option called toolbox that provides you with useful resources such as an online dictionary for instance.
So, my point here is that eTeacher – Online Language Academy on the one hand, have realized the great potential of online for education as the company was found in the year 2000 already. On the other hand, they defined their market very well and the languages they teach online. I like that they didn’t go too broad but they keep it core and obviously make quite some business with their websites. So, sometimes something that looks quite exotic at first sight become stringent when you allow yourself a second look.
My conclusion, once again is that the Internet opens up great new business opportunities and when one does their market research and defines their offer thoroughly along with meaningful use of social media tools, customers will sign up with you and you’ll be able to make a living or be a viable business in online education.