Sclipo – The Other Platform Model

This week I had the pleasure talking to Christopher Grant, Senior Vice President of Barcelona, Spain, located startup Sclipo.

The company was founded in late 2006 as an educational video sharing platform as you might have guessed from the name already.

Since then it has rapidly grown and can today be seen as a full set teaching and learning platform with an inhouse developed virtual classroom. Sclipo is also a true platform and that is something I really appreciate. I also like the fact that they call themselves social learning revolution.

Let’s see if they can stand up to this statement.

Every teacher who signs up on Sclipo gets his / her own Academy. In this Academy the teacher can publish courses, upload and share material like documents and videos and offer live teaching via a virtual classroom or a webmeeting which has only the basic functions of a virtual classroom.

Sclipo target already established teachers with an existing student base who are looking for a place offering them all the tools needed to bring their teaching online with success. There is a free as well as a paid version available. The free version has all the same features the paid one has but teachers cannot charge for their teaching. If the teacher would like to charge his / her students for teaching or tutoring he /she has to pay a small monthly fee of $6.95 (so about 5 Euro). The price for their teaching is completely up to each teacher and, which is more important, there are no extra fees or commissions.

Targeted learner group is the adult student from college onwards and the strongest markets are the United States and Europe so far.

As mentioned before Sclipo wants to act as the one that provides its teachers with a complete tool set and therefore they only charge for this service. How intesively the tools are used then is totally up to the teacher. Payments between the student and the teacher are possible via PayPal and go directly to the teacher’s PayPal account.

Besides the fact that they have their own virtual classroom, which I think is very important if you build your business on live teaching, I personally like that Sclipo has compared to other platforms the approach of targeting existing teacher student relationships and I also like the structure Sclipo is offering with their Academy and Group features.

They are currently working on some new applications to make the website even more attractive and we will soon see the launch of the new Sclipo events application which I’m looking forward to.

Describing Sclipo in one word I would say fair is the best.

It is fair for the teacher as they can teach on a professional basis having professional tools on their disposal and pay $6.95 as fixed fee per month without further commissions no matter how much or few they teach if they choose to charge for their teaching.

It is fair for Sclipo as they know what is coming in at the end of the month. $6.95 a month is a very reasonable price particularly regarding the whole platform, the virtual classroom and the applications are inhouse developed and you know I am a big fan of inhouse developed features.

It is fair for the students as they have the choice between free and paid lessons. And because of the fact that teachers only have to pay a small monthly fee I think lessons can be delivered cheaper than on other platforms.

All in all I think Sclipo has the potential to play a big part in the education revolution. The price structure is sustainable and fair as soon as enough teachers sign up and offer their classes on Sclipo. The question is though what kind of teachers will they attract. Offline teachers who come online and bring their students with them is a very rare case up to now. I see a movement of online teachers from other platforms towards Sclipo as more realistic. The service is great and the monthly payment very attractive. And there is of course the potential of teachers who start their career on Sclipo.

Their strength is definitely the fact that Sclipo acts as a pure platform. We deliver the tools, you pay “a rent” and the rest is up to you and your students. From my experience this is something a lot of independent teachers are looking for.

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  • Christopher Grant

    It was a pleasure speaking with you as well, Kirsten.

    I really appreciate how your post gets to the heart of Sclipo's mission, especially when it comes to giving every teacher tools that help them teach better, both online and off. That's why teachers can publish face-to-face as well as blended courses in their “web academies” on Sclipo and that's why, as you mention, we are creating an Events application to help teachers organize off-line educational activities like seminars, workshops and conferences. Events will be launched very soon…

    Happy blogging and happy teaching!

  • chinamike

    Wow, most sites focus primarily on the end user (the student). This site is built expressly for the teachers. I love to see sites like this. They understand who their REAL customers are.

    If a teacher wants to teach on-line, and is confident in his or her ability to find students this site has a lot going for it right NOW. Every teacher who is paying a lot (in terms of usage fees) at other sites, and getting very little in return, should be examining this site today!