October 24th, 2017, I was browsing my iPad to find some online courses and noticed an update notification for some of my apps. While visiting the app store, I noticed Udemy has a new logo and a new look which I was quite stunned by the changes. They have always had their light green color and logo for their well-known brand for a very long time. I decided to slide over and check out their site and discovered their site has a new look as well. A few hours later, students were receiving emails from Udemy announcing their new makeover.
Quite honestly, I really don't have an opinion about their makeover as I was perfectly fine with their old look and its familiar feeling that existed for so long. I will say their new logo is quite beautiful but I don't understand why they had to change the look because it doesn't make me feel any different. But you can read some comments from a designers community here or read their press release here.
"Our symbol is named the Union, a nod to the millions of connections being made between students and instructors in our marketplace every day. In motion, the two sides come together where knowledge is shared."
Udemy's CEO, Kevin Johnson commenting on the new updates: "The new brand or some people will call it a re-brand but I really think of it as just us expressing our brand as it evolves. And so it's the same name 'Udemy' and we're really focusing on what we think makes you to be unique what's important about Udemy. The new brand promise really 'be able' represents both helping our students be able to learn what they want to learn and helping our teachers be able to reach as many students as possible. we're continuing to grow very rapidly and before we get even bigger who we think it's the right time to really emphasize our values."
Colt Steele, Udemy instructor, asked "Can you talk a little bit about where things are going. Let's say like 3 to 5 years from now. What do you see?"
Kevin's response - "More of the same in terms of the core mission of what we're doing. We see ourselves as a company meant to connect. Connect to learners, connect students to the right instructor to the right person to get them that practical knowledge that they need to be able to do whatever it is that they're trying to do in their lives."
Colt Steel asked about any future changes that will effect the instructors - "As an instructor, is there anything concrete that is changing that you can commit to now?"
Kevin's answer - "What we've already committed to which is actually having an instructor app by by next summer. So that you can do some critical functions on mobile on an app. My general message to instructors out there is have faith because our success will be mutual. We won't succeed without you and hopefully you realize that you're going to succeed with us as well."
Colt commented - "From my perspective as an instructor, I have seen positive changes and I hope that continues."
"Be Able represents both helping our students be able to learn what they want to learn and helping our teachers be able to reach as many students as possible."
Co-founder Eren Bali is from a small Turkish village. Once he got access to the internet, his entire world changed, giving him so many excellent opportunities.
He realized that anyone could learn anything online and believed that some of the very best teachers were not sitting in a classroom. I have wrote an article about how the company got started here. But here is Eren's version of the story:
"I grew up in a small village called Durulova in the southeastern part of Turkey. Pretty much my whole town's main income is growing apricot trees. Learning was not something accessible to you that was something you had to fight for. So I grew up working in the farm, growing trees helping the family with those. There was no other economic opportunity. And I was really interested in chess and mathematics from the very early ages. But there was not really like much I could do about it. So I was spending hours playing chess every day, I was getting better but at one point I got stuck because you ran out of things to learn from people who are immediately around you.
For me, all of this changed when my parents bought a computer and internet access for a few months. It was clear that there was a big world out of our village. All of a sudden, I was able to find a lot of math resources. So I started self-teaching myself mathematics from Internet. I don't even remember how I started but I started finding math problems online. So I was good at every match problem in any kind of school but these were a completely different level. So it gave me kind of new challenges. So I started working on this by myself.
It took me a long time for me to really get confident with my abilities. The first time I started suggesting solutions/ideas, there were really kind of unfinished, and sometimes people would make fun of it. But there was this person who, even when everyone made fun of my answers, he would actually help me with that and say, "Oh, you're almost there, it's just like you have to do this differently".
Eventually, I realized I was kind of getting better at those kinds of problems, and I completed in the National Math Olympiads. Nobody was expecting me to do anything big there, but ended up beating, like.. coming out as number one in Turkey. And I, like, couldn't imagine it. I thought, "Maybe if I'm in the top 100, that would be a success". But really, Internet was the big differentiator, right? Because I had figured out that learning yourself through Internet was actually a good way of learning anything.
As I went to college, I realized the way I was approaching mathematics or chass was almost universally applicable. Whatever the class was, I would not pay a lot of attention to, but then I wouldn learn about those subjects online. So it does make me confident in a lot of different areas. And I thought, "Maybe I'm not all about science and mathematics, maybe I can also build things that I'm dreaming of".
"I Pretty much always feel like my goals are too far out of reach. To really improve your life, you really need two things: you need to the tenacity to keep trying and take failures and put you to work on it, and you also need access.
That's where Internet comes into play. Internet gives people the opportunity to try. And the access is the key for people to change their lives. So I was imagining that one day, the primary learning destination for an anything would be Internet. So you would be able to learn anything you want, at anytime you want, wherever you are in the world."
Since Udemy's launching in 2010, they are the largest online learning place with over 18 million students from around the world as of October 2017.
The site has been evolved over time new features have been added and some of them have been wiped out. This is not an official record but it's kind of memo as far as I can remember how the things changed and I will update when major changes happen in the future.
Live Sessions: As a student back in 2013, there were less than one million students. One of their most impressive features was their Live Session for instructors. Some instructors actually mailed out to students to come on the platform and participate in these sessions. That said, even though I was impressed with the feature, I never took advantage of it and now it seems to be a feature that won't work with their site. I am not big on getting involved in live sessions but I do believe this was an awesome feature that will may find its way back when the time is right.
Taking Notes: We used to have a note taking feature where you were inside a course's dahshboard, you could take notes and then download them to your PC. Now they have a bookmark feature so you can mark a specific time frame of a video. Although the Taking Notes feature has been gone for over a year now, the bookmark feature was actually added approximately one year ago.
Subtitles For Courses: This is one of Udemy's features to help students around the world to understand a given course's lecture by allowing instructors to add a subtitle to their courses. This feature was added approximately a year ago. What I have experienced as of late, a lot of courses have auto-generated subtitles that have been added to the class. This feature seems to work really well and it's actually quite very accurate.