A couple of days ago I gave a recap of where Corel Corporation stands. Yesterday I gave my first marketing suggestion, add a publishing tool to the CorelDRAW suite. Today I’m going to lay out a way I think Corel can make inroads into the education market. Some of you have replied to the e-mail feed of the blog with comments and some have posted them directly on the Web site. Remember that if you simply reply to the e-mail, the comment will not be posted on the blog so I’m the only one who will read it.
When we discuss the education market, there are many different sub-sections that could be considered. Just yesterday I saw someone mention that they couldn’t get training in CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT at their local community college. While it would be nice if those classes were to be taught, it is a case of supply and demand. They don’t supply it because demand is so low. In order to make a dent in the education market, we have to think outside the box a bit.
Over the years I’ve taught educators of all types in my CorelDRAW Unleashed Boot Camps and my CorelDRAW X4 Unleashed book is used for teaching classes at various levels. There were college and high school courses. Some were using it at training facilities or within a company. Yet there was one student and one story that stands out above all others to me. If Corel would dedicating an employee to implementing this type of course into as many schools as possible, I think it would boost sales quite a bit in the long run.
Did you take a shop class in high school? I did. We used various woodworking tools to make stuff. I still have the lamp I made somewhere in a closet. My idea for getting into schools is a variation on shop class. We’re going to use CorelDRAW to make stuff and this can be a class that provides the school with a profit after the first year! What other class in the school will make the school money? How can they turn down a class that will make them money?
In the first year the school would need to set aside the budget for purchasing a piece of hardware along with computers and CorelDRAW. I don’t think every student would need a computer. In facts, teams of 3-4 students could probably work together on projects. I seem to remember this is how we did it in my shop class way back when.
Let’s say that the first year the school purchases a wide-format print and cut machine. The students will learn how to use CorelDRAW and then they will use it to make various signage for the school and school events. Since they are creating things the school already needs, the school wouldn’t have to purchase those items elsewhere. Of course if you supply these products to schools now, you probably don’t like this idea. In the long run, you will benefit because it will be easier to hire talented employees for your shop. If all of the school’s needs are met, the students could also create things that could be sold. This is certainly more original than a bake sale or magazine subscriptions.
Along with learning CorelDRAW, the students will be learning some of the entreprenurial skills needed to run a small business. By using the things they create to make money, they should earn enough to purchase a different piece of equipment for the next year. So let’s say they buy a digital garment printer the next year and make shirts for the school. With those profits they can buy a laser engraving machine. This can continue until they have all the equipment they need.
The teacher that joined us for Boot Camp had implemented this exact type of program in her high school and the students loved it. In fact, they called one Saturday evening begging her to unlock the school so they could work on something. Not too long after that the police showed up because they saw the lights on in the school. 🙂 Not only were the students learning, they enjoyed it so much that they were willing to give up their Saturday night to keep learning.
Maybe this type of program could be taught at community colleges or universities. I think the focus should be on high schools. Get the kids before they go to college. Then those students will question why the colleges aren’t teaching CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT.
Again, I doubt Corel will assign an employee to implement such a curriculum and try to push it into schools. Are you involved in some way with a high school where you might be able to suggest such an idea? It won’t take many success stories to see the idea spread!
Let me know what you think about this idea or any other ideas you have for getting CorelDRAW into the education market. Tomorrow I’ll put out another idea for boosting sales of CorelDRAW.