The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 10th, 2015
Kevin deLaplante quit his job as a
tenured professor at Iowa State University to make courses on his own,
at his one-man online institution, Critical Thinker Academy.
The courses are free, so to support himself and his family, he’s asking
"patrons" to donate small amounts of money each month — like a one-man
public-radio station running a pledge drive.
Mr. deLaplante, who until recently was an associate professor in Iowa
State’s department of philosophy and religious studies, is not the only
educator trying to make a living this way. Thanks to a service called Patreon,
hundreds of educators are seeking streams of donations to support their
online courses and educational videos. While it seems unlikely that
many full-time professors will leave secure jobs for the patronage
model, the platform could attract adjunct professors whose job security
is already uncertain.