I find the idea of Crowdsourcing extremely interesting and it has definitely come into its own due to the crisis. As tuition fees soar, ELT salaries remain stable or decrease, people get fired left right and center and the quality of teaching remains questionable in some places, the question of ‘going it alone’ must cross many people’s minds.
Crowdsourcing is about, if I understand it properly, FT jobs getting chopped up and allocated to freelancer to save time and money. The end result is that there are less and less FT jobs, more and more freelancers and they become very skilled. I can safely say that I know some very skilled freelancers who’d give top FT teachers a serious run for their money. Now if you take a group of freelancing teachers put them together and you have the people skills for a very good school. What’s missing is a physical building, a school name, books and admin and marketing. Yes, they won’t be able to fight against the huge franchises with advertising budgets in the millions but if quality and price are important then teachers who get 100% of what students pay (minus expenses though) will work better and give a far better service.
Getting clients would depend on their networks and team work would be essential. Of course to start with they’d all probably just use their own clients but later maybe share clients, get new ones together and even help each other. As nobody would be the DOS/boss there would be equality, in theory and they could even develop a name and market it.
As some may teach in-house or online then expenses would be very limited and they could also offer their other services like writing perhaps.
What would be in it for the freelancers is the support, sharing of clients, ideas and even having a physical office/classroom to share. Working with others they would also be covered if they were ill.away/busy and needed someone to replace them. I also think that being a member of such a group would look more professional and attract more clients, students and even groups.