Well folks, it’s live — my first online cooking class at Craftsy! Since I didn’t get to see the final cut until the launch today, I’ve been watching snippets of the 3.8 hours of content. It’s gorgeous, informative, and practical. I’m really really impressed at the quality of the materials and hope that you are too. My editor at Craftsy says it’s been one of top selling classes today and at the time of this post, 98 people have enrolled! Building a dynamic online community DIY dumpling fanatics is incredibly cool.
What makes the online Craftsy class special? It’s like me being in your kitchen giving you a quasi-private class. You can turn me on whenever you want and pause me – kind of like streaming Netflix, though in this case, you purchase the class only once. You own Craftsy classes forever so you can watch as many times as you want, wherever there’s an internet connection, on a laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet.
I’ve had the opportunity of observing people making dumplings and practicing in my kitchen countless times. Most people have not, and the Craftsy platform lets you study the techniques until you “get” it. Tight shots like this one make learning easier:
“Favorite Asian Dumplings from Scratch” is divided into lessons and within the lessons, there are shorter segments. Things are clearly delineated with title cards (think chapter and subchapter headers in a book). You watch each lesson and if you want, pose questions. I check in a couple times a week to respond to questions.
You can also upload photos of your Asian dumpling projects to share with me and other students. The 30-second repeat is invaluable for getting all the moves right for shaping or anything else that you want to clarify. Like a textbook, you can take notes on the screen too. The technological end of Craftsy is genuinely robust, constructed as an interactive e-school.
Last week I mentioned Craftsy’s 3-camera shoot that included an overhead camera. This is the benefit of that kind of high-quality production:
I love my in-person classes but the hustle and bustle of things sometimes prevents me from explaining techniques and concepts to people. And not everyone tunes in too. In the Craftsy class, I tucked little technical tips to help people in the kitchen. You pay attention when and if you want to but the content is there. For example, students in my in-person classes often ask about how to cut or chop ingredients so included some knife skills into the Craftsy class.
What’s the content difference between in-person and an online class? I teach hands-on classes and for Asian dumplings, a typical group of 14 to 20 people will make many types of dumplings. We have the manpower to do it in a 4 or 5-hour session. Craftsy classes are immersive and geared for the single learner; your eyes would glaze over like a poorly frozen dumpling if classes were overloaded with content.
“Favorite Asian Dumplings from Scratch” is a comprehensive lesson in dumpling making as well as Asian ingredients, cooking techniques, and culture. While reviewing the lessons, I said to myself, “Wow, I covered a lot of ground.”
How about the Asian Dumplings cookbook versus the online class? Classes—whether online or in-person —complement what’s printed in the cookbook. A class isn’t a substitute for what’s in a book. Many students who have my books enroll in my classes to get an interactive experience while others are curious about the class subject, enroll, then often decide to buy the book.
You’re welcome to use “Favorite Asian Dumplings from Scratch” for a group gathering. (Hello dumpling parties ahead!) Take the class yourself, prep the ingredients, then get a bunch of people together. Log on to the class and put me on a big screen.The regular price of the class is $39.99 but I’ve arranged a permanent 25 percent discount for VWK folks. To get the class for $29.99, click here or on the sidebar link. We are living in an amazing technological era.