Raise your hand if the classes you took in college got you so excited that you couldn’t wait to share the knowledge you gained with others and keep coming back for more. Ok, hands down. Now raise your hands if you wish you could learn something useful for your career or want to pick up a new hobby but don’t know where to start. Skillshare wants to help by letting anyone become a teacher and share what they’re passionate about.
In this interview with Mike Karnjanaprakorn, co-founder and CEO of Skillshare, he says everyone has something they can teach to others. Skillshare acts as a community marketplace that brings together students and teachers. He discusses the possibility of bringing more fun into learning, how Skillshare got started (hint: it has to do with poker and education inequality), where it fits into the current education landscape, why they chose to focus on offline learning, and what resumes could look like in the future.
Currently most of the classes taught on Skillshare are introductory. Want to learn a little about social design or web programming basics? They’ve got you covered. But what about a full-length course where you can gain some kind of expertise? Skillshare recently launched a courses feature that enables classes to be taught in multiple sessions over a period of time. That allows classes to be more in-depth. An interesting example is this 5-week Ruby on Rails course.
The current focus for Skillshare is building a community of students and teachers. To attract students they’ve been bringing in high-profile teachers like Eric Ries and Chris Dixon. To attract more teachers, Skillshare has been working to build a community of students willing to sign up for classes. As a teacher, you give a 15% cut of your ticket sales to Skillshare. They’re banking on having a community strong enough to make that worthwhile.
As someone who’s listed a chocolate-making class on Skillshare, I can say that they’re helpful in providing tools to make you a better teacher and offer some assistance in finding a venue. But, most of the marketing efforts are still on the teacher. That might change as their community grows.
Also launched recently is Skillshare Schools, which lets organizations set up classes related to their industry.
If you’re in the SF area, check out some of their current “tech semester” courses here. You can browse more classes on their site. Other fun classes include how to make a sock monkey and surprisingly even one teaching how to win TechCrunch Disrupt.
TechCrunch first covered Skillshare during their initial $550,000 funding round last May and they also raised an additional 3.1M last August.