Tools for Transparency: Teach What You Know with Skillshare


The web has done a remarkable job at democratizing knowledge and creating the tools necessary for sharing and seeking out information for anyone with a web connection. From collaboration to creation to distribution, we’re able to do much more with much less.

The idea of democratizing education has huge potential for reaching wide and diverse audiences at a fraction of the cost, side-stepping formal learning institutions. That’s the beauty of a service like Skillshare. Say, for instance, you wanted to offer an open government course related to data scraping, services like Skillshare give you the opportunity to share your expertise by providing you with an audience to offer offline classes to without anyone having to go through a local community college to teach or sign up.

Whether you’re an opengov policy wonk or a community organizer or a developer or social media analyst, you can find a forum and an audience to speak to and educate on the minutiae of your work. You’re given freedom to engage your audience, leverage technologies to document and share your talks and to reach large audiences with few limitations.

So what is Skillshare exactly? Crunchbase gives a great summary of Skillshare, calling it “a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. People can offer classes to others on any type of skill, from baking cupcakes to raising startup capital.”

What is Skillshare? from Skillshare on Vimeo.

Similar services to Skillshare exist as well.  Knowledge Commons DC here in Washington, Brooklyn Brainery in NYC and Betterfly are three services that offer you the ability to teach, and learn.

If you’re interested in learning as well, the sites mentioned above are great.  You can also check out the Khan Academy, MITx and iTunes U.