Giving Compass’ Take:
• Julia Freeland Fisher at The Christensen Institute interviews Amir Nathoo, founder of Outschool, an online marketplace of vetted mini k-12 courses and lessons for student enrichment.
• How is technology impacting the education space for the better? What challenges are tech companies helping educators address?
• Read about the appeal of virtual field trips in the classroom.
As students of Disruptive Innovation we’re often looking to new models emerging at the edges of traditional school and after-school systems. Of late, I’m particularly interested in models that not only unlock new flexibility in learning, but also connecting, by putting new relationships within reach for students.
That’s what got me interested in Outschool, a marketplace of online learning experiences where vetted teachers offer thousands of out-of-school, small-group, virtual courses and even brief lessons for K-12 students’ enrichment.
The model bucks the MOOC-like image some people conjure when they think of learning online as distinctly antisocial. Instead, with small class sizes (capped by the educators on the platform themselves) and a live video chat format, Outschool students are building relationships with one another and with educators from around the world. The small-group approach also creates lower price points for families compared to expensive one-on-one tutoring, not to mention often cost-intensive face-to-face extracurriculars. I sat down with Outschool founder Amir Nathoo to learn more.
Julia: What prompted you to start Outschool?
Amir: Inspired by my own experiences, I started Outschool in 2015 because I want to create more learning experiences for kids. I’d been thinking about applying technology in education for a long time. I had a fantastic education in the UK, including studying engineering at the University of Cambridge, which opened many doors for me. However, some of my most impactful learning experiences happened outside of school.
Julia: What constitutes a “course” in your model? Are you trying to get formal education systems to recognize Outschool credits?
Amir: Our goal is to inspire kids to love learning. We’re focused on learner engagement and helping kids pursue interests as a supplement to formal schooling. In the future, we will seek to offer credit and interface with formal education systems.
Read the full article about using tech to foster connections by Julia Freeland Fisher at Christensen Institute.
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