Tuesday, February 16, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: What An Education Uber Actually Looks Like

CURMUDGUCATION: What An Education Uber Actually Looks Like
What An Education Uber Actually Looks Like

Betsy DeVos is among the many education disruptors fond of imagining a world in which education is handled Uber-style; but we don't have to imagine what a gig-economy education system would look like. It already exists.

Outschool was founded in 2015 by Amir Nathoo (he cutely lists his title as "learner" in his LInkedIn profile), and while he looks like he's about twelve, he's been at work for a while. He got a Master's Degree from the University of Cambridge in 2002, worked in software development for IBM, founded a couple of companies, invested in a few other, and then launched Outschool. The company is based in San Francisco.

Nathoo was interviewed by Rick Hess back in 2019 in an interview that Education Next just dusted off because, as you might imagine, Nathoo's distance learning micro-credential marketplace is having a strong pandemic moment. In it, Nathoo describes Outschool this way:

Outschool offers live online education experiences that connect teachers with learners in small-group settings to explore everything from Minecraft, Pokemon, and cooking to chemistry, algebra, and literature.

Nathoo also talks a lot about fun and passion, and his story always mentions how he got a computer when he was five and that sparked an interest in games and programming and his technology career, leading him to create this marketplace for "fun and social learning experiences." Others have characterized it with less sparkle, like the Techcrunch article that characterized it as "a platform for CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: What An Education Uber Actually Looks Like