The missing miles in education

I like to think of learning as a series of journeys. Those journeys have starting points which could be an interest “I love penguins!”, inspiration “I have an idea for a rocketship”, goal “I want to be a doctor” or challenge “my math skill is holding me back”. The journeys needn’t have fixed end points and some legs may be slow meandering explorations, others straight-line sprints.

An ideal education system would meet a learner wherever they are and help them get to where they want to go next, using their preferred means of “transport” and on their schedule. Schools are like intercity railroads linking the major hubs. They should be complemented by a huge network of roads and vehicles since few journeys just go from hub to hub.

Outschool is building that network to complement schools. We aim to fill the first miles of motivation and pre-requisite skills and the last miles to achieve a goal, get a job, finish a project, or get to a natural closure of a motivation or interest. We want fill in all the middle miles of possible journeys and schedules. We want to be every kid’s second school.

Could we build an education system that helps any learner on any journey? An analogy to modern transport makes me think we can. Our first vehicle type is small-group classes that meet over video chat. Teachers create the learning journeys they’re excited to share. Together, we’re filling in many missing miles in education.