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[liberationtech] Free Skool Idea

Artik Cah freeskooling at gmail.com
Tue May 29 13:33:31 PDT 2012


I'm reaching out to Free Skool, Skill-Share, and Alternative University
practitioners and organizers, parents who homeschool, artists who work with
digital media and most importantly web developers and designers with an
inclination towards radical educational models.

I want to propose an idea that I think would align with many of the values
of this list serve and would help in creating and promoting alternative
frameworks for organizing and spreading non-hierachical and free learning
in urban environments.

I would like to gather a group to develop an easy to use website which
would allow people within a city to connect and learn skills and knowledge
from each-other. The website would allow people to easily connect and offer
to teach a class, lecture or skill, request a class, sign up for a class or
offer a location for others to use. The website would make it easy for
someone seeking a specific skill to find someone else in their city who
would be able to share that skill. This would essentially be a site akin to
craigslist or couch surfing with a sole emphasis on creating networks of
learning within cities.

It's a pretty simple idea, but I think this would be a powerful tool for
students of all kinds (especially those involved in the current tuition
hike strikes in Canada), parents interested in creating homeschool co-ops
for the education of their children and the general public sympathetic to
causes which moves our society beyond its current hierarchical
infrastructure. While the explosion of free classes online is exciting, I
still think we need to develop infrastructure which brings people together
to learn from each-other in the same physical location. The model allows
for all types of knowledge, be it technical, philosophical, artistic,
tactical, practical etc. to be shared freely throughout our communities. In
this model everyone is seen as both a teacher and a student.

I'm baffled as to why this alternative educational model exists on such a
modest level and it seems only within radical communities, when ideally
entire cities could be structured with full on educational
systems/skill-sharing where learning together was a norm. I think a website
like this would empower all kinds of people to see themselves as possessing
knowledge to be shared with others. In New Orleans the free skool is not
located in any one place but can take place across the city wherever space
is available (in parks, at community centers, in homes)- because free
skools can operate in such a decentralized fashion, it seems ideal to
organize them online.

I imagine such a website supporting other free skools and educational
initiatives already in existence within communities:
- http://tradeschool.coop/
- http://corvidcollege.wikidot.com/
- http://santacruz.freeskool.org/
- http://freeschool.redemmas.org/
- http://platformed.org/
- (There's http://www.skillshare.com/ and http://hourschool.com/ but they
are both based on money-making principles)

Looking for your thoughts on the matter; pitfalls, objections, interest,
other ideas, friends who may be interested , alternative educational models
, feasibility etc. I am in the process of organizing an online group of
developers and consultants who would work on this project together online.
Please let me know if you would like to be involved in whatever capacity.


Blessings,

Kitra Cahana

www.kitracahana.com
(Photojournalist)
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