Introducing Skillshare Mavericks

Learn by doing, and learn by doing with others

Today, I’m very excited to introduce a new way to learn with Skillshare — Mavericks.

Mavericks allows us to provide a high-quality education for the most in-demand and forward-thinking skills. All for free, for anyone in the world.

Five years ago, we embarked on an ambitious mission to launch an online school with no teachers or classes. It was 100% project-based and driven primarily by students. It was covered briefly by Fast Company and appropriately titled “Skillshare Rethinks Education By Putting Projects, Not Lectures, Online.

We pulled the successful components out of the experience to design the version of Skillshare that you see today: bite-sized video lessons with project-based learning.

During my time at the VCU Brandcenter, we were taught by practitioners, not academics. We never had to buy a textbook or take an exam. Everything was project-based. We learned by doing and by collaborating with our peers. It was the best way to learn because it mimicked the real world.

Today, programs like Holberton and 42 School focus on real-world projects without teachers or classes. They’re very innovative models but they aren’t available to everyone yet. At Skillshare, we want to make project-based learning accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

Why Mavericks?

A maverick is someone who refuses to play by the rules. What an appropriate name for our school!

We’re unlike any other program: no teachers or classes. We don’t charge tuition and it’s 100% free, forever. Our entire curriculum and experience is centered around both project-based learning and peer-to-peer learning.

Mavericks will offer education, community, and real-world training for today’s most in-demand professions. We want employers to hire based on skills and competency instead of background and pedigree.

Our goal is to provide upward mobility based on motivation, aptitude, and potential. We want to do our part in bringing the world closer to a true meritocracy. This starts with leveling the playing field for as many people as possible.

Pillars of the Mavericks Experience

We built the Mavericks experience on a couple of core concepts:

  1. The entire curriculum is project-based. Students are prepared for the real world by tackling increasingly difficult prompts. We designed the curriculum to be rigorous and challenging to equip our students with both the hard and soft skills to be successful in today’s new economy. Students can go as fast or slow as they want through the curriculum.
  2. Rather than relying on teachers, we facilitate collaboration between students. Peer-to-peer learning is proven to foster a constructive learning culture as students are immersed in an environment where everyone is driven to learn from each other.
  3. Outcome based. We don’t hand out certificates, credentials, or degrees that tell readers what our students studied. Instead, our students leave the program with a portfolio of work that shows their skills and abilities.

Mavericks is open to anyone, wherever they are in the world, at any skill level. No degrees or special skills are required to apply. The only qualification is motivation.

I’m excited because Mavericks takes us one key step further on Skillshare‘s mission: providing universal access to learning and connecting motivated learners with opportunities.

Mavericks is in beta for now. Our first programs are for Product Designers, Blockchain Developers, and Data Scientists. If you’d like to learn about the program or gain early access, sign up here!

Skillshare Writings

Musings, stories, and updates from the Skillshare team


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Michael Karnjanaprakorn

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Skillshare Writings

Musings, stories, and updates from the Skillshare team