Hourschool connects people through their social networks, helping them learn from one another. We call it peer-led, social-driven learning.

More About This Project

Fundamentally, we believe everybody has something they can teach – from the homeless to PhDs. People learn the most and are most willing to learn when they know and trust their teachers. We make learning easy, affordable and on-demand by giving people the ability to connect with their friends to share knowledge with their network one hour at a time – no big lectures, big costs or big commitments. Hourschool is built upon three pillars:

  1. Teach – We believe people need to share their passions and knowledge
  2. Learn – We believe people learn better in a small, socially driven context
  3. Earn – We believe in no free rides – people’s time and skills need to be rewarded

Hourschool’s mission is to change the way people think about learning. By facilitating a social culture of learning, our model empowers more people to be teachers and makes it easier for anyone to become a student. Our success is built on every student becoming a teacher. We want to inspire life-long learning, regardless of your socio-economic or educational background.

Hourschool began as a project about homelessness. But we very quickly realized this was a project about people. We met with people, heard their stories, learned about their good and bad days, and we began to know these people by name. One of the biggest problems facing people experiencing homelessness is a problem of perception, both the way that society perceives them, and how that then shapes the way they perceive themselves. We heard the same story, over and over again. For the homeless, the best part of their day was when they were helping others and sharing what they know with one another – from carpentry and roofing to oil painting and computer skills. Countless organizations are working extremely hard to provide the homeless with essential goods and services. Although these are fundamental to one’s physical survival, we believe they are not enough to lift someone out of a situation like homelessness. Sharing and helping others is an innate human need that needs to be fulfilled in order for us to have the desire to live. That desire is often what separates the chronically homeless from the people that are actively trying to change their situation. Focusing on things people feel they can offer empowers people to feel they have the power to change their own situation. The innate need of all of us to feel needed, useful, and part of a community remains true, no matter what economic situation you may be in. This applies to anyone who doesn’t have outlets to give back and share what they know – the retired folks, the college-educated barista, and the rest of us who don’t necessarily get to utilize all of our skills and passions in our regular day job.

Designed By...

This project was designed by Alex Pappas and Ruby Ku.

More Information


Everyone has something they can teach. Start today.

Hourschool on the ATX Webshow!

This week we sit down with Ruby Ku and Alex Pappas of Hourschool, a social app that helps you find and create informal classes. The company was born out of their time as the inaugural class of the Austin Center for Design. We talk about learning the art of interaction design at AC4D as well as the process of building a company that provides a social platform for people to share knowledge.