Sharing skills, finding teachers

21:00, Aug 20 2014
WORKING TOGETHER: The Nelson groups involved with Chalkle, an online tool that matches teachers with people keen for short community courses.

A new on-line tool to connect people with skills to share with those hungry to learn new things is setting up in Nelson.

Richmond woman Karen Lee wants to set up Chalkle in the Nelson region.

Chalkle is a network based on the idea "everyone has something to learn and something to teach".

It focuses on short community-based classes and workshops in a wide range of topics from everything from astro-physics to bicycle maintenance. It was developed in Wellington by Enspiral collective members Silvia Zuur and Linc Gasking.

Karen says Silvia and Linc realised many people wanted to continue learning outside formal education, and were particularly keen on taking short practical, real-life and creative classes or workshops.

They also realised there was lots of empty spaces in Wellington that could be used for teaching.


"So they thought why not put it together," Karen says.

"They started it in a basic way and it was really popular."

Karen says from its simple beginnings the software behind Chalkle has been developed into a really useful platform and created vibrant learning communities.

Karen is volunteering her own time to help setting up Chalkle in the region.

She is excited about the potential for it to connect people and build a strong communities.

Following its success in Wellington Chalkle is spreading in New Zealand. It is running in Horowhenua and Hutt Valley, Waiheke Island and Warkworth.

"It's very new and it is developing all the time."

Nelson Environment Centre, Arts Council Nelson, Victory Community Centre, Volunteer Nelson, Kina Beach Venue and Nayland Adult Education are so far keen to get involved.

Karen is keen to hear from other people with skills to share who would like to register with Chalkle.

She hopes to have a diverse range of classes or workshops on the platform when it goes live in September so it appeals to learners.

She says Chalkle is also a great tool for organisations who might be put off running training sessions because of the time or cost involved.

Chalkle handles the registrations and collects the fees, allowing organisations to focus on the training.

"It's a great tool for an organisation to use to deliver training." Chalkle is free to use, but students pay to attend classes - even if it is a koha.

One of Chalkle's key advantages is that it could be a one-stop shop for those wanting to keep learning by helping them find classes more easily.

‘There is no one gateway for learning in the region. This could bring learners, which are currently on a huge patch work of different places, to one site," she says.

"If you actually had everything in one place we think a lot more people would get involved."

People who register with can control how often they receive notifications and the type of classes they are informed about.

"It's an online gateway to create real-life learning communities, where people can curate themselves what they want to learn."

If you have skills you want to share with the community contact Karen on or phone 027 644 9800.

The Nelson Mail