Local online business creates learning and teaching opportunities for all

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Greater Commons, everyone is a student and almost anyone can be a teacher.

"We take people from wherever they are at currently in there life, give them new skills that will help them get a better job," said founder Todd McLeod.

The online business is making it easier for people to learn a new skill or program from the comfort of their own home. Each class is personally created by an expert in a chosen field, some of them local. McLeod said their classes offer a complete understanding of a subject matter.

"When you go to YouTube you find one video that is good, but what is the next video in the sequence for learning, so you get a body of knowledge from start to finish," he said.

The way it works is simple, anyone can build a course and sell it on the website as long as it helps the greater common good. All they need is a cellphone to create their video tutorial or record their class instruction. Anyone can then go to the website, purchase and learn.

"This a great avenue to partner with a local company and provide our expertise on something that is needed in the community, but for somebody else, it might be like how to train your dog, or how to raise backyard chickens," said McLeod.

McLeod is a former college professor, teaching at Fresno City College and Fresno State. He started work on the business after teaching a summer web boot camp. He developed a close bond with certain students and they decided to embark on the journey together.

"It is new, it is exciting and enjoy solving the problems that come with it," said Daniel Hoffman, CTO at Greater Commons.

Recently the business was recognized for their education in innovation by the Lumina Foundation, one of the largest private foundations.

"For those who can't get in on education or who are less fortunate they can come to our website and they can learn," said Arin Lalehzarin, a developer with Greater Commons.

This is only the first phase of Greater Commons. According to McLeod, the next will include matching employers with employees by providing the necessary classes to apply for a job.
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