When Kids Tutor Together They Lift Learning Up
In a high school near Princeton, New Jersey, home of the highest ranked university in the world producing some of the greatest minds, innovations and companies in history, and famous for Albert Einstein, students lead by an inspiring educator have built an online tutoring platform where young people around the world can help each other with homework!
Tutor Together makes it easy, intuitive and safe for students around the world to simply post a question and wait for the community to respond.
For example, one community member asked “Who won Waterloo” after tagging the category of the question. Another member answered back, and other members were able to add comments.
This open community experience is meant to be simple and conversational, and includes real time chat with study buddies who are online, so young people can tutor each other in real time.
This platform was built and is being continually developed by a team at Rutgers Prep, under the mentorship of Jalaj Desai, head of the Department of Mathematics.
The student leader, Pratik Reddy, together with his colleagues, Ben Zeltser, Kyle Rosen, Sapan Parmar and Brad Simkin, created the platform with a vision to not only “crowdsource” the answers, but to help young people from around the world meet each other and learn how to collaboratively learn.
This web-based system is in its early stages, and help teach Pratik and (a dozen) other students what goes into conceptualizing then developing platforms, including everything from establishing goals, creating a clear purpose, building the user experience, developing the graphic design, including the Tutor Together logo and colorful digital experience.
They also researched what it takes to build a community, and the importance of attracting early adopters to the platform starting with their own local team.
“We have learned so much, and the more we develop our platform the more potential we see in the platform,” Pratik, a (senior) at Rutgers Prep said. “We have all grown up with so many great websites and mobile apps, and having worked on this project I now recognize how much thinking and time went into building even the simplest experience. In fact keeping it simple turned out to be one of our greatest challenges – if we made this too complicated, students wouldn’t use it.”
“Entrepreneurship is not only about starting a business; it’s an overall mindset that encourages a different approach to problem solving,” said teacher, Jalaj Desai, who runs innovation programs at Rutgers Prep.
“21st century education is not only about learning from textbooks, and preparing for standardized tests,” Desai added. “It’s about giving students the opportunities and education necessary to be a leader both inside and outside the business world. Our program provides students in high school with the skills and experience necessary to transform a business idea into a reality while also empowering students and building their confidence.”
Tutor Together is part of a global movement growing around the popularity of digital, conversational learning. One of the greatest breakthroughs in free, global education.
As my followers know, I am passionate about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) programs, and wrote earlier this year about an amazing school in my neighborhood in Los Angeles, about the STEAM programs, adding in “art”!