When I struggled as a high school student with a homework or exam preparation, I had a couple of solutions:
- Call a friend and if I am very lucky after all the chit chat, the friend can somewhat help. Sometimes if am extremely lucky the friend is also able to clearly explain what was wrong in my approach
- Reach out to my older sister who supposedly should be an expert of lower level homework – again only when I was very lucky was she able to “kind of help”
- Most of the time I would end up with this third expensive option: getting a tutor to support me. I used to find those tutors to be very complicated and most of the time pretended to understand the logic behind the solution of a problem.
With all digital tools we have today, I may have a better solution that could completely disrupt the tutor industry:
A platform where struggling students post specific questions about a homework/ exam preparation. The platform would transfer the question to the most suited network of people based on:
- School level
- Geographic location (as school in different countries might have different topics covered)
- Topic of question
For example, If I am a 6th grader in Boston and have a math question – the platform will show the question to other 6th graders in Boston who have pledged to be math experts. Only if I don’t get an answer within 5 minutes will the platform relegate the question to a wider network.
- Fast answer to questions by relevant people who understand the strugglers and speak with the same level of complexity.1
- Making tough homework solving a fun social activity
Like Wikipedia – donation based (ask users to donate as much as they can to help maintain the platform). People should be willing to donate given how much saving is expected vs. the traditional tutor solution.
Why would strugglers join?
This solution is not only cheaper than the traditional approach, but also more fun and interactive. By asking people from our tenure students wouldn’t feel intimidated to ask “stupid” questions. Also, the explanation coming from a person of the same age and tenure or close enough increases the likelihood of understanding since people from same age use same languae.
Why would solvers join?
The solvers will be rated based on the effectiveness of their answer and frequency of support. The top ranked ones will be rewarded on the platform very visibly. Potentially they could get a certificate that they could use on their CVs.