How can we connect students to promote learning beyond the classroom?

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Hello Everyone! Welcome to my project. For my GOA course, Entrepreneurship in a Global Context, we have been tasked with creating a business centered around something we are passionate about. This past year, I’ve become really interested in education: the different ways adolescents learn and how we can include diversity and other topics into our curriculum to make learning more reflective of our generation. My business idea below looks to further these very topics.

The Market Need/ The Problem

If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it’s the importance of flexible and adaptable education. While growing for years past, virtual learning has seen exponential growth in the past year as millions of students have been forced to convert their bedroom desk to their classroom. Unfortunately, the lack of classroom interaction has led to social anxiety amongst students. A poll from YouGov recently found that 69% of adolescents felt lonely often, brought on by the lack of social interaction amongst students with distance learning. Pandemic or not, distance and virtual learning will only increase in the near future, and it is essential that with increased distance comes more opportunities for social interaction beyond just the classroom to promote mental wellness for adolescents.

Students haven’t been the only ones forced to adapt to virtual learning. Teachers around the world had to take on the near-impossible task of adapting their entire in-person curriculum to a virtual-friendly curriculum. Understandably, teachers struggled to fit in the curriculum and preserve the unique dynamic of their in-person class virtually leading to sharp decreases in student engagement, retention, and learning. According to a Stanford study reported by USA Today, “The average student had lost a third of a year to a full year’s worth of learning in reading, and about three-quarters of a year to more than a year in math since schools closed in March.” For example, teachers of AP classes around the country have struggled with the unrealistic expectation to teach an entire year’s AP curriculum in a virtual classroom. This has led to most classes falling far behind in material covered in time for May. AP students suffer the most, as they are left unprepared to achieve high scores on their AP exams. COVID-19 has exposed the fact that class learning cannot be the only source of education for students; they need a space to apply, back up, and further what they learn in class.

My business idea aims to integrate interaction with learning to create a powerful tool for students to venture beyond the classroom.

www.independence.edu/blog/infographic-is-an-online-education-right-for-you

www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/education/2020/12/13/covid-online-school-tutoring-plan/6334907002/

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/unlock-loneliness/research-briefing

My Pitch

MyBusiness Idea/ My response

My business idea is a platform that allows students to meet and talk with other students around the country and world. My business would be a website or an app that connects students together through organized online meetings with predetermined, suggested agendas. Ideally, these meetings would be self-directed by the students themselves instead of moderated by a secondary figure. Meetings would give students the opportunity to meet new people, study and understand themes and material taught at school (AP students could take advantage of this since they all learn the same material at the same time), and discuss current issues that are facing society and students. For example, their could be meetings scheduled where students around the world would connect and do political commentary, discuss different classes, or learn and teach each other. 

Obviously, since this platform is built for students, it will be free to use. Whenever a student needs help studying, they should be able to join meetings on this platform that can help them learn either through integrated practice questions using programs such as Deltamath or just by talking through topics with fellow students. However, in order to be a business, there’s needs to be a source of revenue. I envision monetizing this business through advertisements and/or using a Freemium model (Free to use with a Premium subscription for added features [Think Spotify]). A premium subscription would include things such as access to asynchronous tutoring videos, premium meetings, one-on-one peer tutoring, various moderator abilities, etc. A preliminary manifestation of this business (minimum viable product) might look like a website with different scheduled Zoom meetings for students to join and start meeting with. I’ve attached a Business Model Canvas below for an overall snapshot of my business model. 

Business Model Canvas

Parts of the BMC
Value Proposition – What is your business model? What are you offering to the consumer?

Customer Segments – Who is your value proposition targeted to?
Revenue Streams – How will your business bring in money/revenue?
Cost Structure – What are your business’s expenses?
Channels – How will your business distribute its product and market it? What will it use to achieve those ends?
Customer Relationships – How will your business engage with teh consumer?
Key Activities – What specific actions does your business need to take to get the value proposition to the consumers?
Key Resources – What are the key resources or material your business needs?
Key Partners – What are some key relationships and partnerships your business needs to thrive?

Feedback

Thank you for viewing my project. I’d love to hear your thought, suggestions, advice, and comments.

I ask you give your thoughts on the following questions:

If you are a student, would you use this program during your free time? What kind of resources and benefits do you want from a platform like this to make you use it more?

How do you think we can incorporate more structured learning through a program like this?

How else do you think a platform like this might be useful for adolescent students?

www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2020/03/25/how-shift-remote-learning-might-affect-students-instructors-and. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021

Works Cited


“How the Shift to Remote Learning Might Affect Students, Instructors and
Colleges | inside Higher Ed.” Insidehighered.com, 2020, www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2020/03/25/how-shift-remote-learning-might-affect-students-instructors-and. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.‌

“Is an Online Education Right for You? | Independence University.” Independence.edu, 2020, www.independence.edu/blog/infographic-is-an-online-education-right-for-you. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.‌

“Loneliness in Young People: Research Briefing.” Mental Health Foundation, 11 Feb. 2021, www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/unlock-loneliness/research-briefing. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.‌

“‘Panic-Gogy’: Teaching Online Classes during the Coronavirus Pandemic.” NPR.org, 19 Mar. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/03/19/817885991/panic-gogy-teaching-online-classes-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.‌

Richards, Erin. “Students Are Falling behind in Online School. Where’s the COVID-19 ‘Disaster Plan’ to Catch Them Up?” Usatoday.com, USA TODAY, 17 Dec. 2020, www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/education/2020/12/13/covid-online-school-tutoring-plan/6334907002/. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.‌

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. A well conceived and timely business concept, Aamer. I am particularly intrigued by your ideas for creating a student driven study space, cross school and cross curricular. As you find in your classrooms at DA and at GOA, student to student collaboration enhances everyone’s learning and is so important to our work as teachers. I look forward to hearing the feedback you receive from your fellow students!

  2. Hi Aamer!

    Great project! It is so cool that you were tasked with proposing a business model for your class!

    I really liked your idea, and I would definitely say that it was likely influenced your GOA experience which is super neat! I think that having an online platform, or I guess you could say classroom, for students that is operated by students would be a great way for people to learn new information, get study tips, and interact with new people from around the world. I know that one reason I like GOA is that I get to meet new people who have similar interests to mine. I am able to learn from them and grow my passion for what we are learning through them.

    Personally, I think it would be great if students could make videos explaining problems or teaching new concepts to others on the platform. Sometimes hearing another student who may have misunderstood the problem in the same way as you is able to better explain than your teacher or a friend who thinks differently from you. Students can then gain experience in both teaching and learning, and it is said that if you can teach someone else, you really understand the concept.

    Thanks for sharing your project with us!

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