Our RSS feeds are chock-full of articles about how to change the public education system. It’s a vigorous and often passionate debate. Yet students, the people who are most affected by these discussions, are not part of the conversation. That’s why “Five things students say they want from education,” published by eSchool News last week caught our attention. Here’s the five points educators shared that they hear from students:
- Interactive Technology
- Teacher Mentors
- Real-world application and relevancy
In our world, which includes an interactive and innovative online classroom technology, we hear from thousands of students daily. Every time a student connects to a tutor in our online classroom, they have the opportunity to rate their session and leave a comment. Thousands do just that. We hear what they liked about the tutor and the technology. This feedback helps set the direction for product innovation. Over the past year we’ve developed several new features specifically because students tell us what they want; we listen and then deliver it. Here’s a few of those recent features and the student feedback that drove it.
- Tutor.com To Go™: Everything is getting smaller. Students want to take their education on the go on their favorite devices, and more schools are embracing the BYOT model. Our mobile app lets them connect to a tutor from an iPod Touch (the device almost every teen owns), iPhone or iPad and soon on Android devices too. One student even told us they were working with a tutor from the dentist office waiting room–now that’s a committed student.
- Favorite Tutors: We have about 2,500 tutors now and while they are all “awesome” ( most-used adjective by students in their comments), students have their favorites and want to connect to them as much as possible. Favorite tutors keep the sessions private and anonymous, but empowers a student to select and save a list of their favorites and even seen when they’ll be online next.
- Personal Accounts: Around the clock access to resources and past sessions is important to students who may be studying late into the evening. Students who have a personal account can easily access their past sessions for review, and our system automatically suggests specific resources based on the types of questions students have asked. Now when a student logs in, they’ll see our top rated resources on quadratic equations if that’s what they’ve been working on.
Asking students what they want from their own education makes a lot of sense. Let’s do more of it.