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Learn Together

A learning platform that runs on Smart TVs, PCs, and mobile devices and links students to class lectures, people and gamification learning.

Photo of Gilberto Cardenas
2 4

Written by

I am a.....

  • Parent/Caregiver
  • User Experience Researcher & Designer, Former higher ed staff

Tell us about your idea

Problem

How might we reduce the digital divide and provide an equitable online learning education?


Introduction

There is an African Proverb that states, "It takes a village to raise a child." For a child to grow in a safe and healthy environment, a community of people must be able to interact with that child. However, what do those interactions look like where remote learning is the norm, such as with our current circumstances? 

What if students had the world as a classroom, with their teachers, parents, and a community of caring people to guide them in a journey of endless possibilities.


Research

In the course of doing research, we identified three main challenges in remote learning.   

   • Decrease the digital divide

   • Adapt to an online environment

   • Motivate students and reinforce the subject matter


Technology has facilitated learning, but not everyone has access to a computer or high-speed internet. According to the Stanford Computer Science Department, when students do not have access to technology, there exists a digital divide, referring to a gap in access to the technology within underprivileged members of society, those with special needs, and the elderly.

Homeschooling is difficult, and teachers and parents were forced into it with little to no guidance. Many parents do not know where to turn, but with resources, parents can help their children achieve education goals while increasing the autonomy of the shield as a student.

If students are experiencing serious challenges preventing them from completing their course work, we can only imagine how difficult it is when they lack the technology, struggle with the subject matter, or are not self-motivated to overcome obstacles.


Solution

That is where Learn Together comes in.

Learn Together connects students to teachers, their community of friends, and a world of learning. Students do daily coursework, extracurricular activities, and games that support learning and increase success. Learn Together is built to recognize the needs of individual students by providing tools and features that allow the student to access learning in a way that makes the most sense for them. With customization features that allow for accommodations to be created by the teacher, a student can get more time, receive a modified lesson, be connected with a tutor, or get access to additional learning materials. Learn Together focuses on equity in education to raise students up and make learning a successful endeavor for all.

Learn Together runs on low-cost digital media players that connect to Televisions, or can be downloaded to PCs and mobile devices to connect directly to assignments and lessons curated by their teacher. Every week, parents will receive instruction for maintaining a learning environment and assisting students to achieve their academic goals. With the built-in webcam on the media players' remote control, students can video chat with classmates to develop their sense of community further.

It behooves our schools to achieve technology equity for all students and bridging the digital divide. Technology touches every aspect of our lives. As President Clinton once said, "The fact is, technology fosters equality, and it is often the relatively cheap and mundane devices that do the most good." So let us be part of something great!

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Leave behind schools built on daily physical attendance and a school day consisting of classes one after the other, repeated day after day, week after week. What if a school was reimagined as a resource that would engage students by creating access to a range of subjects both online and in-person. For students with a preference, ability or need to focus their studies online, they could only visit the school for things like in-person counseling, group sports, or working in the lab to get in-person support from a tutor or teacher. Schools have the ability to act as community hubs; engaging with local businesses, groups, and colleges to expose students to a variety of topics or deepening their knowledge in an area of interest.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

Gilberto Cardenas & John Molendyk

We are a team of 2 with a background in education, technology, and user experience. With a strong focus on research and principled design, our goal is to build solutions that enhance user's lives in positive and enriching ways.

As individuals with experience in technology, we believe that equitable solutions in education are much more accessible with the availability of digital technology, but they must be affordable and built from an inclusive, user-centered perspective. This is imperative if we are going to provide all students with an opportunity to contribute to their own futures through access to education. 

With the COVID pandemic, we have a chance to re-imagine how we do things. The pandemic will drive change; if we take the opportunity to act on our visions and build something that meets all students' needs, we can harvest value from that change.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

Orange & Los Angeles County, California

Attachments (1)

Learn Together.pdf

PDF slides containing an overview of Learn Together.

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Father Hoood
Team

This is really interesting. I hope there is something similar in Asia too!

Spam
Photo of Gilberto Cardenas
Team

Learning platforms for schools provide a wealth of resources for teaching and learning, the great part about them is they can be modified in any language and serve the needs of various communities.