Our team is made up of three inspiring woman studying and working in the STEM field and one guy that lives in the world of innovation and human centered design. We met at treehacks and we knew that we wanted to tackle the education challenge. Everything else was up in the air.
Since we are believers in the power of human centered design and we had the advantage that we all are students - and one part time high school teacher - we took the first hours of our projects to download all the insights our minds host and we build a customer persona and empathy map before designing the solution.
We found out that students are worried about NOT having the life skills they feel they need to pursuit a college education, they are worried about how to pay for it and about their job securement once they graduate. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, in our research we found out than only 46.36% of the United States population has a tertiary studies degree, the most concerning part is that 1 in every 5 children around the world doesn't have access to education.
This was our breakthrough.
We wonder, what if we connect people around the world to drive education forward?
This is how Pedagog was born.
What it does
Pedagog is a platform were everyone is welcome to join. And the main objective is to help people to get to college while paying forward. We do this by three main componentes:
Academics. Our subscribers can offer classes to students all over the world (they become mentors) and they also can take classes from other mentors to increase their skills.
Skilling. We offer workshops and courses that are NOT in academic field, we teach our subscribers about life skills that will prepare them for any challenge that the academic and professional field throws at them.
Saving. The subscriber earn EDUPOINTS for all their interactions with our platform and those points can be traded for tuition discounts in our partnered institutions. Also we offer a Savings Account that our members can open with zero cost so they can star building the equity they need to pay for their education and once they turn 18 we will offer them the financial aid they need. No hassle.
Last but not least, we are aiming to build a broad community of students willing to teach, so that children, teens and adults that are unable to get the education they deserve can come to our platform and get it, for free. They only need internet access.
How we built it
We really wanted to be efficient with the times, so to make sure that our hacking was being done in the right place, we took the time to define the features that would be included in this demo, we analyzed the components of it and the ethical implications around those features. Once we were comfortable with the main features, we build a design using Adobe XD, when we were satisfied with the Look and Feel and interactions, the coding began.
Challenges we ran into
Too many great ideas. We had to edit the most important features that could create value and that could help us to communicate the value proposition we are building.
Being students and teacher we suffer the conundrums of virtual classes and one of the most common pain points that we realized are the students and teachers are worry about the protection of their data and privacy when taking and online class.
2020 force the education sector to go virtual and most likely is going to stay there for a long period of time, it is now a fundamental necessity to ensure that online education environment are protecting the rights of their users, the majority of which are millions of minors or students. It’s also vital to determine whether the online education tools are giving the collected information away without consent.
And even tough there are laws and policies to ensure the protection of students like FERPA, it is hard for students and parents to be aware of the policies instituted by this online tools, so we know that we had to be transparent with our users while keeping their information safe.
We instituted design principles for our project that would help us to make our policies and rules clear for our members like:
- straightforward: we are honest in our rules and avoid the use of fine print.
- predict: we tell the user everything they need to know and don't rely on them reading the information.
With this design principles we make easy to our users to understand how their information is being handle and to empower them to make conscious decisions.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of having a 360 project, we really build a strong proposal by understanding the market, looking at the numbers, finding de gaps and then providing the technology to tackle the challenge.
What we learned
Besides everything - and really cool stuff - that treehacks taught us during this intense hours, we learned that we have the responsability to provide solutions that are aiming to solve the BIG problems of our generation, the world cannot wait one more day for us to start shifting the days of tomorrow, this short hours taught us that there is a force of people out there that have the power to transform the world, and we believe we are doing it.
What's next for Pedagog
We want to iterate our demo with potential users and get feedback in order to improve our solution, meanwhile we are going to build partnerships with institutions and NGO'S to plan a proof of concept to be launch on august 2021.
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