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Sunday, 16 November 2008

Startup Idea #98: Parents sharing teaching experiences

This idea was inspired by the book 'Disrupting Class'. The thesis of the book pointed out that we need flexible and modular teaching tools to fit the different learning styles of children. There was an interesting paragraph that mentioned how parents might already be doing this via their own initiative. For example, a parent might be stringing alphabets into music for his/her children who are musically inclined.

I found this concept very intriguing and did a couple of Google searches on how parents are teaching their kids. It turns out parents are indeed devising their own teaching methods and posting about them through blogs. This blog post for example writes about how a parent is teaching her kids the meaning of financial planning via through the use of bricks.

So, is it possible to create a community where parents submit and share their teaching experiences? I think it can be and should be done. This is the kind of bottom up innovation that formal institutions cannot provide and something that 2.0 is meant to accomplish.

This community platform should allow parents to submit their experiences or tips directly or through their blogs. It should structure the data such that they can be sorted by subjects, children's age and more importantly, the learning styles of children. This last point is very important as it allows the customisation of the materials to suit a child. For instance, a parent whose child learns better via touching will get a series of tips on how to use touch in educating him various subjects.

The platform should also parents to form meetups to better share their teaching experiences face-to-face or to even co-educate. The ability to form groups is critical as pointed out by the book 'Here comes everyone'. The platform should allow the users to do so by geography, interests, children's age et al.

Finally, the platform should generate its own feeds of whatever content a parent wants. He/she could, for example, generate a feed on learning tips for 5 year olds whose learning style is through images. These feeds can then be shared or diseeminated acrossed the web to hopefully benefit more people.

I am excited by this idea or at least in the direction it is pointing to. I think education is one of big issues we have to solve, along with environment, poverty, healthcare et al. If anyone is working in this area, why not share your experiences via the comments. I will definitely love to hear it.