What is The Online School?
An online platform that allows all students to gain access to free live schooling delivered by qualified teachers. The service has tailored its learning style and content for students aged 5-18 years old. We teach according to the UK curriculum.
What's the dream?
The dream is to ensure that every child can get access to great quality education so that they can create a better future for themselves.
If we achieve our £500,000 GoFundMe goal then we will be able to:
- Have a revamped online platform that allows for automatic booking of classes, optimised user journey and enhanced classroom/student security
- Be able to evolve from just a single timetable that offers a mixture of classes for various ages throughout the day TO having three unique, simultaneously operating timetables (1 Timetable for Ages 5-11, 1 Timetable for Ages 11-14, 1 Timetable for Ages 14-18)
What makes us different?
I appreciate that online learning is not a new concept but the way we have adapted our approach is something new and has not been done before.
In the book "The One World Schoolhouse - Education Reimagined" by Salman Khan (the creator of Khan Academy), he essentially implies that online learning requires human interaction in order to truly help people learn.
Our answer to the online schooling conundrum addresses that exact need of assisted learning :)
as well as
The back story
Who Are We?
The Online School is being run by 3Lance Education. We are an Education Hub that provides a range of services to cater for the education, health and social care industries. Our main services entail recruitment for teachers worldwide, outreach services for students and teachers as well as private/group tuition.
Due to COVID-19, we found that we were in a unique position where we could leverage the lovely teachers that we work with to do something selfless and positive for the world at large, at a time when the world needs it most.
COVID-19 has made it difficult for students to maintain routine and gain access to quality education. This, in turn, means that parents have an added burden of responsibility for their children which ultimately leads to frustration. If we aggregate this effect across an entire country then the impact is significant and not positive.
The Online School will act as a bridge to continue education for children as well as doubling up as a respite service for parents. This way children can remain occupied, engaged and continue to receive structured interaction from well-versed teachers.
We have some awesome rewards and gifts to giveaway to you as our way of saying thank you for your pledge. We are also offering you the chance to donate your gifts to refugee children.
My Story (Ali)
Hey Everyone, I hope you're all well. I thought the best way to do this was to write a direct message sharing some key experiences I've had in my life and how I feel they may be responsible for the person I am today.
At the age of 7 I watched my mum care for children with special needs, she used to foster a child every weekend. I guess it definitely taught me a lot, I appreciated what I had, what others didn't and vice versa. My first job at 16 to pay was working as a carer at an adventure playground for children with special needs (obviously I was a natural at the job after watching SuperMum doing it for so many years!)
I worked at the adventure playground for 6 years, by then I had my education out of the way and moved off into the corporate world. However I wanted to still remain part of the playground and coincidentally saw an opportunity to help ensure that the children attending the centre had great carers for themselves. Because it's important for a child regardless of their needs to have someone who can understand them. So I created an education recruitment agency and they were my first client, I helped the playground go from a grade 3 to a grade 1 from OFSTED by providing quality staff.
Along side this I began doing charity work at the time of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015. We made a number of trips out to Europe to try to understand why things were happening and to see if we could do our bit and help out. It just felt awful to see people in desperate need at our door step. But it was really nice to see how so many people came out to help. Then one summer Hardial (a friend) and I raised money for an ambulance to deliver aid to refugees in Lesvos, Greece. We drove from London to Greece in 5 days flat (which was very cool). However during those 5 days we got to see many poverty stricken/problem areas in certain parts of Europe. Whilst in Greece, we partnered up with Team Humanity and continued supporting them over the years. We wanted to do something for the refugees so that they could also have a support structure around them. We knew that in the future, we would definitely come up with a way of helping out the many refugees in the camps rather than just a few.
These stories may seem somewhat random but I feel that these are just a few key moments that have helped define the course of my life. A determined, passionate person who wants to help those in difficult environments and provide them with the tools they need to better their lives.
We Will Help :)
We are in our tenth week of running The Online School, with on average 20-25 classes a week across English, Maths, Science, Yoga and Dance currently being taught. We have on average up to 45 students per class learning and interacting.
We have a current base of 3000 students across 15 different countries who have either registered their interest on our site or are currently attending lessons at The Online School.
The team is working hard to build up our base of teachers and ensure the website will allow for the school to be operated solely online.
The Online School wants to be the leading social platform that connects teachers who have time to volunteer with young people who desire access to our resources (regardless if there is a worldwide lockdown or not).
To reach 1M students before 2021.
Have 10,000 quality teachers registered and teaching at The Online School before 2021.
We also have more specific goals for our GoFundMe which are as follows:
What Do We Need The Funding For?
There are 8 people in our team currently that cover a variety of functions (many of them juggling multiple roles). The funding will help us bring in more people that will help us manage the increasing workload more effectively. Primarily we need more moderators that help us maintain the quality of our classes. These aren't expensive but they are necessary. We will also be able to streamline our resourcing and booking function to better manage the resourcing, compliance and booking of teachers.
The current website is what we would consider to be a minimum viable product (MVP). This platform helps us manage a single timetable very effectively, however it will be difficult for us to manage multiple timetables and classes simultaneously unless we have a scalable online platform. So a big part of our funding will feed into the development aspect of this. We will build a bespoke website that doesn't rely on Wordpress (which it currently does). The website itself will then cater for online automated student/teacher registration, compliance, weekly class enrolment and performance tracking.
Bespoke Connectivity Projects With Refugees And In Low Literacy Areas
Before we can educate the world, we need to ensure that they have the necessary tools and equipment required to use our service effectively. So we need to ensure that children have viewing equipment (such as laptops/projectors) as well as access to strong internet which is fundamental.
Meet Some Of Our Teachers
Meet Elle, our fantastic english and drama teacher.
Meet Vanessa, another amazing English teacher.
Below are a few videos of some of our live classes. The videos have been chosen at random because I want you all to see the school in it's purest form. It's important we understand the dynamic and how these classes are delivered. We have removed the video element of children for the videos below for safeguarding reasons.
But just to explain the structure a bit better.... Our classes are awesome because we have a dedicated moderator for every class! That means the teacher can focus on teaching whilst the moderator ensures:
- Children are listening
- The teacher is fully supported through any technical issues (because this is real life so it definitely happens sometimes, but what's important is how we deal with it!)
- Online safety procedures are being enforced (no private chats between students, only appropriate messaging and video content being shown etc)
What The Parents Think?
We have been using the Trustpilot account for 3Lance Education (where we currently host our Online School, in future this will live on it's own domain theonlineschool.io) to gather feedback from 1st April 2020 to help us ensure that the service we provide is effective and valuable for both children as as well parents.
Have a look below at some of the feedback we've received.
For the full list of reviews left on Trustpilot about The Online School please click here
What The Students Think?
Work From Our Students
Below is some of the homework that students have submitted to their teachers @ The Online School.
Some of the students also wrote us some reviews so I thought to share those with you too!
Education Outreach Programme
In the future we will be delivering our Education Outreach Programme through The Online School. The programme is based around reaching out to young people to help them:
- Better understand what careers are appropriate for them by connecting them with experienced professionals from their chosen fields of interest i.e. if a student wants to become a footballer, we source the footballer who will attend a session with our students and help them understand the intricacies of pursuing such a career.
- Learn life skills that they may not necessarily get in a conventional school (such as what is a mortgage? what do I do in an emergency? what are my rights?)
- Help raise awareness around topical issues that surround our youth nowadays such as gangs/gang grooming/abuse.
This project was approved by Ealing Council (Local Authority in West London) in late 2019, where the agreement was to be able to pilot the project in two of their community centres where young people attend.
Unfortunately due to lockdown, delivering such a programme with Ealing Council has its own challenges. But with The Online School we plan to deliver this programme with full force :)
Our Students In Zambia
As part of our efforts to help provide free education to the world, we have teamed up with local school teacher Abraham Zulu to help us deliver our mission in Zambia.
We have teamed up with Team Humanity who will be instrumental in helping us to prove that we can in fact help provide great quality education to refugees in Greece.
Established in 2015 by Salam Aldeen, Team Humanity became one of the leading NGOs on the ground in Lesvos, Idomeni and Athens. They are responsible for helping to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Team Humanity are established in Camp Moria, Lesvos which is home to more than 20,000 refugees.
Refugee Children Under The Care of Team Humanity In Camp Moria, Lesvos, Greece
We will be giving all of your gifts that have been pledged to refugee children inside Moria Camp primarily. Video and pictures will be provided so you can have full faith that your pledge reached its intended recipients. Beyond this we will be using funds to help the children in Camp Moria to start learning @ The Online School.
In Camp Moria there are approximately 5,000 are refugee children. We want to help provide a consistent timetable of education just for the children of Camp Moria. If we hit our STRETCH GOALS then we could be in a position to say EVERY REFUGEE CHILD IN CAMP MORIA IS RECEIVING GREAT QUALITY, LIVE EDUCATION :)
I will leave you with this video of the children in Camp Moria making some noise!
Our end goal is to be able to provide a constant flow of live lessons for each age group. Currently we are delivering a single timetable that includes various classes for different age groups. With your support we would love to get to our utopia which is multiple timetables (one per age group) occurring simultaneously. Each additional timetable that we introduce requires additional resourcing of teachers, moderators, class planning, infrastructure support and testing.
The focus for us is to ensure that the rest of the world is set up to attend classes @ The Online School. This means establishing deals with electronic hardware suppliers that can provide laptops and projectors as well as enhancing internet quality and in some cases establishing internet. Once the groundwork is done, then the children can continue to learn for free.
Risks and Challenges
The biggest problem we face is time. The pandemic is now and this is when people really really need the support. So the quicker we get the money, the quicker we can get to our end product and able to capitalise on the need for this service.
I am ensuring that scalability and automation are the main reference points for every aspect of our project. By working in agile sprints we are able to iteratively build on our Minimum Viable Product and ensure that we only continue forth with ideas that can be scaled up and have proven to be effective.
With our platform it will be possible for every child around the world that has access to an internet connection and laptop to gain access to education. Because what if the cure for cancer was inside the brain of a child who couldn't afford an education?
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