Concept Roots

It's Youtube for education.

Photo of James White
1 1

Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Technology

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

Jan 8th 1996

Help us stay in touch!

385-404-8519 Utah: Provo (84604)

Date You Started Your Project Started

March 2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Students and educators alike are flocking to the internet, particularly youtube, to take advantage of a worldwide network. The problem is, YouTube wasn’t built for education. A site optimized to maximize entertainment value necessarily has a distinct feature set from an education platform. Youtube is cluttered with irrelevant content that gums up the search algorithms. Disjointed content makes sequential learning a nightmare

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Having a universal crowdsourced platform like youtube built specifically for education would be a huge boon to the education community. My solution is to create a Youtube for Education. Specifically, I am creating a web site with a clean UI and clearly organized categories that will make locating the right content much easier. I will use AI and minni assessments to ensure accurate explanations fill the site. There will also be a series of education-specific features such as interactive video transcripts and a hyper dictionary that will make the transcripts behave like Wikipedia hyperlinks. (I.E. When VSauce mentions the Pythagorean theorem, finding Sal’s explanation will involve nothing more than highlighting the words on the screen)

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I grew up exceptionally lucky with a one of the kind education experience. In my case, homeschooling was a fantastic option because of the personalized tutoring I received from my older siblings and highly educated parents. I didn't realize how good I had it until I was abruptly forced into the public education system when my mom was diagnosed with lymphoma. I quickly realized that the individualized explanations I had received made a massive difference in my ability to absorb content. My new go to became the internet, replete with all the foibles I mentioned in the problem section. After graduating high school, I spent two years living in South America where I learned for the first time the importance of practical education. My lifelong ambition is to make world-class education available to everyone.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

I’m stepping up to make a change because I can see that it needs to be made and I can see how it needs to be made. My life experiences give me a unique passion for the endeavor and my studies give me the unique skill set to make it happen. I envision a world where everyone has access to personalized education. I imagine a world where you don’t need to pause your career to learn something new. I Envision a world where physical constraints and geographic location no longer hold people down.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Immagine a hard-working student who had to miss several weeks of class due to an illness. Ordinarily, this person would be forced to work one on one with an already time-strapped teacher or simply be left behind to repeat the class next year. Now, the teacher can simply point out the modules that the class covered and the student will have their pick of lectures covering the same material. Students with all kinds of life and learning differences will be able to easily find explanations that make sense to them on a time table that makes sense to them. Teachers will be freed from repetitive lectures to be able to focus on individual mentoring, creating an even more personalized education experience.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Sites like Kahn Academy fail to provide the breadth and variety that students are looking for, while sites like Udemy and other paid models generate revenue to pay good instructors, they can't reach enough users to create the database that will ultimately prove most valuable to the world and to the company. This solution provides a universally accessible platform that also has the potential to generate massive revenue (and incentivize content creation).

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

It's made a difference to me. I stay up late thinking about it and spend my days talking to people about it. Several of the schools whom I have been talking to have made an effort to include more content from these other online solutions that I've mentioned. Many of the students I have talked to about the project have also made better use of the limited resources available because they now better understand how to use them.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I'm early enough stage that the next step is to iterate on the project. I'm building it now, I need people to test and give feedback. I could use more developers to help build faster, I could use more hands to upload existing content from our partner teachers and from existing youtube creators. We have plenty of work cut out for us, we just need the resources to do it more quickly.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Web/Mobile Development

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Ballard Center

1 comment

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Photo of alejandra

great work!