With high school maths and science as the initial focus, hello tutor is an online video tutorial learning platform which harnesses the power of the internet. Through crowdsourcing, we seek to deliver high-quality educational content to learners in a convenient and cost-effective way. Hello tutor is an education eco-system which through the use of technology brings together tutors and learners effectively and efficiently in a manner beneficial to both parties.
hello tutor’s unique design means it is both easily replicable and highly scalable and as such is able to impact the lives of millions. This remains the core vision of hello tutor. In the 18 months of being “live”, hello tutor has amassed over 1400 video tutorials in English, Zulu and Afrikaans across maths and science from grade 8 to grade 12 and touched the lives of over 5000 South African learners. During this period, over 700 tutors have registered on the platform.
In addition to the teachers who register independently, hello tutor also pursues partnerships with leading schools as a means of growing our tutor population. Through school group scheme agreements, selected schools use hello tutor as an outsourced flipped/blended learning platform at no cost, and in so doing make high-quality video material available to the greater hello tutor-student community. This serves to further enhance our video library and will facilitate the addition of other subjects, notably English, Geography and Life Sciences to our high school coverage in the near future and many more over the medium term. It is through partnerships such as these, as well as with the general tutor population, that we see the available video content continuing to grow (currently growing at approx. 100 videos per month) and diversify.
Its a numbers game…
hello tutor as a platform thrives on high volumes of users -the more tutors involved, the more video material is generated across various subjects, in multiple languages and in a variety of styles. The more students using the site, the more videos are watched and the more the tutors are rewarded. It’s a win-win system with few constraints (no classrooms, no operating hours) that has the potential to change the face of education in developing markets, starting here in South Africa, and bring the highest level of teaching to learners from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
Middle to Upper LSMs
For the middle to upper LSM hello tutor-student population accessing the platform through the internet, each video lesson can be purchased for R2 and watched repeatedly within a 48-hour time period at no additional cost. Once expired it needs to be purchased again. For this group, the Internet-based resource works well as it enables learners to revise and catch up using local curriculum aligned video lessons from any smart device. From a cost perspective too, the cost of one extra lesson with a private tutor equates to between 150 and 250 video lessons on hello tutor! On this option, there are no registration costs or subscription costs. Learners simply pay per video they purchase.
Hello tutor has recently introduced a subscription option which provides learners unlimited access to all content on the system for R49 per month.
For the vast majority of South Africans, the cost of each video lesson, getting credit onto the system and broadband requirements to watch streaming video represents an obstacle to accessing our educational library. To solve this problem, hello tutor partners with the public and private sector to bring hello tutor hubs into previously disadvantaged areas around the country.
What is a hello tutor hub?
Essentially, a hello tutor hub comprises a server loaded with a version of the online hello tutor library of lessons. This enables the following;
- Servers provide learners at schools and within community centres with unlimited access to the math and science video tutorial library through any smart device;
- Because all interaction with hello tutor is done through local wi-fi there is no need for internet connectivity which means no data costs;
- Local hubs are super-fast and enable streaming of content throughout locations i.e. all classrooms within a school;
- Local hubs allow between 50 and 100 learners to stream different video content simultaneously;
- Because no internet is required, hubs can be put in rural locations. This ensures no-one is excluded;
- Hello tutor hubs and the students accessing them still benefit from the organic and ever-growing nature of content on the online system.
Here are some of the notable developments since the Britehouse (Dimension Data) / hello tutor collaboration began in late 2015;
- The number of high school math and science videos, all from leading South African teachers, made available through the platform has grown to over 1500 videos;
- Of the 1500 videos, 300 grade 10 to 12 maths and science videos are in Zulu providing many learners with the opportunity to understand maths and science concepts in their own language (currently a further 200 Zulu videos ready to be uploaded);
- The hello tutor video library continues to grow by over 100 videos per month;
- Over 80% of the maths topics included in the NSC high school maths syllabus are covered by video material on hello tutor. The full syllabus will be covered by June 2017;
- Both the 2014 and 2015 NSC matric maths final exam papers and the 2015 NSC matric science final paper have been covered by our tutors. Each question is answered in video tutorial format and allows learners to gauge their readiness for the exam. Not only are they able see whether they get the answers correct or incorrect, but exactly where they are making mistakes.
- Leading South African Schools including St Mary’s, Waverley and prominent publishing house Via Afrika have engaged with hello tutor and begun contributing video tutorials to the platform. This has enabled us to broaden the scope of the platform into new subject areas such as geography as well as extend the maths coverage down to grade R.
Britehouse (a division of Dimension Data) have through the #67DayDigitalActivation movement pioneered the installation of hello tutor hubs in five under-privileged schools around South Africa. These schools include Sunrise Secondary School, Diepsloot; Kwena Molapo Comprehensive Farm School, Lenasia; Shumayela High School, Umlazi; Zwelibanzi High School, Umlazi and Newhaven Secondary School in Chatsworth. In terms of adoption, since the project began with the installation of the first servers in April 2016, hello tutor has seen the registration of over 650 individual learners in the five schools across the country. Amongst these learners, there have been over 2 500 sessions and 7 000 video tutorial lessons watched through hello tutor with, in many cases, a session including more than one learner watching a video.
The average session duration across the first four schools in 2016 was 26.7 minutes highlighting the fact that in many cases videos were either watched multiple times or multiples videos were watched per session. In 2017, we have seen this figure increase to over 39 minutes per session further highlighting the value learners are finding in the system.
With much of January and February 2017 being spent settling into the school year, we are delighted to see system usage picking up again.
Impact – Maths and Science
It has been extremely rewarding and inspiring to witness and contribute to the dramatic improvement in the matric results at two of the biggest adopters of the hello tutor hubs. These schools include Kwena Molapo High School in Lanseria and Shumayela High School in Umlazi. At Britehouse’s flagship school, Kwena Molapo High School a 100% matric pass rate was achieved for the 2016 year. Over 50% of students achieved bachelor passes and a further 38.75% receiving diploma passes.
Shumayela Secondary School situated in the heart of Umlazi improved their matric pass rate from 57% in 2015 to 84% in 2016 (an all-time record for the school) with a 100% pass rate in science.
Through the integration of hello tutor into these under-resourced schools, teachers are also able to leverage the wealth of information provided by the video tutorials. They can also draw upon the expertise and methodologies of teachers around the country in their own teaching and lesson planning.
Our vision for hello tutor in 2017 and going forward is as follows;
- To increase the number of hubs from 5 to 50. And then, to have a hello tutor hub within 5km of every South African. This will ensure every learner has access to the highest quality learning material within a reasonable walking distance;
- Develop a mobile application which will allow learners to not only access hello tutor at hub sites, but be able to take it home with them;
- To continue to develop and expand our video tutorial library across grades, subjects and particularly languages. This, to achieve an eco-system of learning material as rich and diverse as the people it aims to serve;
- To reward more and more educational professionals. We do this by providing them with a real passive income generating option and amplifying the impact which their teaching has; and,
- And finally, doing all of the above in a commercially sustainable manner ensuring the platform has the necessary longevity and sustainability to continue to serve South Africans and other learners for generations to come.
It is our dream to have hundreds of hubs scattered around the country each delivering unlimited, “free to the consumer” access to high-quality educational content while still benefitting from an organically, constantly growing, internet leveraging platform. With each hub having the capacity to support thousands of learners at each school or tens of thousands when used centrally by a community, hello tutor provides a very real means of bridging the gap in the level of education received by privileged and underprivileged learners in developing countries. Britehouse, our main corporate sponsor, was awarded the prestigious SA Biz Awards CSI initiative of the year accolade at the end of 2016 for their support of and collaboration with hello tutor in developing a high impact, replicable and easily scalable means of bringing education to the people.
hello tutor seeks to remove inequality from education. It does so by tapping into the substantial pool of, what is for many, inaccessible teaching talent in developing markets and efficiently delivering educational content to those in need. Our unique and innovative solution allows us, through collaboration with philanthropic organizations in the private and public sector, to bring to thousands of under-serviced learners, educational video content of the highest order. With hello tutor’s design enabling rapid scalability, it’s non-reliance on internet connectivity and it’s cost effectiveness, our vision is to take the current hub network from 5 to 50 before the end of 2017. In the not too distant
With hello tutor’s design enabling rapid scalability, it’s non-reliance on internet connectivity and it’s cost effectiveness, our vision is to take the current hub network from 5 to 50 before the end of 2017. In the not too distant future, we hope to have a hub within walking distance of every South African. The journey thus far has been an extremely fulfilling, rewarding and enriching one (for all involved). It’s been one which has benefitted learners who through circumstance have been put on the back foot early on in life. Most importantly though, one which has just begun…