“But, imagine for a moment, that the knowledge banks of online learning initiatives such as Hello Tutor or GetSmarter were within the grasp of those struggling to complete their schooling, or who wanted to re-skill themselves to compete for higher-paying jobs or start a business.” Huffington Post
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…
Year-end exams, here we come…
October sure has snuck up on us and all high school students should have an eye on the end of year with a good feel for how prepared they are for exams. It’s a time when parents begin to fret too placing additional emphasis on academics in order to secure the best results possible. To this end, the tutoring market is one which gets really busy providing learners across South Africa with the additional help they need, filling in gaps they may be struggling with and brushing up on concepts across the maths and science syllabus.
It’s also at this time of year when the number of learners using hello tutor increases dramatically as learners take advantage of the 24/7 nature of the platform and the clever way the syllabus has been arranged to make finding relevant content easy. With over 1500 maths, science, accounting and geography videos, hello tutor has become the “go to” for 1000’s of learners able to access the platform anytime, anywhere.
Maths and Science
Maths remains the website’s focal point with the vast majority of content falling into this subject. Content covers everything from the building blocks covered in grade 8 namely;
- data handling;
- number, operations and relationships;
- basic algebra;
- patterns; and,
to the more complex categories of
- analytical geometry,
- probability, and,
which constitute the core of the matric syllabus.
Past Exam Papers
In addition to the above, it is hello tutors’ three years of past exam papers, covered in the form of video solutions, which have proved the most popular on the platform and the biggest drawcard for matric maths students. What better way to prepare for exams?
So whether trigonometry tests you, calculus makes you crazy or derivatives drive you mad, hello tutor has all the solutions and looks forward to helping you achieve your potential at the end of the year. From all of us on the hello tutor team, head down, it’s the home straight to a long summer break!
Three years ago, almost to the day, we set off on a mission to create a system capable of efficiently and effectively disrupting the education sector by bridging the gap in the level of education received by South African learners from different walks of life. We wanted a system able to better utilise the country’s teaching talent and bring this talent into the classrooms of under-serviced, underprivileged learners around the country. Hello tutor has grown from strength to strength since that day and has, through it’s first corporate collaboration with the visionary Britehouse group, effectively delivered thousands of video lessons created by SA’s top teaching talent into 5 schools situated in some of the country’s poorest townships, including Umlazi and Diepsloot. The project began in 2016, and a letter received earlier this week from one of the schools is a testament to the value of the resource and the potentially game-changing impact that it could have.
You see, our hub system, which enables offline usage of the online hello tutor resource (and thus can be put anywhere) and access to over 1200 maths and science video lessons in English and Zulu, has been designed in such a way that it is highly scalable, replicable and cost-effective. The next stage in this journey is to take the impact achieved at the existing 5 hubs and grow it to over 50 hubs by the end of 2017, and thereafter work towards the final objective of a hub within walking distance of every South African. What began as a dream and a vision is slowly becoming a reality. Should you wish to join our current corporate collaborators in supporting a hub/s and be a part of a potentially disruptive revolution in education in South Africa, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a message here and we can explore possibilities. Thank you for your time – I hope to hear from you!
2016 has been a quite unbelievable year with one of our biggest achievements coming through the corporate sponsorship provided by the visionary Britehouse Group who, for their efforts were recognized as the winner in the Corporate Citizenship Category at National Business Awards. The following outlines what they have achieved and how we have contributed to the education of 1000’s of underprivileged learners across South Africa…
The Britehouse Group has broken new ground with Britehouse GOT-GAME™, the digital centre of their social investment initiatives. Not only has the Group extended both the reach and impact of these initiatives within the communities they were first established, but they have also ensured that these initiatives become self-sustaining and replicable, thereby allowing other communities to benefit from corporate social investment.
This journey started in 2010, when after having met with ten students and four teachers of the Kwena Molapo High School in Diepsloot, the Group sought to build an ethos of financial independence and social stability within underserved communities.
Together with their partner, social enterprise, Got-Game, the Group focused on erecting and managing digital hubs in order to improve teacher and student development, access to information, employment, empowerment of women, and enterprise development. Known as Britehouse GOT-GAME™, it is equipped with smart technology and Internet access, and provisioned with an online repository of accredited education resources. These digital hubs can be set down anywhere to facilitate the empowerment of underserved and underprivileged communities by providing a facility from where teachers, enterprises, and community development projects can be hosted.
Take, for instance, a single hub hosted in Diepsloot. Here students from the community receive a stipend from corporate sponsors to manage the hub, which creates a myriad of simultaneous possibilities that are then made available to people from different sections of that community.
These students and teachers then have access to high-quality teaching skills through Hello Tutor, the knowledge-sharing platform. In fact, Hello Tutor’s video library receives content from the likes of St Mary’s, Waverly, and the prominent publishing house, Via Afrika. Not only does the library continue to grow by over 100 videos each month from institutions of this calibre, but their wider involvement has enabled us to broaden the platform’s scope to include new subjects and to extend the coverage down to grade R.
To date, approximately 1300 high school maths and science videos are now available, of which 300 videos are available in Zulu. This provides many learners with the opportunity to understand these concepts in their own language. In total, an impressive 3150 videos have been consumed. Over this past year, we have seen roughly 500 learners from five schools across the country, including Sunrise Secondary School (Diepsloot), Kwena Molapo Comprehensive Farm School (Lenasia), Shumayela High School (Umlazi), Zwelibanzi High School (Umlazi), and Newhaven Secondary School (Chatsworth).
Through the Group’s support, Hello Tutor has been able to develop the hub technology which will enhance the lives of 1000s of underprivileged South African students.
In addition to the benefit felt by learners, Britehouse GOT-GAME™ provides professional teacher development and IT training. Teachers from under-resourced schools, in particular, are now able to leverage the wealth of information provided by the video tutorials and draw upon the expertise and methodologies of teachers around the country in their own teaching and lesson planning.
Britehouse GOT-GAME™ also facilitates annual basic computer readiness training to the entire matric classes of its two beneficiary schools. The Group has then expanded its educational development focus to providing world-class vendor SAP and Microsoft technology platforms to its beneficiaries.
In 2015, the Group was accredited as a Top Empowered Company by Impumelelo, making it one of 1 400 out of 20 000 companies to receive this recognition. The criteria applied by Impumelelo in assessing South African companies for their transformation capabilities include ownership, management control, skills development, new enterprise and supplier development, and socio-economic development.
People are also able to find employment on both a local and international scale with the IT skills they can acquire through the hub. These skills include data capturing, document creation, and performing other online projects for organisations. Moreover, thanks to the Britehouse GOT-GAME™ portal, people can also find employment outside the scope of IT by applying for jobs online and posting their CVs for businesses to find.
Beyond IT and teacher development, the hub is also used to train previously unemployed women in the basics of running a small business. Collaborating with the Diepsloot Pre-Schools Project and Training Force, 23 teaching assistants from 19 pre-schools in Diepsloot were trained to run pre-schools in underprivileged areas. This training earns each of the women their certification as accredited ECD specialists, which serves to convert their pre-schools into early childhood development centres, thereby giving children a means to succeed at school that their circumstances would otherwise deny them. It also qualifies their small businesses for funding from the Department of Social Development, thereby putting them on a sustainable footing. Let’s not forget that the hub is then managed by the high school on whose grounds it has been placed, who earns revenue from projects that are hosted in the hub.
In an effort to deepen the impact of Britehouse GOT-GAME™, the Group has incorporated into its broader enterprise development initiatives via a partnership with the founder of Got-Game, Arthur Wade Anderson.
Believing there to be few things more powerful than a social entrepreneur empowering social enterprises, the Group provides Anderson with business mentorship, as well as input in the form of solutions or SED spend from its own vendor network, including SAP and Microsoft. As the direct liaison with the community, Anderson is then responsible for and facilitates the management of Britehouse GOT-GAME™ and oversees any points of presence extended from the hub to other communities or organisations. He and his organisation identify other small enterprises and matches them to the enterprise and skills development obligations of large organisations. Together, they will grow Britehouse GOT-GAME™ as part of Anderson’s 100% black-owned social enterprise and position his business to help micro-businesses become adequately professionalised.
Ultimately, the Group believes that corporate social investment is evolving into a form of social entrepreneurship which not only solves social problems through business-like approaches but actively fosters entrepreneurial behaviour in marginalised communities.
Britehouse GOT-GAME™ is the cornerstone of the Group’s multi-layered socio-economic development (SED) initiative known as the #67DayDigitalActivationMovement (the Movement). The Movement, which is modelled on the United Nations’ 67 minutes of activism used annually to honour Nelson Mandela, invites and enables corporates to complete measurable community-based, technology-driven projects within repeatable, short timeframes.
Essentially, this allows the Group to provide and maintain cohesive, sustainable community benefits while enabling the distribution of benefits on a much broader front throughout South Africa by outsourcing its SED. Effectively, each hub creates a multiplier effect, with communities benefitting from a continuously enriched and expanding SED focus, and if corporates then also take the 67 Day approach, the multiplier effect becomes exponential.
Create Your own Study Material
Make your own notes to study from. You know yourself very well. Only you can create notes customised to suit your own needs. A teacher’s notes or friend’s notes might help, but you are better off studying from your own notes. Let me tell you why:
- Your notes should reflect your own learning style. Some people learn better from pictures and diagrams, some people learn better from lists. One person prefers examples of the problems, another prefers a short explanation of the method and yet another only needs to know what the formulae are and how to apply them. Include the things in your notes that will help you learn best!
- What do you need to study? You only need to study the things you don’t know… For example, you are learning about shapes in the classroom. You might know perfectly well what a rectangle is, you don’t need the definition in your notes. But you might be uncertain about the definition or even just the spelling of a parallelogram. You need to study the parallelogram and need that in your notes.
If your notes contains a lot of information which you already know – you waste valuable time while studying, going through things you know and you tire yourself before you start going through the things you didn’t know.
- You learn from various resources – your teacher, your textbook, your exercise book, a tutor, a friend, extra textbooks, the internet, etc.
By making your own notes, you can combine the information in one place. You should constantly update your notes with information from all of the resources listed above, so that by the time the exam starts – you’re not feeling overwhelmed and all over the place. You know that everything you need to know is organised in one file or one notebook. You can simply go through your notes and maybe work out one or two practise papers.
- Make a list of words with its definitions. Create a little dictionary of Mathematics words where you can look up the meaning if you need to. Keep this list with your notes and keep it for next years also – you can build onto it and refer back to past years.
- Mathematics is a cumulative subject. Knowledge and concepts are constantly being built on previous knowledge. If you have notes from previous years – it gives you something to fall back on if you realise that you don’t remember past knowledge.
Make you on video lessons on hello tutor
Are you an aspiring educator? Do you want to make high-quality video lessons that are able to teach learners in the far corners of the globe? Well, making slick, well rehearsed, video content to put online is a valuable skill that will help you educate the world. In this blog post and linked video, I am going to give you a holistic introduction into how to make your very own online video content. The video will also go through an example from beginning to end.
1. Decide what you are going to teach.
You are probably here because you have a passion for the subject that you teach. So you probably know exactly what you want to teach, but we need to dig a bit deeper into what you are going to teach. Firstly, once you have picked a subject of interest, you need to know your audience. Ask yourself some of these questions, are your viewers young, old, what is their attention span? Do you need to make 2min videos with lots of animations, or 20min videos packed with information? Have you researched the type of videos people in your audience watch?
Once you know who your audience is, ensure you follow a syllabus, or structure of some sort. If they are learning Grade 8 mathematics in South Africa, make sure they are learning exactly what they need to. Maybe you are just making an educational video on something that interests you, that’s great! Ensure viewers know that!
Lastly, I encourage you to start small. Practice making concise video lessons explaining one specific concept brilliantly. Make your video the best on hello tutor explaining one small topic, from there you can start interlinking your videos to follow on from one another. This will grow your audience, quality over quantity.
2. How are you going to teach?
There are three main presenting styles to consider when making an online video. A video could also be a hybrid of a couple of types of presentation styles. There are:
i) Lecture style – Being filmed in front of a white/blackboard and giving a lecture. Whole body is being filmed. Natural for teachers.
ii) Tutoring style – Having your work pad filmed on either a workbook or computer. Typically only your hand will be filmed while it teaches the subject. Often filmed using a camera pointing down onto your desk. This is the khan-academy style.
iii) Animation style – This is a labour-intensive method often involving good editing software. This can be done on a power-point presentation and talking over it. This is a great method when animations can help explain how a chemical reaction works or how a car works etc.
3. Equipment and Software
Different equipment and software are needed depending on your video style.
F=Free, FT=Free Trial
If you are making a lecture style video lesson, ensure you use a good lapel mic, but you can get away with free movie editing software. Tutoring style is perhaps the easier cheaper of the methods to get started with. Using a mic is always a good idea. If you have access to an iPhone its mic is brilliant. Ensure you know how to edit out the noise in your audio using a program like Goldwave. Using something like a writing tablet can add a new dimension to your videos, this is easily bought online. If you want to try the animation style, start off with something like powerpoint. Ensure you set your slide size to a 16:9 ratio as this is what most youtube videos are made in.
For a much better example on how to make an online video, ensure you watch below.
For more information on becoming a tutor click here
hello tutor is a unique online education facility which brings together teachers and learners by leveraging the power of the internet. For teachers, it provides a platform through which to earn a residual, annuity income by creating and uploading short educational videos which are then made available by us to learners around the country. These learners come from all walks of life and register on the platform for free. They access the library of material generated by our independent teachers/tutors and pay R2.00 to buy a video. Of this R2.00, R1.00 is paid to the teacher who made the video tutorial and R1.00 is used by us for the administration of the site and marketing to the learner population. Many educational videos on youtube have received millions of views and so, hello tutor represents a very real opportunity for teachers to earn a substantial secondary income doing what they enjoy! A further example to illustrate the potential is the fact that in only 6 months of operating, many of our teachers have already put up between 100 and 200 short videos – 100 videos at 100 views per month equates to R10 000 worth of monthly income forever!
On the 14th and 15th of October 2015, Britehouse, in collaboration with hello tutor, facilitated two days of workshops at the Kwena Molapo High School, Lenasia and Sunrise Secondary School, Diepsloot. The purpose of these workshops was to introduce the teachers and learners at each school to the hello tutor online learning system, and set each student up with a user profile which would provide free access to the library of learning material available on the platform. Between the two schools, over 220 grade 10, 11 and 12 learners were registered and given vouchers to the value of between R120 and R240 each. The on-site internet access at each school and hello tutor vouchers were sponsored by the Britehouse Group and facilitated the download of over 300 maths, science and accounting videos by the learners in the short period between the workshop and their final exams. This equated to approximately 2 250 minutes (37.5 hours) worth of highly quality, curated, local curriculum-aligned learning material produced by leading South African teachers. Not bad as a pilot, but a fraction of what we hope to achieve in 2016 – this represents the first step in the Britehouse / hello tutor collaboration aimed at ensuring learners from all walks of life have unlimited access to the highest quality teaching.