Education is failing. The reasons are various, but at the root of it is a lack of personal attention. Every student is different, yet we offer them a unified, one-size-fits-all approach to learning. In the age where everything is personalized and customized, why isn’t education?
Education plays a major role in the lives of students and prepares them to become self-aware citizens capable of contributing to society. Yet the system, that is meant to help achieve those goals, doesn’t treat them as individuals. Student’s life circumstances, personal goals, needs, priorities, and occupations are not taken into account by the system.
From elementary to grad school professors don’t have enough time to give students personal attention they deserve. In 2016 teacher to student ratio in United States reached 1:18 on average. That is in public schools where the material learned is still cognitively simple. In most universities, where students are meant to develop skills that will carry them through life, some classes are held in lecture halls with anywhere between 50 to 400 students led by 1 professor. It is becomes impossible to comfortably elaborate on the questions students ask.
Established educational system offers no flexibility. Not only that professors don’t have the time to address individual needs, they are constrained by the immense subject matter packed into the schedule. Each class must move at the same consolidated pace, regardless of individual performance. The leader of the pack or the straggler a student is bound by circumstance. Present-day education offers curricular content, promotes adherence to the system, and puts an ever-growing emphasis on academic performance pushing students to decisions that have a potential of dramatically altering their future.
Students deserve an equal opportunity to map their future in accordance with what they want it to be. Services like Nerdify allow for a more personalized approach to learning within the existent education.
Nerdify is a platform where students get personalized help by connecting with university graduates (“nerds”). Nerds are essentially tutors that communicate with students at their level. They help students apply general principles to a specific problem they have been asked to solve. Students get in touch with Nerdify through Facebook seeking explanation of both major and minor concepts they have learned in class. They state their problem via Messenger, where a nerd walks them through it. Nerds lead students to solutions by addressing their questions and problems together. Nerdify serves as an always available on-the-spot tutor allowing a student to understand the concept in the context of the actual assignment when they need it.
Nerdify represents one of many private companies taking a step towards the bright future of personalized learning. In the present world that is shaping to meet individual needs, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach should no longer be endorsed, especially in education. It fails to unlock student’s individual potential and is incapable of providing sufficient meaningful knowledge suitable for a fulfilling life in modern society.
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