We discovered that on the internet there are dozens of free learning resources and even complete degrees! Here is a list of 30 sites with free educational resources - https://www.upwork.com/resources/top-sites-for-online-education-and-learning
The problem is not in resources, but in a way how people study it. When you are a self-educator it's easy to be trapped into "fake progress" and lose motivation. So our product hypothesis sounds like this: "By studying in groups learners will be kept motivated and it will help them to replace degree completely". Exactly this strategy is used in the college and this is a way how we transform online education - we make it socially active.
The platform we have built allows people to take any learning resource in Interned and find a study group to learn it together. It can be a book, a course on Coursera or even some pet project.
The main purpose of the platform is to help self-learners find each other. Also, we discovered that a lot of study groups become inactive after a couple of weeks, so we added the possibility to select "Learning activities" for groups, which can be: Daily stand-up, goal setting, live learning with Pomodoro technique, note tacking etc.
It is built using a no-code solution called Bubble.
I build this product because I personally need it. I've already created 2 study groups for myself to learn English and social entrepreneurship.
Here is a link to the platform - https://platform.anthillacademy.org/find_study_group
Our vision - A world where high-quality education is accessible for everyone no matter race, gender, status or location
Our Mission - Education is broken. Our mission is to re-imagine education across the globe, so that anyone can learn anything anywhere with the help of some of the best teachers in the world.
Our values - Society orientation, Life-long learning, Problem-solving, Collaboration, Innovation
We expanded our startup from cohort-based courses to building a whole infrastructure for studying online.
Our main products are:
By building all this we are going to create a decent alternative for studying in collages and provide all resources students need to succeed in self-education.
Read more about us on our website - https://www.anthillacademy.org/
How to create an IT product with a team of newbies?
It's a question that I tried to answer in my curriculum. I decided that it doesn't make sense to concentrate on some specific technology but create a course that helps the team start from scratch and in the end get a ready product and resume.
The cohort contains about 50 people or 10 teams. Each team has a captain that is the team leader and responsible for reporting and team success.
As this is a cohort-based course the curriculum is oriented on interaction with other cohort members and working in a team.
The curriculum contains 8 weeks and looks like this:
Week 1: Business (17 sustainable goals, goal setting, business model canvas) - find an idea to work on
Week 2: Project management (Agile practices, user stories, mockups) - plan your project
Week 3: Self-education (Working with a mentor, IT, learning road-maps) - learning technologies
Week 4: Solo development (Sprints, Daily standups, retro) - build product
Week 5: Project planning (Teamwork, code reviews) - plan team project
Week 6: Team project (Knowledge sharing) - build team project
Week 7: Collaboration (Handle conflicts) - build team project
Week 8: Portfolio (LinkedIn, Pitch deck) - create a resume
Each week contains about 10 assignments that have to be done in writing form and will be reviewed by mentors.
There are 6 different assignment types:
Each week whole cohort has an online meeting where mentors share their experience about the topic of the week and answer questions.
At the end of course there is a Pitch day where all teams present their project to a batch of companies representatives and investors.
The price for the whole program will be 50$.
Our next step - prepare technical assignments for people that would like to join the course, so that they can make sure they are able to pass it.
A few weeks ago our team launched close online courses for 6 IT specialists to do market discovery. We formed 2 teams and they started working on team projects. However very soon it appeared that young specialists are not able to work together as they don't understand how to organise and communicate with each other.
At this point, we realised that it's easy to learn technology but hard to learn how to apply your knowledge in a team.
I had a chance to participate in the Founder Institute cohort and it was an awesome experience. They have a step by step structure of how to create a company, they help groups to organise and provide constant mentors help. I like their business model and I think it can be applied in other areas like - creating pet projects.
So we decided to create a Founder Institute for IT specialists to help them start pet projects together.
Right now we are launching our first marketing campaign and developing weekly assignments
Our vision is a world where high-quality education is accessible for everyone regardless of race, gender, status or location.