Discover, Learn, Achieve: Join the Movement Redefining Education

We are building an online open learning platform to make our vision for what education should be a reality. A place with community created educational content (publicly licensed, like Wikipedia), where learners are really in charge of their own learning journey.

We are taking the best aspects of project based learning , peer review, an online community and the in-classroom experience and combining them into one coherent educational model.

If this sounds interesting to you, we would love to connect with you! We are building a community of education enthusiasts, so we can shape the next evolution of education together!

Your education is our goal

An Education that is yours. That is our fundamental vision, where people learn out of their own curiosity and really explore “What do I want to learn?”.

Unfortunately, current formal education doesn't encourage people to ask that question. It's not made to adapt to the way people learn on an individual basis and it fails to capture their intrinsic motivation to learn.

In fact, we argue current formal education deteriorates intrinsic motivation . Not only in its students, but also in its teachers!


With our platform, we present 2 solutions to this problem:

  1. By building a large library of community maintained educational materials (mostly in the form of project descriptions) we want to give students (and teachers) many more high quality options to choose from.

    This will allow schools to offer more than just a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Students (together with their teachers) will be able to personalise their own curriculum, and really learn what they want to learn!

  2. With our learning platform, students can easily set goals, track their progress and request reviews from peers and teachers. They can study materials that are beyond what their school can offer them.

    By working on projects that are aligned with their own goals, and by removing the pressure of grades and exams, students keep the motivation to learn more. While teachers can still easily track progress and guide their students through their own personalised curriculum.

    And whenever the teacher's knowledge or time falls short of their students' needs, the students can reach out to the large (online) community of peers for help!

We want to give all students and teachers worldwide the ability to contribute to the same educational materials. We believe that together we will create the largest, best and most up to date collection of educational content out there.

Problems in the current formal education model

Problem Solution
Lack of Personalization, Lack of Choice
Students define their own Learning Path

Our learning platform goes beyond the traditional idea of subjects like Math, Physics, Languages or History. Because the content will be created by the community, the possibilities are endless.

Some possibilities are:

  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Woodworking
  • Film Making
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Anime
  • Design
  • Architecture
  • Music

It's also possible a project encompasses elements from a combination of subjects. For example, a product design project could be a combination of Math, Physics, Engineering and Art.

Bad Feedback from exams / work
Feedback from peers and teachers is built in to the system

Grading isn't feedback. In most cases the grade is perceived as more important than the learning.

This work affirms an observation that many classroom teachers have made about their students: if a paper is returned with both a grade and a comment, many students will pay attention to the grade and ignore the comment.

—Brookhart (2008, p. 8)

We want to change this by making feedback the only source of for grading. There are no grades, only feedback. This feedback can come from peers, teachers, or anyone else who is interested in the project.

Focus on certificates and diplomas and less on workings.
The proof is in the pudding. Students hand in their work and make it visible to the public.

While these are seen as a “proof” of learning, they remove the focus from what was actually learned. For instance all the effort that was put into notes that were done during lectures / classes are often lost upon graduation.

Instead, we want to certify that a student has learned something by having them show their work to the public.

CV wise this carries more weight as experts in the field can actually engage and see the work you've done. They can interact with the comments and feedback given by others and get a overall more in depth view of your skills.

Lack of overview of students.
Student progress is tracked and easily evaluated by teachers and other school staff

Teachers often resort to many different solutions to keep track of their students. A popular approach is to use a LMS (Learning Management System) like Moodle or Blackboard.

We want to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly way to track and engage with students regarding their progress. (Like our example of a personalized learning graph at the top of this page)

Failure is punished
In our system, "failure" is seen as an actual learning opportunity.

While almost everyone agrees that it's okay and even important to fail, and many schools will say they encourage failing.

In reality failure in school is punished:

  • Getting a bad grade
  • Redoing a year
  • Mandatory extra classes
  • ...

We eliminate this by not having grades and by not having a fixed pace. If you "fail", you just try again. In fact "failure" is simply determined if a student deems that a learning objective has not been met.

FAQ

What is your goal and how does it support education?

Our main goal is to create a learning model based on research (like Self Determination Theory) so students can be focussed on their own growth instead of grades and academic achievements.

How can teachers integrate your platform into their existing curriculum?

Our platform is/will be accessible for anyone to create projects and share them with students. It helps you set up a curriculum while giving a lot of independence and options for students to be in charge of their own learning.

It also puts a strong focus on learning goals (“concepts”) more than specific projects, allowing students to learn the same concepts in multiple different projects created by the community.

What features do you offer to enhance student learning?

Our model puts trust in the learner. We want intrinsic motivation to be the core, so we don't offer external rewards for this reason. We not only agree with “You're learning for yourself, not for anyone else,” but we also think it's time to apply it because way too often children realize that grades, diplomas, and social pressure are the reasons why they learn.

We want to reduce this and work towards a model that fixes it. Students can subscribe to any existing project without restrictions, letting them study anything that catches their interest. Every user of the platform can create or submit updates to projects, helping maintain things up to date and the overall quality.

Are physical schools obsolete?

No! The platform is accessible to everyone online, but schools are essential for social development and learning to work in a team. However, the pandemic has shown that a lot of learning can also be done online.

A connected platform allows your top students in art, math, or kernel development to find similarly minded students from anywhere to discuss, provide feedback, or work together on advanced topics, but it doesn't compete with the physical space to meet, share, and learn.

We view it as a more hybrid approach.

What technical requirements are needed to use your platform?

We are building a web-based platform, so all you need is a modern web browser.

Each school is free to provide the environment that best suits their needs. Wether it's a computer lab, their own devices, or really anything else.

I have more questions!

Feel free to connect with Oscar on LinkedIn or send an email to oscar@nextdemy.com!

Interesting, I want to know more!

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