Walk into the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle these days and the first thing that grabs your attention is the aroma. No, not of coffee roasting...
Learning a new language by talking to a native speaker, as well as playing violin with a professional: this is what most people would like to do when they decide to challenge themselves with new skills. On the other hand, many would be happy to share what they know about a specific subject. Unfortunately, this matching process is not always easy, while time and space are usually the issues that affect even the most committed students and the most skilled teachers. But what if your teacher is available for you, not necessarily close in distance, but at least remotely, through your computer? Or your student is willing to refine his/her skills in a specific time of the day online? Bandyer has been presented as a unique marketplace where anyone can teach or learn anytime, anywhere: the platform connects learners and teachers for live video sessions with a turnkey billing system payment. The easy-to-use lesson tools such as live video, collaborative white-boarding, screen sharing, file sharing, recorded sessions, chat and your choice of audio and video input, make the rest.
Filippo Rocca is the CEO of the company, based in San Francisco, and is now using a technological process that advances at breakneck speed. A totally new way for people to learn and for tutors to teach, the platform provides them with an opportunity to give value to their intellectual capital. No need to be a professor to teach a subject: users can sell their skill based on their knowledge level and set their price according to their level of confidence. Tutors earn for what they know, across any areas of interest, from math and science to arts and music, and anywhere in between.
Filippo, can you tell us more about how the platform works?
The platform focuses on connecting the right learners with the right teachers, matching desired skill set with qualified individuals based on a convenient scheduling system. You register online and create your account as a teacher and/or a learner. As a teacher, you can set your own rate and payment is guaranteed. Everything that you earn on our platform will be transferred directly to your bank account. During the initial five minutes, both learner and teacher can drop their session without being charged. We believe this is a fair solution for a student to verify that the selected teacher is the right match and viceversa.
What does Baynder mean?
That’s a good question! I wanted to find a name that could embrace our vision of passing information or discuss something in a casual way. This is one of Bandy’s meanings. Then I wondered if I could make it unique and recognizable somehow: I copied what Twitter did with the name and I googled Bandyer: I realized that nothing came up. I thought: “Great, this could help us with the SEO” which is great of course!
Why was important to have a different way to learn?
People need different ways to learn in the IT era. Life style has changed so much and so rapidly that schools sometimes struggle to catch up. Learning increasingly occurs outside of the classrooms, through laptops and smartphones. Education should be more fluid and provided by the means of new technologies to stimulate students’ interests with new interactive learning experiences. People need new tools and the capability to connect with the right teacher anytime and anywhere. Online teaching and learning are a great opportunity to make the education available to everybody at every level.
Can we consider it as an alternative way to not totally give up the human contact when learning?
Absolutely. Students interact constantly with teachers using all the tutoring tools that Bandyer provides, and give live feedbacks on their learning process. They can stay focused and committed, as opposed to many apps for learning where people do not always engage deeply with a class. Bandyer is more like a traditional home school but virtual, with the benefits coming from a software that has interactive tools and a guaranteed payment system. Moreover, you can connect with tutors from all over the world and interactively learn different cultures. The human interaction remains still crucial in the learning experience and cannot be taken over by any cold machine, no matter how technologically advanced. We hope that Bandyer will soon turn into a worldwide community that shares knowledge and culture.
What's the next goal?
Bandyer is currently building its community of teachers and learners. They already interact and meet for online lessons. We are active only in the US for now but we will open our platform worldwide very soon. Our ultimate goal remains to increase the availability of the education: learn and teach anytime from anywhere.