Our mission at OpenStudy has always been to help students of the world succeed.. We know study help is the the first and most important step to a student’s success – but there is more to succeeding than good grades. So our efforts at OpenStudy have been focused step by step on getting you, our OpenStudier’s closer to your goals.
We built our social learning platform and community of helpers and scaled it so millions come each month to our site to get help. Our community has grown and thrived by helping one another. But social learning is more than just learning. There are relationships, advice, mentoring, support – a virtual family.
The second step was to provide you, our OpenStudiers with a way to track your performance, to assess what you are good at, and that led to the SmartScore. We called it going beyond grades, and began telling you about how good you were as a problem solver, a teamwork and how engaged you were with OpenStudy. Then we launched Titles, so that you could tell the world how good you were in a specific subject. These are all about developing and demonstrating your credentials!
Our next step is to nudge you forward on your path to success, whether it is to college, graduate school, a job or internships. You will be able to request an OpenStudy transcript, a volunteering certificate, a letter of recommendation… all documenting your activity on the site. But more on that later.
The Qualified Helper program is about giving you something more, both for the helpers on the site and the people seeking help. With these credentials you have developed on OpenStudy, you can now become a Qualified Helper. Qualified Helpers provide paid help and therefore get something back when they help. Think of it as using those credentials to make money. Think of it as OpenStudy giving its best users something back for all the time they have invested in helping the community learn. Think of it as our salute to the best OpenStudy helpers! And think of it as raising the quality of help you receive.
So how does this work?
You can see which Qualified Helpers are online at the moment. This first set of Qualified Helpers are Awesome and have beens specially picked. Here is what happens:
1. You are looking for help in Math, (works only in Math now) and want some expert help.
2. Click on the “Ask a question” box, as usual.
3. Then click on the Ask Qualified Helpers at the bottom of the box.
4. You will be asked to buy OwlBucks with your credit card through PayPal. Remember, you can buy Owlbucks with a credit card on PayPal or a bank account tied to your PayPal account. Its really easy. You will need to buy a minimum of $9.99 for 50 OwlBucks. Each time Qualified Help is only 10 OwlBucks so you can ask for help 5 times with 50 OwlBucks.
5. Next 10 OwlBucks will be deleted from your account.
6. You will be sent back to your question. Your question appears blue in the feed so everyone knows that you have paid for help.
7. A message is sent to all Qualified Helpers online to come to your question.
8. They start helping you.
9. You get an explanation, and are happy.
10. You will see a little golden bell on top of your screen moving around. Click on it. You will be asked to rate your Qualified Helper. Please rate them. If you do not rate them, they do not get their rewards.
11. Come back and ask for Qualified Help again!
Apply to be a qualified Helper. Here is the link:
So take it for a spin. Ask a Qualified Helper. You’ll help yourself, help someone who has helped many before and help OpenStudy.
Check out OwlBuzz, produced by our OpenStudy interns, ambassadors and moderators! Thank you for your hard work!
Design and submit a friend for Owlfred.
We’ll pick the top 10.
Begin with the standard Owl graphic.
Personalize it, give it some personality.
Add a caption, a name, tell us why this Owl deserves to be a Top 10 Best Friend.
The image should be 500×500 pixels, png or jpeg, on a transparent background.
Send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline Dec 10
Don’t forget add your real name and OpenStudy username in your email.
If your Owl design meets our criteria, we’ll upload it to openstudytutorials.weebly.com
Winners will receive the brand new Owlbucks!
Do numbers tell a story? 2 Million, that is the number of learners who came to OpenStudy in September looking for help. 1,590,443 questions asked. 22,049,458 OpenStudiers we have helped over the last 3 years. What stories do these numbers tell?
There is the story of Pokemon23 who asked for help when he was failing his math classes and an OpenStudier helped. He blazed back a trail of glory that is helping him get through college. There is the story of Compassionate who came for help and has stayed to help, finding time between being a high school senior and his job and everything. Or Parthkohli who came to get help with homework, and then became our youngest to reach level 99 helping over and over again in Math, and we are not talking just middle school stuff. Or the story of countless learners who have made OpenStudy their home and like the night owls they are, flock to the site to make these numbers happen.
But these numbers also tell you our story.
A question is a cry for help. A raised hand. And we believe, very firmly, that it is a show of strength. So we built OpenStudy to put some power back in these hands – to give them the tools to ask for help, to offer the reassurance they seek.
How you respond to a raised hand can make a world of difference. It can make the difference between failure and success – and between an engaged or a disengaged student. By being there, at that crucial moment when a learner asks for help, we feel we play a small role in increasing the chances of success.
And from the numbers, it looks like we have done that over 22 million times.
To rephrase a quote from the world’s most famous headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, “Help is always given at OpenStudy to those who ask for it.”
This means a lot to me. Thank you
Data_LG2 is a high schooler in need of community service hours. Instead of volunteering at her local middle school, Data spends her time on OpenStudy. Its no different to helping out the struggling sixth grader at Middle School, Anytown, USA. Except, perhaps in that Data is able to volunteer around her schedule, and from the comfort of her laptop, at home, at nights, and whenever! Doing this Data has earned a Community Service Record with a tally of her time spent actually helping people on the site. She was willing to share it with us and Community Service Letter
Want a community service record for yourself? Coming in December. Sign up here
Our Faculty Club is off a great start. At the first meeting, one of our faculty OpenStudiers suggested a new study group for students studying for AP exams. “I am teaching AP calculus this year and there are about 10 students in my class.” said Martha Sorunke, a high school teacher from Texas. “It would be great if these students could study with a larger circle of peers! I would love for them to study for the AP exams together and get help from some of the OpenStudiers.”
So OpenStudy is going to help you out. Starting this week, anyone studying for an AP exam in the following subjects, Math, Chemistry, Biology, History, Economics, Computer Science, and Physics will have a special subgroup to post their questions and ask for help. And as for you, smart OpenStudiers, lets see who is smart enough to explain these challenging questions and help a high schooler learn!
Oh, if you know of anyone else that is working on an AP course this year, invite them to OpenStudy! Why study alone? Teachers, tell your students of this free resource!
And if you are a teacher and want to join the Faculty Club and help chart the future course of OpenStudy, here is the link.
Here is the latest edition of OwlBuzz, the OpenStudier’s own guide to the community, created by OpenStudiers and for the community:
This time, Akashdeep takes over the leadership role, with guidance from Kush and Shruti and Rebecca, check out what the talented team has put together for you!
Here is a little more about Nikolas, our Social Media Manager.
Greetings to the OpenStudy Community!
I am a California native who grew up in a Los Angeles suburb, then attended the University of California, Berkeley. I’ve always had a strong interest in language and composition and started taking English courses. I took an introductory programming course for fun, and found that I really enjoyed it. I started taking more programming classes at Berkeley, but quickly realized I wasn’t very passionate about coding. By now I had also begun taking several psychology courses and had been considering a move into that department, but wanted to incorporate the approach to problem solving that computer science offered. I found the Cognitive Science department and after taking a few introductory courses, declared it as my major. I was fascinated by its approach to understanding the brain and how humans navigate our world. What appealed to me most was that Cognitive Science draws from so many disciplines – Computer Science, Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Anthropology – and leverages all of their approaches to problem solving in a cohesive way.
To compliment my Cog Sci courses, I took a variety of music classes, earning myself a minor in the field. I filled a lot of my free time playing and performing with different groups, and music is still a huge passion of mine. I was a member of Berkeley’s Multimedia Orchestra and performed in the clubs first event. I worked for some time as a research assistant in the Affective Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Berkeley, studying human emotion in the brain using fMRI. Specifically, I was working on the role of salient emotional content in images and how it affects decision-making. After four awesome years, this past December marked the end of my undergraduate career at UC Berkeley. I made life long friendships, and learned more than I could have imagined inside and outside the classroom.
That’s a bit about the last four years of my life, and now I look to the future. Working with OpenStudy so far has been a great experience, and I look forward to what’s ahead. Providing free education assistance to anyone with an Internet connection is a noble cause, and navigating the OpenStudy community has already been an amazing experience. There exists an entire community of eager and honest students who are helping each other on the site, and having a lot of fun doing it. Spreading the OpenStudy message online has already brought me into contact with a multitude of educators and organizations. This is an exciting time for education, and I think that the connection many social media platforms provide can be leveraged to give educators an insight into what it is students need, and how they learn best. The classroom is an ever-evolving environment, and how technology is incorporated will be one of the most important aspects of future learning. If you want to chat, find me on twitter @openstudy. Send me your suggestions and feedback on OpenStudy, I’m listening.
Over 2500 schools are represented in the global OpenStudy community! Both students and educators come together to learn. So why a FacClub? I truly appreciated my years as a faculty at Emory University, especially the rich conversations about education with other faculty and administrators. Both students and faculty benefit from these conversations Many learning initiatives and programs were created in these water-cooler conversations! And so, the idea of a FacClub was born.
The OpenStudy FacClub looks to promote these conversations between the educators on our site. Uniquely, we host global teachers and educators across the spectrum of education, K-16 and beyond. Imagine the conversations and the exchange of ideas, and most importantly, the solutions for learning that could emerge.
We are looking for a few good folks to join the Club!
1. What will Club members do?
The OpenStudy FacClub will be a think tank in the emerging area of open social learning.
Members will in conversations and online gatherings, develop strategies to improve learning outcomes on our site, advise the OpenStudy team on educational issues and promote research efforts to understand learning on the site.
2. How much work is it?
We anticipate two one hour meetings in the beginning to set up the club, select a Chairperson, and develop an agenda. After the initial meetings, we expect monthly or quarterly meetings.
3. Who is eligible?
We invite educators at schools and colleges, administrators working in educational systems, and teachers in training, in graduate teacher training programs, currently employed or retired.
4. How do I apply?
The link to the application form is here. Please fill it out completely. We will need evidence of your status so we will need a school id to confirm that you are indeed an educator and a drivers license.
5. When will this get started?
We plan to launch the club by August 21st.
OpenStudiers are not only helping each other on the site, but have taken the initiative to create a newsletter to keep members of the community connected!
The OwlPost is by OpenStudiers, for OpenStudiers and well, about OpenStudiers! Need I say more?
The talented team led by Mathslover includes Shrutipande and Akashdeep, with some input from AshleyTrevino, and ParthKohli.