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School Friendzy - Collaborative Learning

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Rather than just using technology to re-implement existing homework strategies, School Friendzy builds in superb collaborative and assistive features.

Teacher Review

School Friendzy is built around collaboration and overcoming the problem of limited teacher time.  

Teachers often use homework to provide learners with further practice of what was taught in their lessons. This is an easy task to administer within this app. Teachers create the assignment in the app and can use existing worksheets and textbooks by taking a photograph of the relevant page.  

The first time that teachers set an assignment, there is a little work to be done as question types and answers are defined and supporting resources, such as videos, are attached. Thankfully, this is a one-off process as it can be saved and future classes can be issued the same assignment very easily.

The main problem with the standard homework approach is what to do if students realise that they don't understand or remember how to complete the assignment.

School Friendzy offers a number of clever solutions. Firstly, as mentioned, teachers can attach supporting resources.  Links to videos, websites and Google Drive files can be attached. The app itself accesses the vast array of Khan Academy videos.

Secondly, there are the collaboration aspects of the app. Students have a variety of options for each question that they don't know how to solve.  One option lets them view how others have solved the same question. They can learn from this and rate the clarity of their classmate's answer.

The most innovative and defining feature of this app is the facility to request help from a tutor.  Tutors can be staff or other students. Communication between tutor and tutee is anonymous and performed through text and drawing.

This is an excellent feature that could really help to lift the learning ethos of a school. Those asking for help get it quickly and don't contribute to overwhelming a teacher with more demands on their time. Those doing the tutoring develop their explanation and communication skills, gain experience that they can use in the future, and consolidate their own understanding. Knowledge and learning get their due appreciation across the school.

This isn't to say that teachers are not part of the process. When they come to appraise each student's performance, teachers can see what assistance was asked for.  They can also see any working out and any supporting files that the student attached.

School Friendzy is an app that needs to be built into your school's learning culture. Learners need to know that tutors will respond. Tutors need to know that there is a value to the service hours and ratings that they earn from offering their help.  

It is an app with many features and both teachers and students will need a short time to get to grips with it. It is by no means difficult but, as with other full-featured software, there is a learning curve to master. It is much more economical and sensible to do this if every subject across the school embraces it.

There are many apps that offer to ease marking and assessment for teachers but few that offer a corresponding improvement in the experience of students. School Friendzy does both in an innovative and inclusive way.  Schools that value collaboration in learning will find a great deal to like about this app.
 

Screenshots

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From the Developer

School Friendzy app is a school assignment and homework collaborative learning system. It offers FREE live tutors and tutoring for all students. It assigns and grades schoolwork, saving teachers hundreds of hours! It works for all school subjects and is in English and Spanish.

This collaborative learning system allows teachers to assign schoolwork to be done at school or at home from their own textbooks or other available worksheets. Teachers can also browse thousands of learning resources and instructional videos and include them with their assignments.

If students have a problem with an assignment, they can see how other classmates answered and explained each problem correctly for half credit. This allows students to learn multiple strategies for solving the same problem.

If students still need help, they can connect with a free live tutor. Tutors are honor roll students from the same school or nearby high schools or colleges who have agreed to tutor students in exchange for service hours. With millions of service hours that need to be earned by students nationwide, this is the most cost-effective way to help our students.

School Friendzy is paperless schoolwork, thereby saving millions of trees.

For teachers, School Friendzy offers the following features:

a) Submits schoolwork (assignments or homework) from teachers' own curriculum by allowing them to simply take a photo of their textbook sheet and upload the sheet to the app
b) Allows them to create assignments that can be done anywhere and anytime: at school, at home, in the park
c) Grades homework automatically, saving teachers hundreds of hours
d) Includes thousands of educational videos from Khan Academy that can be included along with assignments
e) Tracks students' progress and performance
f) Assigns individualized homework or remedial work to students
g) Shows how many students got each assignment problem right or wrong

For students, School Friendzy offers the following features:

a) Gives instant feedback indicating whether they did an assignment right or wrong
b) Shows them how other classmates solved the assignment problems correctly
c) Connects them with free online tutors
d) Allows them to do school assignments anywhere, anytime, on any smartphone, tablet, or computer
e) Grants access to hundreds of thousands of learning resources in most school subjects

For schools, School Friendzy offers the following features:

a) Allows them to create a network of live tutors to offer FREE live tutoring for all students. These tutors are honor roll students from the same school or nearby high schools or colleges who have agreed to tutor other students in exchange for service hours or community service. Tutors are managed by teachers, and students and tutors connect remotely and anonymously in a very safe environment.

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