Latino-led learning platform aims to help close educational gaps
A learning platform founded by two Latinos is starting to make waves with TikTok-style lessons for high schoolers in the U.S.
Driving the news: Emile Learning offers high production, short and engaging videos for subscribers, modeled after the content young people consume.
- It came about as the pandemic forced students to go online, resulting in even wider educational gaps among K-12 students.
Details: There are around 40 classes available for AP college credit, as well as electives rarely offered in schools, such as financial literacy, Java coding or music production.
- The lessons come in 10-minute videos accompanied by digital study guides, graded assignments, test prep reviews and community forums to interact with teachers and peers.
- The curriculum is free for students whose school districts have adopted the program.
- Social media stars like TikToker and Harvard student Jordan Sanchez and science YouTuber Dave Farina lead the classes.
What they’re saying: “Students are growing up as digital natives and in a multicultural reality, but it’s almost impossible for schools to match that diversity and connectedness in faculty, administration or in a physical environment,” co-founder Felix Ruano told Axios Latino.
- “There are tons of students with untapped potential that won’t otherwise have access to these curriculums, and a lot of those students are Latino, so with this we’re saying: ‘Let’s meet them where they are in an engaging manner and there’ll be a higher chance of better learning outcomes.'”
- Michael Vilardo, the other founder, added that the initial experiences with virtual learning during early pandemic shutdowns laid bare how disparities in education can extend to the digital realm.
- "So the opportunity to provide all students with these top educators from the comfort of their computer [with Emile] can increase equity," Vilardo said.
Over 70 school districts have signed up since the platform’s wide launch in mid-2021, the co-founders said.
- Users don’t have to be in high school to enroll.
- More than 50,000 learners of all ages are already enrolled, they said.
- Vilardo and Ruano want to have around 80 accredited courses by the end of this year, and possibly expand to other countries, like Colombia and Mexico.
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