education.govt.nz

Online resource helps students and teachers

Issue: Volume 97, Number 9

Posted: 25 May 2018
Reference #: 1H9ive

LearnCoach founder and CEO David Cameron (left) works with LearnCoach co-founder

LearnCoach founder and CEO David Cameron (left) works with LearnCoach co-founder Mark Cameron to design a new version of the website.

From struggling student to educational entrepreneur, founder and CEO of LearnCoach David Cameron has come a long way.

The 2018 Young New Zealander of the Year and former maths teacher began the website, which provides video tutorials and practice questions, as a way to help his students prepare for their NCEA exams.

While LearnCoach started on an informal basis in 2012, the resource has now been approved by NZQA pre-moderation processes.

“Initially I just made the subjects I was teaching, so I was really confident and comfortable with the knowledge. As time went on and we started doing more subjects, I needed to get new content and also have checks and balances to make sure the content all matched up.”

From struggling student to educational entrepreneur

David was motivated by his own struggles with study during his time at school.

“I had behavioural problems when I was in school and I was lucky to have people helping me. When I became a secondary school teacher later on, you get a whole lot of students who just struggle. Struggling at school sucks. Most people who struggle, even when they disengage, would quite like to do well but they just don’t think they can and they don’t know how,” he says.

“I guess when you experience school kind of sucking yourself, you can see the same thing in a whole lot of other people you’re teaching. I just didn’t realise that the problem was so common, so it was really nice to try little bits and pieces and if it works and if it helps, it’s really cool.”

LearnCoach now has over 150,000 students watching over one million tutorials a year. But it’s not just students using the resource – there are now over 2,000 teachers registered on the site.

There are two types of teacher users, David says. One is teachers who are teaching a new subject and want to reinforce their own understanding of the subject curriculum. The other is teachers who want to provide extra resources for students who are either falling behind or want to get ahead.

“I think if you can pull out some of the content and make more support for those areas, students really love it because they get help exactly when they need it at virtually no cost, when on the other end teachers really get saved doing all of the hard catch-up stuff. I think it’s just trying to make something a little bit simpler and easier and faster for everybody with the help of technology.”

For more information, visit www.learncoach.co.nz(external link)

LearnCoach is one of a number of initiatives that help young people learn in different ways, says Ministry of Education Employer Liaison Manager Patrick McKibbin.

“To find out what helps most, we spend time connecting to organisations to understand how they help young people be successful.”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 11:35 am, 25 May 2018

Get new listings like these in your email
Set up email alerts