In recent months, an overwhelming obstacle that students had to overcome was online learning, due to Covid 19. Exams were cancelled, pupils were given out predicted grades whilst being unable to prove themselves through exams and a significant lack of interaction with other people and teachers. In this absence of live learning and teaching, the app EasyA and its creators have been a life-saving tool for students. EasyA is an online platform that connects you to a tutor with just a simple photo of a maths problem you’re struggling with!
I have had the chance to interview Phil Kwok who is co-founder of EasyA and get a real insight into his and his team’s aims and goals. We discussed the inspirations behind the app, if his own personal challenges lent credence to the development of the app. Here are Phil’s comments on the discussion.
What was the inspiration behind EasyA?
I think what made us really start EasyA was derived from a problem and the problem was being stuck on a math question and you know, not being able to ask somebody for help. When you’re in a classroom and actually sitting there, you can put up your hand and you can ask the teacher for help. However, a lot of the time you aren’t in a situation where you have access to a teacher and I think all of us have been in that situation. And that’s where EasyA plays a crucial role by using technology and the internet and we could actually make it as simple as pressing a button and getting help! A bit like how Uber transformed the transportation and food industry.
Did any of your personal challenges lend credence to the development of the app?
I guess it’s a problem I had for a while. In schools, there’s a stigma against asking questions, especially questions when one genuinely doesn’t know the answer which puts one in a vulnerable position. This carries onto university as well, particularly when you only meet with your supervisor once every two weeks. So I want the help immediately and I don’t really want to put off my work till I meet with my supervisor again. I guess this same logic applies to EasyA because you get the help you need immediately from the tutors.
Any big future projects that you’re planning on?
To be honest, EasyA is the big project. However, we want to dive more into how we make learning more social. Learning is often a solitary experience; traditionally you’re meant to learn, revise and do exam practice on your own which can be difficult at times due to procrastination or lack of motivation. Whereas in a community you have people supporting you and hence, you’re able to make a lot more improvements. We’re looking at the next wave of education which is going to be communalised and being motivated by others, studying together and having that community available to everyone.
Thanks to EasyA, thousands of students across the UK are able to get quality help from university and A-level students and in the process, they develop their own knowledge too!