Can you believe that this blog exists for 21 months already? Feels like yesterday to me. And although I really love to put down my thoughts on online education, I feel that it is time for me to go a step further.
Many of you asked me early on when I will start my own platform, service, product etc as I seem to be not always happy with the ones that are on the market. Well, quoting Bill Gates in his recent interview
Now is the time.
Of course, I was thinking about a product for quite a while now but I did not feel that I or the market was ready for it. Besides that there was too much movement going on, like on a lava field of a freshly erupted volcano. Everything was in the flow. But now it seems that we have the first solid isles on top of the magma and the movements are not that spontaneous anymore. Therefore, it finally makes sense to implement my service.
The main premise that I had in mind was always to build something that adds value to the three groups involved in online education which are the students, the teachers and the service providers. I see my role in being a connector and therefore my service needs to be based on the same principles.
The concept of imtchr.com (I am teacher) was born in April 2009, soon after I had started this blog. Back then I already saw the trend of online teachers having multiple accounts across the different platforms. There are three problems related to this.
- Teachers who might be well rated and popular on one platform have to start all over on any other platform they open an account on.
- Platforms don’t know if a teacher who signs up to their service is already an experienced teacher who could help growing the reputation of the platform or a newbie who might need some extra help and guidance.
- Students who find an interesting teacher on a service but don’t like the product have no idea where else this teacher is also offering his / her services.
imtchr.com will solve each of these problems by offering one central website where every teacher can link to the platforms and services they teach on. But of course, that’s not all.
The service will be based on a freemium model. The free basic version of imtchr.com will allow teachers to link their profiles and add a short bio and a picture. This profile will also be searchable on mytchr.com which will be the complementary service for students, but more on that later.
The premium features will include more ways to customize your imtchr.com page by adding direct scheduling , direct booking and payments, links to websites, blogs, Social Media profiles, Skype and a personalized virtual classroom to name a few. In this case imtchr.com would be your virtual office on the internet.
As I mentioned above mytchr.com will be a complementary service to imtchr.com. Students will be able to search and find the best teacher based on their personal needs and preferences like matching interests, pricing, availability etc. The result will be a list of matching teachers across all platforms and services to choose from.
Why do I tell you all this? Because I need your help. This blog post started with me saying how I love to work on this blog and this is also true for all the related content I produce like EDUKWEST, review:ed, ETCon etc and I don’t want to quit all that. Therefore, I need to hire people to work on this project as I cannot take my time off and learn how to code and all that, although I would love to learn it.
Hence I am asking for your support and decided to try to crowd-found this project. This way you all will be part of a service that is aiming to boost the online teaching market and everyone of you who supports imtchr.com / mytchr.com with 25 Euro will get a free, live time premium account but to get this off the ground any whatsoever amount will be happily accepted and welcome.
Of course, I will post regular updates on the progress of the project and you will even be able to shape the product along the way by voting on the design, the user interface and so on as I want it to become your product!
In any case, thank you for your support by donating and / or spreading the word amongst your colleagues. And now let’s build something awesome together!