What motivated you to start Lrnkey?
I moved to Fort McMurray, Canada with my wife and children from Armenia in 2012. As I was looking for a French tutor for my children, I realized our geographic limitations were greater than I imagined. The nearest tutor to our house was unaffordable and at least 30 miles away. After a bit of research, I found out from a friend that there was a French tutor hosting classes over Skype, and her prices were much more affordable to a middle-income family such as ours.
That’s when the seed for Lrnkey.com
was planted. What if we could build a website where learners looking to learn a skill or a profession can easily find a match for an online teacher at a more affordable rate?
The year that followed was full of brainstorming meetings, research, bouncing ideas off of friends and family, and envisioning the technology behind all this that could make it a reality. In April of 2020, LRNKEY© was launched.
Today, the requirements for skills and knowledge are changing rapidly, and the existing education systems are not flexible enough to adapt. LRNKEY© provides an opportunity to close that gap by connecting learners and coaches in real-time through interactive sessions. The subjects that the portal will cover range from school tutoring to teaching foreign languages, coding, computer science, DJ-ing, social skills, interactive cooking sessions, or career development advice.
You can quickly upskill and improve your knowledge and competencies that you may need to
With live facetime-type courses, it is obvious that the efficiency is much higher than with pre-recorded video courses. LRNKEY provides a personalized and customizable approach in your exclusive classroom at an affordable rate. You need less time to address your unique needs, and the learning process is based on your level of experience. Not like a video course that is made for hundreds of thousands of users.
Most importantly, the cornerstone of our philosophy for LRNKEY© is that it should be a win-win model. On the one hand, the platform provides an income opportunity to skilled workers who may be unemployed temporarily, do not embrace the traditional workforce culture, or even retired people who need additional income or just wish to impart their knowledge. On the other hand, we have the learners, such as my kids in need of a French tutor, who can easily search, narrow down and match with a coach who fits their criteria using the platform’s rating and review system, integrated calendar, and message center all in a few clicks.
What were the challenges of starting a teaching platform?
There is no playbook. As with any other startup, the road is full of learnings and challenges. Trial and error is an everyday routine and you have to get used to failing. Especially when targeting the whole world. There are technical problems that have to be solved. Payment and integration of the time zones, scheduling, and live lessons. And still today we are working with our users to see what their needs are and based on that feedback we are adding new features and options for our users.
Some of the most popular features are:
- Your first lesson with most of our teachers and tutors is free. It gives you a chance to get to know the instructor and share your expectations.
- a loyalty system where the users are receiving Lrnkoins to pay for their lessons.
- an extensive referral system where you can share links with your friends and both of you will receive bonuses.
Can you share some tips with those who would like to start teaching online?
It may sound very simple, but the first thing to do is to start. All of us have skills and knowledge that we are not using in our everyday life, we have passions and hobbies.
You may wonder where to start?
First thing is to make a plan and break down the material into digestible pieces. When you have your first introductory lesson with your new student, you will understand what their immediate needs are. Your students’ questions will shape the curriculum. That is the biggest advantage of one-on-one learning. It is unique to every learner and you don’t have to waste time by explaining things that are not required.
It will take you 10-15 minutes to register as a teacher/instructor on Lrnkey.com.
On our Youtube channel, you can find a couple of “how-to” videos that will help you go through the steps. Making a professional-looking and amazing profile is key to your success. Using high-resolution photos and videos to showcase your talents will help your potential students to make the right decision.
You can teach only a couple of hours a day. Lrnkey team will work with you to support and grow the number of students that you have and maybe you can turn this into a full-time job. Isn’t it better to share your passion and do what you love versus your boring 9 to 5 job?
You can teach so many things – languages that you speak, software that you are an expert in, your hobbies like knitting or woodworking. Opportunities are endless. It is all in your hands.
Has Covid-19 affected your business, customers, and industry?
We launched our platform at the onset of the COVID pandemic, which posed a significant challenge for us. During that time, numerous organizations and companies involved in learning and education transitioned to online platforms, creating intense competition for us.
And how do you envision the future of your industry?
We believe that education and learning are best when there is a transfer of information from a human to a human. We all have experienced how tiresome and boring it is to learn using pre-recorded video courses. There is no interaction, no opportunities to ask questions. When you do not understand something, the only option you have is to rewind and watch again.
Technology was created to support and complete people – not replace them. And we see us utilizing new technology to facilitate human-to-human interaction. We are planning to integrate AR and VR technologies into our platform. Imagine learning chemistry in a VR lab where you can see all the chemical reactions at a molecular level, or walking with dinosaurs with the students and explaining volcanoes in a VR crater.