Category Archives: Apps

Here comes ‘the Uber for tutors’, courtesy two Indian American students

University of California, Riverside’s Sultan Khan and Haasith Sanka’s ‘Scholarly’ app connects students with nearby tutors; available as free download on Google Play and Apple App Store

India At Large staff

Say hello to the ‘Uber for tutors’ – Scholarly – an on-demand tutoring service that connects students with nearby tutors. Created by two computer science students at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) – Sultan Khan and Haasith Sanka – the app had won first place at the world’s largest education ‘Hackathon’ in October. It is now available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The service is simple: tutors create profiles, which can be viewed by students looking for help in a particular subject. Users can view tutor profiles, set meeting locations, and get help with their studies at the click of a button. Most of the app’s current activity is generated by the UCR community, but the creators plan to grow their tutor network and expand the service to K-12 students and their parents in the coming months.

The team developed the android version of Scholarly at HackingEDU, which was held in San Mateo, California, in October last year and drew more than 1,000 hackers from universities around the world. The competition challenged students to turn their ideas into functional software that would improve the education system—and they had just 36 hours to do it.

For Khan and Sanka, that meant working through the night to create their app. After placing in the top 10, the Highlanders were invited to present Scholarly to a panel of judges, which landed them in first place. Khan, a senior in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering, said courses in software engineering and technical writing prepared them to develop professional software and pitch it to a wide audience. Since winning the competition, the students have been working to improve the android app and create the iOS version.

“One of the challenges about developing apps is that even when you’ve done a good job there is always room for improvement. That’s one of the things I love about creating apps and the reason I want to work in the field of software development when I graduate,” Khan told UCR Today.

For Sanka, a freshman, the reward will be seeing how the app helps other students.

“We both believe that one-on-one tutoring is beneficial, so we are proud to have created something that will contribute to students’ success,” he told UCR Today.

Khan and Sanka developed the iOS version of the app with Amanda Berryhill, a senior in computer science.

Pic courtesy: UCR Today

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Meet 15-year-old Trisha — innovator, social entrepreneur, advocate and inventor of ReThink, an app that attempts to stop cyberbullying

trisha-prabhu-rethink-cyberbullying-headshot.jpg

India At Large staff

Trisha Prabhu says 52% of adolescents online in the US alone have been cyber bullied. She told Mail Online: “In the spur of the moment or under peer pressure, many kids post offensive messages online without realising the extent of the damage they are causing. But, as my research shows, if they are provided a chance to pause, review and ‘ReThink’ their decision to post this message, kids change their minds and decide to not post a hurtful message.”

Fifteen-year-old Prabhu is an innovator, social entrepreneur, advocate and inventor of ReThink — an app that attempts to stop cyberbullying. She is currently attending Neuqua Valley High School as a sophomore in Naperville, Illinois, US. Deeply moved by the silent pandemic of cyberbullying and passionate to stop it in adolescents, Prabhu created the patented technology product ‘ReThink’ that stops cyberbullying at the source, before the bullying occurs, before the damage is done. Her research has found that with ReThink, adolescents change their mind 93% of the time and decide not to post an offensive message.

“ReThink is a simple, innovative, transformational solution that changes bulIies’ behaviour and helps develop sound decision-making skills on and off internet,” says Prabhu, who invented ReThink when she was just 13 years old.

The alert appears as a pop-up window on the screen. “We’re giving them a chance to rethink their decision, at which point they can either hit clear, ‘Maybe I do want to think about this,’ or they can go ahead and decide that they want to post the message,” Prabhu told ABC News.

The app is built with a growing database of trigger words and phrases that could be offensive and the sophisticated program is intuitive.

The idea for ReThink was born when she learned about 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, who committed suicide after allegedly being cyberbullied by two classmates.

The research won her a coveted spot as a Google Science Fair 2014 Global Finalist.

Prabhu was also invited to the White House Science Fair to be a featured exhibitor of ReThink. She was selected as Global Teen Leader 2015 by the We Are Family Foundation and was awarded the ‘Global Anti-Bullying Hero’ award from Auburn University, ‘Anti-Bullying Champion’ award by the Princess Diana Awards, UK, and Upstander Legacy Celebration award from Tyler Clementi Foundation. She is also a proud recipient of several other awards including the ‘Daily Points of Light’ awarded by the George H W Bush Foundation for extraordinary social volunteering and service.

Pic courtesy: cyberbullying.org

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