Tuition is a billion-dollar industry in Singapore, and these apps take it digital.
Local app Queri, with close to 10,000 downloads since its beta version was launched at the end of 2015, helps students get answers to their questions using credits in a bidding system.
A user poses a question and sets a number of credits to be earned, while other users bid for the right to reply – and earn the credits.
Queri’s co-developer Dexter Tan, 31, said: “I know there are platforms out there where you can ask questions for free, but the harder questions tend to go unanswered. People will want to be rewarded for their time.”
Using a different tack is Miao, a free maths app which has been downloaded more than 4,500 times since its beta version was launched in October 2016.
After users snap a photo of their question, the app uses natural language processing algorithms to analyse the question and turns up information related to it and other similar practice questions.
Said its co-founder and chief executive Betty Zhou (pictured), 25: “It’s not a solution solver. It’s more like a learning tool.”
In October 2016, tuition agency ManyTutors launched its Ask.ManyTutors app where users snap images of maths or science questions to get them answered by the agency’s base of 45,000 tutors or other users for free.
Co-founder Lai Weichang, 35, said the platform showcased the agency’s pool of tutors, publicising its current business where it gets a referral fee for matching tutors to students.
Learnly, launched early in 2016, is working on tutor-specific features, such as payment collection or scheduling of classes – for a fee.
Its co-founder and chief executive Joel Khoo, 27, likened the functions to a tutor productivity software: “It’s very easy for a tutor with one to three students to do all that, but not if they have 10 to 20 students. Potentially, we are enabling tutors to become super-tutors.”
Originally from Hong Kong, Snapask, which entered the Singapore market in November 2016, counts 20 per cent of its 7,800 tutor users and 150,000 student users from here, including those on free trials.
It sells monthly packages to student users, based on the number of questions they can ask. Tutors earn a fee per question answered.
It positions itself as a platform where students can get their questions answered any time. Said Mr Lee Wei Meng, 31, Snapask’s Singapore head of customer success,: “We try as much as possible to match when our tutors are online to when demand for questions to be answered is highest.”
By Ang Yiying, The Straits Times, last updated May 2017
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