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Homework In The Land Of Internet

Guest Post by A. Fedior submitted by Marcin.Gnat@brainly.com 

Most of us have good, or at least fond memories of their school years. We learned new things, we made friends, experienced our share of social drama- what’s not to love? As time goes by, we even grow to smile at the bad memories- after all, it’s easier to placate a temperamental boss if have some background in approaching a not-so-approachable teacher.

But there is one element of everyday school life that we hardly ever think of when taking a trip down memory lane: homework. And there is a reason for that, too. Lessons can be engaging, assuming you have a talented, enthusiastic teacher and a classroom full of young people willing to cooperate. After-school activities are a fun ride in their own right. Homework, however, has always been a tedious chore. If it was too easy, you would just glide over it without profiting from the exercise. Too difficult tasks would frustrate you and unless you had a knowledgeable parent or were able to afford a tutor, you would have to wait until the next class to get the answer. Rinse and repeat- throughout twelve years of education. Then again, the school system has never been very susceptible to change, so there is nothing that can be done. Right?

Wrong.

With the arrival of the Internet, it became obvious that not only can the aforementioned fatalistic approach be changed-it is already changing at a breathtaking rate. Year 2001 gave us Wikipedia and made virtually all those alluring-if sometimes random- bits of knowledge accessible in just a few clicks. Year 2006 brought Khan Academy and changed accessing high-quality learning from a privilege of the few into a universal right. Nothing changed about homework, though-until 2014. This year it is time for www.Brainly.com – a global group of free social learning networks – to swoop in and join the ranks of education heroes by saving homework from becoming the villain of this story.

The idea behind Brainly is simple: users spend points posting homework-related questions and earn them back by giving answers to other students’ inquiries; all forming a gamified system based on friendly competition.In other words:kids get their homework done by other kids. How is that different from cheating?

Firstly, plagiarism is strictly forbidden. No Wikipedia articles and absolutely no using someone else’s work from a book or a website. If you want to get the points, you have to rely on your knowledge and put some effort into answering.

Secondly, it’s not about just getting the right solution- it’s about learning how to handle the problem. Every step has to be thoroughly explained and answers that don’t meet Brainly’s standards are removed by the moderators and awarded no points whatsoever.

“It is our top priority to establish Brainly as an efficient, high-quality Q&A portal that gives schoolchildren the opportunity to learn from each other and balance their strengths and weaknesses.”-says Michał Borkowski, co-founder and CEO at Brainly. It sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? Many students may be interested in posting homework-related questions (especially since it’s free), but how many would want to solve them if they are struggling with their own workload?

As it turns out: millions. At the end of 2013 Brainly reached a staggering 23 million unique visitors (per month) on the network’s websites. Millions of students go online to willingly do homework, simply because on Brainly learning becomes an addictive game – and what you win are better grades, new friendships and loads of satisfaction.

Who knew it was that easy?

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