It all started with an Advanced Placement Environmental Science class at North Creek High School. Most of the students in the class did very poorly on the midterm exam. While it wasn’t the case for the entire class, it seemed like there was a little bit of a disconnect between the teacher, the students, and the coursework. Inspired by Khan Academy, a handful of students took it upon themselves to create educational videos to disseminate the knowledge in a different style. Almost right away, numerous students became more engaged and their performance in the class spiked.
Initially, there were still students that failed to connect with the coursework but really enjoyed their peers’ innovative approach. This sparked a thought: what if teens could create a platform where they could teach one another, learning about subjects that sparked their interests from kids just like them?
Deepthi Chandra, who is 17 and a Junior while holding the position of Chief Executive Officer at eclipsnotes.com said, “There is a need for building up community instead of hate around young people. In the educational realm, the problem of teens feeling lost and alone persists because the teen is often taken out of the learning equation when courses are designed and executed. As a result, stress, anxiety, and other mental health disorders have become epidemics in schools, preying upon younger and younger cohorts of students. We strive to solve this problem by focusing our courses entirely around young people, as the courses are taught and viewed by teens. With this work to fill educational gaps, the most rewarding aspect of teaching our peers is that we get to see teens’ perspectives on themselves and the road ahead change because of our content. Students’ confidence in their ability to learn can increase when they find relatable content and inspiration on eclipsnotes.com. Seeing students be encouraged by our videos makes our efforts so meaningful.”
Eclipsnotes mission is to help teens find their passions through teen-taught online courses on our media-sharing site with no hate, likes, or views – just bonding. They do this through teaching one another about their passions. Currently, they host two separate podcasts under the titles of Speak and Learn focusing on language and what Eclipsnotes has deemed “the essentials”, respectively. A separate category is titled Explore and prompts the user, “Send us topics, themes, and tutorials you want to see.”
Deepthi understands the demand for a more digital and equitable way to spread good ideas. Low-residency programs, courses being taught exclusively online, and the accessibility of information have allowed the permanence of remote-teaching. As it turns out, people learn differently.
“Many times, a student and [a] physical learning environment just don’t click,” said Deepthi. She continued, “In that case, a “remote” education can help level the playing field because anyone with internet can access a wide variety of online content. Even if students do quite well in the physical classroom, supplemental “remote” educations can help them explore new interests by learning on their own time.”
There are no “likes”, “views”, or ratings of any kind on eclipsnotes.com. This format allows focus on the content and the creators instead of the numbers, drive for social standing, or even the negativity that internet trolls use as poison on even the most promising and productive platforms. Eclipsnotes.com focuses on building long-term partnerships by fostering relationships with individuals and organizations in the community because the members of this group know they have tapped into the intellects’ of so many teens that were previously left curious and confused.
For those interested in getting involved, Deepthi has an easy list to help figure out where your efforts or interests might fit best:
Be a teen teacher/help produce content
Join the team as a board member or volunteer
Start a chapter at your school
Find and explore your passion at eclipsnotes.com
She concluded, “our entire platform is about an individual’s meaning and journey as opposed to tasks such as mastering calculus or finishing a homework assignment. It is about the learning you do even if it is not an assignment, requirement, or expectation.”