By Howard Cohen, MPP 2018, CEO & Co-Founder of StudyBuddy
The background story
My childhood friend, Nathaniel Blumer, and I were in the library one day, struggling with assignments and had no way of knowing who else was working on the same class at the same time nearby. We sought to develop a mobile app that could ensure you always have a StudyBuddy at your fingertips in the same way that Uber ensures that a ride is always just minutes away. Knowing that studying is better with a #studybuddy, we co-founded StudyBuddy to offer a quick fix for your study problems and to help you connect with classmates nearby.
A Harvard venture: share with your class & you could win a prize!
A few weeks ago, we were accepted to the Harvard Venture Incubation Program and are now looking to develop a network of students at the Harvard Kennedy School who are willing to introduce the application to one of their classes (or to their undergraduate university institutions).
Our goal is to have a success story first at HKS and then replicate that model across Harvard, North America, and ultimately, the world! Dreaming big is what we do around here, right? J One day, we’ll be able to say it all started here at HKS.
If you’re interested in what we’re doing or are willing to introduce the app to your class and cohort, please message me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to hear your feedback and ideas!
The student who shares the StudyBuddy app the most will get taken out for lunch. Could it be a lunch with Michelle Obama? Probably not. But is it worth sharing the StudyBuddy app to find out? Probably.
Getting StudyBuddy off the ground requires that everyone download the app. It only works if we’re all connected. If we can’t together deal with the simple collective action challenge I’m presenting to you in this article, then how will we tackle much more complex collective action problems that we endeavor to solve when we leave HKS? Help out a fellow student, take 2 minutes to try out StudyBuddy and we’ll all be more connected.
Kind of like Tinder, but for studying
Think back to the first day of the semester at Harvard. You’re in a class with new classmates you’ve never met before. Currently, there’s no way for you to know who else nearby is studying the same thing and then to meet up for an impromptu study session. With StudyBuddy, that classmate whose DTS (Down to Study) is always at your fingertips.
We’re using technology to (1) help you get to know classmates you wouldn’t have otherwise met and (2) to facilitate peer-to-peer learning so that no study question is left unanswered.
We are also addressing a problem faced by students every semester when they’re in a new class. Wouldn’t it be great if you actually socialized with those students who you recognize from your class, but never actually talk to? Our tool has a substantial impact insofar as it enhances your university experience from a social perspective, provides students with a means of addressing loneliness and isolation and prevents study problems from spiraling out of control.
Connecting communities and promoting global citizenship education
Based on user feedback, we’ve learned about the power of StudyBuddy to help lonely and isolated students gain access to a technological solution that helps them not only address their study challenges, but also build friendships. The need to find a classmate to study with has been used by some relatively shy students as a pretext to make friends on campus. StudyBuddy builds learning communities across borders and–within a university–across years, schools and nationalities. In this age of immigration executive orders, the need for global citizenship education is as important as ever.
Our mobile app provides a unique opportunity to connect with students abroad who are studying the same subject. In fact, if you log into the app now, you can see all the people who are studying the same subject as you in Mumbai, New York, Tokyo, Montreal, etc. Maybe we have something to learn from others in a different part of the world or at other U.S. universities? If so, they’re only a message away on the Study Buddy map.
An opportunity to stay in touch with your cohort
Some students have told us that they would use the app to know how close their friends are to them when they leave class and to meet up for impromptu lunches together around campus, which suggests to us that the potential value that StudyBuddy adds to users is not necessarily confined to the initial vision or use case that we’ve identified.
All you need to do is write your cohort name or your program as one of your course subjects in the app (ie. Gamma, Delta, Beta, Alpha, IGA, MPP, MPA, MPA-ID, Mid-Career, etc.), and then you can meet up with your cohort-mates close by.
Howard Cohen – CEO, Phone: 617-483-0592, E-mail: email@example.com
Try the free StudyBuddy app today to meet new classmates and solve your study problems: