LONDON – April 20, 2022 – MyCoolClass, a start-up cooperative of independent teachers and tutors, as well as workers and investor members, today announced its new funding endeavor called community shares. MyCoolClass is a democratized learning platform in the online learning sector that helps teachers with fair payment for their teaching and tutoring services. MyCoolClass is dedicated to fairness and equity for teachers and educators previously exposed to inequitable, traditional employment parameters. The community shares offer is available beginning April 20, 2022, with share opportunities ending on October 15, 2022.
“MyCoolClass is an online learning platform cooperative owned by independent teachers and tutors, workers and investor members,” said the creator and founder of MyCoolClass, John Hayes. “The education sector has been defined by rampant profiteering in which both teachers and students are subject to platform capitalism. We are building an alternative to venture capital-owned giants that are trying to dominate the online learning sector. Since we founded MyCoolClass in 2020, thousands of teachers have expressed support by signing up for our mailing list. They really want to see MyCoolClass succeed.”
Hayes explained, “Platforms live or die by the teachers who teach on them. After years of poor pay and job insecurity, we believe that teachers are ready for something new, better and different. MyCoolClass is undertaking a share issue to raise the funds needed to make the cooperative successful and challenge industry giants in the online learning sector. Community shares is a common fundraising practice in the UK among cooperative societies.”
MyCoolClass features courses for any age group on almost any subject and attracts high-quality global teachers and students. Teachers are especially engaged and dedicated to the learning platform that offers fair compensation. Fair pay for teachers is not easily available when educators sign employment contracts with corporations.
MyCoolClass has an objective of raising a maximum target of £500,000, with a minimum share subscription per person of £100. Interest of 5 percent will be paid annually after one year of membership. The withdrawal of capital is targeted after three years, and UK investors may be entitled to tax relief of up to 50% on their investments.
Community shares is a user-friendly name for withdrawable, non-transferable share capital: a form of equity uniquely available to cooperative and community benefit societies. Since 2012, over £155m has been raised by over 104,203 people in community shares across the UK.
Emmanuel Jal, an accomplished creative professional, activist, and former child soldier once wrote: “Education is the only solution for peace.” The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has reminded the world that refugee crises are real and long-lasting. Even if students can return home, there is no guarantee that the school building will be standing–or their teachers will have survived.
And students know this.
Online education has a specific role in supporting people during these tragedies, and MyCoolClass is contributing support, too.
Kids Are Paying Attention
If there is anyone who believes that students–from all around the world–are not paying attention to current events, I am happy to dissuade them. Nearly every day, a student asks me if they can write their current essay on the war, even if it means changing their topic late into writing. Their topics vary from military aid to sanctions, from humanitarian assistance to proposed UN resolutions.
And these essays are coming from middle school students.
They are watching. They are listening. They have opinions.
They are demanding to be heard.
I have tremendous faith in humanity. Some of my kids think this is the beginning of World War III; some of them think adults will stop this before it escalates to that level. Although I do not want to diminish the severity of the situation, I tell them I believe in the second option. I tell them that there has always been war and hate, and there have always been good people who knew when to step in–or when to swallow their pride and accept defeat.
Every day, kids find examples of virtuous people. “Did you see that [Company] supported Ukraine by [noble action]?” they’ll ask me in an elevated voice. Those moments give them hope that even if some world leaders are making terrible choices, at least ordinary people are choosing to rise above.
Every company that does the right thing gives hope to those students.
Conversely, every horrific action makes them sad and removes a little piece of their faith. “Why would [leader/company/person] do that?” they ask me as if I have an answer that makes sense of hate.
And with both of those questions consistently asked, it is important for adults–especially organizations and industry leaders–to do the right thing.
Teaching Refugees–and the Children of Refugees to solve refugee crisis
Although approximately 45% of my students identify as people of color, I often do not know the familial background of my students until they feel comfortable enough to write an essay discussing it. When that happens, it is common for students to write about the oppression in their families’ home countries.
Sometimes, the students were born in the US, UK, or other country and have only heard the stories from their parents: “When my mother and her family fled…” or “My parents were forced to leave because….” Sometimes, students were so young that they do not remember the journey: “When I was a baby, my parents…,” and sometimes, they remember it well: “Last year when I was forced to flee to the States….” Those essays are often difficult to read, but a rewarding experience that allows me to understand my students more clearly.
And when they feel safe sharing those stories, I watch the faces of their peers; the compassion, humility, and gratitude are instant and obvious.
The Role of Online Education
COVID taught us the greatest benefit of online education: It can happen from anywhere. Any student with a stable internet connection can learn from teachers across the globe, including those displaced by violence.
Poland and other Ukrainian neighbors are solving the refugee crisis and helping children, families, and educators. Many families worry that their students’ education will be postponed, resulting in an achievement gap, delayed admission to universities, or lack of vocational training. Whether the invasion lasts a few more days or several months, students still require an education.
Online learning provides an opportunity for students to continue their studies with their current teachers or, when necessary, new tutors. Despite the chaos and trauma, they are experiencing, their access to education can remain a touchstone.
How is MyCoolClass Helping?
Cooperatives strive to do good things, and the actions they take are not transactional. In response to the crisis, MyCoolClass–with the help of many volunteers and partners–has taken the following steps: –Manually translating our website into Ukrainian to enhance accessibility. –Created a simplified application process for displaced teachers in Ukrainian –Waive the onboarding fee for teachers affected by conflict –Working with Ukrainian speaking volunteers and regional host families –Create a volunteer program to provide free supplemental education to displaced students to solve the refugee crisis.
MyCoolClass stands with the Ukrainian people and is taking the steps to support students and educators affected by this ongoing tragedy.
All MyCoolClass members are educators, and we understand the power of knowledge. Access to quality education is vital to foster understanding, empathy, and compassion. It is crucial for students to be successful in their current and future academic careers. It is critical to ensure employment opportunities.
Access to education is how we fight hate; after all, “Education is the only solution for peace.”
I had my first job when I was 16 years old. I worked as a cashier in a petrol station in Stoke-on-Trent in England. My boss was very keen to sell motor oil and he told me that I had to try and sell it to the customers who came in to pay for their petrol. This is when I discovered something about marketing.
“Good morning. Pump 4, right?”
“Yes, that’s right”
“Have you thought about buying some oil for your car?”
“Okay. Here’s your change. Have a nice day.”
What did I discover about marketing? That I was hopelessly incompetent at it. And nothing has changed.
Nowadays I want people to buy English classes and I still feel uncomfortable banging the drum. Something inside me says that if people want my classes they’ll come and find me. Utter nonsense, of course. But it is a self-limiting belief that lingers.
With MyCoolClass, I can forget that. They will believe for me. I don’t need to become a marketing expert. They have people for that. People who understand algorithms and SEO. People who know how to monitor clicks and engagement, website ninjas and graphic design gurus. It is a weight off my shoulders.
But it’s not just their sales expertise that appeals to me. It is their ethics. Many other education platforms set things up so that the teachers are in a race to the bottom. They saturate their platforms with teachers so that prices come tumbling down. They foster a dog-eat-dog environment. There is nothing good about selling your courses for 7 euros an hour if you cannot make a living. It is the unacceptable face of competition. It is dishonest and most online platforms couldn’t care less.
MyCoolClass emphatically does care. There is a cut off point for teacher recruitment and pricing is not a free-for-all. It is a sustainable business model created and managed by teachers.
MyCoolClass is a cooperative. That means everybody who is a member of MyCoolClass owns MyCoolClass. There are rules which any member can consult, and in line with those rules, there are democratic elections to elect the board of directors. Any member can stand in those elections. I wonder how that compares with other online teaching platforms. Actually, I don’t. There is no comparison. The teachers have zero say and zero rights.
Other platforms exist to make a profit for some venture capitalists whose last experience of education was probably getting their driving license. MyCoolClass exists to make money for teachers.
Paid Time Off
Any freelancer knows the feeling of dragging yourself from a sick bed to go to work. This is the biggest drawback to working for yourself – your boss is very demanding! But there has never been an alternative. You don’t work, you don’t get paid. It’s not like working for a company where you get paid holidays and sick days. But what if there was a way to be a freelance teacher and also have that safety net? I didn’t think it was possible until I looked into MyCoolClass. Part of what you pay to use the MyCoolClass is stored away so that you are covered financially when you need it, when you’re ill or when you simply fancy some time off. A best-of-both-world model that no other online learning platform offers.
Teaching is a noble profession and, more often than not, a true vocation. The proliferation of Mickey Mouse teaching platforms has damaged the dignity of teachers and students alike. It has become harder and harder to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. MyCoolClass with its ethical marketing, transparency and teacher centric organization is fighting back. A battle I fully expect us all to win.
The online learning industry has grown by 900% since 2000. No other industry could ever dream of such expansion. If there were any doubts about the future of online education, they have been blown away by reality. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed education forever. By 2022 the eLearning industry will be generating 240 billion dollars a year. This is, of course, why the eLearning industry attracts so many unscrupulous businesses which are only interested in a quick profit. It’s a latter-day Gold Rush. MyCoolClass, however, is a different proposition. It is a co-operative run by qualified teachers. They were all educators before online education became a pandemic poster boy. MyCoolClass is in it for the long term.
What is so good about the online learning platform? Well, we have done away with the tyranny of bricks and mortar. We don’t need physical places to come together. All the time spent moving from one place to another is saved. So, if you work in an office, you can attend an online course before work or at lunchtime and be back at work instantly the moment it ends. This makes education and training available to more people. By the same token, the business models of online teachers contemplate much lower overheads which will be reflected in the type and costs of educational offerings.
What are the drawbacks of the online learning platform? They used to say that online education missed the social element. It’s true that you can’t grab a coffee with a classmate after an online class. But it is also true that, nowadays, that social media makes the planet a village and you are as likely to find common ground with somebody from Australia as with somebody from Scotland. As the world gets smaller our circle of contacts gets bigger. This is deeply enriching.
For the right person online education as a profession or a business opportunity is practically unmatched. By ‘business’ I mean the business of education. All businesses strive to keep their clients happy. That is Business 101. How does a knowledge industry keep clients happy? By helping them achieve their objectives efficiently and enjoyably. That way you will get repeat business by clients staying on and by word-of-mouth recommendations. To help clients achieve their objectives you need qualified teachers; people who know what they are doing. I could write a list of online ‘education’ businesses who will not be here in 5 years’ time because they ignore this basic business premise. Online education is not about the technology. It’s about the teaching.
The future will see the industry settle down and bid farewell to the cowboys, the chancers, and the half-hearted. Serious online educators will battle it out for market share. But how will the public decide between, for example, one English course and another? I believe that if the product you sell is the same as the competition, you distinguish yourself in client satisfaction. Empathetic technical support and a sense of community are two essential after-sales features. MyCoolClass is committed not to mere client satisfaction but client ecstasy. It is that, along with the quality of the teaching, which will make MyCoolClass a major player in the exciting and lucrative online education industry.
In early 2022, MyCoolClass will launch a community share offer to raise the capital needed to grow into the future. This opportunity will allow anyone in the world to invest and share ownership in the company. Community shares are a way for the community to collectively run a business, not the wealthy who run Wall Street.
In the world in which we find ourselves, online education is now the right time and the right place to be invested in the future. To learn more about MyCoolClass Co-operative, please visit the website here.
LONDON, UK (March 30, 2021) – MyCoolClass, an international teacher-owned cooperative technology platform, announced today a crowdfunding campaign to support the launch of its Learning Management System designed to reduce inequalities in virtual education. More than 900 teachers from 55 countries have pre-registered for the cooperative, created to connect learners with freelance teachers around the world across a variety of languages and subjects.
MyCoolClass cooperative members will serve as co-owners with a financial and equal voting stake in the new venture. The digital freelance platform is designed to address problems online teachers face, including low pay, unfair policies, and workplace discrimination. Freelance teachers themselves, MyCoolClass founders John Hayes and Scott Anderson hope to inspire educators to come together and take control of their workplace. Before launching the Learning Management System this summer, MyCoolClass will onboard and train more than 1,000 freelance educators in April and May.
“Online education platforms serving freelance teaching professionals today use discriminatory hiring practices, including paying teachers differently according to where they live or what passport they have,” said John Hayes, Co-founder of MyCoolClass. “This means a teacher in South Africa or Vietnam can be paid significantly less than a teacher in the US, even though they teach the same courses and have the same qualifications and teaching experience. We built MyCoolClass to give educators the tools they need to take control of their workplace and remove inequalities like these.”
Teachers create their own lessons or courses in any subject, control their schedule and booking, and set their own teaching fees.
User-friendly management and student-engagement tools include video chat, screen sharing, file management, and whiteboarding.
Available in 10 languages at launch, with more added soon
Paid time off: Teachers will accumulate up to seven days annually of paid sick or personal leave.
Collaboration tools: Start or join a Creation Team to work with other teachers, develop course materials, and earn royalties when your course is sold.
Give back through the free tutoring program for economically disadvantaged students.
“As an English teacher based in Istanbul, I have always wanted to be part of a community that takes out the middleman, so I’m excited to see how MyCoolClass transforms education,” said Hailey Kay, an American ex-pat and freelance English teacher. “A platform that doesn’t exploit its teachers? Sign me up!”