The SAP Innovation Center has launched the TeachSurfing social network – a free platform that supports educational projects and connects motivated potential students with dedicated people across the globe.
Education is a valuable asset. Yet, many people in the world are denied access to it. TeachSurfing brings travelers and the local population together. The travelers – regardless of whether they are traveling for business or pleasure – offer their expertise to those who would like to learn something. Thanks to the platform, voluntary teachers can find opportunities to impart their knowledge.
“Anyone who likes to share their skills can join the TeachSurfing community. You can teach your first language or a hobby, or pass on your professional know-how – for example about management or marketing,” says Miganoush Magarian, software developer at the SAP Innovation Center.
The TeachSurfing platform, which is based on SAP HANA cloud technology, went live in June this year. People who are traveling and want to share their expertise register with the community, as do those people, institutions, and organizations looking for voluntary teachers in a whole host of subject areas. When the school or organization signs up, they enter the knowledge they are looking for. And the travelers also create a profile with the expertise they possess in a wide range of topics. TeachSurfing then links the teachers with suitable opportunities in the selected destination.
More than a mere tourist
Magarian comes from Armenia. Last time she was in her home country, she held a presentation there. “In the past, it was very hard to find the right organizations and make contact with schools. I wanted to share my skills and I also had an idea of where and with whom. But there was no easy way of communicating,” Magarian explains.
Many travelers going abroad want to learn as much as possible about the culture of the country they are visiting. With TeachSurfing, lovers of culture are given opportunities to learn more about the way of life, language, and traditions of the local population – and at the same time support a global education project. This gives young people throughout the world the chance to receive further training and expand their network.
The project was the brainchild of SAP employees Gretta Hohl, software developer, and Magarian, who both work at the SAP Innovation Center. In 2012, they participated in the One Young World Summit in Pittsburgh. One Young World is a relief organization that helps get humanitarian and social projects off the ground. The two women have been interested in education projects for a long time. That is how TeachSurfing.org originated, bringing people together worldwide.
“I feel lucky for having had the chance to live, study and work in different countries. That’s why I’ve always wanted to share what I have been able to learn,” says Magarian. After three months, TeachSurfing has more than 400 users from 73 countries and the number is growing.
Check out www.teachsurfing.org to sign up for free and become a TeachSurfer.