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Teach The People – Social E-learning System

Business Area

The electronic educational business is a huge market area with myriads of approaches and providers. Majority of market directions here are well explored and have established solutions and market leaders. But despite the fact the market is explored quite well the latest tendencies open new opportunities for e-learning, and the most interesting one is a social network-driven education.

Main Idea

The main principle of the social network-driven education is a large group of people with different interests (generic users of social networks). There are always people who have some knowledge/experience in some areas, and this could be interesting for other members of this group. But professionals (people who know something) are not necessarily professional trainers and often have no learning facility to share their experience. And (maybe even more important) people who like to know something are too busy to study things in a traditional manner (visiting some university/courses or pure self-educationing). So the idea is to provide both parties with a single place tightly integrated with the social network (existing or new) where non-professional trainers could be able to teach people interested in different areas without any additional overhead and using social networking facilities which all users are familiar with. And not only teach for free – but even receive the proper reward for their efforts if they like.

Our Solution

Teach The People is based on the Facebook social application platform, and works within the Facebook environment. This strategy decision is made due to the following reasons:
  • Huge user base of the existing social network
  • Availability of all common social mechanisms necessary for the application
  • Rapidly growing popularity of Facebook-based applications
The application provides users with the following capabilities:
  • Comfortable environment for learning
  • Free learning community creating
  • Ability to provide payable learning via payable communities
  • All bells and whistles of modern community-based platforms:
    1. online learning materials
    2. forums (discussion boards)
    3. live video lectures
    4. video/audio/photo galleries
    5. learning flows
    6. learning content submissions
    7. ratings
    8. comments and much more.

Technical Approach

The application is based on Java technology stack, including usage of the industry-leading components and platforms (Hibernate, Stripes, Spring, Hessian, JMS, Red5, Tomcat) along with the proprietary Enterra solutions. The application architecture is built taking into consideration the large capacity (millions of registered users, thousands of active ones). In order to provide the effective and scalable solution, the Amazon WS platform technologies are used, including:
  • Amazon S3 (as a persistent binary storage)
  • Amazon EC2 (for dynamic configurable hosting).
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