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Budding teacher develops award-winning tutoring app

Cris Militante was still in college when he realized how much he wanted to teach. The computer science and information technology student recalled that three of his classmates at the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City had asked him to tutor them in programming lessons. The three subsequently passed the courses they had initially been struggling with.

The positive results encouraged Militante to tutor other students who needed help with complex, specialized classes. Even though student organizations offered tutorials, not everyone could be accommodated.

This inspired Militante and classmates Patrick Dave Woogue and Gabriel Andrew Pineda, with mentor Patrick Wilbur Aldueso to come up with an online tutorial system. The application leverages on a mobile platform which allows users to act as student-tutors to those having difficulty with their lessons, thus stimulating collaborative learning within the school.

The team called the app Eryl, a Welsh unisex name that means quiet, discerning, observant, seeking new challenges and opportunities.

Collaborative learning

“Eryl is the brainchild of college students with common academic challenges, especially with major subjects,” explained Militante. With the solution, users can select from a pool of tutors, sort out schedules, and negotiate tutoring fees.

Last year, Militante’s team entered Eryl in the 14th SWEEP Innovation and Technology Awards competition organized by Smart Communications – and won top honors. SWEEP stands for Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program. Launched in 2004, the competition draws out students’ ingenuity in developing wireless applications.

The first prize, also called the Huawei Prize for Excellence, came with P300,000 cash and support from Smart, thus enabling USC to develop Eryl into a full-blown application.