Case Study
Need a Tutor
Removing obstacles to learning
The relationship between student and teacher stretches back to the very beginnings of recorded history. At its essence, it’s how we advance as a species. Face-to-face learning has been the mainstay of this growth system over the centuries for those lucky enough to benefit. These days, though, thanks to the possibilities that new technologies bring, a lot people previously unable to access such fundamental opportunities can share in that luck—and an enterprising startup called Need a Tutor is helping to make it happen

One of the significant challenges of growing up in remote and isolated regions is getting access to quality educators. Though some very dedicated teachers share their knowledge directly in some of those communities, there is still a large gap that a lot of kids are at risk of falling through. It’s these high needs kids and young adults that inspired the genesis of Need a Tutor—a new web-based app that could quickly and seamlessly bring together those who want to learn with those who wish to teach.
People before business
Need a Tutor describes its core audience as disadvantaged, distanced, marginalised or indigenous people—particularly young people—who are in need of access support to education and tutoring services. To reach them, and bring their hopes to fruition, the founders came to Smart Systems to develop the web-based app upon which everything hinged. Though other smart tech companies might consider the job ‘too easy,’ Smart Systems was intrigued from the very beginning, as the Need a Tutor values aligned perfectly with our own; to help the disadvantaged and directly benefit people rather than businesses.
A lesson in integration
The Need a Tutor platform was to function in two directions simultaneously. One, as a marketplace for potential tutors to enrol by providing their relevant experience, information and pricing. And two, as a place for people needing tutors to search for the perfect fit and make a booking. The whole site needed to be as simple and user-friendly as possible, with extremely low barriers to entry—not much point providing a much-needed service if you demotivate the people you hope to benefit.
Importantly, the site had to run everything through it—and by that we mean everything. Listings, search functions, bookings, calendar, real-time notifications and messages, payments, promo codes, and, most important of all, the actual video link that would be the essential interface between student and tutor. No external apps or sites were to be used.
Personal service without personal info
The main benefits of Need a Tutor’s one-stop website are threefold. First, and most obvious, is that everything needed by both tutors and students is right there in the one place, putting everything just a click or two away. Second, by having everything neatly integrated, it made it easy for us to program the app to function seamlessly across disparate time zones, which is a necessity in a country as large as Australia. Finally, and a point of great importance to those involved, it allowed us to create a highly secure environment. Though tutors provide personal and location information to the site, never is that data visible to the student or anybody else. Safety and privacy are paramount on the Need a Tutor platform.
The power of education
In the Need a Tutor website, Smart Systems created something which, if seen by its individual parts, seems simple. But by integrating everything with an emphasis on pure functionality and security, it is actually a deceptively powerful product. What’s more, the app is fully extendable for future growth—already steps are being taken to provide the service in Cambodia.

It all goes to show that you never know what you’ll learn by recruiting Smart Systems to address your technology needs.