LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Distance education, virtual learning, remote learning, Zoom school – whatever you call it, most Americans are glad it’s no longer the norm for college students.

What if there was a way to make distance learning more attractive and efficient?

Along with addressing some of the biggest issues facing schools, such as teacher shortages and overcrowded classrooms, comes Subject, a Los Angeles-based startup that hopes to modernize virtual learning.

“We want to be able to build on what digital natives grew up with,” said Michael Vilardo, CEO and co-founder of Subject. “They grew up with Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, now they have TikTok. We want to simulate the preferences that led them to interact with these products so seamlessly. What we do is we offer premium courses of four credits which are all premium videography so all of our videos are between three and eight minutes long and about 150 mini lesson modules will make up one lesson obviously we will be layering quizzes, exams, checking understandings.

You read correctly. If TikTok and America’s top history teacher at Zoom School had a baby, it’s Subject, with shorter lessons and a cinematic look aimed at increasing student engagement.

Subject source instructors from around the country who fly to Los Angeles, spend a week in the company’s studio recording 100 mini-lessons on the subject they teach at home, but with a curriculum designed for a virtual audience.

The subject is already in 20 states and more than 100 school districts offering 60 courses, ranging from AP calculus to a course on cryptocurrency.

Students do not pay directly for the service, but instead their school district subscribes to Subject.

The company said the aim was not to replace teachers, but to fill in the gaps.

“How can we change parts of the system in a way that has nothing to do with the pandemic, but has to do with making the system much more efficient and sustainable for educators?” said CEO and co-founder Felix Ruano. “Long term, we wanted to think about our product, not just increasing access for students, but thinking about how we could empower this educator to do what they’re really good at. Supporting students…teaching in small groups.”

These are courses a student might need for college, or a course that could provide valuable direction in determining what to do next.

“What we’re doing is helping to grow the course catalog by 20% to 30%,” Vilardo said. “Maybe they’ve lost their calculus teacher or their biology teacher, so those teacher shortages we can help fill, and we’re offering classes that we’ve never been available at this school.”

For more information on the subject, visit their website.

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