Hi, my name is Nguyen Khanh Lam. I am the founder of www.sokul.net, an educational social network for Vietnamese ESL learners. Sokul was first introduced in November 2013 and it is a free of charge learning platform. Currently we have more than 1,900 members and most of them are active learners.
You are invited to join us at: http://sokul.net/login
2. WHY I CREATED SOKUL
The first time when I had an idea of creating a social network for online education, I was truly a “noob” and my friends called me an “eccentrics”. I was a “noob” because I had known nothing about social network, online education, web design, server, hosting, users experience, etc. My friends called me an “eccentrics” because my idea seemed to be impossible in such a traditional learning style of Vietnamese, where students go to school purposely for earning degrees instead of “truly learning” and they passively absorb the one-way knowledge transferred by the teachers.
Still, I have had the great passion to make it happen because Sokul is so valuable to my community and it is the future of learning. In Vietnam, English is one of the most important subject and Vietnamese students learn it in high school when they are at grade 6th and they go on “wasting” their time studying English until they graduate from the University, about 10 years in total. I say “they go on wasting their time” just because the results they achieve are insignificant and not equal to the time they have spent on. Why? It is because of the poor learning methods and materials. Especially, the gap between the big cities and rural, remote areas is so big that is beyond imagination. The world is not flat here. Thus, speaking English fluently and having a good job become the privilege of those who come from the big cities. Let us stop it and provide fair educational conditions for everyone. Further, I think online learning will save up a lot of learners’ time and money. Why should learners go to school to see the same faces of teachers, do the same things that they could do online at home? Of course, I agree that offline learning also has many advantages but why don’t we keep it at a minimum level as it could be? Moreover, with the rapid improvement of technology, we can create more advantages and convenience for online learning, and make it happen everywhere at anytime.
(Picture 1: one of the student project, called Global Student, which was created by me to improve English for Vietnamese university students. They are from the same university and / or classes but their English levels are very different. I really want to help them.)
Those thoughts had excited me for many years and I had spent a lot of time on tough preparation for the deployment of Sokul. I had learnt many things and worked very hard to save money. Finally, I was able to launch my dream in last November. It costs more than 3 years of my time and all of my money that I had saved in the bank.
3. MISSIONS & VISIONS
Sokul wants to be the leader in online education in Vietnam, not only English training but also all other courses in the next five years.
Sokul wants to create a good learning environment for learners, bring the fair educational chances to every people.
4. CORE VALUES
Responsibility – Be responsible to our work, our teammate, and our clients.
Respect – Respect our work, other’s work. Respect our colleagues and clients.
Response – Response quickly to the changes of technology, society, and clients’ needs.
5. OUR LEARNERS
Our learners are mainly from Vietnam. More than sixty percent of them are from 18-24 years-old. They are university students. Obviously, learning English with Sokul is a kind of preparation for the future. In the near future, we hope Sokul will have multilingual versions, and serve more ESL learners throughout the world.