In Nerdy, Chuck Cohn has made technology investments to evaluate potential tutors. And technology is also enabling Chuck to provide a service far beyond one-on-one tutoring. Nerdy

"Nerdy is the leading platform for live online learning and our mission is to transform how people learn through technology," explains founder, chairman and CEO Chuck Cohn. The roots of that ambitious goal lie in his experience with a calculus class in college and the way two of his friends came to his rescue to help him be ready for a test on the material. Chuck's admiration for not just their grasp of the subject matter but their ability to connect him to it led to his wanting to provide that individualized manner of instruction to the many others he knew faced the same block he had.

That quality and qualification his friends had is what Chuck determined to find in others to build a roster of available subject matter tutors. But the vetting process proved too time consuming to be practical. Which is where technology comes in. Chuck says he "very quickly came to realize that the reason that [individualized tutoring] wasn't more available was because there hadn't been the technology investments made in figuring out how you scale it and replicate it and make education accessible to all."

In Nerdy, Chuck has made those technology investments to evaluate potential tutors. And technology is also enabling Chuck to provide a service far beyond one-on-one tutoring starting from the ability to match a student with a tutor who not only is expert in the subject but can relate to the student on a more personal level, Chuck has built that out to another level.

"One of the ways that's powerful is that schools can actually give this adaptive diagnostic test to thousands of students and then group them in ways where you can identify who has similar knowledge gaps and then get a lot of efficiency and a lot of productivity by having the tutors focus on students with similar needs," Chuck says, noting that effectively yields the benefits of one-on-one tutoring in larger group settings.

And, he says, "one of the things that's actually been really encouraging is how forward-minded the district officials that we've been working with and the school partners we've been working with are to considering new solutions, different ways of doing things and the extent to which they actually are keeping students in mind."

Knowledge is empowering, which is the Social Capital characteristic we spotlighted when we honored Chuck in "Information As An Economic Power." And he points out, "Learning doesn't stop when your traditional schooling ends, after high school or college, or graduate school for that matter. There's an opportunity to help individuals and learners of all types really benefit from the power of individual instruction, the power of adaptive testing, the power of accessing experts at scale." So, Nerdy launched a segment to help professionals who are trying to advance their careers.

"One of the things I find incredibly rewarding and makes me excited to show up to work every day, 15 years in, regardless of what's going well or not well over that stretch of time, is that you can see a close connection between the work that we do and students we impact," he says.

Watch the video below to hear Chuck share more about the how, the why and the difference he thinks this kind of tutoring can make in these post-Covid days "where students are way behind and we have an immediate crisis on our hands."