I was recently made aware of Savant, an app for phones or tablets that could help me as a teacher connect with new students. Naturally, I wanted to find out more and was able to interview Keisha Knight who is leading the development team on this project. I had my doubts about whether this app would be right for me as a teacher, or as something I could recommend to students who want further study. After my interview, I think it is definitely something that both teachers and learners of English should try. Read on for my interview with Keisha and valuable information about this sleek and practical solution to teacher and student connectivity.
Ok Keisha, so pretend I’m a TEFL teacher that you meet on an elevator, and you only have thirty seconds to pitch Savant. What is savant?
Oh no! I get so nervous in elevators. Okay, I would say that Savant is a way to get you in touch with students both on your block or two countries away who want to learn English, and are looking for someone like you to teach them.
When will Savant be available?
It will be ready to download in February. Go to our landing page and sign up for updates.
Is savant more about teachers finding students or students finding teachers?
It’s about both. During my time in Southeast Asia I saw so many students and parents of students scrambling to find teachers. They would ask anyone they thought looked like their image of what a TEFL Teacher would look like rather than the skills on offer. Teachers were also equally frustrated trying to find opportunities to teach that were safe and well-suited to their skill sets. Savant is also for college students, professionals, or travelers who might just be looking for language exchange.
If Savant was an animal, what animal would it be? Why?
I’ve been waiting for somebody to ask me that question. I suppose Savant would be a mountain goat. Mountain goats can manoeuvre over craggy cliffs and difficult terrain so easily. Savant manoeuvres to get people connected, and then watches the beauty of learning unfold. It’s that stoic agility that I feel in Savant.
Is Savant available in my region?
Savant is available worldwide in Chinese, Vietnamese, English and Spanish.
How do I qualify to become a Savant teacher?
Anyone can register for a teacher profile on the Savant app but Savant has clear quality filters that ensure students will see qualified teachers first. Our team at Savant put all teachers who wish to prove their qualification through a quality assurance process where we ensure that qualifications are authentic.
What information will I be able to put in my profile on Savant?
As a teacher you can write a paragraph introducing yourself. Your profile can include information such as: the age group you want to teach, how many years of experience you have as a teacher, your TEFL qualification, whether you teach special test preparation classes, your location and your name. You can also mention how much you want to be paid, and if you are willing to exchange goods and services instead.
As a student, you can share a paragraph with general information about yourself. Your profile can include why you want to learn English, your current level of English, how many years you have been learning/speaking English. There is also an opportunity to list your learning requirements, what kind of classes you want and how much you will pay or exchange.
I have a lot of English teaching experience. How can Savant help me?
Savant’s algorithm will push you to the top of students’ browse lists. The verification of qualifications and the various search parameters will put teachers with experience and qualifications at a significant advantage over those without it.
As an English learner, I’m concerned about finding the right teacher for me. How does Savant help me find my match?
There are filters based on learning requirements, distance from current location and types of classes. Savant allows students and teachers to specify what kind of payment they prefer through detailed professional profiles.
Choose three adjectives to describe Savant.
Nimble. Elegant. Generous.
Why did you choose the name Savant?
I wanted a 2 syllable name that felt as exciting as learning is. We all should strive to be savants when it comes to our own lives and experiences. . .education is a huge part of that.
Does it cost any money to use Savant?
For students it is completely free. To ensure the quality of our teachers, Savant will charge a small one time fee of 20USD to authenticate TEFL qualifications.
If I have difficulties using Savant, is there anyone who can help me?
Definitely. You can contact the Savant team on firstname.lastname@example.org about any problems you might have with the app itself or any serious issues with teachers or students.
When Savant is at a nightclub, how does it dance?
Ever heard of Chicago Bop? Like that. Savant does yoga too by the way. It’s a TEFL Nomad; that’s how we roll.