For Paul Zuber-Fantulin, a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, learning technology has been crucial to his success. After dropping out of college initially, Paul discovered the “Learning How to Learn” class on Coursera, which in turn lead him to Khan Academy helping him remediate on his own.
Cerego: Tell us a bit about your background. What kinds of challenges, in addition to school, do you have to juggle?
Paul Zuber-Fantulin: I am a re-entry student that has been independent since I graduated from a foster care facility. Other than school, I've had to face all the challenges of early independence. A large part of this was fitting in study time along with work, for example. Scheduling and prioritization have been a huge challenge.
Cerego: What has consistently come up short for you regarding the learning solutions you have tried?
PZF: Convenience, cost, and usability are all major things I've seen come up short in other learning solutions. MyMathLab is an example of this. In my experience it has been both expensive and buggy, often leaving me wondering if I actually did something incorrectly or if there is just some issue with the software. I often notice large differences between lectures and material in the book. Granting the instructor the ability to match our study materials more closely to their lectures is something that helped me in the class where I used Cerego.
“Cerego helped me address my learning challenges by being able to take every piece of information in bite sized pieces and be able to look and see what part of the course I knew and what parts of the course I needed help on.”
- Student at Santa Rosa Junior College
Cerego: What were the challenges you face around learning?
PZF: One of the largest challenges I faced is filling in the gaps left by the substandard education provided by foster care. I found that I wasn't taught all the proper math to be able to build upon that knowledge in later courses. That has been a consistent theme in my struggles with other subjects throughout my educational experience as well. Much of this has to do with not having experience with a structured academic environment before college.
Cerego: How did Cerego help you address these challenges?
PZF: Cerego helped me address my learning challenges by being able to take every piece of information in bite sized pieces and be able to look and see what part of the course I knew and what parts of the course I needed help on. It also provided me with a learning structure that was easily digestible. I feel that by using Cerego I also ended up getting a better grade.
“I liked that Cerego was available on my phone, allowing me to study when I usually wouldn't be able to. With Cerego I could study while waiting in line.”
- Student at Santa Rosa Junior College
Cerego: What did you like most about Cerego?
PZF: I liked that Cerego was available on my phone, allowing me to study when I usually wouldn't be able to. With Cerego I could study while waiting in line, and that made things convenient for me. Cerego helped me build my confidence so that I did not have to deal with anxiety interfering with my ability to learn. I had a sense of accomplishment using the software, so Cerego was also a very satisfying experience.
Cerego: Do you think Cerego could be used in place of a textbook? Would you pay $20 for Cerego?
PZF: Yes. Not only is Cerego cheaper, but I believe it’s certainly more convenient and effective than lugging around a textbook. The books themselves can be very expensive. For example, buying my summer semester books new would have cost nearly $300. Having access to affordable learning materials frees up my limited finances for living expenses.
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