• Shani Kotecha

Northwestern Mutual. Pods need to have academically compatible children, says edtech The Playbook



Classrooms are endangered. Kids have gone from classrooms of 30 to a quiet room of 1. But there’s an in between -- podding. In small ‘pods’ of a few mutually exclusive children, kids at home are reaping the benefits of having an almost private tutor, the flexibility of being at home, and the enjoyment of a few close friends to study with.


Podding was born out of the pandemic, and it’s forced the education sector to make a major shift in how things are done. Though often costly, podding has grown in popularity, and even tutoring companies are changing their business model to adapt to new needs.


But for those already accustomed to online learning and advances in education, it may not be as big of a shock. Education entrepreneur Jared Friedland is the lead instructor and founder at The Playbook, running online SAT bootcamps and facilitating learning pods in the US.


Here are some of Jared’s insights into podding, and what it can look like:


“Groups typically consist of three or four children who are friends from school and are academically compatible, meaning they are in the same grade and/or are of similar academic abilities.


“Many parents have realized they would prefer not to spend their days balancing work with lessons on the Monroe Doctrine and the quadratic formula.


“They provide immediate freedom for parents, liberating them from ever having to Google instructions for figuring out the area of a trapezoid again.”



Podding doesn’t just help children -- it frees up parents’ time to work, relax, and not learn how to become a teacher. Though children are still exposed to other kids the number of kids is drastically lower, and the Zoom-related coma comes to a happy end.

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