Making up academic ground
Sean Sutherland, MA ’17, grew up on the island of Saint Vincent, in the Caribbean. When he arrived at MIT for college, he had to work hard to catch up with his classmates in computer science and electrical engineering. “I’m competing against people who have been coding all their lives,” Sutherland remembers thinking.
That process — making up academic ground — itself became a point of interest, and after years of running his own tutoring service, Sutherland enrolled in the Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) program at the GSE. There he developed a mobile learning platform, called Kandodis, that incorporates social sharing and competition as it moves users forward in their individual goals, with features inspired by research on competence and motivation. “If I hadn’t gone to Stanford — just being on the outside,” Sutherland says, “I wouldn’t have been able to put that all together.”