Online learning start-up launched with the help of former resident, ASU student - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Online learning start-up launched with the help of former resident, ASU student

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Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012 11:13 am

A group of students from Arizona State University are getting their feet wet with a new, online learning tool for those looking to self-teach and find resources.

Development for the site, Onvard, began in January and was publicly launched in April after CEO and co-founder Keith Ryu wanted to help those looking to learn an array of subjects.

“I’m scratching my own itch,” Ryu said of the inspiration behind the site.

Ryu, a junior computer information systems and finance major at ASU, said he wanted to help beginning learners with something as simple as a starting point.

Onvard’s visitors can search through different “tracks,” which are similar to blog post tutorials, and cover topics from learning basic software or programming skills, guitar chords, or even how to decorate a cake. The site also offers a feature where experts or curators can share their own skills by creating tracks for others.

“Just for me, it was hard trying to teach myself that one certain field, I thought it would be really helpful for someone who has been through the same learning experience to walk me through,” Ryu added.

Friend and former Ahwatukee Foothills resident David Choi offered his help in the early stages of providing algorithms for the site, according to Ryu. Choi also wrote content for Onvard including a posts about learning Java, Microsoft Excel, beginning guitar chords, and a more humorous list of tips on “Getting your Girlfriend into Basketball.”

Ryu, with a team of about eight others, said the site is still in a trial period but are working on ways to provide information that no other forum offers. On Jan. 15, the site will showcase new features, a new platform, and more content to give users a personalized online education.

“We don’t intend to make users experts in any field, but to have enough knowledge to start researching on their own,” Ryu said.

For more information about Onvard or how to find learning resources, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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