London teacher with half a million hits on maths website during coronavirus outbreak shortlisted as among world’s best – Evening Standard

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A London maths teacher whose free online learning platform is seeing over half a million hits a day as schools shut down worldwide due to coronavirus has been shortlisted to win the title of worlds best teacher.

Dr Jamie Frost, 33, who holds a PhD in Computer Science from Oxford University and was previously investment banker, now works over 90 hours a week running website while holding down a full-time job at Tiffin School, a boys grammar in Kingston.

His free site, which earned him the nomination for the sixth Varkey Foundation $1 million Global Teacher Prize, offers interactive online quizzes and teaching slides, videos, and a bank of UK exam board questions for students to practice on - as well as learning resources for teachers.

Dr Frost says it has had nearly seven million downloads and is used by 5,500 schools worldwide, including over half of all UK secondaries.

Since schools began closing worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic it has seen more than 100,000 additional visits per day, and Dr Frost told the Standard its now going up.

He said: I will easily exceed half a million today.

The dedicated server is absolutely hammered because schools are closed. Theres so much traffic its struggling to cope the problem is going to be getting worse every day.

I reached out to tech companies for help... Google has now reached out to me to offer $10,000 of free 'cloud credit' and potential support moving the site to their cloud servers. It is fantastic.

Tiffin School, which shut on Monday for deep cleaning over COVID 19, is using the site for Year 11 practice exams this week.

The teacher, who lives in Surbiton, added: Its remarkable how even with schools shut down we are able to cope using technology.

Dr Frost started out as an investment banker, coding trading algorithms for Morgan Stanley in New York and Canary Wharf, but found it soul destroying.

He realised he was happier sharing his knowledge with students, as he had as an adjunct teacher at Oxford.

He completed teacher training and began working at Tiffin School in 2013, and initially launched the site in a bid to help pupils who were struggling with maths.

The Global Teacher Prize will be awarded at the Natural History Museum on October 12.

It is awarded to a single school teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, and aims to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

The winning educator is allowed to put their $1 million, awarded in equal instalments over 10 years, towards new projects and initiatives of their choosing.

The shortlist is compiled from over 40,000 entries worldwide by a panel of international education experts.

If he wins the prize, Dr Frost plans to use the funding to expand the site to offer questions and support on exam syllabuses in some of the sites most popular regions outside the UK, such as Malaysia, and employ teachers there to help.

The sites resources have already been used to teach in a district of schools in Zimbabwe.

Hear Dr Frost on this episode of The Leader podcast:

Dr Frost said: I love teaching so much, being in the classroom and interacting with kids. I am just delighted to be shortlisted.

Its absolutely fantastic, but its not about the recognition. Its that if I was to win the money I would spend it all on expanding the platform more globally.

Tiffin School headteacher, Mike Gascoigne, said: Dr Jamie Frost is an amazing teacher who fully deserves his shortlisting for this incredible award.

"As a Tiffin teacher, the school is proud to support his brilliant work.

At this time of COVID19 crisis and isolation, it will undoubtedly be even more useful to schools and pupils. He is a truly inspirational teacher making a huge impact in the world of maths.

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London teacher with half a million hits on maths website during coronavirus outbreak shortlisted as among world's best - Evening Standard

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