HOME Education
Orbi, Reddit? The New Digital AgoraTeenage College Preparation Communities
Written by Kim Yeon Su | Published. 2018.09.04 15:44 | Count : 910
Unlike the past, the advent of New Media allows people to express their own opinion easily. Teenagers also now play a role as key participants of them. We often can see the teenagers who enthusiastically debate by putting comments in various communities. Among them, what catches a teenager’s attentions are the online communities filled with their peers.  Especially, the communities that focus on college preparation are of universal interest to students. 

‘Orbi (KOREA)’ and ‘*Reddit : SAT (USA)’ are examples of those communities. Even if they are only online, they reflect the culture of their own country and overcame geographical limitations and information gap. So I asked several questions about Orbi and Reddit : SAT to each communities’ users, and recognized there are some similarities and differences between those communities.
[Byung Hun Jeon, Seo Gang University Student, photo taken by Kim Yeon Su]
[A-Yeong Lee, UP International Academy Student, photo taken by Kim Yeon Su]
Both students used Reddit and Orbi for college preparation.
Let’s see the common characteristics of those sites.
First, both sites allowed users to note their own scores next to their online alias. As both sites are created primarily in order to share information of standard exam in each country, the user’s real score affirms their credibility on user’s postings or comments. ‘Orbi’ mainly share the scores of Korean SAT college entrance exam in Korea, or national scaled mock test score which takes in June and September before the SooNeung(Korean Sat) in November. ‘Reddit: SAT’ also share the scores of SAT 1, which is composed of English section –reading and writing- and Math section. Reddit shows the score directly in digits next to the ID, and Orbi gives the color-eyes icon next to the user’s name, depending on score’s percentile.

Second, both sites’ users get help from Q&A tags by advising each other and sharing information through uploading studying materials. As they are similarly aged, users can explain on their level and share other ideas not only about the standard test but also about other concerns. The users sympathize with each other and share their thoughts which could not easily be revealed offline. Those make possible to build a strong bond within communities and fulfill the needs that cannot be resolved within the limited scope of offline contact.
[Rules of Reddit and University logos of Orbi. Photo courtesy of Reddit and Orbi. ]
Then, what are the differences?
The first noticeable difference is the user number of private institution instructors. Unlike Reddit, Orbi has instructor’s postings with their real name, not for mere advertising but for free offline lessons. Despite the fact that Orbi is mainly categorized as a teen community, the posts about studying tips and corrected misconception on specific subjects are often written by instructors. This characteristic could actually have the base on the nationality 
of those users, as  Orbi  members are mostly Korean but Reddit’s are  composed of many international students.

The second difference is the atmosphere of the communities. In Reddit, the rules are listed on the right side of pages and moderators actively work on regulating some off-topic posts, while Orbi is more casual. Orbi has playful characteristics such as their own emoticons ㅡ the duck character ‘Oribi’ and other characters that resemble the official instructors of Orbi. Also, Orbi users call themselves an ‘Orbian’ and sometimes hold Orbi meetings to strengthen bonds among others.

Though some people are concerned about the effects of teenagers using the internet for this, citing the fact that it causes negative effects and blurs the line between offline and online, those college preparation communities lessen the information gap and offer an opportunity to create a better online cultural space for teenagers. Communities for teen college preparation are now a big digital agora of a convergent space, which encourages teen participation to resolve issues and construct identity in another way.

Kim Yeon Su
12th Grade
Hanmin Academy

Kim Yeon Su  student_reporter@dherald.com

<Copyright © The Herald Insight, All rights reseverd.>

기사 댓글 3
  • 조정후 2019-06-25 00:08:22

    By using these learning sites, we can improve learning efficiency   삭제

    • Jason 2018-09-18 17:45:20

      Great article - you’ve researched the intricate issue of the impacts of technology on our society.

      A big issue arising from reliance on digital sources is the authenticity of the information. What are some ways these online communities are taking to ensure delivering reliable info to students?   삭제

      • Jaehong Min 2018-09-15 12:10:42

        This was quite an interesting article on a topic people outside the student demographic may not know about. As a user of the SAT reddit, the article was definitely entertaining. I think you did a good job of showing the spotlight onto a very positive aspect of teenagers using the internet. Good job!   삭제

        Back to Top