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Failing Geeks Get The Grades

14 May 2018

In the lead up to the 2018 budget announcement, the Minister of Education has flagged a funding shortfall and an estimated 17,000 new students by 2020, and the recent education summit noted another shortage of teachers.

The importance of innovative education tools that will benefit both students and teachers in the classrooms will be key to the success of a quality education for students facing exams.

QuickSense, a start-up founded by Vivek Kumar (25) with colleagues Vineet Chauhan (25) and Hamish Parbhu (24), has come up with a cost effective and innovative learning tool to do just that.

In real terms, QuickSense allows a student to study NCEA 1-3 mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry subjects and learn from their mistakes as they go. A teacher can track the progress of the entire class and understand where to focus lessons. Students can work out where to focus their study time.

In education terms: students, and their teachers, who are studying NCEA 1-3 can share a dashboard and understand how a student is tracking and what they need. In geek terms, QuickSense is cloud-based software.

Kumar, who studied hard but not effectively enough to avoid failing Year 12 STEM (science, technology, education and maths) subjects, says he just wants to see other teens like himself succeed and crack the learning barrier. Whilst he went on to graduate with a major in psychology from the University of Auckland, he says others aren’t always so lucky.

“I’ve channelled my learning frustration into a passion to assist others to learn more effectively alongside teachers, with the support of technology. I just wanted to create something that other kids like me could use at school to study. I wanted it to be the best learning tools that New Zealand students could possibly have – to drive innovation for tomorrow", says Kumar.

QuickSense proved it’s worth, winning the ATEED Young Innovator's Award (Ideas Starter) and was a finalist at The University of Auckland's Entrepreneur's Competition: Velocity (2016).

The program has been developed on a base of three years research into the psychology of learning from the perspective of teachers and students, how they work, what their needs are and why.

“QuickSense is a platform-based learning system. We know teenagers are more interested in using devices then other methods of communication. It’s important that as developers, and educators, we move with them – not against them”, says Hamish Parbhu.

The proof of the research became clear with a prototype yielding a 22 per cent absolute increase in test performance versus control.

The in-class learning program is available to all secondary schools for 2018. Yet, only a small number of schools have so far enrolled for this innovative solution.


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