Education remains at the forefront of every parent’s worry and Maths is a subject that can be challenging or easy depending on a student’s aptitude. However, as with most disciplines, it can learnt through practice. The challenge is getting your child to practice their Maths and continuously improve their skill.
This is where startups like Practicle want to change the industry. By using AI and data analysis, coupled with a child-friendly UI, the Edtech startup is looking to make learning adaptive and efficient. By gamifying the platform and having it adapt to the child’s competency, they hope to keep the child engaged throughout the entire practice session.
We spoke to COO and Co-Founder, Eileen Choo to find out how her journey brought her to founding Practicle and how they hope to change early education in Singapore. As an educator herself, Eileen is hoping to impart her knowledge and experience into the startup to make it a success.
A self-professed ‘foodie’ and language buff, Eileen is learning German, Bahasa Indonesia, and Japanese, along with the cultures around those languages. When she’s not in the office, you might find Eileen looking for great food like mala or practising a new language.
Read more about her story below.
5 questions with Alexander Lim from Cudy
Sell us your company/service in 300 words?
Practicle is an online adaptive Math practice platform that helps students to practice Math in the most targeted and efficient way possible. By digitizing questions and making use of data analytics and A.I., Practicle measures your competency for every question that you do, and crafts a practice pathway that is perfectly optimized for you. It also compares your competency with other students in your cohort, and lets you know where you stand among your peers.
Today, schools often rush from chapter to chapter in a fire-and-forget manner, and at the end of the day students forget everything that they had learnt earlier. By tracking your time efficiency, Practicle maintains a memory map and to keep tabs on how well you remember things, and automatically helps to refresh your memory in earlier topics as well as questions you were weak on.
On top of all the pedagogy, Practicle tries to make practice fun by having an animated personification of its A.I. interact with students in its system. Students who work on questions in Practicle earn “Experience Points” and level up, and also earn “Thinky Points” which they can then use to claim additional rewards from their parents through the system.
Practicle also invites tutors and teachers to contribute fun questions and quality explanations to its platform. In the same way that Spotify pays musicians for contributing their content, tutors can earn money for uploading questions or video explanations. Practicle hopes to build a large database of human-generated content of the highest quality.
From just $29.99 per month, Practicle keeps practice effective and affordable. During our pilot phase, one of the students, Cayden, was able to improve from 68 to 97 marks (B to A*) in 3 months, purely by doing about 500 questions on Practicle, without any coaching!
What is stopping you from having the largest company in the world?
The perfect answer would be nothing since the advantages of being an online Math Practice platform means that we are highly scalable. In addition, education is something that everyone needs and having a good one can be life-changing to many individuals. This is something that resonates with me deeply.
Although having the largest company can be an attractive idea, size doesn’t always equate to quality. It’s all about the balance. We believe that it is always important to maintain the quality of our product and its sustainability as we grow. On top of that, we recognise that it takes time to select good talent for the team, so we’d rather focus on what we have and achieve a strong steady growth instead. At the end of the day, we would like to measure our success in terms of how much we have helped our customers and the positive changes in attitude that we have created.
If you could change one thing about the tech industry in Southeast Asia, what would it be?
Since I am in EdTech, I will change your question, and my answer, a little!
Instead of talking about what I hope to change in the tech industry, I hope to see the education industry embrace technology a bit more. Digitization, data analytics and A.I. have been disrupting many industries, but education remains relatively untouched today, even though its impact could well be the furthest reaching. When it comes to education, there is a lot of data to be collected and used for the good of students, but it seems we are not doing enough of it.
Just like how entrepreneurs continually use the build-measure-learn feedback loop to improve their offerings, education should continually use the same loop to improve students’ learning. However, teachers hate this loop because they have to set tests and mark them, and parents and students feel stressed about it. This is precisely where technology should take over so it becomes automated and ubiquitous.
At the end of the day, technology should be the one to measure and present the feedback to all stakeholders, while they can just concentrate on making learning better as well as focus on the holistic aspects of education.
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Name one person in the region, who is making a difference in Technology?
When asked this question, I think many founders think of other entrepreneurs. But personally, in my short journey as an entrepreneur myself, I feel that some of the people making the biggest impact are actually successful entrepreneurs who become mentors to help drive the next batch of successful entrepreneurs. I believe that all the successful entrepreneurs out there have a few mentors and advisors that were pivotal to their success, but never appeared in any of their stories.
For me, our mentor Alex Ng from Spaze Ventures has been supporting and guiding us as well as other startups from the beginning. How would Practicle make a difference without him?
What would you want people to remember you for, 100 years from now?
I think it means more to me that Practicle has made an impact in helping to build children up regardless of their social economic status, location or abilities. After all, my co-founder and I are educators at heart and we have seen how children can excel when given the chance to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. We hope that by then, learning has become a natural way of life, stress-free and relevant to life, and our children can be allowed more opportunities to discover their interests and maximize their talents with the help of technology. Hopefully we will be able to inspire other educators to contribute more to the education scene and take it a higher level to help groom our future generations. If you see a random child on the street and their eyes light up when you mention us, I think it would make my day!