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Technology as a Learning Tool

By Shirin Naseer

Long anxious nights, lots of pacing, and nervous breakdowns are all too common during the much-dreaded exam season. With papers around the corner, nerves are at an all-time high not only for young learners but also for the adults who care for them.

In such times, a common question asked by worried parents is how to make sure the child is well-equipped to handle the challenges of test-taking. Two Pakistanis have the solution, a web and mobile based platform named Optimaken, to help notify parents of the areas that require attention in the student’s academic performance and offer advice on how to counter those problems.

“The idea for the app came from my personal experiences: sitting through parent-teacher conferences every two to three months. Being told your child is falling behind by instructors that refuse to reveal the exact areas that demand attention is never going to improve the child’s performance in the long-term,” says Amin Baig, the co-founder of Optimaken. “This is the core idea behind the app. It gauges the child’s specific weaknesses and strengths and lays them out. This makes the job of the parent much easier.”

The system offers students assistance services that go beyond local tutoring alternatives. The app requires the input of student specific information such as the school and grade the child is enrolled in, allowing the app to identify and separate the material that is relevant to the student’s syllabus. Once the problem area is identified, parents are provided access to exclusive material that could help improve student performance. Optimaken gives users a chance to keep track of student performance and improvement. Data may also be quantified to keep a better check on student progress.

Read more: Education Administration and Monitoring Goes Digital

Baig says that much of the success he has had in developing Optimaken is owed to the feedback he received during incubation and acceleration at Plan9 and PlanX respectively.

Optimaken aims to not only help kids improve in school but also hopes to remain competitive by staying cost-effective and meeting language accessibility standards. Presently, Optimaken is running its pilot projects, and internal testing will take about 3 months after which Baig plans to scale his software to public schools.

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