The need of the hour is to adopt an approach towards learning that is less stressful and more engaging, interactive and entertaining. And this is what Prodigy Education offers through game. Several research studies have reported that game playing makes up a vital element of a student’s cognitive and social development, and learning can be much higher through gamification.
Mahalakshmi Satish, India Director, Prodigy Education, in an interaction with MyBigPlunge discusses how the platform is creating love for mathematic, and much more:
Students feel Math is one of the most difficult and challenging subjects across the world. What are your views?
Difficult or not, Math is certainly one of the most important subjects of the entire curriculum. And some students do feel slightly anxious when it comes to mastering Math. There might be various reasons associated with it. Some students don’t spend enough time practicing the skills taught in class as they don’t find it interesting. The lack of interest mostly has an underlying fear associated with the subject, which makes it difficult for the students to concentrate on or build up the willingness to learn and practice more. This was one of the reasons why Rohan Mahimker and Alex Peters, co-founders and co-CEOs, Prodigy Education, thought of building this game based platform which would help students steer clear of the fear and anxiety associated with this subject by making it fun and engaging. Students practice and master skills without even realizing it! Their goal was to make learning math as engaging as playing a video game.
That was a very personal motivation, born of our own frustrations in learning math as kids – as well as our love for video games. Ultimately, they wanted to create something that would help every student in the world love learning, and that remains Prodigy’s mission today.
How has Prodigy Education made Math simpler to education?
It is imperative to note that Prodigy is an education company and not just a Math gaming platform. While we continue to innovate and explore new ways of bringing our game-based learning approach to other subjects that are a part of a school’s core curriculum, our offering is currently limited to the Math subject in India.
Through the Prodigy platform, students can master math skills by practicing concepts that they learn through classroom instruction in a fun and engaging way. Our platform supplements in-class learning and at-home math practice in the form of online assignments that are gamified rather than regular worksheets for assessment. Through Prodigy, our aim is to make learning extra fun all year round to promote a growth mindset and help students become lifelong learners. That’s where our special events, video lessons and in-game features come in. They make the game even more fun and keep your child extra excited to play.
How can teachers and schools as a whole create the love for Math?
We sincerely believe that students need to be first put at ease rather than being anxious about learning. This can be a collaborative effort between educators, institutions and parents who can create a more relaxed and fun learning environment for the students. Children learn best when they are happy and free of any fear or anxiety and also when they feel in control of their learning journey rather than being compelled by a rigid system. Our integrated platform connects all the stakeholders including students at one place which gives greater clarity on the strengths and weaknesses of the students.
Besides Math, what subjects does Prodigy Education focus on?
Our teams are constantly working on exploring new ways and ideas of bringing our game-based learning approach to other subjects that are a part of a school’s core curriculum. While our offering is currently limited to the Math subject, we’re completely dedicated to making the Math game experience better in every possible way. We’ll be developing more features and areas to explore while also ensuring that we’re driving educational outcomes in the most fun and engaging way possible. We’ll continue to deliver on our mission of helping every student in the world love learning. It will continue to be our guiding light as we transform into a truly global leader in education. Our game-based learning approach is naturally transferable to other subjects beyond math – so stay tuned.
Which subject has a growing demand among your consumers?
Mathematics, given that the subject has historically been complex to understand during most students’ formative years.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the growth and adoption of STEM?
Naturally, this has been a very difficult period for people everywhere – including teachers and students who have seen in-classroom learning severely disrupted. The pandemic has resulted in a huge shift in mindset of educators as well as parents in the adoption of technology in the teaching and learning process. In spite of the challenges, the schools, teachers, parents and students have embraced this change with open arms. The impact might not be directly towards Mathematics as a subject but definitely towards Engineering and Technology as we saw a great surge of Ed tech boom happening in the country with newer technologies and gadgets being introduced to help with the education sector since last year. “At Prodigy, we’re elated with the response that our platform has received during such testing times and glad that it has been such a valuable resource for parents, teachers, and students alike.”
What challenges has Prodigy Education faced during these COVID times?
Despite the circumstances surrounding our business in the last 18 months, our operations haven’t been severely impacted. The ease of use of the platform has in fact helped educators and students transition from in-school to at-home learning. In fact with the accelerated level of adoption of technology by schools now, we are optimistic that our product will be welcomed into more educational institutions in the near future.
What is the company’s overall outlook?
Prodigy’s mission is to never let kids stop learning, no matter where they are. Therefore, as the curriculum gets tougher, Prodigy’s online math learning platform continues to support teachers and students through our platform with engaging content and interactive features. Our company was founded on the principle that access to education should be a basic human right, with the goal of providing a fun, engaging and accessible educational game for students, teachers, and parents. Hence, at Prodigy, we strive to reimagine learning which is what drives our mission to help every student in the world love learning.
We will continue to innovate on our Math Game by developing more features and areas to explore while also ensuring we’re driving educational outcomes in the most fun and engaging way possible by aligning with government regulated mandates for the education sector such as the New Education Policy which supports the game based approach to learning. Prodigy is more than a game, but making learning fun is something that runs through the heart of everything we do. We believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish together, or to the continued positive impact Prodigy can have on students around the world.
Prodigy Education is a differentiated, game-based and adaptive platform which is currently helping 1st-8th grade Indian students master Mathematical skills in a fun and engaging way. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada – the platform empowers teachers through a curriculum-aligned dashboard that connects in-class learning to at-home math practice in the form of online assignments rather than regular worksheets for assessment, making real-time monitoring of students’ progress easy.