Two Stellenbosch University graduates have created an assessment tool that allows teachers to create digital tests and circulate them through PCs and mobile phones.
EDGE Campus, formed by Gareth Heuer and Paul Kim in May 2010, has launched the Qurio tool as a means of boosting learning in South Africa.
“Our main goal is to cultivate a world class education landscape in South Africa by building innovative (and possibly disruptive) technologies that stand to benefit all within education,” Heuer told HumanIPO.
“We want to disrupt the South African education landscape by building products that can empower and edify the entire system and its recipients regardless of geography, demography and socio-economic status.”
After obtaining a first round in fundraising early last year, EDGE Campus began working on Qurio. A recent second round of funding means Heuer and Kim are now on the verge of completing Qurio and entering it into the market.
“We’ve noticed, through primary research, that assessment consumes both time and energy of all educators,” Heuer said. “Time is valuable and should be spent teaching and preparing students for life after school.”
“Whether an educator wants to do a quick pre-class survey, an in-class rapid quiz or a post-class assessment to gauge the learner’s understanding of the content, all this can be done via PC or mobile with Qurio.”
Ease of use is central to EDGE Campus’ business model, and why they believe the product will see quick uptake amongst South African educators.
“The ease of creating and distributing these Qurios enables a teacher to be far more dynamic in the classroom as they can use the power of instant data (for the group as a whole or on an individual level) to modify their teaching style. The short and long term benefits are excellent.”
Heuer believes mobile technology is the way forward for education delivery given South Africa’s high mobile penetration.
“Mobile is the one device that everyone either has, or at the least, has access to,” he says. “The accessibility it offers means that learning can now become “mobile” and a part of life rather than an isolated activity which occurs at school.
“Many realise the value of mobile, but we’ve discovered, specifically to education, that there aren’t many exceptional mobile tools for teachers to use. Teachers need mobile tools that are simple and easy to use. Students don’t have this problem because they are constantly trying out new things on their mobile devices.
“The question for us really is: Can you create a mobile educational product that bridges the gap between a teacher’s ability and a learner’s proficiency in mobile? That’s what we’re trying to achieve with Qurio.”