QUEEN’S ROAD: eDreams Edusoft, established in the year 2010, is a Bengaluru- based education technology company. Their primary product is FunToot -- an intelligent and adaptive personal tutor that observes, assesses, and encourages children to study better. The company is among the top three finalists for the Nasscom Social Innovation Honors of 2013.
Through personal experience and intensive research, the start-up identified a lack of personalised learning as the fundamental problem that plagues the Indian system. In order to solve this, they invented the world’s first intelligent and adaptive personal tutor, Funtoot. “Every child is different in learning speed and ability,” says Rajeev Pathak, founder and CEO. “Our vision is to help improve the life of every student globally through student-centric, disruptive technology innovations.”
To develop an intelligent learning platform, eDreams Edusoft built Funtoot with Artificial Intelligence (AI) at its core. The idea was to build a virtual machine which could closely emulate a human teacher. To achieve this vision, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Speech Processing also formed the core of the product.
Funtoot focuses on primary and secondary education. As of now, Funtoot has deep knowledge of maths for grades 2 to 9, and science for grades 2 to 5. Built after four years of pedagogy and technology R&D by 40 experts, the software is now being used by over 50,000 students in more than 100 schools across the country.
“The salient feature is that the students don’t get bored, as Funtoot provides questions in the way students like. For instance, a child may be interested in sports and we use that peg to attract him or her. Similarly, there are other options available to make it more fun for children so that they don’t feel bored,” says Rajeev, who quit Wipro after with them for 18 years to start eDreams.
Being device-agnostic, Funtoot can be used on any computing device, with Internet service. At schools, students can connect to the software using the school’s LAN system, and at home, a regular Internet connection will do.
The software’s cloud computing ability ensures that work gets saved and can be accessed from multiple locations, without loss of information.
“Funtoot becomes more and more experienced as more and more students use it,” says Rajeev.
In most schooling systems across the world, a single teacher is given the responsibility of 25 to 30 children at a time in a classroom.
“It is impossible for a teacher to provide individualised instruction to each child in the class. Teachers use same instruction, same methodology, same examples, same questions and same material for everyone. However, each child is unique in terms of IQ, grasp, memory, attention span, speed of learning, instruction interpretation and learning style. This is resulting in learning deficit in most children,” says Rajeev.
The ideal solution would be to have one knowledgeable human teacher for every child who is available with the child for a set number of hours every day, but this is not practical. According to Rajeev, personalised digital tutors create an interactive and engaging environment for students which helps them master concepts and allows a personalised learning path.
“The survey that we conducted across many schools using Funtoot shows that the program has resulted in 25 per cent increase in learning engagement and 65 per cent in attention span in all the students of the class,” he says.
When asked about plans for eDreams, Rajeev says, “We plan to help a million children in India and across the world, with Funtoot, within the next three years. After having proven the efficacy of Funtoot in India, we are in the process of taking it to global markets like USA, Singapore, UK and Africa.”