A leading educator in innovative teaching, George Couros once rightly said, “Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.”
Technology has indeed become an integral part of our lives, and education is no exception. The use of technology to create more engaging, inclusive, and individualized learning experiences has become a part of regular teaching. The EdTech sector has, without doubt, revolutionized the teaching and learning process.
Cosmico is a prominent EdTech company that believes in making students fall in love with learning through its innovative apps. In the following interview, Ibrahim Farook, the Founder and CEO of Cosmico shares how impactful the company proved to be, the current scenario of the EdTech space, and his aspirations for coming years with regards to Cosmico’s offerings.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our audience about your company, its values, and its journey so far as a leading provider of EdTech solutions.
Cosmico is on a mission to make children fall in love with learning. This idea was first born in December 2018 and continues to be the backbone of our company.
Since the company’s creation three years ago, we have explored and grown in more ways than one. However, our core values remain the same, and every decision we make stems from them.
We champion diversity, for we know that our biggest strengths are our differences. We continuously strive for equality, make space for all voices, and actively listen to them.
We also pride ourselves in our curiosity, for it helps us trump our apprehensions and leads us towards knowledge and innovation. We uphold these values in the game we are creating, individually and as a team.
Cosmico has been on an incredible journey, and our partners have played an important role. We have had the opportunity to partner with Brunel University, with Hubert Burda Media, and DK, a Penguin Random House publishing company. We were also awarded an Innovate UK grant, which has supported our momentum.
After the successful launch of our first app, which had over 10k downloads and 4k subscribers, we were encouraged to be bolder and more ambitious. So, we began planning version 2 of the app at the beginning of 2021.
This version will cover Math, like our previous version, as well as English and Science. We are excited and working very hard to launch this second version in the next few months.
List the range of your offerings through which you have ascertained your stronghold within EdTech space.
Cosmico creates educational games that adapt to the needs of each child. Our AI algorithm learns about the strengths and weaknesses of each user and adapts to the difficulty of the game, the amount of support provided, and the academic subjects emphasized.
The first version of our game focused on the Math curriculum. The benefits were a staggering number of children covered 15% of the curriculum in just 15 minutes and increased their attainment and retention rate by 20%.
We are currently working on the second version of the app, which also delves into the English and Science curriculum. We are carefully designing the game to make education the most fun it has ever been.
Our players (or explorers, as we like to call them) embark on a heroic journey through the Cosmico universe. They undertake exciting missions and challenges that also develop their skills. The explorer’s involvement in the story and the reward system we invented creates a highly motivating gaming experience.
Of course, all the activities have been designed with the child in mind by our education experts and adhere to the primary school curriculum. This ensures that the explorer’s progression through the game translates into academic success.
Parents/carers are key players in their children’s learning journey. That’s why we keep them updated on their children’s progress through the game’s Parent Portal. Here, they can learn everything about their children’s learning journey. They can also trigger rewards, such as Hubert Burda Media magazines, and seek support from qualified teachers.
Our commitment to children’s wellbeing also prompted us to host virtual lessons during the Covid lockdowns. We put these in place to support parents/carer’s home-schooling efforts.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on why the adoption of modern technologies such as AI and Big Data is necessary for the EdTech industry and how have you leveraged these technologies to deliver comprehensive solutions?
AI, Big Data, and other modern technologies are essential to bringing education into the 21st century. At Cosmico, we are particularly interested in how AI and Machine Learning can help us create more personalized educational experiences.
We are incorporating an AI system that learns about each explorer. It tracks how long it takes them to complete an activity and their success rate, as well as which activities and topics they go back to the most.
With this data, our AI adapts the difficulty level, the amount of support offered, the type of activity, and the academic subject emphasized. The goal is for our explorers to always be engaged, challenged, and focused where they need it most.
Incorporating these technologies into the EdTech sector should be done carefully and responsibly. We should always be mindful of data transparency and protection. Parents/carers should be in control of their children’s data and stay fully informed of how it is being used.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, how are you driving your company to sustain operations and ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
Like most companies, we went fully remote for a few months. We wanted to keep our team safe while doing our part to support the fight against the virus. Thankfully, today’s technologies made it easy for us to stay connected and motivated. The pandemic brought a lot of changes, but we were able to sustain operations and keep growing despite it all.
In recent months, with the easing of restrictions and the advancement of the vaccination program, we are finally back in the office.
However, we have implemented a flexible working policy that allows the team to alternately work from home and the office. Needless to say, we encourage our team to stay home if they feel unwell, wear masks in the shared spaces, and sanitize their hands regularly. We also encourage them to do a lateral flow test weekly.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the EdTech niche?
Do not get caught up in perfectionism. It is better to create something imperfect than to not create anything at all, so spend less time planning and more time doing!
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2021?
The pandemic has drastically affected children’s education. We want to help close the Covid-19 learning gap while reducing the load on the education system. Hence, the primary focus at this moment is to deliver quality, on-demand, tailored learning to children at home and on the move.
We will do this by launching version two of our app in the UK and across four new territories. Hence, we are hiring top talent and expanding every aspect of the business. The year 2021 is an exciting year for Cosmico!
About the Leader
Ibrahim Farook immigrated to Scotland with his family at a young age and grew up in Glasgow. As a boy, he struggled in school due to his dyslexia. He was an eager student with an effervescent desire to learn but was constantly held back by the traditional teaching methods and the lack of personalised education.
Once he finished his education, he paved his way in the finance world and worked in asset management for 3 years. In 2018, he changed course to embark on a purposeful mission: to ignite children’s learning revolution through innovation. He is now the founder and CEO of Cosmico where he’s creating the educational tools he dreamed of as a young boy.
“Best Math game! Great fun. Helpful and exciting.” – Student from All Saints C of E Primary School
“The levels are accessible to all children. Learning is embedded in all the games – It is very useful for home learning and helps children be independent.” – Headteacher of Broadmead Primary School
“Thanks for doing this! It is very helpful because of the quarantine.” – Year 6 student
“Thank you so much for teaching me today! I have learned new things that I was not confident in.” – Year 5 student
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