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How EduTech Startup Snapask is Filling the Gap for Personalised Learning in a Post-COVID-19 World

It is a well-known fact that the rise of mobile apps has contributed to the steady growth of the gig economy in F&B and transport. Education can likewise benefit.

Digital transformation has impacted many facets of life, including education, where tools and resources such as videos and online portals for e-learning have made headway into teaching –and Singapore is no exception.

However, current school formats in our city-state still largely encompass the following: a classroom of 30 students, a teacher, and a standardised curriculum that culminates in national exams.

While the world has developed significantly in the last decade, with technology making great strides in transforming industries such as healthcare, business and manufacturing, education systems in many countries such as ours, still have a long way to go.

Achieving success with the traditional system

There is no doubt that our current approach appears successful: Singaporean students consistently achieve impressive results in various top-tier international assessments. Highly regarded, the education system seems to tick all the right boxes – producing individuals who are highly literate, disciplined and ready to enter the workforce.

In fact, a large part of the country’s growth into a thriving city-state is owed to this model we inherited from the British, one that has helped us to achieve a commendable 97.5 per cent literacy rate in 2019.

But learning is not one-size-fits-all

The current model is definitely efficient but it may not be as applicable as we hope. Largely a one-way transfer of knowledge and heavily reliant on rote learning and repetition, the system is predicated on the assumption that every student is similar.

When standard curriculums expect every student to progress at the same time, those unable to keep up or grasp concepts as quickly as their peers often find themselves falling behind. And the teachers are hardly to blame: responsible for 30 students and tasked with important national exams to prepare their entire class for, educators are often under immense pressure.

Students are far from homogeneous, with unique strengths and weaknesses, interests and preferences, learning styles and speed. It is critical to acknowledge these distinct personalities and profiles in the classroom, or learning will inevitably be compromised.

From instruction to dialogue

Fortunately, technology is proving to be a game-changer, transforming the traditional one-to-many format of teaching into an often one-to-one conversation. As the education sector faces manpower limitations that impede the creation of smaller classrooms for more personalised teaching, technology presents viable solutions that can address this challenge.

It is a well-known fact that the rise of mobile apps has contributed to the steady growth of the gig economy in F&B and transport. Education can likewise benefit.

Knowledge sharing among individuals in a community can only become more convenient and accessible as those proficient in specific topics or subjects contribute as tutors, helping to ease the manpower shortage.

Education in the 21st century is changing, becoming more collaborative and self-directed, giving students more autonomy over their academic pursuits. Edutech applications such as Snapask allow them to customise their learning journeys and diversify knowledge sources beyond a regular classroom.

Often readily available on mobile devices, these apps provide the freedom to ask questions and pursue learning as and when needed. Instead of replacing conventional models, these tech solutions should be seen as complements, enabling students to discover the joy of learning and maximise their potential.

The region is ready to embrace edutech

Encouragingly, internet penetration rates in Southeast Asia have been increasing, with the market expected to reach US$300 billion by 2025. Singapore has always been known for its fast and reliable IT networks, but neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have also been ranked among the top 10 mobile internet users globally, a clear indication that edutech applications will be adopted in those regions too.

The recent pandemic has only accelerated the adoption of digital solutions. With nationwide lockdowns and mandatory social distancing, educational institutions were forced to embrace home-based learning, shifting classes online through webinars and live video conferences. Educational apps too saw higher usage as real-life interaction with educators became limited.

In fact, during a notable peak in March, downloads of edutech apps spiked by 90 per cent compared to the weekly Q4 average in 2019.

Matching students to the most suitable tutor available at any time, Snapask experienced a surge in users from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan during this period.

The future of education

Technology has long since been creating new opportunities and channels for learning and education will no longer be fully dependent on top-down instructional methods. Though the current model could never be overturned completely, edutech will play a more prominent role as apps such as Snapask fill the gap in demand for personalised learning.

By offering effective learning solutions tailored to children and youths’ varied study habits at all stages of education, these apps can improve the knowledge acquisition process.

Performing well in examinations is but one aspect of education. True learning comprises three areas and this is where tech can provide essential support.

First, content on every imaginable topic is available online and with just a simple swipe of a student’s fingertips, providing them with easy access to almost limitless knowledge.

Secondly, by offering freedom to address distinct needs and different preferences, edutech can motivate students and encourage them to take control and responsibility over their own progress. This eventually facilitates the shaping of proactive attitudes towards learning.

Finally, a key goal of education is to facilitate the necessary competencies to succeed in the workforce. Using technology such as edutech apps will not only help students to develop critical skills like independent learning, creative thinking and flexibility that are highly-valued by employers, but also play a supporting role in supplying the resources to hone these capabilities.

If the ultimate objective of learning is for students to realise their full potential and take charge of their pursuit of knowledge, then edutech is undoubtedly the driving force behind achieving this in the 21st century.

#PortfolioHighlights #Portfolio #Covid19


Snapask is one of our portfolio startups in Plug and Play APAC. As an in-house venture capital, our goal is to fund the teams that are building the defensible businesses of the future. By leveraging our capital, our network of VCs, and our corporate partners, we give our portfolio companies an added advantage. Join our platform today!

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