Pass Puzzle: Unlock your phone, unlesh your potential

by Xuan from PassPuzzle

How many times do you check your phone? Twice a day? Once every hour? More often? According to figures collected by a screen lock app, the average user actually checks their phone around 110 times per day.

How many kids in the UK have a smartphone? One in three children have their own smartphone in the UK, and the figure is growing. Moreover, the attention span of kids is becoming shorter and shorter.

With every problem comes an opportunity. I am a maths tutor for students from GCSE to degree level. Before I came to the hackathon, I asked a GCSE student the following question — — if I were able create any app you want to help your academic studies, what would you like it to be? She told me her answer straightaway — — “something can pop up tiny bits of knowledge which I can digest without making huge effort”. On my way to Google Campus on Friday night, I saw more than two thirds of passengers waiting for a DLR were checking their phones on a platform. All these moments in life fused together into the idea I pitched at the hackathon — — PassPuzzle.

PassPuzzle is a screen lock app that engages kids with agile academic quizzes. It makes the most out of the fragments of time generated by mobile-checking habits. To ban smartphone in school is the same as to ban snacks from kids. It’s against their nature. Instead of escaping from the technology development, we embrace it by creating the most nutritious snacks for children’s mind — — the bite size exercises that help kids improve their academic studies in a gamified way.

Thanks to the opportunity created by Zzish at the hackathon and my team — coding ninja Alastair, a father and teacher Bill and a master of machine and human interaction Rachael, we brought PassPuzzle to life within 48 hours. And we decided to bring it to a broader global audience, because PassPuzzle has its potential in at least three dimensions.

Firstly, it’s the subjects we can cover and user interactions we will be developing along the way. From Geometry to Geography, kids will be able to “click”, “select”, “drag and drop” and even “speak and write” the right answers.

Secondly, because the data generated are so granular that we can enrich the Zzish dashboard by producing actionable metrics. For example, if Thomas is not comfortable with trigonometry, not only is the data shown on dashboard, but more trig exercises will be sent to his mobile as well, so that he has more opportunities to practice it.

Personalised learning saves time and effort for kids, parents as well as teachers. As I was reading the letter from Zuckerburg and Chan to their daughter Max, I was thrilled to see that they put “Personalised Learning” on top of their list of philanthropy causes. And I would be very happy if the piece of adaptive technology we are building in PassPuzzle can add value to a bigger cause.

The third potential is the geographic market we will be able to influence. If we can see a London boy Thomas learning Mandarin kanjis on PassPuzzle, why can’t a New York girl Rachael learning maths or a Shanghai boy Xiao learning physics in the same fun way?

Finally, I would like to thank the Zzish team for making everything possible and all mentors for invaluable industry insights. Education is the ultimate way to make the world a better place. PassPuzzle is just a sparkle and still at its infancy. We welcome anyone who shares our vision to explore the journey with us. It will be fun!

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