Canadian start-up Prodigy Education enables Indian schools to convert grade 1 to 8 math homework into a digital game.
Instead of giving students a worksheet, Prodigy allows teachers to set up a game on any topic (e.g. division, fractions, etc.) that they want students to practice. The student is represented by a character from the game, who encounters different opponents and to win these opponents, he must solve mathematical questions pre-decided by the teacher. The average duration of a Prodigy assignment is no more than 15-20 minutes and the teacher has the option of giving 10 to 15 questions in a game.
Mahalakshmi Satish, India director of Prodigy Education, told Businessline that the company is currently working with 200 schools, of which nearly 50 schools have purchased its annual paid subscription of 1,380 per student. The other schools use the freemium version of the platform.
“We have seen a ton of schools move from freemium to a paid partnership with us, in the months following the pandemic. Schools were desperate for tools that would help increase student attendance at this time, ”she added.
With online classes, schools have seen class attendance decline after the first few months of the school year. Prodigy claims to have helped schools increase attendance for online courses, as students would compare their scores in the game, thereby increasing the level of class engagement.
“Offline homework is a challenge, especially when teachers have to send the quiz by WhatsApp or email. Post which, students must re-upload the assignments in order to submit their work. While Prodigy allows teachers to monitor real-time scores for each student while replacing back and forth between teacher and students, ”Satish said.
Additionally, Prodigy’s customer base in India is almost evenly split between Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Satish noted that Tier 1 schools have more options to choose from than Tier 2 schools, which means makes level 2 an untapped market. Prodigy is betting on its affordable prices to help it grow to level 2 and beyond schools in India. The majority of Prodigy’s partner schools are currently located in southern and western India, but the company also plans to expand to the northern region soon.