If you own a mobile phone, then you have been hounded by a small child desperate to use it and play games on it. Mobile phones and smartphones are now among the most favoured of playthings and children as young as two years old demand them, or just plain snatch them away from anyone naive enough to take them out and use them in plain sight.
The games most kids like to play do not usually have any value beyond entertainment, but once hooked children often prefer these to actual books and other learning tools. This is a problem almost everyone faces, but one startup has found a way to turn this problem into a solution by combining both gaming and learning.
This startup is 3restart.com, which is an online service that provides games featuring educational content. More specifically, they are “working on gamifying the early childhood education medium and process through the use of hand-held devices.” They are doing this by “intelligently employing game psychology to improve engagement and increase knowledge retention among kids.”
The games are created to help children learn by not only teaching them new things but also helping them to remember what they have learned. The service also allows parents and guardians to see what the child has done and what their progress is.
3restart has not released their product yet, and no date for release has been provided as yet either. However, the product is widely expected to be made public sometime this year.
Children and Mobile Devices
3restart offers a practical solution to many parents’ problems, but it perpetuates the underlying issue of children using handheld devices at all. Allowing children to use handheld devices is an issue that has become more controversial of late, especially since this article went viral on social media.
The article refers to findings of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Academy of Pediatrics about how long different age groups should be exposed to technological devices. According to their study, “infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day.”
The reasoning behind this relates to the brain development of children, aggression, addiction, difficulty paying attention, and radiation exposure from the devices. There are many other reasons given to explain why the use of such devices is dangerous for children and their development, though they all center around the conclusion which is that this medium needs to be restricted.
This is largely a concern each parent deals with differently, but for parents who do allow younger children the use of handheld devices, games offered by 3restart.com will be a workable alternative to purely entertaining games that are currently more popular. In addition, parents who restrict their children’s use of games on these devices may find the products available at 3restart.com to be productive and a viable alternative.
The Person Behind 3restart
The founder of 3restart.com is Mustafa Saeed (@m_mustafa_saeed). A graduate of NUST, his motivation behind developing this was his own experience in relating better to learning through games rather than in more formal and traditional settings.
In a presentation at Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship, he was described saying: “When I was a student, I didn’t learn well in a classroom setting. But I did learn addition from Mario (cue a photo of the Mario Brothers video game with an arrow pointing to the number of coins earned). I learned agriculture from Farmville. And I learned projectile physics from Angry Birds.”
3restart.com has been featured on TechInAsia, through coverage of the Invest2Innovate (i2i) Accelerator program.
3restart is one of the incubatees of i2i, which is offers an accelerator program to help startups develop.
i2i offers a four month program during which teams offered a place in the program receive advice, encouragement and mentorship for the development of their product and potential business. They also receive access to i2i Angels, the name given to the investor community that may provide funding for startups after they have completed the accelerator program.
i2i will be having a new cycle of their program soon, and applications for this will be available online from June 2nd. i2i is looking for startups that are in the stage of requiring seed funding, which have products with some sort of social impact, and should have some ideas about longer-term plans. Interested applicants can apply for this years cycle on the i2i website.