Judit Villarte, CEO, Jacobo Pedrosa, CTO and Sergi Planas, CGO, are the three partners and friends behind Endermetrics, a learning analytics platform designed to boost the educational performance of kids’ apps’.
I took advantage of a break on a long working afternoon to ask them a few questions about Endermetrics’ origins, its purpose and its future plans!
Q: How did you three meet?
Jacobo: At University, right?
Sergi: Yep, about eight years ago.
Jacobo: Me and Sergio met in class, and he helped me with some projects of mine, like Cetrex, my first company. And with Judit we met-
Judit: Through classes too.
Sergi: When I met Judit she scared the hell out of me. She always gave me the evils I don’t know why! (laughs)
Q: How did you start actually working together?
Jacobo- With Sergi, we worked together a bit on Cetrex, the innovation and internet Project development company I’d started with some other partners.
Sergi – Yeah, I did some freelance work for them.
Jacobo – And with Judit we went to work in San Francisco together after graduation. We worked for a year for Innovalley, a Smart Apparel company in Silicon Valley.
Judit – So really we started to work the three of us in one same team a few years ago when we started Lilymedia, a company that develops educational kids’ apps. Lilymedia is also Endermetrics’ parent company.
Q: How did you get the idea for Endermetrics?
Jacobo – Well when we worked in Lilymedia and made our apps for young children, we also included some learning analytics of our own and a graphics and analytics dashboard for parents, so they could get feedback on their child’s progress.
And as well as the success of our apps and their great download rates, some really positive feedback we had was from developers of other kids’ apps who came up to us and said “your dashboard is interesting, how can integrate it to my applications?”
So…. we decided to create Endermetrics!
Q: Why do you think educational apps need Learning Analytics?
Judit – Endermetrics optimizes a game or an activity so that it constantly adapts to the child’s level, so that it’s never to hard or too easy, because otherwise the kids get frustrated or bored very easily.
Sergi – And that’s essential for developers, to know how to make the game fit the player, so the player wants to keep playing. And learning!
Q: What’s innovative about Endermetrics?
Judit – There already are kids’ apps that have started to create their own educational dashboards and analytics because there is no service in the market offering to do it for them instead. Endermetrics is offering to provide this new and clearly needed service.
We also provide an educational curriculum we designed ourselves to fit within any educational game and enable the most accurate measurement of metrics. But we can also adapt to any game’s own curriculum.
The parents’ dashboard we provide isnt the first of its kind, other games use their own, but we’re offering a new service of an already devised dashboard that any developer can adapt to his or her own game.
Sergi – And the learning optimization you mentioned before, to constantly adapt to each child’s level, I think that’s very new and forward-thinking for the future of education.
Q: Speaking of the future, what are your goals for Endermetrics in the future?
Jacobo – Become millionaires? Hahaha.
Judit – In the near future? We want to oficially launch our product, we’re in beta phase right now, and get more happy motivated clients!
In a more distant future, we want the big brands that are interested now to keep using our learning analytics. The dream would be to one day supply analytics and optimization to schools for their digital activities.
Q: What impact to you want to have on children and on the education industry as a whole?
Judit – We want to change the current paradigm of education that’s been inherited from the industrial revolution, where all the children go in as a herd and have to learn exactly the same things in the same way, just fit into a mold.
Jacobo – Yes, I believe that we have an obsolete educational system, where children often have to learn a bunch of particular facts, say the date of the french revolution. And if they don’t know it, they don’t pass. But on many occasions learning dates and facts by heart isn’t necessary. We have to teach and learn differently.
Jacobo- Regarding the need for changes in the market for kids’ apps we also want to change it for the better. There is a saturation of kids apps in the industry of educational games right now.
Judit – More tan 400 000!
Jacobo – in Android and in iOS. And there is no way to check which kids apps are actually fulfilling their educational purpose, nor how to improve teaching methods on apps or which application is a better teacher than another. We want to end this problem with the data and the analytics Endermetrics will provide, and from recent studies and sources it really looks like big data and analytics will have a big impact in the world of education.
Q: What do you see for Education and Technology in the Future?
Sergi – It’s clear that the evolution in technology now and in the future means that learning will be less and less about memorizing information and more about developing skills in finding and analysing information.
Judit – And with the growing use of digital devices schools are starting to implement elements of virtual reality in the classrooms too.
Sergi – I think the way forward in the design of education in the future, and already right now, is going to be finding out what is the most effective and efficient for a child’s progress.
But it’s already clear that this has to pass through internet, soon children will be constantly connected as they learn.