Gira Szakmár, founder and CEO of eduGamiTec, reckons the scalability of the company’s Memomoti game-based learning platform is limitless
Photo: Gira Szakmár
As part of Delano’s Summer like no other series, we take a look at innovative companies and the tools that can change our everyday life. This week we focus on eduGamiTec’s Memomoti technology.
Memomoti is a customised game-based learning solution that allows what Luxembourg startup eduGamiTec’s CEO and founder Gira Szakmár calls “small granules of curriculum” to be merged into any digital game connected to the platform. The aim is to provide an “engaging and motivating learning experience” by transforming the hours spend on passive digital entertainment into meaningful time spent on education and self-development.
Szakmár says she was inspired to invent Memomoti when helping her young daughters with their homework. The Hungarian game designer had no French, German or Luxembourgish when she first moved to the grand duchy. “I thought there must be an easier way to learn. So, I created a really simply game with a mouse and, as motivation some coins with which you could buy some stuff.” The results surprised Szakmár when her younger daughter started doing double-digit multiplication as quickly as her sister, three years older, for whom the game had been designed. “It was amazing. I mean, this repetitive learning is just killing,” she says.
Szakmár, an experienced game developer, believes strongly that games can change people, that they are educational--“most Hungarians I know learn English through games”--and that they teach active participation rather than passive consumption.
But creating a new game for every homework task was a frustratingly long process, so Szakmár jumped at the chance to join an Ideation Camp at the University of Luxembourg that allowed her to develop the platform and spurred her to create the eduGamiTec start-up.
Creating a new standard
“We don’t create educational content,” she explains. “The teachers or parents or children create what they need to learn through memos that they upload to the platform.” Then the game developer community merges the memos into games that provide a playful learning experience. “The most brilliant point of the platform is that everybody brings what they are best at.” AI driven assessment systems can even adjust the difficulty of the games to each child’s requirements.
“The scalability is limitless,” says Szakmár. “Basically, my dream is that in 2023 that will be the new standard. That every game that comes out will be able to be played in Memomoti mode. Every game will become an educational game.”
Currently it is up to users to upload the educational content. The challenge, Szakmár says, is to convince the two professional sectors to meet and embrace the platform. She would love educational published and digital content owners to channel their learning programmes into the Memomoti platform, so they can show their content “in a super-entertaining and super-different way.”
“There is still a way of thinking that learning is work, it should be taken seriously,” Szakmár says. The covid-19 lockdown may have had some influence in slowly changing that attitude. “A lot of studies have proved that if learning is engaging, entertaining, visually and audio wise touching you senses, it is much more effective.”
Speaking from experience, Szakmár reckons that the gaming sector also has to change its way of thinking. “Game developers have a love relationship with their game, it’s an art form. They don’t want to put something as serious as learning in it.”
Szakmár has questioned herself constantly since deciding to launch the startup, though she has never questioned the Memomoti idea. “I need to do this, I need to bring it alive.” But in May she was given a real boost when Neil Ward, owner of Neil Ward & Associates, joined EduGamiTec as both an investor and board member. Ward, the CEO of Kneip and former COO of Skype, said that Szakmár’s “vision and passion for the space coupled with the Memomoti technology made this a stand out candidate for our company’s investment.”