Since the advent of the concept of education, the teaching methods and the disciplines have evolved greatly. Education has evolved from using textbooks and blackboards to tablets and projectors. Technological advancements have transformed the education industry for better outcomes. One such aspect of technology is eLearning applications.
The last decade has seen a major growth in the ed-tech market, with startups raising millions in funding and achieving phenomenal user growth.
The pre-service teacher education lags behind because of old curriculum and technology. And the need generates the technology which is teacher-student friendly and that aims to help teachers with 21st Century Teaching Skills for 21st Century Learners.
This is where Anak2U comes into the picture; to change things for students and teachers. The company provides robust training courses in line with international standards of teacher education. Equipped with such high-standard education, skills the teachers are enabled to teach, equipped with the latest educational standards both inside and outside Malaysia.
In an interview with Globe Outlook, Anak2U team sheds light on the company’s cutting-edge solutions which are enriching the education sector. Considering these innovative and inspiring aspects, Globe Outlook recognizes Anak2U as one of the 10 Best eLearning Application to watch in 2020 across the globe.
Below are highlights from the interview conducted between Anak2U team and Globe Outlook :
- Anak2U : Introduction, Journey & inspiration
Headquartered in Bangi, Selangor, Anak2U, literally means “Child to you”, was co-founded by Wan Muzaffar Wan Hashim and Aniq Aiman Imran. Both working together on multiple projects, mostly helping startups in the region, they decided to join a national hackathon by SME Corp Malaysia, presenting Anak2U as a solution to assist daycare providers digitizing their daily task and process. The team emerged as a second prize winner and they decided to further develop the platform, tweaking it to suit the local market.
- Key person aiding the success of the company
Anak2U’s onset towards a global ascendance is helmed by Wan Muzaffar Wan Hashim, the CEO, and Co-founder of Anak2U. He holds a Diplome Ingenieur (Master) in Telecommunication from IMT Lille Douai France and a Master’s in Global E-Business from University Lille 1. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he was a trainer and has conducted digital training around the region including in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. He also regularly participates in delivering multiple digital projects in Malaysia used in the region in multiple domains, from startup to corporate projects including OTT products, Astro Go, travel, and loyalty industries such as AirAsiaBig and Firefly mobile app. He partnered up with Aniq Aiman Imran, a Degree holder in Artificial Intelligence from University Teknikal Melaka (UTeM). Aniq has previously worked together with Muzaffar on the project management side when they were working on Air Asia Big and Firefly projects (Airline and loyalty). They started up as a software house companies (MDR Tech) helping startups to create a mobile app and website, to name a few Hmlet mobile apps and POD, before involving big clients including hangar of the future project, a project led by Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Center with Airbus.
3. Prominent features of Anak2U & Services Offered
Anak2U aims to assist educators and childcare providers in three areas: class management,syllabus and materials preparation and adopting blended learning methods in the classroom. While other products in the market focus more on school and class management, the key feature that the clients appreciate is the library that consists of more than 1000+ resources in terms of worksheets, videos and learning materials , that teachers can easily choose and print to prepare their daily lesson. Each activity is properly mapped to children learning and development milestones , allowing parents to access their children report cards directly and support the development of their children.
4. Anak2U redefining the future of the ed-tech sector with it’s unique services
To be in line with the Education Ministry’s aspiration for digital-centric education, Anak2U eases the caretaker’s administrative duty, while also simplifies parent-teacher-children interaction by bringing the classroom experience to parents remotely. Anak2U has significantly reduced the time that teachers spend to perform the administrative work from 2 hours to 15 minutes per day. It uses analytics to retrieve data from the digital reporting and a child’s activities to perform data analysis and push the right to follow up activities to the parents. This is important for the company as it is moving towards the future of ed-tech. Currently available in Malaysia, it is the only solution in the market that has a milestone tracker for the Islamic curriculum and linking it to the resources that the company built in-house or has curated from partners. Company has the vision to become an ed-tech solution for Islamic market, that is why another sister product was introduced under the brand name of Kiddy2U, targeted for English, Arabic and French speaking countries.
5. Growing and sustaining the position in the changing market?
Considering the ever-competitive market, the growth in technology gives a lot of opportunities in the Ed-Tech market, especially in the Islamic market , a lot of domains are still open for grab and can be tapped into. Not to forget one of the company goals is to provide blended learning methods in the resources, one of the successful learning resources: Anak2U reading app (for Bahasa language) has high number of downloads from users in the region (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei) It is included also with Augmented Reality, which increases engagement from young age kids. A lot of other technologies can be included in our products including speech recognition, text recognition, the market is wide open and we plan to explore the digital resources incorporating this technology in them. Also, we set our standards high and always keep in touch with clients and use their opinions to help make our product and service better to ensure repeat business while building the client’s loyalty. Specifically, with the advances of technology creating pressures that constantly change the market, we need to grow strategically.
6. Unique characteristics which sets Anak2U at the top
Anak2U involves customers from the beginning of the project until today. By having customer centric development, we really know what’s the problem that our customers are having at the moment and how we can include the features in our roadmap. Even the main features of the app, which is the resources linked to children learning and development milestones, was actually built thanks to a brainstorm session during our customer interview process. We work in an agile manner and work closely to add customer input inside our product roadmap.
7. Motivational Guidance
Success is what motivates us to conquer the obstacles. Knowing the fact that our hard work and perseverance will help the company achieve greater professional success is what keeps usgoing. Also, staying positive helps us to be motivated and focused on overcoming any challenge. Some of the challenges Anak2U faces as a startup are, to break through the current compiling crowded space, evaluating the software products without testing them with students, and the learning curve to use the software. The company simply provides onsite training to help and introduce the software to teachers and parents, it is still a challenge to convince schools to adopt their app. Some are too used to the traditional paper-and-ink approach, especially the older generation. We overcome this by educating the teachers first, and once they are on board, it becomes easier to convince center owners or principals. We also reach out to parents, who have become a valuable voice of support due to their receptiveness to the technology.
8. Future developments
The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the ed-tech industry. The barriers between the IoT and the normal internet will possibly disappear entirely very soon and there could be something new and universal. To ensure we persist, the Internet is a limitless source of free information and educational resources. We attend informative and educational webinars, follow the blogs and social media accounts of industry experts. We also bookmark and regularly check industry news sites and online forums to stay current on the latest trends. Having knowledge and expertise beyond the basics of our field can give us advantages. Some of the technologies that will be included in our solution includes recommendations based on data taken from students’ reports, facial recognition to ease up morning attendance, and integration with thermometer for morning attendance check-in.
. Foresight about Ed-Tech:
The future is about connectivity and access, learning, and collaboration everywhere, locally as well as globally. Teaching and learning are going to be social. Schools of the future could have a conventional cohort of students, as well as online-only students who live across the country or even the world. Schools will need a fast robust internet connection. Infrastructure is paramount to the future of technology in education.
10. Could you please tell us about the future goals that your company holds and aims to achieve?
Anak2U hopes to build world-class solutions, with a world-class curriculum and able to reach its audience through them. When we find the right formula, we could grow the solution beyond early education, to the primary and secondary school vertical as well. Anak2U will continue to invest in strengthening its main milestone tracking app, as well as digital resources so that it will be widely used in the market. We aim to make Anak2U the main reference for parents and teachers in the Islamic world.
11. Where to get Anaka2U
Anak2U (Bahasa Speaking Region)
Kiddy2U (English, Arabic and French speaking Region)
Reference to other articles about Anak2U
Anak2U (Bahasa Speaking Region)
Kiddy2U (English, Arabic and French speaking Region)