SmartStart, smart everything
SmartStart needed an easy-to-use platform to help shape SA’s young minds, so we shook hands and built them a bot.
Engineering | Design | Feersum NLU
Remember the good old days? We played outside, screamed at the top of our lungs and had minds like sponges. Those early years are super important for learning, and SmartStart knows that better than anyone. With early educational development being such an under-resourced area in South Africa, they decided to do something about it.
So they partnered with us to create a smart, simple solution that enables brighter futures by giving educators what they need to help young learners. There are currently one million South African children aged 3-5 years old who don’t have access to early learning programmes, which are crucial for mental stimulation and growth.
Keeping track of a group of lively kids is more difficult than herding cats at the best of times. Trying to give them everything they need to develop into future leaders is no easy feat, especially while trying to remember who put up their hand for roll call. So we came up with something that made it easy for registered SmartStarters – trained and licensed educators – to do everything from taking attendance and sharing pics to coming up with lesson plans and activity ideas.
From web to WhatsApp
But where exactly should these educational resources live in order to be insanely accessible? Simples – WhatsApp. Having it here instead of a website or social platform means that SmartStarters can use it in a familiar space – their own devices.
From WhatsApp to the world
Building a chatbot is a labour of love. While there’s a lot of fun along the way, it’s a serious business. We had to make the chatbot as user-friendly as possible, and a big part of that was cost. The platform needed to be accessible to all, not take up extra space on phones, and be affordable to the end-user.
Too often in South Africa, we think, advertise and write in English, which is a second language for the majority of our population. With a SmartStarter community that stretches throughout the country, the bot caters for everyone in all 11 official languages.
Smart, isn't it?
Very professional, knowledgeable and efficient team. It’s really been a great pleasure working with working with Praekelt’s Feersum Engine.