We remember the times when math lessons meant counting on your fingers and learning about vegetables was all about looking at a picture chart. But two young engineers from Mumbai and Delhi have plans to change this by making classroom lessons more interactive by using motion gaming.
Nayi Disha is an enterprise started by 22-year-old Kartik Aneja and 23-year-old Kushal Bhagia, both engineers from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, Goa. The duo has created educational computer games for primary school children on the basis of their school syllabus.
But adding an edge to their games is the use of Microsoft Kinect, a motion-sensing device, which makes the children physically participate in their studies. Part of the founding team is also Kunal Chawla, who is an educator from the Stanford School of Education.
“I got the idea during my internship period in Bengaluru. Post work, I started developing two educational games, but with the help of motion gaming they became more interactive,” says Aneja. He then did a test drive of these games at an orphanage in Ejipura in Bengaluru, and realised that it would be a success.
“The first test drive was with kids who had never even seen a computer and were not versed with technology. But they could easily pick up the game and learn at the same time. The physical participation of the kids ensures that they enjoy what they are studying while all our games have stories woven around them, which makes them connect with the characters and facilitates an easy recollection of what they learnt earlier,” says Bhagia.
One of the characters developed by the company is a cute alien named Kaju. The games include ones where the kids learn to count numbers with the help of Kaju when he crash lands on an alien planet and also another interesting one where Kaju goes vegetable shopping for his grandmother.
Initially based out of Delhi, Nayi Disha will now be launching their first set of games with an international school in the city. They also provide hardware installation and teacher training services for their games on an annual basis.