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As 16-year-olds, one of the biggest challenges we faced was memorizing the lessons we learned at school. But, an even bigger challenge was remembering those lessons for a long period of time after memorizing them. Mostafa faced the same challenge at school. The only difference is that he decided to use technology to bridge this gap.
Mostafa started to learn how to program in 5th grade. When he was in 9th grade his country, Egypt, decided to build a new educational system which largely depended on technology. Every student was given a tablet and access to digital learning content on their tablet. He decided to use his knowledge in programming to make an education app, EduCup, to try to help Egypt solve its education problems.
Mostafa participated in the “next coders” program built in partnership with TIEC/MCITand Udacity in order to teach programming to Egyptian students. He is among the top 3 students in the program and finished the Intro to Programming Nanodegree program in less than 3 days— a commendable feat. Mostafa was also honored by the Minister of Communications and IT in Egypt and the Minister of Information and Communication of Gambia. Later, Mostafa also graduated from the Android Development Nanodegree program.
Along with these accomplishments, Mostafa has a number of accolades to his name. Here is a list to name a few:
- First place in the Young Change Makers competition by Ashoka Arab World (Ashoka is ranked among the top 5 NGO’s globally) (2019)
- Third place in Scientific Inventions among secondary school students in Cairo (2019)
- Named one of the top 50 Problem Solvers among school students in Egypt by the Arab Academy for Science and Technology (2018)
- First place in playing the piano among secondary school students in Cairo (2019)
- Incubation program at “teens club” which is following the British Council (2019)
- Fellow at “Tahrir Lounge” program which is following Goethe institute (2019)
As a constant learner, there is no doubt that Mostafa has made significant achievements.. But, our favourite is his attempt to bridge the gaps in school education with his app—EduCup.
EduCup, gamifying learning
Mostafa founded EduCup, an education app for school students. The app allows students to apply gamification elements to the school’s curriculum, providing them with a gamified tool they can use to learn and revise lessons. It enables users to master their lessons by repeating the same information multiple times in a gamified manner. The app also teaches students the best and the most efficient ways to study. It helps them be more productive and achieve better results in less time by changing how they study and learn..
After a student learns a lesson, they tend to forget most of it after a couple of days. To transition lessons to the long term memory students need to repeat the same information multiple times in “different” time intervals. With EduCup, students can compete and challenge each other… These challenges include answering questions from previous lessons so students recall what they learned, which helps them store the information to their long term memory. Here is an image showing the same:
There are a lot of education apps, but most only focus on learning curriculum. EduCup is different in that it provides sufficient ways for students to both train on their lessons and move the information to the long term memory. This way, students will remember the information and benefit from it.
Currently, the app is functional at a preparatory stage in Egypt. Mostafa’s plan is to scale up to other school stages in Egypt and reach 50,000 Egyptian students throughout the next three years. Then they want to work on the curriculum for other countries. They have already made an action plan, but they will need funds to cover the expenses of building the content, marketing the app, and other required expenses.
How did Mostafa manage school and Udacity?
Mostafa took many courses in time management which helped him learn to manage his time between going to school, studying,working on his projects, and learning programming online. “Also learning on Udacity was so flexible. The content is available all the time and it was very easy to schedule taking the Nanodegree program while going to school, studying, and working on my own startup,” said Mostafa.
How did Udacity help?
“I have used a lot of online learning sites. They provide good knowledge, but there are not enough quizzes or tasks to help us practice. But Udacity’s Nanodegree programs come with a number of quizzes after each lesson. Also, there is a detailed required practical project.This was really helpful when it came to designing my own app, EduCup,” said Mostafa.