An app creator at the age of 17, Ham & High Education spoke to UCS Hampstead student Jonny Boone about why he took it upon himself to help fellow pupils with revision for their GCSE exams.
What was it about the process of revising for your GCSEs that you found tedious?
The first thing about revising is that the preparation is a whole labour in itself. For each subject a student needs one or two revision guides, a practice workbook, the corresponding specification, a computer, the file and notepad, a pencil case, and most importantly an array of practice past papers. It takes a significant period of time to get all this set up, and it’s incredibly easy to get distracted and procrastinate.
Of course there’s also a level of discipline, or otherwise motivation needed to get revising in the first place. The actual studying typically involves making notes, …… this takes a long time, and the bore of it leaves students susceptible to distractions.
How arduous was the process of creating the app, and how rewarding was it when the process was finished?
It was certainly a long process, and rewarding for sure. My father was a huge help, and all ideas were passed through him. I thought of learning how to code and develop the app myself, but figured that it would be impossible, especially with the GCSEs looming – in the end it took a co-ordinated team of six or seven professionals.
The most arduous process without a doubt was entering questions into the program. I had more than 200 tests to enter – each taking half an hour – and would spend 10 hour days during the half term and weekends entering these.
What makes your app fun and unique to the user?
The lack of quality revision apps seemed like a clear gap in the market, and this is what motivated me to create my own. We started with the core goal of creating something genuinely fun. The idea of Temple is for students to build an immense temple throughout their studies. As they revise and complete mini-tests, they build their temples (for their respective subjects) and their overall landscape.
How well has it been received? Do GCSE students at your school use it? What was the reaction of your teachers?
It’s been received very well so far – the reviews left so far have been overwhelmingly positive, … the only complaint we have received as of yet is that we only support three subjects. We plan to boost the app massively over the summer, doubling the subject base and improving in particular the answer section. We have accumulated more than a thousand users, and hopefully can grow this far more as the GCSEs arrive.
You can download Temple for yourself by visiting templegcse.com.
Would you suggest your students try alternative methods of revising? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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