INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Singapore startup brings 'play' into classroom

Playware introduces 3DHive, a play-enabled virtual classroom.

In today’s world, teachers find it difficult to actively engage students. Not only do students have shorter attention spans, but they also find it mundane to engage with traditional non-interactive media. While research has convinced teachers of the effectiveness of using games in the classroom, games are currently too expensive and cumbersome for schools to adopt wholesale.

Playware Studios wants to bring ‘play’ into every classroom in the world. Built on top of the cutting edge Unity3D technology, Playware introduces 3DHive, a cloud based, social, play-enabled virtual classroom platform that allows schools to embrace ‘games in learning’ on-the-go.

Playware Studios is an organisation with a focus on the development of engaging learning environments that enable and enhance learning through play.

According to the company's strategy head Akshay Maliwal, the company started as a serious games developer but have expanded its portfolio with immersive virtual laboratories, interactive galleries and a game creation tool for teachers and students.

Developed in a 4-year collaboration with Singapore teachers and schools, Maliwal boasts that the platform has everything a school needs to create, play, manage, and share games. It even has in-built tools for assessment of the students’ performance through the playing and making of games.

"We are bringing an educational games platform to classrooms. Teachers and students can create their own games through our point-and-click game editor software and within minutes create 3D virtual worlds. The more engaging part is the User-Generated-Content that educators can put onto their games which allows users to learn whilst playing a serious game," he said.

Maliwal said that the platform is cloud-hosted which means “anytime” availability without any setup or overhead costs. It has built-in tools for collaboration, classroom management and assessment.

How did the company start?

According to Maliwal, the company started with the aid of private angels in Singapore. It started in 2005 as a serious games company but in 2008 it swiftly moved to the education technology space because of the founders' involvement in "FutureSchools@Singapore" program.

"Our founders, Siddharth Jain (Chief Creative Officer) and Srividya Maliwal (Chief Producer) have been instrumental in the serious games space in Singapore and South-East Asia over the last 5-7 years. Their changed focus on education technology, and more specifically game-design and game-literacy as a new medium in education is monumental and there is much success to come from this new form technology in classrooms worldwide." said Maliwal.


Name of the company: Playware Studios Asia Private Limited
Founder/Founders: Siddharth Jain (Chief Creative Officer) and Srividya Maliwal (Chief Producer)
Website: www.learningthefuture.com, www.playwarestudios.com
Major Investors: Private Angels
Total funding at hand: Can't disclose
Target fund: Can't disclose
Source of funding: Venture Capital firms and private investors
Start of operation: 2008 

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