When screens are often blamed for distracting students, one 16-year-old entrepreneur has developed an app that reverses that trend, helping students to organize their time and learning. Ishan Kishinchand came up with the idea when he found his academic life was suffering because he wasn’t managing his time well. Working with developers, he has launched the Rise-Learn app on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Kishinchand is not, admittedly, a typical teenager. A Spaniard attending boarding school in Scotland — where he can indulge his love of golf — he was motivated to develop the app after a disbelieving teacher criticized him for failure to deliver homework. Although Kishinchand explained that he had simply run out of time, the teacher refused to believe him, suggesting that it was actually simple laziness, a criticism that Kishinchand took to heart. “I may be a teenage, but lazy is simply not a word that is not in my dictionary,” says Kishinchand, “and afterward I asked myself ‘how are you going to pull yourself together’, and that’s where Rise-Learn started.”
So while most teens might pull out a planner and some highlighters, Kishinchand instead began developing his app. Working with a Spanish development company, Xerintel, and drawing on his — and his friends’ — experience, he created Rise-Learn to not only help manage his time, but also to help advance his learning and revision.
The purpose of Rise-Learn is simple: using it will help maximize its users’ academic success, by helping them organize their time, but also by providing access to useful learning resources. At its heart, the app is an academic calendar, so students can put in their timetables, assignments, and deadlines. The app can then help make sure they are in the right place at the right time and aware of looming deadlines. However, the app goes even further.
Recognizing that life is not just about work, the app can also be used to schedule non-school events. So, whether it’s a long-awaited celebration, or just downtime to keep clear, when these are scheduled the app will intelligently adjust to allow for them. This means that the reminder for a big assignment doesn’t pop up in the middle of a party, but instead in plenty of time before to allow for completion.
Rise-Learn goes further than just helping students to organize, it can also help them learn. Taking prompts from information in the schedule, it can also suggest resources and quizzes for study or revision. A forthcoming history assignment, therefore, might lead to pointers to online information about the relevant period, while a chemistry test might prompt a quick quiz on the periodic table. This moves the app from just being a replacement calendar, to being a virtual assistant. A student won’t just be able to manage their time, but will always have additional resources in their pocket to take advantage of odd moments to learn.
Kishinchand admits his motivation is not purely altruistic. “I am very ambitious, my goal for this app is to have as many active users as possible,” he says. However, altruism has been a major factor in the app. Releasing his first app was something Kishinchand sees as a dream come true that was only made possible by the support of his parents, grandfather, and wider family. And Kishinchand has made the app free to spread that support. “I want this app to help people,” he says, “I have a passion for business and believe that this app, by changing lives, can help change the world.” After receiving positive feedback from classmates who tested the app, Rise-Learn is available free on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.