Before the age of Internet, trying to get my homework done without procrastinating was hard enough. When I was a little kid, there were plenty of distractions that always made doing homework the very last activity I wanted to engage in each afternoon: friends wanting to play, TV shows waiting to be watched, soccer balls waiting to be kicked, monkeybars calling out my name. In this digital age, I can’t imagine how hard it must be for little kids to focus on their homework — on top of non-technological distractions, there are all kinds of awesome gadgets and tablets and smartphones and websites just waiting to distract them from getting their homework done after school each day.
Now there’s a company hoping to help kids and parents alike tackle the distraction factor during homework time. Brothers Ronan and Pierce Higgins of Dublin, Ireland have teamed up with Trinity College to create an aptly-named learning platform for math called Aftermath that combines parental controls with educational content in a gaming environment. The software blocks distracting websites from students while they’re doing their homework, then rewards their work with time on Facebook and other fun sites after they’ve correctly answered their homework questions. Aftermath touts itself as the first e-learning system to use online time as a reward.
Currently, Aftermath is designed for middle school and high school students. It offers a free one-moth trial of the software. The brothers provide background on their inspiration for developing the platform on their website:
We started Aftermath in collaboration with Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, because we wanted to solve a problem. How can we help our kids attain math standards required for college entry in a world where they are so easily distracted and absorbed by Facebook and other online activities? How can we, as parents, provide them with tools that assist them in their academic endeavors? How can we incorporate math learning in a fun gaming environment?
Soon the idea grew.
Check out their introductory video, embedded below, on how Aftermath works:
Visit Aftermath’s website to download the software.