Queensland edtech company LiteracyPlanet has seen a 55% increase in user numbers worldwide as parents and schools in many countries look for ways to help kids learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gold Coast company is also supporting hundreds of K-12 schools around the world with free access to the LiteracyPlanet platform while they weather the difficulties of COVID-19.

LiteracyPlanet’s online platform guides students’ literacy learning through interactive activities and games that can be accessed via PCs and tablets, with teachers able to monitor and assign work to meet the needs of each child.

LiteracyPlanet Founder and Director Shane Davis said the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed edtech into the spotlight.

‘As an industry, K-12 education is yet to fully embrace digital technology as a mainstream resource for teachers, and the environment we now find ourselves in has provided a stimulus that’s driving schools to look for remote learning solutions,’ Mr Davis said.

‘This pandemic has been a bit of a wakeup call to administrators and governments about the advantages of edtech, especially in helping teachers and parents maintain education and learning outcomes while learning at home.

‘We’ve seen our user requests per hour go up significantly – from about 1 million per hour in our last highest period, to around 2 million.’

Mr Davis said COVID-19 had placed great stress on schools, and his company was pleased to offer free access to LiteracyPlanet in support of them until a level of normality returns.

‘The school system in Australia stayed partially open, so the administration functions were still active although 80-90% of kids were at home,’ he said.

‘But internationally, many schools completely closed and the international schools we work with in Asia and the Middle East sent staff back to their home countries, while budgets were also frozen.

‘We’re really proud of being able to help out and it’s rewarding to be making a positive impact during these times especially.’

LiteracyPlanet’s Global Marketing Manager Samantha Poblete said edtech could help to take some of the pressure off parents trying to take on the role of teacher at home.

‘Parents need to take the pressure off themselves as much as their children during and look for engaging educational programs that are easy to use and motivational for kids.

‘It absolutely does help to have something that children want to do and that the parent can also be involved in without having to stress about their own knowledge and ability to teach their child.’

LiteracyPlanet has staff in the UK, Canada and the USA, and employs more than 20 staff at its Varsity Lakes headquarters on the Gold Coast.

Its online platform has been specifically aligned to match the different curriculums in over 50 countries where it operates.

TIQ has worked with LiteracyPlanet in the UK and other markets to help expand their export footprint.

Education and digital services are both identified as export priorities in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.