Craig and Shane Smith

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Digital success story Old Collegians Craig and Shane Smith recently gave inspiring talks at the Middle School Assembly to launch national Gifted Awareness Week.

The Week is an opportunity to draw attention to gifted people the nature of giftedness and gifted education in New Zealand, and runs from 17-23 June.

The brothers are co-founders of Language Perfect, an online language resource to help students learn foreign languages, and together have built an international company with an award winning learning platform.

At the assembly the boys spoke about their road to success with their company, about what resilience has taught them, and how not to give up in the face of adversity or discouragement.

Their message for the students was to get involved in everything that they can at the College and to see things through to the finish.

Perseverance was the key to success they said, all the while giving yourself permission to ask those ‘silly’ questions in class and being yourself. They reinforced to the students not to worry about what others think of you, and if you do not know the answer, just ask and seek help.

A new venture for the young businessmen is now the launch of Education Perfect at the College, which takes other curriculum areas English, History, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths and Economics into a whole new online learning environment.

The revision tool asks students dynamic questions so they get endless practice with concepts that they are finding difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, an in-depth explanation is provided which helps them to quickly master each question.

Nominated for Young New Zealander of the Year in 2012, Craig initially developed the software for Language Perfect when he was studying for his Japanese and French NCEA exams at the College. Shane then developed the platform software to support Craig’s prototype.

Fast forward seven years and the brothers have turned their entrepreneurial vision into a multimillion dollar business that is now used in over 1,000 schools worldwide, and has over 250,000 users.

Each year Language Perfect holds a competition where over 100,000 students from around the globe logon for the world’s largest online languages competition, together answering over 50 million vocabulary and grammar questions under time pressure in any one of 14 languages over a period of ten days. This makes their company one of the most used educational websites in the world.

*Education Perfect is running EPIC 2013 - the Education Perfect Inter-school Competition between June 14th and August 9th 2013. Students compete to win prizes and the prestigious EPIC trophy by mastering content from a huge range of Education Perfect subject material.