Chairperson- Gautam Chickermane
Co-Chair and Moderator- Natesh BV, Jury Expert – Milind Pathak
Session Manager: Mr. Syed
Workshop presenters (name, organization):
- Mr. Deep Shah, Catapp, Co-Founder & Director, Information Works Systems & Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
- Mr. Ankur Jain, Career Counseling, BhartiAirtel
- Ms. Anisha Mukhija, Co-Founder, Sounds of Silence – Unleash the Power of Words, India
- Ms. Jayomi Lokuliyana, Co-Founder & CEO, Learn English with British Council, Zmessenger (pvt) Ltd, India
- Mr. Supreet Kaur, Harness Touch-On-Cloud, Harness Handitouch Private Limited, India
- Mr. Amit Agrawal, CEO, Result Via SMS, Janaki Technology Private Ltd, India
Objectives of workshop:
To utilize the penetration of Mobile Services, internet and other digital media platforms in delivering education especially to rural masses.
The first speaker of the session, Mr. Deep Shah showcased his app called CatApp which was primarily developed for students attempting to crack a competitive entrance examination. The app provides free access to question papers. Mr Deep explained to the audience that students could upload their own questions and quizzes which would then be published on the app for others to download. When Chairperson Mr. Gautam put up a query asking Mr. Deep the method which was adopted by the developers of the CATApp to verify the authenticity of questions/answers and the relevancy of data uploaded by users of the App, Mr. Deep replied that the developers of the App also act as moderators and filter all the data coming in.
The second speaker Mr. Ankur Jain from Bharti Airtel shared a new service called Career Counseling where students, parents and other people can get in touch with experts, educationists, etcto seek their advice on all matters pertaining to education and career. Various events are organized with experts from different fields who advice and counsel the subscribers of this service. MrAnkur claimed that there are more than a million subscribers out of which over 55% are active ones i.e they have attended more than one event. Sessions are also organized in different regional languages. A query relating to end-user cost was put up from the audience to which Mr Ankur replied that nominal charges of Rs. 2 per day is charged with additional charge ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 100 per event.
The third speaker Ms. Anisha Mukhija from Sounds of Silencetold the audience about SOS Project which focuses on both interaction and enabling children with hearing disability. They are taught to communicate by typing on qwerty phones which also helps them in using keyboards etc. The SOS project takes learners from starter to intermediate level using mobile technology. It increases their employability and hence these people are trained to be independent and lead a near normal life.
The fourthspeaker Ms. Jayomi Lokuliyana who showcased her English learning via phone initiative called “Learn English with the British Council.” It is a simplified, interactive medium through which users can test and practice their English language skills through their mobile phone. This unique service allows users to learn conversational English using technologies such as SMS, IVR, and Video, by providing essential language learning tips for all levels of learners. Ms. Jayomi commented that since the initiative is carried on in collaboration with British Council, end users do not doubt the credibility of the content.
The fifth speaker Ms. Supreet Kaur from Harness Handitouch showcased a new learning operating system called “touch on cloud” to make classrooms more collaborative, efficient and engaging. Ms. Supreet emphasized on the need of interactive and engaging learning rather than traditional lecturing. Touch-on-Cloud is a tablet and cloud based learning system where teachers and students are networked in classroom and off it. Teachers can at a tap monitor student answers and provide feedbacks, and students can share data amongst themselves too. Students have the ability to add notes on top of the teacher layer. Teachers in a remote location can control a student’s activity in another location.
The next speaker Mr. Amit Agarwal from Nepal, showcased his service of providing results via SMS. He shared with the audience that Nepal has an unorganized examination system with no set pattern or date of publication of results. The Nepali Board would earlier publish results in newspapers which would cost them a lot of money and run into several pages, a practice which is now done away with. Mr. Amitgoing into some telecom statistics shared with the audience how mobiles have penetrated into 68% of the total population. Students via this service can send an SMSin a designated format to a specific number and receive results via sms at a nominal cost.They first started with just giving results via SMS, but later expanded to notices and seat plans as well. There initiative really helped the people.
Summary of the session:
Initiatives and projects were showcased by various presenters which related to diverse matters in the field of education and learning. Co-Chair and Moderator – Natesh BV observed that computer based training has not been very successful owing to low bandwidth and inadequate internet penetration. However with penetration ofmobiles even to rural areas, there are increased opportunities to provide e-learning and education through mobiles. Mr. Pathak, JuryExpert commented that biggest challenge is the sustainability of the model providing education. Profit making or self-sustaining modelsin the field of education and e-learning can go a long way in empowering citizens.