E-learning: Moving classrooms to browsers

E-learning: Moving classrooms to browsers

By SANSHEY BISWAS | | 17 October, 2015
WizIQ, a software platform that helps organisations build e-learning platforms that suit their needs, organised a conference called EdTech.Now on 15 October. The conclave had speakers from upcoming and established institutes in the field of e-learning. Harman Singh, founder and CEO of WizIQ, told Guardian20 that the event aimed to strengthen the ecosystem of e-learning, still in its infancy, by bringing industry leaders and newbies together, allowing them the opportunity to meet, interact and collaborate. WizIQ influence as an important player in the industry — leading e-learning companies like Laureate International Universities use their platform to build newer ways to provide learning and teaching mediums —  provides them the chance to pull off such an event. 
Amit Sevak, CEO Laureate International Universities, explained why e-learning is becoming a crucial aid for higher education in India. With more people seeking higher education, public institutions are running on full capacity and private institutions are flourishing. “With this increase in opportunity comes a mix in quality,” said Sevak. Brick-and-mortar classrooms become too restrictive. E-learning, thus, becomes a more personalised way of teaching, with tools like analytics and all-day support. It also allows for gamification of learning, pushing students to better results without the stress of conventional methods. 
Aakash Chaudhary, Director of Aakash Education, explained how parents and students usually pick the safest option option here. Leading up to graduation, they prefer physical classrooms where the tab of a browser isn’t necessarily the best option available for the students to pick up skills required to build a career. Vinod Dham, CEO and co-founder of Acadgild and the man who created the original Pentium line of computer processors, spoke of how professionals such as software developers need to take up courses that keep them up to date with the technology available.  Many platforms, like Acadgild, focus more on practical work and projects than certification. An app built by a student, he said, would always be a better proof of competence than a course completion certificate. 
Harman Singh of WizIQ believes e-learning platforms are just over a couple of years away from being accepted among students, parents and employers. After enabling organisations to build their own e-learning platforms, WizIQ are now working to regulate the fragmentation in the segment with an aggregator-like service in the works. But for these companies to stay in business, they need “organic marketing to get new students”, said Aditi Avasthi, founder and CEO, Embibe.com. This can be achieved by adding value to the courses they are offering. E-learning has transcended the constraints of videos of teachers explaining course material. The interactivity, quality of content, ease of access, guidance among several other innovations that these organisations are working on are all steps towards the next frontier of learning. 
The kids growing up with a bowl of Cerelac and a smartphone next to it often find smart devices more appealing than direct human interaction, which makes these platforms an important and,  potentially, a primary medium of learning in the future. 

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