/“We expect a greater convergence of digital and traditional teaching-learning mediums going forward”

“We expect a greater convergence of digital and traditional teaching-learning mediums going forward”

Vinay Sharma-S. Chand

The education sector in India has been one of the most impacted sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the timely intervention of edtech players brought the much-needed relief to educators and students alike, helping them in tackling the obstacles in the current situation. With a plethora of learning apps for every age, the major challenge is to look for the app for all; mass population should afford the e-learning apps available in India. S. Chand, one of India’s oldest and largest textbook and education content companies, has introduced a personalised home learning application ‘Learnflix’ during this pandemic which offers comprehensive learning in Math and Science for classes 6 to 10 and is based on the latest CBSE syllabus and is also useful for ICSE and other state boards. Another helping hand in this pandemic situation for students by S. Chand is ‘Mylestone’, an end-to-end education solutions provider for teachers and students. Ramesh Kumar Raja talked to Vinay Sharma, Head – Digital Services at S. Chand, to discuss the significance of edtech platforms in the wake of the global crisis and where do Learnflix and Mylestone stand in a hyper-competitive market like India. Excerpts:

How do you look at the current trend of edtech platforms in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies due to the social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns. People and organizations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life – education being no exception. Like for many other sectors, technology ensured education process remained uninterrupted to a large extent.

Edtech platforms like Learnflix and Mylestone gained immense popularity among students and parents in pandemic times. Over the past few months, millions of students and teachers moved to online education and schools are now looking to add it to their existing learning models – as part of a long-term framework. With the internet becoming affordable and more accessible, we expect a greater convergence of digital and traditional teaching-learning mediums going forward. Schools are not expected to forgo edtech post-COVID as its advantages have been experienced. Even when children are back in classrooms, digital best-practices are likely to be seamlessly blended to ensure effective and uninterrupted education. In fact, Mylestone offers a solution which can operate both in digital as well as hybrid mode ensuring school runs smoothly irrespective of any disruptions.

What makes Learnflix different from others in a hyper-competitive market like India? Please tell us about its USPs.

Learnflix, the home-learning application from the house of S. Chand and Group, offers comprehensive learning in Math and Science for classes 6 to 10 and is based on the latest CBSE syllabus and useful for ICSE and other state boards.

One of the key features that differentiate Learnflix from the other platforms in the market is its price range, as a student can avail all the facilities with one access in just Rs 167 per month which makes it extremely affordable to vast mass of students in smaller towns and is much lower than other learning apps available.

Moreover, students also get complimentary ebooks from renowned authors (e.g. Lakhmir Singh, Manjit Kaur, P S Verma etc.), offering very high value within this price.

In addition, it provides top quality learning videos, easy access (one subscription & access to everything) and unlimited practice tests with varied difficulty levels along with personalized remedial. Other key features include personalized anytime anywhere learning, engaging animated videos, quizzes, revision notes/summaries, sample papers, in-depth focused and actionable analysis, personalized learning journey and remedial to master development areas.

How user friendly is this app?

Learnflix is totally a user-friendly app designed specifically for students in a complete easy to use manner. It has easy access (one subscription & access to everything) and unlimited practice tests with varying difficulty levels.

What is your business model? Is this app totally chargeable or also have free-of-cost solutions?

Learnflix was launched as a B2B2C model and was exclusively accessed through schools but later seeing the unprecedented success, we have forayed into the direct-to-consumer segment, offering our application to students and parents directly. The growth of Learnflix app across geographies in India has been due to the simplicity of access, quality content and an affordable subscription price.

We also decided to offer the app at the same price to students directly, as that was offered to schools, i.e., Rs 2,000 per student for the full year, which is almost 10 times more affordable than other available learning apps in the market. Coupled with cost-effective course books that come with the S. Chand pedigree, students can also have a free trial version of the application to evaluate and make up their mind.

“Learnflix was launched as a B2B2C model and was exclusively accessed through schools but later seeing the unprecedented success, we have forayed into the direct-to-consumer segment, offering our application to students and parents directly. The growth of Learnflix app across geographies in India has been due to the simplicity of access, quality content and an affordable subscription price”

How many installs are there on Google Play and App Store?

The total Learnflix installs on Google Play and App Store are 1.82 lacs +.

What are the exams and boards that Learnflix caters to? What is the language curriculum available?

Learnflix caters to CBSE and Karnataka Board predominantly but is useful for ICSE and other state boards as well. The medium of instruction is English.

Do you also provide video conferencing?

Learnflix does not have any video conferencing functionality as it is a personalized self-learning application with all relevant repository of contents in various forms like videos, animations, text, assessments etc. for students.

How do you manage data and ensure its security from any sort of fraud?

Learnflix encompasses state-of-the-art technologies like AWS, SSL ensuring complete security of content and confidentiality of user data and privacy.

Who are your competitors in India and what’s your take on them?

The Indian education system has seen the emergence of several edtech startups over the last few years. It’s a huge market with sufficient room for various players.

What will be significant in the coming times will be each one’s understanding of consumer behavior in the education market – what consumers need, formulating it, and being able to communicate to them that we have something valuable to offer.

Moreover, we believe education will always remain the core, while technology is a mere facilitator in disseminating the education. So quality content and pedagogy will be the key differentiator.

What’s your plan in the next couple of years? Do you also have any expansion plan to make this application accessible to other countries?

Our company’s plan has always been to offer an end-to-end education solution to its customers whether it is school, teacher, or student. We will make sure that we are providing them our high quality content and education product across various formats like books, ebooks, online, mobile apps along with all content types including text, video, multimedia, assessments etc.

What’s your comment on the poor internet connectivity that plays spoilsport in many parts of India?

Internet connectivity plays a very major role in this era of digital education and if we talk about Tier 3 and Tier 4 towns, they are the ones which are the most affected by this. Learnflix aims to deepen reach among students in these towns where it is difficult for parents and students to afford digital education due to technical glitches and high costs of apps. S.Chand intends to fill this digital divide that has been deepened by the COVID-19 crisis by offering quality at an extremely affordable price.

What are your expectations from the imminent 5G telecom network?

With 5G network coming in place, it is expected that internet connectivity and speed concern in remote areas will be improved, which certainly will boost the adoption of online education in these pockets benefitting the students with quality and standardized content.

You also offer Mylestone. What is it all about?

Mylestone, an end-to-end education solutions provider for teachers and students, was the other helping hand in this pandemic situation for students by S. Chand and Co.

Mylestone smart curriculum is conceived with a vision to bring the change in education that makes students learn better through Empowered Teaching, Easy Learning. Mylestone is a digitally-enabled curriculum which brings interactivity with its app that allows seamless integration with the existing curriculum offered to schools by the platform.

“Mylestone smart curriculum is conceived with a vision to bring the change in education that makes students learn better through Empowered Teaching, Easy Learning. Mylestone is a digitally-enabled curriculum which brings interactivity with its app that allows seamless integration with the existing curriculum offered to schools by the platform”

The program incorporates blended teaching-learning and is geared towards creating interactive learning experiences with its diverse content and activity-based learning features that creates a participative learning experience, thereby improving the cognitive abilities of students and increasing their attention span.

The curriculum follows “I DO-WE DO-YOU DO” approach, wherein the teacher starts by demonstrating, followed by collaborating which ultimately helps students build on that knowledge independently. It also offers a streamlined curriculum through well-designed integrated components which include Teachers Handbook, Students Coursebook and Practice book, Interactive App, Assessment Support, Digital Content, Resource Kit and Teacher Training.

The new digital version of the curriculum provides web and app-based support which includes features like live teaching and learning integrated with all online platforms, designing, assigning and conducting online homework and assessment with analytics, doubt resolution support during students self-learning process and exhaustive syllabus completion, content consumption and student performance reports. Thereby bringing stakeholders of education system to one single digital platform to address their academic operation need.

Ramesh Kumar Raja
Ramesh has over 10 years of experience in different departments of journalism. Having a strong nose for news, he has worked with The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Delhi Press, News Wire Service and Governance Today in different capacities. He is a Delhi University graduate and an alumnus of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Delhi, and St. Xavier's School, Muzaffarpur. He loves writing over issues of social relevance. His craving for smart technology brought him to My Mobile where he has grown up to be a tech journo.

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