Forget about looking for tutors for your kids. The smartphone could well be your child's best tutor thanks to a plethora of education apps. With the increasing stress of exams and parents worrying about extensive use of cellphones by their wards which may be distracting, edtech apps may make their use more productive.
There are at least 10-12 popular edtech apps that have cropped up in India in the past few years. Some offer video programs to simplify complex subjects. Others include gamification as a sort of incentive to get students hooked. And then there are apps that include peers and forums, where students can reach out to others and do group discussions or clear doubts online.
Some of the apps like Byju's focus on video and course curriculum, while another startup in this space, Edu-rev, is focussing on making it interactive while building a community, where students and tutors can interact with each other.
Making Learning Fun
A statement from Toppr reads: “The platform focuses on the all-round development of a child by offering adaptive practice questions, a doubts on chat app where students can chat with tutors and get their doubts answered instantly, all India level mock tests, and free video lectures.”
The one thing in common all these apps have is trying to make learning fun. The use of video with plenty of graphics and elements, makes it better than some classrooms. Byju's, for instance, uses video extensively to get students to understand concepts, followed by preset questions. Toppr has a broad focus right from Class 5 to 12 across boards, and also the entrance exams of most professional courses in India.
EduRev is adding a social dynamic to its app. Along with courseware for Class 5 to 12 and entrance exam preparations and specialised courses, it also has a marketplace model and a forum. Here students can interact with other students or with tutors. Sort of like Instagram, students can also follow tutors and vice-versa.
Tutors can register on the platform and offer courses. These are first vetted by EduRev before the tutors are signed on. It's a revenue share model that EduRev works out with the teachers on its platform and also with influencers who help sign up students.
Discussions have higher impact than even video. Social-learning community and discussions are a part of the platform. We solve a lot of doubts organically by crowd-sourcing.Kunaal Satija, CEO & Founder, EduRev
Increasing Reach of Education
The thing is these education apps have a key role to play in the education system. Apps like EduRev can help structured learning reach a much wider audience. India now has a large mobile user base of over 800 million. Each device can be a potential tutor.
By using a market place model, EduRev is building further than what Byju's and Toppr have. It is able to connect tutors with a larger audience, using technology to solve the problem of moving from an offline model to online.
For instance, if there is a qualified teacher in a remote town in the country, but she has a limited student base, she can sign up on the app and offer a course - say mathematics for classes 7 and 8 - or some such. After the EduRev team checks out the teacher's credentials, the teacher is listed on the platform and can gain followers. The app now claims to have a reach of 3.5 million, which opens up plenty of opportunities.
Satija says this is something a social-learning network can do.
There are certain sets of teachers who may not have the capital to back them, nor do they have the technology to move from an offline model to an online model. That is what we do, we enable them through the social-learning network, on which we have a marketplace. Through this teachers can reach the market through us.Kunaal Satija, CEO & Founder, EduRev
Edtech apps also work out cheaper in terms of costs. For parents looking for tuitions for their kids, it is cheaper to use an app than to hire a tutor. In any case, these tutors too benefit more by reaching a larger audience (and subsequently increasing their income).
EduRev for instance costs Rs 4,999 per year for a whole host of subjects – a nominal amount when you consider the cost of tuition fees monthly, per subject! It also has offers as low as Rs 999 per year and Rs 2,999 per year for different levels. Apps like Byju's are more expensive at Rs 30,000 a year, but again less that what a home tutor would charge.
So, yes, this exam season, it may make sense to pick up the phone and click an app rather than call the tutor home.