Apps that are reshaping online learning either through their pioneering offerings or their way of offering these solutions. Apps that have unique offerings or unusual ways of offering solutions.
By Sunita Gandhi
While many edtech apps focus solely on providing a supplementary educational experience, there are some that go beyond the classroom and provide a more holistic learning experience to both students and working professionals. Here are a select few:
Cambly: Founded in 2012 by Kevin Law and Sameer Shariff, two former Google employees, Cambly provides a two-sided platform through which individuals interested in learning English can interact directly with native language tutors—from the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, etc—through a conversational video chat. What sets Cambly apart is an opportunity for cultural exchange it offers through its relaxed and fun learning environment. The ability to speak with tutors from different English-speaking nations also provides learners an opportunity to absorb the nuances and idiosyncrasies of their speech patterns, components that may be missing in more traditional systems.
iAugmentor: Launched in 2016 by Pratik Marwah, Sameer Sikka and Arindam Sen, it aims to augment the skills of students through continuous assessment and feedback via the generation of a real-time, on-the-go learning roadmap. The founders realised a vast majority of India’s engineering graduates were unemployable—they lacked soft and cognitive skills, analytical and quantitative skills, and communication skills. To address this, iAugmentor brings together technology, human intervention, and an array of educational activities to make the process of learning more effective, intimate and accountable. Learners are encouraged to upload videos of set goals and tasks, on which they receive personalised inputs.
Gradeup: It’s an online preparation platform for competitive exams, helping aspirants prepare for SSC, banking, railways, teaching, JEE, GATE, NEET, UPSC, defence and state-level exams. Founded in 2013 by Sanjeev Kumar, Shobhit Bhatnagar and Vibhu Bhushan, it utilises artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide live online courses from some of India’s best faculty. This method of peer-to-peer learning integrated with structured learning options has seen Gradeup build a user base of over 20 million exam aspirants.
Doubtnut: It’s a multilingual instant doubt-clearing app, and offers free solutions to maths and science queries to users who send snapshots of their doubts to the platform. Founded by IIT Delhi graduates Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar, the app helps students between sixth grade and high-school levels in solving and understanding any questions they might have. After students share a picture of their problem through the app, website or WhatsApp, Doubtnut uses machine learning and image recognition to deliver a short video that displays the answer and walks students through the steps to solve it. It currently has over 13 million monthly active users on its platform, and offers solutions in 11 regional languages. As of 2020, Doubtnut has provided answers to over 250 million doubts.
(The author is founder, TARGETplus; she also founded Council for Global Education USA, Global Education & Training Institute India, and Education Society of Iceland)