Open Source Education, a Bangalore based start-up, is focused on delivering educational content to students on mobile phones based on their syllabus requirements. Sathya, the founder and a B.Tech graduate from M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology says, “I have always been passionate about changing things in the Education space. I believe education is the solution to overcome all the other challenges in our country.”
They recently got funded by Govt. of India, under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise support scheme for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Support of SMEs through Incubator MSRSAS, Bangalore. With the main aim of finding a scalable and cost effective model to deliver educational content to masses, the organization has focused on mobile phones as the primary platform for delivering the video content. This is the most convenient way for students and teachers to access content at bare minimum costs. Unlike YouTube, their platform is designed to work on mobile devices that are compatible even with slow speed 2G internet connections.
The educational videos on their website work 3 times faster than YouTube videos on mobile devices. They can be accessed on computer desktops too but they focus mostly on mobile phones because of its ease of access and convenience for users to enable faster learning. This helps in saving a lot of time for the students.
Although he started Open Source Education this year in January he says, “The idea was germinated way back during my engineering days, when I was working as a part time teacher for high school students in evening. I noticed that even smartest of the students needed end moment revision of various concepts from teachers during exams in spite of regular revision and tests. I needed a platform where I could record my classes and make it available for students to go through again and learn at their own pace,” he added.
“Open Source Education’s disruptive business model to provide rich, curated educational content to schools all over India at one-tenth the cost will be game changing platform, when existing low cost education model cost somewhere between 1.5-2 lakhs. Their platform is designed to work on low-end mobile devices and 50% of rural india is on low-end mobile devices. A huge market segment. They have secured seed funding from MSME. I anticipate 5x growth in customer acceptance in the next 2 years alone,” said Dr. Syed Awase Khirni, an academician and entrepreneur who earned his PhD from University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Studies have shown that student’s attention span is about 5 to 6 minutes. Most of the videos on their platform are short with average duration being about 4 minutes, so students can learn on the go without losing attention.
Comscore, a leader in measuring the digital world, released a study in May 2013 that showed the online video consumption in India had doubled to 3.7 billion videos per month since the last two years. The total video audience has grown to 54 million users which is about 74 percent. The average viewer watches 18 percent more videos and spends 28 percent more on viewing time.
“I downloaded and watched Taj Mahal video on this website. It is very nice. Now, I will download more videos and learn,” said Sartaj Ali Sayyed a student from a low-income school in Mumbai.
“The very idea of being able to provide good quality educational content to students, irrespective of their gender, location and economic conditions while empowering them unconditionally, keeps me awake at night! After seeing a greater adoption of mobile and tablet devices among young students, I’m confident that education on mobile devices will change the way we consume educational information,” Sathya added.