So what makes it different from all other platforms in the online education arena? How is it changing the ed-tech scenario in India? Pragya Gupta, ENN talks to Harman Singh, the young CEO of WizIQ, and a passionate teacher himself
WizIQ first came into picture in 2007 and has since grown into a popular online education portal, with its virtual classroom technology that is specially tailored to suit the specific needs of 250,000 teachers from over 150 countries
By the end of a regular day at WizIQ, there have been 2160 hours of online teaching, in a total of 1606 public courses, with 567710 uploaded content files, and 11118 enrolments. More than 3 million people learning and teaching on a platform so robust, is a feat in itself
The world is witnessing a mushrooming growth of online education companies. Do you have a magic formula that makes you stand out?
WizIQ’s entire business and product design is based on the underlying belief that good education is driven by teachers – not technology, not content, but teachers. That is a simple thing to overlook but if you think deeply, it can have a profound impact on the industry and that’s what our magic formula is.
How are you helping teachers adopt online education? Do you offer onsite training?
I would not call it adopting. I believe the whole debate over whether or not to adopt technology into education is pointless. The new web is here, and there is no point resisting it. The right thing to do is to embrace it with a disruptive technological innovation that would define and streamline the otherwise haphazard growth of this phenomenon. And that is exactly what we are doing at WizIQ!
We provide teachers with free demos of the product and even help them with the start-up of their online courses. Wiz- IQ Support is 24×7 operational. We have a comprehensive collection of free white papers, ebooks and case studies for teachers to use and implement. WizIQ Blog is another happening portal. We have some very experienced and popular teachers as writers. All our posts are extensively written for the sole benefit of teachers.
We at WizIQ believe that everyone can teach something.
How courses on WizIQ are different from the courses on other platforms?
We identified four components that were crucial for classroom experience:
• Live, video based interaction between the teacher and the students
• Integrated Content – mostly in multimedia format
• Online Assessments
• Teacher-Student asynchronous discussions
While products were available for some of these individual components, there was no product available, which integrated all four components to provide a comprehensive online classroom experience. WizIQ merges the four components seamlessly to recreate the classroom experience online.
WizIQ Virtual Classroom is easy to use – it works from any web browser on PCs, iPad and Android tablets with web-browsers; is available in 19 languages including languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. All one needs is an Internet connection!
How has India accustomed to this new paradigm in education?
The infrastructural growth of a country determines how fast it enters into the digital age. For India, it is slow, but sure. Indian universities, colleges, tutoring companies and individual teachers are openly embracing the concept of online education, even open education! Premier institutes like few IIT’s launched their certificate courses on WizIQ. ISM Dhanbad has a certificate course on International Business Management, also on WizIQ.
“Indian universities, colleges, tutoring companies and individual teachers are openly embracing the concept of online education, even open education! Premier institutes like few IIT’s launched their certificate courses on WizIQ
Everyone has a social networking presence these days. Then why not a social teaching and learning presence too? And then what is stopping the kids in rural India from being taught by the teachers in Delhi or even New York? Nothing at all!
This is a new dawn for Indian education sector and WizIQ is proud to be a part of this movement.
Do you see Universities in India as potential partners or competitors?
WizIQ is building the online education platform in partnership with Colleges and Universities. WizIQ brings the platform, market knowledge and all the support required to deliver education online but WizIQ does not have the expertise in curriculum and the instructors. What we say to the Universities is, do what you do best, that is, teach and let us take care of everything else!
We want to work with Universities across India to take online education to the whole world. We need to support each other at every step.
Our Academic Liaison team connects with leaders in higher education, provides them with training and support and helps them launch their certified courses online. This is a win-win model for everyone because even the students who earlier did not have access to quality education can now be reached via the online medium.
Can you share some more details about the platform?
WizIQ is an online education platform that offers SaaS based virtual classroom software for teachers, trainers, colleges and universities, high schools, and training and tutoring centres around the world. WizIQ has over 250,000 teachers and 3.5 million students using the platform in more than 150 countries around the world.
WizIQ provides tools for teachers to deliver online education in online or blended learning formats, connect with students, share educational content, deliver live online classes and facilitate highly engaging learning experiences. WizIQ works on PCs, iPad and Android tablets; and is available in 19 languages including Arabic and Hebrew. Universities and colleges can launch distance education programs, again charging if they wish or integrating the programs into existing educational offerings.
On WizIQ, students can learn anytime, anywhere at a pace that is comfortable to them. WizIQ offers learning in new, engaging, unprecedented ways for students regardless of time, location, or socioeconomic status.
(Kalyan Sarkar, Director of Academic Liaison can be reached at +91-9216405405 or +91- 9897072888 or email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)