Bhaskar Majumdar, VP Digital, Lamhas Satellite Services Limited: Schools must prepare to function digitally

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Bhaskar Majumdar

How is Vu2Learn Learning Management System different from other products in the market?

Vu2Learn offers everything that is mission-critical for the academic fraternity from the perspective of online education delivery such as Live Classroom, White Board, Screen Sharing, Registration Control, Multiple device access, Distributed instructor and student base, Course calendars, Recorded class sessions, Tutorial Videos as VOD, Assessment, and Testing, Grading and Scoring for the overall management of an Institution/University.

Vu2learn has been built ground up keeping the needs of universities, schools, and colleges in mind, and is not an add-on extension of an enterprise video conferencing cum messaging platform as in the case of many competitive products.

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The Vu2Learn platform has been designed to be ultra-light on bandwidth for the Indian environment using state of the art WebRTC and peer to peer network distribution technologies and allows students access to the platform through mobile phones or laptops with less than 1 Mbps bandwidth, without having to download any bandwidth-hungry user app.

Amid the concerns of security and intrusion of hackers world over while using some of the popular web/mobile-based apps Vu2Learn is highly secure through its robust architecture. Vu2Learn live classes use TLS v1.2 Certificate and 2048bit RSA Key with SHA-256 Signature Algorithm. Besides, the use of industry-neutral and technologies like LDAP, SAML2, and SAT Authentication are also available for institutions.

Lastly, Vu2Vu India took about three and half years to develop this product from scratch and it is fully developed in India, fulfilling all the criteria of “Make in India.”

How has COVID-19 changed the dynamics of school education in India?

Schools should be ready to be fully functional digitally, it is not just about online classes taken on an ad hoc basis. Student Registration and Fees, Attendance, Course and Virtual Classroom creation, Teacher Allocation, Assessments and Grading, Virtual Library all need to be integrated in a single system seamlessly. It requires a digital transformation in the processes of the school, and solutions like Vu2Learn enable schools to make the transition.

Course planners need to look into student capability for attending online classes and their capacity to comprehend online learning material. If students were attending 6-7 lectures per day in an offline mode, can the same pattern be repeated for online classes? Or do Course Planners need to think differently? How to make students learn on their own, using interesting audiovisual material so that they attend fewer online lectures, which could be for co-ordination and doubt clearance? Course design needs to be looked at keeping in mind the changing learning patterns, and aspects discussed above.

Also read: Measures for pre-schools covid-19

Assessment and Grading is another area where the dynamics are rapidly evolving. In an offline mode, standard textbook questions were sufficient. Now, sitting at home students have access to all resources at their disposal including Google, WhatsApp and their personal friendship networks. How do we conduct meaningful assessments in such an environment. Is technology-driven proctoring going to be sufficient, or do we need to change the way we ask questions and test the student’s lateral thinking so that whatever resources they use, the assessment is meaningful and they are still learning at the end of the day.

Teachers need to be fluent in using digital learning management systems going forward. They need to be trained in the digital delivery of their course content, use of the Learning Management System for taking classes, assessment and grading, including use of devices like digital pens and tablets. Schools need to ensure that teachers have sufficient internet infrastructure at home to be able to teach remotely. If not, then schools need to provide such digital infrastructure at its premises, so that teachers can come to school and teach digitally.

What are the upcoming innovations in the field of digital/online education?

While India embraces digital education, we must bear in mind that we should not create a digital divide, and online classes should not be privileged access for a few.

Learning Management Systems like Vu2Learn are very well developed and can cater to Indian school’s needs. The next challenge for us is distribution into wider India, where broadband penetration is typically restricted to cities, and affluent localities. How do we reach online education to rural areas, how do we provide access to underprivileged children who may not have a broadband internet line at home, that is our next challenge.

What are Lamhas/Vu2VuIndia future plans in digital transformation technologies?

Lamhas/Vu2VuIndia are currently exploring technologies and solutions for wider distribution of online education. So, our platform can provide an inclusive solution for rural areas and underprivileged children.

While we approach this problem, we realize that we are trying to solve a connectivity issue and multiple applications can ride on the platform we create, not just online education. A case in point being telemedicine, which uses broadly similar technology and to use our platform to provide primary healthcare facilities.

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