07 March, 2012, Wednesday
Rupesh Shah , CEO, InOpen Technologies speaks to Sangeeta Yadav on his firm and the importance of e-learning today
- Tell us about InOpen Technologies?
It is an educational startup that aims to develops educational content and solutions for academia in the country and abroad. It is considered a content generation and teacher training company.
- What inspired you to get into content generation?
The IIT Bombay has always been supporting the use of FOSS (Free and open-source software) in education. So, when Prof Sridhar Iyer began working on computer education for schools, FOSS was the natural choice.
- Your tie up with Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education (HBCSE)…
We have developed a research based science curriculum — ‘small science’ which is a series of innovative primary science text, work and teacher’s guide for Classes I to V. We have developed this in association with HBCSE. These books will be releasing in English, Hindi and in various regional languages.
- Tell us more about Computer Masti?
Computer Masti (CM) is a curriculum, created and designed as a series of e-text books suitable for school children. The e-book is accompanied with a DVD which contains interactive educational softwares and games. It has been downloaded in more than 90 countries and has been translated into eight Indian languages and two foreign languages.
- What are Computer Masti’s features?
The curriculum has topics such as stepwise thinking, logical reasoning and gathering information systematically to teach process skills. It adopts a constructivism pedagogical approach, which encourages children to ask questions and explore on their own.
- What technology you have used in this programme?
The programme is built around open source and FOSS based applications. In addition, we chose a graphical user interface based programming language for first time which we found it more intuitive and allows room for creative expression.
- What age group does this cater to?
Our target audience is students from kindergarden to Class XII. We also undertake various government projects which target people of different ages who have requirements for IT literacy.
- Where have you been providing this service?
We are serving approximately 2.5 lakh students spanning across 78 schools and four Government projects. We have trained more than 2,000 teachers. Our e-books have been downloaded in more than 125 countries.
- What is the fee?
The cost per student depends on various factors. We offer a range of services like creating from customising content for that school, to appointing a resource person, training the school teacher, hand holding visits, assessment and so on.
- Your opinion on digital education?
Technology is just an extension to quality content. E-learning is interpreted as Intermittent Cervical Traction education. A developing country where there is a shortage of trainers, e-learning can play a key role in bringing education to masses.
- Future plans…
We will soon launch CM 2.0, a comprehensive web based learning experience which will use the power of the CM tutorial logic, software’s and assessment under one single platform. We have plans to enter into higher education and serve the adult segment. We are already serving Government employees under BPL youth.