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Phygital May Be The Way Forward: Divya Lal, Founder & Managing Director, Fliplearn

BW Education hosted a dialogue on Education – Road Ahead (Episode – 1) "The Transition from Blackboard Learning to Online Learning: Peep Before Leap", with Divya Lal, Founder & Managing Director of Fliplearn Education.

While the whole nation is under lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the education technology or commonly termed as EdTech, is undergoing a paradigm shift in terms of demand. All the educational institutions including schools and colleges have moved to the online mode to continue to impart education under these critical and unprecedented times. 

To discuss the role of ed-techs in education, BW Education hosted a dialogue on Education – Road Ahead (Episode – 1) "The Transition from Blackboard Learning to Online Learning: Peep Before Leap", with Divya Lal, Founder & Managing Director of Fliplearn Education.

Fliplearn Education Private Limited, a Private incorporated on 19 November 2015, is an e-learning platform that offers children all across India a personalised learning experience with the help of fun and interactive content.

She engaged in a conversation with Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media Group. 

On being asked that as an entrepreneur, how has been your response in the last three months; how did you make sure that you kept yourself centered, motivated and more energized, she said, “ that the surge just happened overnight; on 31st March the schools just shut down abruptly and in one voice, a big salute to educators and school owners across the country who stood up and said that we will not let the learning get stop and we will find things and people did their own bits etc and that is what has kept everybody in the ed-tach space extremely energized because we are like a catalyst in this process, we are helping you enable, we are like that support system, we are like those players that can hold hands with all the education fraternity and make them say that you wanna make this possible, we will give you something to bring it to life, in the fastest and most efficient and effective way possible.”

“For us it has been that to provide a holistic solution, provide a stable experience, that is the biggest crux and our entire sacredness has been playing on that, for me personally. When every day thousands of students are logging in, let the experience be smooth, let them go through a learning process. Let these thousands of educators get the right kind of arsenal to bring the learning to life.” 

Talking about education, one of the silver linings has been that hopefully through this education technology revolution and immersion or we may call forced digital transformation, education will be accessible to a wider sect. I am assuming that the digital devices and connectivity will at some stage reach. According to the Board of Education in Maharashtra, less than 5 per cent school’s students have actually the devices and access, the rest of 95 per cent don’t have. Similarly, in Gujarat also, only less than 10 per cent has access. So, it may be assumed that at some stage, we would be able to provide the devices and access but with this education technology, the silver lining has been that we will be able to take education to places that we were not being able to take. It saves commute, it saves 2-3 hours of people so while the inter-personal experience, the empathy of talking face-to-face in a physical setting may miss, it makes up by many other advantages. Tell us, what do you see a silver lining in the way forward in the edu-tech revolution. 

Pointing out the silver lining in the way forward in the edu-tech revolution, she said, “the first bit of silver lining has been that the digital migrants are actually accepting the digital natives. It’s always been talked that children are born with technology; they pretty much learn everything on the slide. This is a generation that is DIY (Do It Yourself). They don’t come to us asking for information or guidance. They will generally first go to YouTube or Google and find out, what’s there and what this COVID-19 pandemic has done is us as digital migrants who learnt it after we are born and we are not born with technology. We are understanding and accepting the contours of this game and that has been a huge barrier breakthrough as far as that entire piece is concerned. When I reach out to a child and I am talking, you will see at a user level, the issues are the least. They are a generation that is used to use technology. They know how to download an app, they know how to log in, they know how to move around and navigate. They play with it and find a way. The bigger barrier has to be the digital migrants like us, the educators, the school owners now endorsing, it’s here in now and now we need to step up and actually move into a plane which till now has been a porous barrier, which only a few people crossed but now that barrier has got shattered and everybody is in the same pool. So that has been one of the big watershed pieces that have happened in the ed-tech space. We are looking at launching something very exciting and that’s about creating a virtual school and bringing the best teachers to any child across the country of saying that while you are limited to a teaching quality but now that this barrier has actually broken out, we can make that experience true to you because every child as far as to be a part of the brand school but they also can reach out to some very top level educators to get access to. So, there are many strands of things that are actually emerging as a part of its piece.”

She took the audience through a presentation – “Empowering Schools, Teachers and Students Through Remote Learning”. She elaborated on four pillars of online learning platforms: Live Classes, Learning Content, Online Assessment and Stakeholder Management. 

Edutech is not about putting out content there and people watching it. Education is an immersive experience, it’s a learning experience. Education is a lean-forward experience whereas, media consumption and cinema are a lean-back experience. 

On the kind of data, experiences and learnings to come up with this framework (Fliplearn) which focusses on interactivity, outcomes and which in some way focusses on replicating the way teacher-student talking to each other in physical set up, she said, “I have been 20 years into education. I have seen student’s classroom where teachers have first time held a mouse in their life to click on to something, they are scared by a UPS noise, they are scared of touching things and those are the things that led to my fundamental two key learnings. When you create a solution or a product in ed-tech space, let it always be needed inwards rather than product outwards. For me, its always about need inwards. Are you solving a need, are you solving a problem? Let’s look at what can Fliplearn solve. It can help a child get a variety of learning content so that you are not stuck to one type, it’s twenty-four by seven, so you can reach out and learn at any point of time. You can ask your queries; you can challenge and move into a gamified format.” 

Furthermore, underlining the future of EdTech industry, she talked about ‘phygital’ mode of education that is the physical plus digital. She said that even after the schools reopens, there will be a blended model of the teaching-learning process, combining the benefits of both the physical and virtual mode of learning. 

Responding to some audiences’ query, she stressed on not over-killing the purpose of learning and assessment right now. When we get into a physical space, we will have more the other thing that can help us to balance things. She suggested parents to be interactive with the kids to know their performance rather than spying on them. 

In her concluding note, she said that we should be positive; any change will have its initial hiccups and we just have to persevere through this. She requested all the parents and teachers to be a little easy, not to go over-board, not to do too much, it’s okay even if a bit less is taught, but teach in a way that parents and children can accept.



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