HYDERABAD: Picture this scene in a classroom of the 90s. The students are all sitting ahead as their teacher prattles on about Pythagoras theorem or the formula for making baking soda. Heavy on theory with little or no practical application, the class though informative, tended to be on the boring side.
Cut to the 2000s, and one suddenly saw an explosion of e-learning or digital learning solutions slowly creating a niche in the academia. Today, there are many companies in the digital learning space and one company which has managed to stay on in the race is NextEducation.
Started in 2007, Next Education is a technology-based education solutions provider and is the brainchild of IIT alumni Beas Dev Ralhan, Raveendranath Kamath, Kedar Chowdhary and Deependra Bharatari. With an aim to change the face of education through the use of technology, the company launched its first product LearnNext targeting home learning. “NextEducation uses a combination of hardware, software, content and service. There is a general misconception that these kind of products require a lot of tools and equipment which isn’t true,”says Sameer Bora, EVP- Research and Development, NextEducation which is based in Hyderabad.
Since LearnNext, the company has branched out to a whole gamut of other products like TeachNext, MathsLab, ScienceLab and EnglishLab. While Sameer says they don’t seem to have a “core offering” as such, their product TeachNext is the most popular with over 6000 plus schools using it. “Previously, the schools would be a bit apprehensive about using our products, but when we showed them how the usual concept can be made more interesting and how user-friendly it is, convincing the rest of the schools became easy,” shares Sameer.
Currently, the products are being used in CBSE, ICSE and 23 state board schools in eight major Indian languages. With many companies in this field, what is it that sets NextEducation apart? “Our USP is the thorough research and development that is conducted in-house for all the products. Right from the content to the right colour combinations that ensure that students sitting in the back are also able to see what’s being shown on the projector – everything is done in-house.” The company also boasts of its own software with CCE compliance, technically advanced 2D/3D animation, Linux-based operating systems and the remote operable systems.
The learning modules have been created by the company’s in-house content development team, using latest learning design principles and these undergo rigorous testing on and off the field before going live. “We are going for a pan-India presence and you will find atleast one representative from the company in each district for on-site support. There is always someone at hand for troubleshooting,” adds Sameer.
The company is now looking at expanding their reach and exploring other areas of the school administration through their product NextERP.
Delhi school of excellence
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The Secunderabad Public school
Army Public School
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St Francis De Sales High School
All Saints High School
St Alphonsus High School
Sujatha Public School