Published: 31st March 2017
Tablets which teach and need no popping
Turning subjects into games is ConveGenius with its tablets, but not without facing hurdles of their own
Suppose that every subject was a game and every chapter was a level. You’ll need to unlock each chapter, earning points as you go, to unlock the next chapter — thus challenging you. Started in 2013, ConveGenius achieved this feat of ‘gamefication of learning’ as its co-founder, Jairaj Bhattacharya, likes to call it. This is made accessible to the low income and government schools, free of cost, via tablets called the CG Slate. With tie-ups like Teach for India and Pratham Foundation, these tablets are made available to the ones who need them the most. But the 28-year-old thinks that handing over tablets to these schools isn’t the be-all and end-all of the problems associated with the education system in India. Supplying technological solutions is merely the first step, the IIIT Hyderabad alum opines.
Screen time: Two children engaged with the tablet
By supplying tablets, data points are created in schools, which helps them understand what is going wrong in the institution. “A complete level of transparency is required before we can make any changes in the educational system. Technology brings in this transparency,” he says, explaining that the tablet helps the student understand where he is lacking. Accordingly, the child can be approached. After all, “the difference between a good and a bad school is that in the former, everyone from the management to the teachers are motivated to improve themselves and the students,” says Bhattacharya.
Game ready: The tablets have multiple children profiles, depending on the grade of the child. On this self-learning, driven and interactive platform, the child needs to earn points to unlock the next level
Now, it’s easy for children to be motivated through this tablet, as it’s a student-centric product. The challenge lies with keeping others motivated. One of the ways in which the company has countered this is by connecting teachers to other teachers through WhatsApp, which helps them learn and share too. Speaking of challenges, ConveGenius and their team of about 50 have faced and overcome a few — some even quite trivial. For example, students used to remove the SD card and to counter this, an alarm has been installed which goes off every time such an attempt is made. They even get alerts when schools are not using the tablets. These and other such data-driven interventions help bring more and more transparency.
On desk: Jairaj Bhattacharya, co-founder
Urban take: The tablets are also available online for students of private schools with different content, because “private schools want additional content, something not taught in the classroom, whereas others look to cover the curriculum via tablets,” says Bhattacharya
Presently, the content of the CG Slate is available in Hindi and English, and will soon be available in Tamil and Telugu too, to prepare for their south invasion. Currently, they are prominent in Thane and Mumbai, as they have an MoU with the municipal schools there, as well as in Noida and Delhi.
Reach out at convegenius.in