In conversation with Dev Roy, Founder, Digital Aristotle
What are the unique products and services Digital Aristotle offers to educators and trainers? How does the company intend to stand out from the crowd?
Aristotle is a highly personalized, habit building, learning app. It enables everyone to improve and grow. While students study smarter, instead of expending long hours to improve their academic performance, Aristotle has made it easy for teachers or trainers to take assessments and improve their efficiency of corrections. Actionable insights can be derived from the data thereby allowing for more individualized support for the children.
We are certain that in-person school education cannot be substituted for by technology. Instead, we seek to improve the efficacy of the teaching-learning process.
Most platforms require children to spend large amounts of time on them without considering the harmful effects of excessive screen-time and over burdening children’s brains with information. Our technology analyses a student’s learning history to pinpoint exact areas of improvement, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing the time spent on the app.
What inspired you to start Digital Aristotle?
As the world is moving towards mobile communication, technological advancements, the ambit of social learning has widened up to a great extent, including the integration of social elements in online or e-learning. The process of learning should be made as interactive as possible and the concept of social learning must be an integral part of any educational system.
In 2016, I began with a simple vision of making Edtech accessible and affordable, while staying within the school environment. I wanted to improve efficiency of systems which involve the teachers. When they are able to complete tasks efficiently, the time and energy that is saved can be channelised into other important duties
Could you elaborate on the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning?
Covid 19 has resulted in shut down of schools across the world, leading to the rise of e-learning. Resultantly, teaching is being done remotely now through different available channels. Even before Covid, there was a soaring trend in the Edtech segment, with projection of $350 dollar market size by 2025. However, following the pandemic we can achieve those numbers much before 2025.
Most of the big systems don’t have the required backup. After the pandemic, we are not only working on filling the gaps but also on meeting the needs exposed during these crises.
In this Covid times, lot of students who belong to low income family and come from small districts where internet connectivity itself a problem are the ones who got affected at a very deep level. Now government and local bodies should find some common ground to work on problems related to internet connectivity & fill in different technology gaps. When it comes to teaching, after pandemic most of the teachers are looking for some digital solution where they can take test, attendance, provide different assignments to students etc.
Edtech was already in the pipeline since 2009, but the pandemic forced thinkers & companies to come with more innovative solutions which would be engaging for end user (students) and also beneficial for the future.
What are some of the most innovative technologies in Ed-Tech? What are the key trends of e-learning to follow in 2021?
Chatbot: This comes under the category of conversational AI, which enables users and machines to interact. In Edtech it’s more like solving questions of students from the domain of science & of mostly below high school. In coming years (2021-2023), many companies are focused on providing accurate solution to tough math & science questions that involve step-by-step solution by leveraging the power of machine learning & AI.
Artificial intelligence: In the past few years, many companies are trying to give personalized experience to students with power of adaptability, allowing them to set their own learning path, challenge their peer or bot to test themselves, recommend videos and resources according to each student’s learning pace, which indeed is really great for a country like India where shortage of quality teacher is a chronic problem and AI can help fix some of the gaps in delivering quality education.
Learning through AR and VR: This piece of technology is still not available for everyone. Augmented reality apps will be the key trend in 2021, involving different features like users can watch the virtual objects or interact with them, zoom in, rotate and feel what would help students in understanding some topic in so much depth that they will not forget that particular concept all their life .A Penn State university study found that students who used virtual reality to understand some topics did so more than twice as fast as students who used traditional method of learning.
Internet of things (IOT): Potential of IOT in the education sector has no limits. Some features of IOT are already in the process and a lot of schools are already using it like automating attendance, keeping parents well informed about their ward with regard to marks being scored and kids’ journey to home by school bus. In 2021, majority of schools are looking to involve smartboard in their system with the aim of becoming more interactive and keeping a check on each student through different IOT devices
What has been the biggest learning so far and what’s your expansion plan
When you are in the Edtech world, one thing that’s very important is to be agile and adapt to the changes and it’s also one of the major learning we have acquired at Digital Aristotle over the past few months after Covid happene. We introduced school at home concept inside Digital Aristotle app where teachers could take live session, share assignment, take test with proctoring feature (enabled) which ensures that teachers can have a helicopter view on every student and get student notified or they can have a conversation if they notice some foul activity during the test.
Same way , when we understood that schools are not opening anytime soon and kids are missing each other, we introduced dosti ki pathsala (a game) where students can gamify the classroom experience by allowing kids to choose the classroom characters they miss the most and create their very own music video. Kids can then tag their friends and share the videos on social platforms or download the video for themselves.
When we talk about expansion, let’s first talk about the market size which is around $750 M in 2020, out of which $1.5B is k12 after school tuition, and by 2025 the obtainable market size will be $4B. So keeping that in mind we are more focused towards data (providing more personalized experience to each student on the basis of the knowledge base which we have of each user & suggesting resources accordingly).
We are very much committed to establishing ourselves as an end-to-end social learning platform in future where students and teachers can share their knowledge using different features inside our app to the community (with the choice of keeping it public or private).
We are up and running in the Indian market and things are looking to grow on a positive scale. Hence, we are in the process of making in-roads in the global market like the Middle East, US, UK by 2021.
What are the exciting things can we expect from Digital Aristotle in 12 months?
We strongly believe that technology should democratize learning. To this effect we are looking to use technology to allow children in the tier 3 and 4 parts of the country to be able to access content and systems that children living in tier 1 cities do. To this effect we are releasing bite size vernacular videos that explain the concepts in a not an intimidating fashion. We are releasing a first of its kind automatic assessment and correction system for summative answers and our social learning feature that allows children to share notes and other learning features between each other.