* Considering its easy interface and access to several technological tools, the app has so far attracted over 150,000 teachers, who now teach more than five lakh students across the country
* “Once education went live last year after the Covid-19 lockdown, I observed that only tech savvy teachers could properly teach their students online”
* Available for free on Google Playstore, WISE is designed to work even on basic and low configuration smartphones and also on slow internet bandwidth
A message from a Delhi teacher warmed the hearts of both recipients. Since last year’s pandemic, the educator said she had tried to contact a student in a remote location in Kargil. She finally managed to do it when she stumbled upon an app the two had created.
Online courses are not everyone’s cup of tea. All over India, teachers and students have complained about technical issues or outdated cell phones hindering a good lesson. And it is for them that the two men – friends of IIT Bombay – have designed an application that seeks to make e-learning a piece of cake.
Called WISE, it brings together some of the best aspects of online platforms in one app. Moreover, it enables smooth online teaching and learning even on low speed 2G internet.
When schools and colleges closed last year following the Covid-19 pandemic, Bilal Abidi from Lucknow and Mubeen Masudi from Srinagar, who graduated from IIT in 2011, decided they had to do something. to help students and teachers.
Masudi ran a successful educational institute in Srinagar. When he started teaching online during the pandemic and encountered technical difficulties, he turned to his friend for help. Abidi, who had done an MBA in London and worked there as a consultant, had returned to India and set up a digital marketing agency.
Friends point out that they created the app to make online teaching easier for teachers and learning more attractive for students. “Its design is minimalist by purpose,” says Masudi, who has been teaching IIT aspirants in Kashmir for eight years.
The Delhi teacher who wrote to Masudi and Abidi shared how the app helped her student in Kargil. “She thanked our team because she was finally able to teach her student,” Masudi said. “We feel honored to help teachers like her who go the extra mile to educate every student. “
Considering its easy interface and access to multiple tech tools, the app has so far attracted around 1.5 lakh of teachers, who now teach more than five lakh students across the country. Every day, more than 100,000 students take classes on WISE across the country. The app has optimized live streaming using Zoom and other features that work on low bandwidth. In addition, Masudi, who taught in Kashmir on 2G internet, regularly shares tips with teachers on WISE on how to reduce internet usage while taking live lessons.
“When education went live last year after the Covid-19 lockdown, I observed that only tech savvy teachers could teach their students well online. Just as every teacher can easily use WhatsApp, YouTube, etc., every teacher should be able to teach online, ”he says.
Masudi firmly believes that technology should never stop a good teacher from becoming a good teacher online. But he found that as education gradually moved online, sections of teachers and students who lacked access to sophisticated devices and good internet bandwidth were being left behind. “WISE was created so that teachers can easily transition their teaching online and continue to provide their students with the education they need,” he adds.
Available for free from Google Playstore, the app is designed to work even on basic and low-configuration smartphones, as well as slow internet bandwidth.
The app allows a teacher to easily conduct live lessons, take tests, assign homework, collect fees, and share study materials and motivational messages with their students, all at the same place on the application. The app has an automated presence, which not only informs a teacher if a student is present or absent, but also how long the student has been in the classroom.
“Given the ease of testing on the platform, many teachers and institutes have launched competitive exam test sets for their students on WISE, which students in remote areas did not previously have access to.” , explains Masudi.
The USP of WISE, he adds, is that it was created by people who have real experience teaching students. “I’ve been teaching for almost a decade now, I understand the specific challenges teachers face,” he says. “WISE was created to solve these challenges.
After Covid-19, as educational institutions take a hybrid online and offline approach, WISE co-founder Abidi says they hope to serve more teachers across India. “Given the range of features and ease of use, WISE is used by small tutors, public and private schools, and in some cases even large medical schools,” Abidi adds. “In addition to benefiting teachers, we also want to expose more students to the latest developments and online teaching tools in the field of education. “
Majid Maqbool is an award winning freelance journalist and writer based in Srinagar, Kashmir