Edtech’s don’t whisper it moment is here

Ekta Grover
Founder, Shunya
December 21, 2020
5 minutes

You will want to forward this to an Educator,  after you are done. Promise. 

The year was 1992. I was 8 years old then, raised in a tier 3 city. 

My mom was in a bank, and like many women of her 57’s generation, she was participating in the post independence economy in a government bank. As anyone of that era would remember the hope, rising aspiration. In that specific year mom made a friendship that lasted her for years. 

Her name was Mita Aunty(name changed to protect identity) and she had just taken franchise for Whisper - the sanitary pads. She was separated, had 2 young kids to raise. To my mother, who had 2 daughters, she was not just selling “the sanitary pads” - she was selling a different reality, an aspiration. If you are woman reading this, you would know what a sanitary napkin means to us, and it is not just about hygiene, or comfort. It is about the things that get in the way. Even now in some cities it is a taboo to ask for a sanitary pad, it is tucked conveniently in a news paper. If you are at the medical store, you wait till other men leave the store, and as if you are asking for something criminal, you then make the “request”. Together as a traditional Asian society we have moved much forward since.

Over time the distribution & purchase mechanism changed, and with that, the taboo. But much more than that the attitude the dignity associate with menstruation. And the product evolved more and more. Remember those things with “belts” that then moved to “Adhesives” - Much like that, when a product is adopted, it continues to improve more and more, allowing for better consumer experience and innovation in the category.

But why is an Edtech company talking about Sanitary pads ?

The common binding thread is that, in many ways, the women before and the women after have a lot to give to the revolution that happened. I take that back.

Every consumer in any generation has a responsibility to collectively create superior products for every generation to come. The start ups that are created, burn a lot of cash, but increase the innovation of the entire economy forward. They create another generation of self directed learners, growth mindset, entrepreneurial spirit that collectively advances even latent verticals such as Medicine, since the base competency, and multidisciplinary sciences behind it move forward. 

Small micro choices that we made over a lifetime as a user make us better as a society. So, then choosing to adopt and ask a better product as an individual user, is that a request, or our collective responsibility as we take many multiple micro choices over the day. 

Living with suboptimal broken choices that kill productivity. 40% of a teacher’s time goes to support teaching realtor non-core activities, and most of this can be done by better tools and to raise the bar on intelligent classroom learning management.  Over the last 9+ months, we have spoken to innumerable schools and coaching institutes that are being run on Telegram & Whatsapp groups, causing long term impact on teacher productivity, wellbeing and learner outcomes. 

These learning gaps caused by the wrong choice of tools - such as What'sapp & telegram, more like a content distribution mechanism, rather than focussing on learner engagement, will cause long term irreversible structural learning gaps. And these can be fixed NOW.

So, when parents say that they don’t want to pay the schools the fees - its about the learner experience (at least in a few cases)  - because the value to the parents has substantially dropped.

And that can only be fixed by using better tools that 

  • Extend the in school experience to out of school experience
  • Enable blended learning programs 
  • Augment the learning - via multimodal learning modalities

But more than that offer a different reality & future, using the accelerated Tech adoption cycle of COVID. There by creating a differentiated & hyper personalised learner & teacher centric experience. 

What's in it for the school ? Using large scale data, Machine learning & Artificial intelligence , it can create possibilities of on-device monetisation for the “traditional schooling tiers” , in the out of school segment. 

In the next blog, read our thoughts on how we are powering hybrid & blended learning models - through a point of presence and extended brand equity approach. And banking on business models that have shown promise elsewhere. 

We are defining a new category of growth for schools. It won’t be perfect the first time. But when we run through the system many times, observe learner behaviours at scale PAN India - we would mature the distinctive hyper personal journeys. The system will eventually mature and run on auto-pilot, much like an orchestra, and that is where a whole new growth engine of the economy would get created.

Shunya is an intelligent classroom learning management app that powers hybrid learning by extending the In school experience and out of school Experience, thereby supporting a differentiated & hyper personalized learner experience .  Get in touch with us to experience the platform for yourself. Book a demo now!