Bringing in the crowds

Feb 22, 2013, 12:41 IST | Soma Das, the Mumbai-based education platform, has launched an open web-based video learning service. This offers over 100 hours of crowd-sourced and affordable content on themes ranging from technology to literature and Mathematics

Technology has come to the rescue, again! Adding to that list is the latest initiative from that will allow people to learn anything from any place. By crowd-sourcing a video encyclopedia, they aim to create a repository of skills and academic-based content for which anyone can contribute by uploading videos. Since the content will be online, countless people will be able to access the content. At present, there are video classes on topics like freelance journalism, music, science, marketing, finance and mathematics and new videos are added daily. There are free as well as premium videos on the video platform, which are priced from Rs 100 onwards, and are available in one-month, three-month and six-month subscription packages.

What an idea!
Siddharth Bhansali, CEO and co-founder of Gyaan explains how this idea of crowd-sourcing emerged: “We took two ideas and combined them — the first was from YouTube and their ability to empower anybody to create content, the second was from Wikipedia and their ability to empower anybody to create educational content. Online education is a big business (estimated to reach $40 billion in five years) and we want to help people become a part of it.”

The video platform enables users to create video-based classes using either videos that they own and upload it themselves or by embedding videos from anywhere across the Internet (YouTube, TED, Vimeo etc.) “Unlike YouTube or other popular generic video platforms, Gyaanexchange’s online classes are not just one video, but a series of short format videos that are organised into topics and chapters.

Think of Gyaanexchange as a more enhanced playlist that allows videos from anywhere, structured to deliver learning in as short an amount of time as possible. Those who upload their videos can charge for it too, thus incentivising anyone to create high-quality educational content,” he adds.

Watch dog
This content is moderated too: “We quality-check the accuracy and credibility of all content submitted and ensure it is accessible; you can access it using your PC, your phone or any other device that can connect to the internet,” he explains.

While Gyaanexchange is currently focusing on creating content for graduating students and young working professionals, they soon aim to start skill-based classes on topics including starting businesses, writing resumes, interview preps, PowerPoint presentation sessions, Excel tutorials, Python (a new and in-demand coding language) guides, Android applications development sessions and on how to become an android entrepreneur.

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