“Taking education to everybody, everywhere” has been the motivational mantra of Sesh Kumar, who founded Emantras in 2000 and currently serves as CEO.
Why did you create Emantras?
When I started Emantras in 2000, I was pretty certain on what I did not want it to be: a publishing services company, another eLearning company, another Indian outsourcing company.
I was very interested in the use of technology in education. And for a long time I’ve personally held the belief that learning through technology can be very effective. I started Emantras with the goal of creating digital products for the 21st century learner.
Our long term objective is to facilitate the progress of humanity through learning and initiate a global digital educational reform.
What are your thoughts on education these days?
Technology is here for everybody and is no longer limited to just the whiz kids. Learning through technology can be very effective, if we can overcome the challenges in taking technology to those with no exposure, and enabling those with access to technology to use it for more educational purposes.
Technology is ubiquitous and in today’s educational scenario, you often come across learners who know a lot more about technology and ways of implementation than the educators themselves. Using technology and combining it with learning, in a way that is easy to use and provides value is the biggest challenge.
Technology should be viewed an enabler, as a tool to further learning, not a hoop educators have to jump through. We don’t want to challenge teachers by making them go through a huge learning curve in order to implement technology solutions in their classrooms. It must be useful, easy and effective.
We also believe that it’s not only about the technology but also about the content design. One cannot be effective without the other. The trick is to get the combination right for all these elements (teachers, technology, content, connectivity, devices and learners) to work together to effectively improve learning.
How is Mobl21 unique from other similar products/services?
Every learning app designed today, has been created to deliver valuable content in one form or the other. What distinguishes a true mobile learning system from an app that simply delivers learning material, is its ability to ensure that learning is actually taking place.
Understanding this need, Mobl21 provides both features for learners and tools for instructors. Mobl21 enables instructors to get involved in the m-learning process and determine whether learners are actually utilizing Mobl21 to study, and to what extent.
Unlike other educational products, Mobl21 is not limited to a specific grade or subject but can be flexibly adapted to any learning requirement.
What is your outlook on the future of education?
Everyday new technology, new methods, and new pedagogies are changing the face of education. Today, three- and four-years-olds can easily use a tablet device to learn versus just a few years ago when it would take a deep learning curve to know how to even use a computer. The same thing applies to senior people as well. They can now access learning using devices which are bringing learning to them, in a very non-intrusive, and intuitive way. This is tremendously promising for the future of education.
Even more promising is that across the globe educationists, governments and technologists are all looking at ways to revolutionize education. While there may be mistakes, hopefully we’ll also have a lot of “learned decisions” made at the end of the day.