Greycells18 Media, the company set-up by Network18 and Educomp, which owns the Topper Learning brand in India, and runs the subscription based education channel Topper TV, and website, Topperlearning.com, has launched Android mobile apps developed for school children in classes 6th till 10th. The company has launched two apps, Prepora-Exam Practice App, and Chapter Notes revision app, both of which have been developed in-house by the company’s development division, Topper Labs, and have been made for Horlicks.
The Prepora-Exam prep app, allows students to select subjects and individual topics and answer multiple choice questions in a gamified environment. Students can only unlock and move to the next level when they achieve a certain score, and they can compare themselves with other users via a Leaderboard screen. The Chapter Notes revision app offers quick notes summaries including important concepts, explanations and formulae, from different topics across all subjects, to enable students to revise them.
We found the apps to be well designed and intuitive, although we experienced some connectivity hiccups while trying to use the Prepora app for the first time on our Galaxy Nexus device. The Prepora app even offers a scratch pad and a calculator to allow children to answer questions. But we feel that some visual elements such as diagrams could have been illustrated better. Also, instead of just multiple choice questions, the app could have also made use of interactive elements to create virtual models or remember formulae. Overall, it’s a decent attempt at making at making learning apps.
Downloads, branding: Speaking with MediaNama, Karan Peri, Head-Technology and Value Added Services at Greycells18, said that it’s close to a month that the apps were launched, and the Prepora app has been downloaded more than 1200 times, even though the company is not promoting them, with the rate of growth increasing every 3-4 days. The Horlicks branding is part of a larger campaign, with the health drinks brand, which also extends to other Topper properties, he mentioned. The company does intend to gradually spread the word about the apps through online media and on social networks.
Monetization?: The company does not intend to directly monetize the apps and instead wants potential users to know about the Topper and Horlicks brands through these. It offers education content online through Topperlearning.com via a freemium model, where 20-30% of the content is free, while the rest is available via subscription packages. Its TV channel, Topper TV, is available as an a-la-carte add-on, on DTH and digital cable platforms.
Content: Peri informed that the educational content on the apps, including questions and revision notes have been reformatted and adapted from Topper’s other properties, and is verified by its experts. The course content covers 100% of topics of the CBSE boards, while coverage of ICSE and state boards varies between 70%-75%, as per Peri. He mentioned that the apps were scaleable and could be expanded to offer content related to other subjects and even topic related to JEE preparation, in the future.
Platforms: The company does not intend to create iOS apps as it feels that Android is a larger platform, though it does plan to develop a Windows 8 app, different from the Android apps.
Usage: When we asked whether school kids would have access to devices and how the company plans to measure use, he responded that children were increasingly using their parents’ devices and that the usage pattern of the apps reveals that there’s less usage in the 7am to 2pm time slot, when children usually go to school, where mobile phone use is not permitted. While the apps do not offer social integration and children compete with each other through user-names, the data offered through the download source allows the company to track popular geographies, device models, and other details, states Peri.
Other Similar services: Recently, HCL Learning, the education and talent development division of HCL Infosystems, launched MyEduWorld, an interactive learning app that includes school curriculum in digital format. In August 2012, e-learning company iProf Learning Solutions, which offers a personal education tablet device and runs a chain of Wi-Fi-enabled e-learning centers across India, launched an online service, TheDigiLibrary.com. The service offers content for entrance exam coaching for IIT JEE, AIPMT, CAT, Civil Services courseware, CBSE 11th Medical and non medical sections, CBSE 12th Medical and Non Medical, ICSE 10th Science and Maths, and English Speaking. There are many other education apps that majorly focus on test preparation for Engineering, and MBA.
* The story has been updated with minor corrections following clarifications from the company.