The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools, universities, and colleges. As of 18 May 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. The situation has made online learning a necessity and it needs to be ensured that even the underprivileged learners have access to online learning platforms.
This situation received attention from entrepreneurs and alumni of IIT Bombay- Mr. Vikram Bansal, Mr. Pankaj Singh, and Mr. Nikesh Ingle, in academic collaboration with Prof Ganesh Ramakrishnan, Dept of CSE, IITB Bombay and advised by Prof Preeti Jyothi, Dept of CSE, IIT Bombay.
They developed Lokavidya- an educational platform for creating, curating, and sharing knowledge for the people, using Information-Communication Technology (ICT) and advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.
Motivation and Problem Solving
Lokavidya- the name says it all, ‘Lok’ means people and ‘Vidya’ is knowledge. The main vision is to use ICT to empower people in achieving value-based holistic development in a sustainable way, while also preserving traditional practices and knowledge.
Working of the application
Lokavidya is an open educational ICT architecture that helps to capture, complement, supplement, and disseminate knowledge of existing integral practices. In the present circumstances, the efficient and reliable techniques are needed for collecting, preserving, organizing, and disseminating knowledge.
For the teachers:
- The platform enables trainers to upload videos and organize them into channels and subchannels and publish them to the Lokavidya LokUdyam application.
For the students:
- Users can stream and download these videos for learning different topics and grow at their own pace.
- The application allows students to learn topics well and clear the concepts using quizzes and evaluate their own performance.
- The users can watch, download, and bookmark these videos for engaging themselves according to their schedule and learn new concepts on-the-go.
A tailored version of the Lokavidya Lokaudyam application called ‘Ekal Prashikshan’ has been successfully delivered to an NGO called Ekal Vidyalaya. Lokavidya has helped teacher trainers of Ekal to retain the quality of the content and minimize losses occurring due to a hierarchical knowledge transfer training system.
Also, with its inbuilt quizzing system learning becomes intriguing and helps the learner self-assess their performance. Similarly, for an instructor, data like the number of pauses stops, and videos completed or unfinished is available. This helps to optimize their efforts and give attention to individuals so as to ensure their holistic performance. The app has been penetrated into more than 55000 Indian villages highlighting its PAN India level existence.
Future Plans for Lokavidya
Lokavidya is set to expand in various sectors like Education, Health and Sanitation, Economic Development, Skill Development, and many more.
The developers are creating an advanced skilling development platform called LokaUdyog which will connect the youth to the right employment opportunities. They are also planning to incorporate a live and interactive classroom with video conferencing into the platform. This would also have advanced features like facial recognition for attendance tracking, online proctoring of tests etc.
Finally, support for multiple Indian languages into the platform and its videos by the use of advanced machine learning is being incorporated.
We congratulate Prof Ganesh Ramakrishnan and Prof Preethi Jyothi for this great initiative. Efforts like these would ensure the smooth functioning of society in these difficult times.
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