[App Fridays] Genext Student Pro - A school in an app

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I have always been skeptical about studying content on a device. That's probably because I come from a generation where technology aided learning wasn't available. Today's children are exposed to an iPad before even flipping a page on a book. And given the virtual nature of the content, we now stare at the possibility of doing away with books for good.

Today's App Friday is testament to that. The Genext Students app has a complete school's curriculum packed into one app. It is a paradigm shift for people like me. What used to be twelve years worth 6 sets of textbooks can now be accessed over the same interface, over an internet connection.We had recently covered their web offering and now, they're out with their mobile app. And here's what we think -

What is it about?

The Genext Student app is an content delivery app for education. You sign up, either as a student, teacher or a parent account and you are offered with 12 Roman numerals depicting each class. In each of these categories you have study material to the corresponding each class.The study material is divided into many sub categories. Each lesson has custom study material, sample papers, a note taking tool, a video gallery, an ebook of the text book and their propriety quizzing tool, NABUmania.

The app follows a freemium model of monetization, where the first 3 chapters of any subject from any class are free, while the rest are paid. Each class’s subjects study materials are available for Rs 1599 per download.

Does it work?

I think it does, to an extent. A dipstick test that I conducted among the people I know showed a fair usage of technology aided education supplements by their children. Some say that it's even effective, especially the multimedia component that the technology platform brings.With respect to the Genext Student app, I think it induces the multimedia component through its video and the quiz game; both of which I found very engaging. (For all you engineers out there, choose the 12th math section and try out the quiz. It sure reminded me of how much I have forgotten)

When you want to buy a section, it redirects to their mobile website. While this enables everyone to be able to purchase, buying from a mobile website is, well, not something Indian mobile users are used to. It will be interesting to hear how many people buy their mobile offering, from the mobile site.

Pros and cons As with any content driven app, Genext's USP is in the amount of content it has. It really was fascinating for me to see 12 years worth CBSE books on one page. Apart from this, the NABUmania quiz is quite interactive and challenging (If I had only had this when I was studying!)

There were some design issues with the app; I think it could have been a little more aesthetically pleasing. Also, Genext app force hides the notification bar on Android. While this might be to restrict the focus to the app, accessing a notification while using the app will require you to leave the app completely.

Apart from this, it is a rock solid app. In the few days that I've used the app, there were no technical glitches that we faced. A decent feat for such a content heavy app.

Our take

I think Genext's way forward on the mobile platform should be on standalone devices. It's go the content to hold its own on a devices meant only for apps. They could tie up with hardware providers like Suphaalam, who specialize in putting education content on tablet devices.Also, to up the level of interactivity, I think it is important for Genext to go the PaperTrell way. Written content on a digital platform adds no value to the end user than a book. Can content and multimedia be tied together? That could be something for Genext to think about.

However, Genext's app is a great start. Your school-goer will love it.

Download Genext's app here.

If you are an education startup, apply to be an EduStar today!

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