Barnoparichay uses slate-pencil experience in app to bring Bengali language learningAparajita Choudhury
Bengali is the seventh most spoken language in the world, with 250 million native speakers of a total of 300 million. It is considered as one of the primary vernacular languages in India and the second-most spoken language in the country after Hindi. But today, there seems to be a slow disconnect from the language for the people.
With an aim to make people realise the importance of Bengali language, Sandip Saha and Swarnendu De have launched Barnoparichay in March 2015. The move was to help kids learn the Bengali alphabet and numerals using interactive tools and teaching methods. The idea was also to reach out to the Bengali community located in different continents where readable content is available only through smartphones and tablets. Later, Barnoparichay was launched in Hindi and English as well.
We have over 4,000 downloads without investing anything in ads or paid reviews. We are also receiving good ratings and feedback from the Bengali communities located in Europe, USA and other continents. The app is completely free to download.
The app provides a traditional ‘slate-pencil’ based learning experience with reading, writing and match-making lessons that helps kids familiarise themselves with alphabets and numbers. The app also allows kids to practice writing lessons with colour pencils and eraser. The Bengali version of Barnoparichay has a rich collection of popular Bengali rhymes with colourful illustrations, text and audio clips.
Barnoparichay is one of the in-house products of Innofied, which started as service-based web and mobile app company on January 31, 2012. Apart from Barnaparichay, the startup has also developed apps like Locat’r, BuizzConf, The Little Indian Archer, Demons Doom, Cordial, Max International, Pupil Aspire, Fitness Pro and more.
We have seen that a lot of Bengalis in Kolkata and Bangladesh are using the app. We are using social media to reach out to and interact with our target audience, contacting renowned bloggers and review platforms to get our app featured and have also been part of 94.3 Radio One Talk show that featured Barnoparichay’s role in e-learning.
Adding new features
Keeping the interface engaging in order to draw the attention of first-time users was one of the difficult tasks. Hence, the designers at Barnoparichay created cartoons to make the app colorful and attractive. With an aim to create nostalgic impact on parents who have once used slate and chalk in their own childhood, the startup wanted to implement the authentic, old-school slate and chalk pencil effect.
Swarnendu says, "The underlying challenge here was to generate a smooth interface and an erasable duster element, making the user experience as realistic as possible. Apart from the slate and chalk we needed several additional key tools. In addition, memory management was a huge blocker as managing so many images in the app could make it slow down or crash.”
In order to increase performance and smoothness of the slate and chalk interface, they applied core graphics (GPU for processing, utilising the OpenGL ES 2.0 Framework). Moreover, to make the slate-board interface appealing, it employed various coloured chalks of different size and patterns.
Growing acceptance of eLearning in India
In the era of smartphones and tablets, children are more inclined towards electronic devices. And, therefore, these e-learning apps have attracted kids towards education. According to Sandeep, today’s kids start using smartphones at a very young age.
Maneesh Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer, WizIQ, says,
Mobile phones have played a vital role in revolutionising the education system. With smartphones, the device has become even more engaging. Now educators are using the device as an important educating tool.
A recent report by the UK-India Business Council revealed that India has become the largest market for e-learning after the US, and the sector is expected to receive a boost from the government’s Rs.1.13-trillion Digital India initiative. The report also says that India’s e-learning sector is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 17.4 per cent.
Our objective is to reach out to as many people as possible, once we have a user base. We look forward to expanding our team ten folds, into a number ranging between 500 and 1,000. Our goal includes having multiple branches of operation in different parts of the world.