Future of Work: Vamsi Krishna on how Vedantu makes learning 'safe' and 'interactive' in the new normal
At Future of Work 2021, YourStory's flagship product-tech-design conference,Co-founder and CEO Vamsi Krishna spoke about the massive tailwinds in edtech following the pandemic, which made online learning the "only option".
"The pandemic has changed the way we do things," he said.
"Earlier, parents and students thought of online as a not-so-serious option. Then in 2020, online became the only option. We saw a marked difference in the attitude of parents. There was a shift in their mindset about online education, and a lot of parents started trusting the new way of learning and teaching," Vamsi explained.
As the top guy at Vedantu, one of India's leading K-12 education startups, he has been witness to the massive behavioural shifts taking place in teachers too.
"Earlier, teachers were used to seeing students in front of them. They were used to that energy inside the class. Now, online is a different medium, and there are a lot of challenges in that. Kudos to the teachers for embracing the new normal," he said.
Vamsi Krishna, Co-founder & CEO, Vedantu, at Future of Work 2021
In April 2020, shortly after the lockdown, Vedantu — like many other K-12 edtech players — made all its live classes free. That led to clear improvements in "engagement scores" of early-grade and middle-grade kids, says the founder.
After May, when schools began holding their online classes on top of the live tutoring offered by platforms like Vedantu and others, students were faced with the problem of screen fatigue. "Parents' worries around screen time was an important thing for us to address," Vamsi revealed.
He went on to explain,
"When schools started their online classes, the cumulative screen time went up. So, we addressed this directly on the platform. We incorporated time checks in each of our classes. After every 20 minutes, the teachers were instructed to do some eye exercises or take a break. We continue to do that even today."
The startup also took steps towards ensuring that students stay engaged for long.
Vedantu signed up Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador in September 2020
When there is "continuous studies", it is natural for young students to get bored. To prevent drops in engagement, Vedantu devised interactive learning methods. About 10 to 15 interactive activities were implemented in each live class on Vedantu.
"We redesigned our proprietary live tutoring platform (VAVE) and released a Version 2.0, which is a lot more interactive. We also did improvisations in content to make sure that after every 3-5 minutes in a 60-minute class, there were some activities to be done."
"Think of it as gamified learning with points, leaderboards, and a sense of healthy competition and engagement among students," he added.
The last, but perhaps the most critical, change that Vedantu brought about on its platform over the last one year is a child safety policy.
Vamsi said, "We saw a lot of unfortunate events both on the students' side and the teachers' side. Online abuse is a real challenge. We're proud to say that Vedantu has been a pioneer in the ecosystem to create a child safety policy to set guidelines on what online teaching behaviour should be," Vamsi stated. "As edtech platforms, it is our duty to ensure that the student has a safe learning environment," he added.
The founder signed off by saying that Vedantu is "excited about the innovations" it is doing this year "to make quality teaching accessible in the Tier III-and IV towns". That is the goal, he said, to enable "10X better teaching at a quarter of the cost".
A big shout out to our Future of Work 2021 Co-presenting Sponsors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Unique Solutions; Digital Excellence Partner, Google Cloud; Associate Sponsor HP and Intel; and Sponsors: Atlassian, Freight Tiger, Archon I Cohesity, TeamViewer, and Pocket Aces.