How to elevate the e-learning experience with seamless video delivery and playback

At TechSparks 2021, Jeroen Wijering, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, JW Player, spoke about the importance of user experience in online education to ensure consistent learning experience for students.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced children and educators across the world to rapidly adapt to online learning. The tech required to make this work seamlessly so as to avoid breaking the flow of education, will forever change the way students learn.

In many parts of the world, online or virtual learning have often been used as temporary modes of education that help in maintaining continuity — after an earthquake or other natural or man-made crisis.

But now, policymakers are discussing the possible impact of the pandemic on virtual learning and how it is set to change the way education is imparted. This has forced teachers to reimagine the way education can be delivered in the post-COVID era.

“We started with the video player and then went on to offer backend services because our customers were asking problems that the video player was not solving. And then we started focusing on companies that use videos to make money,” shared Jeroen Wijering, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, JW Player, on Day 4 of TechSparks 2021, YourStory’s flagship startup-tech conference.

JW Player went from being the first-ever embeddable web player to having been the basis of the original version of YouTube, and today, it is also leading the way with innovative video delivery for e-learning services. Jeroen spoke about how the pandemic made his team realise the enormity and the accelerated growth of the edtech segment.

The edtech battleground

With funds flowing in every year for edtech companies, India now boasts five unicorns in the space. BYJU'S, Unacademy, and upGrad are all massively growing with 100 million registered students and 6 million annual paid subscriptions.

Jeroen explained how JW Player’s e-learning stands out in the market.

“At the base layer, what our service provides is you can just get started with everything in one place. You can scale up and you become as big as a Classplus or a Netflix with very little resources. With a lot of the platforms, you have to put this service and connect it to debt service and connect that and put the CDN, etc,” he said.

Amazon recently launched its online test-prep platform — Amazon Academy — specifically designed to help students prepare for competitive exams. India’s test-prep space along with offline tutoring, have always been a lucrative market.

Sharing insights about JW player’s reach, Jeroen said, “JW video players are smart in terms of loading quickly, so delivering good quality streaming to any area on the planet is easy. This plays a huge role, especially in a country like India, where there are many rural pockets with users of old Android phones.” Jeroen also mentioned that the platform scales very well into those areas since the videos are encoded to load fast.

Seamless user experience

Providers of e-learning are finding out that almost all students prefer to learn at their own pace. This has led to the need for an online video player to include playback customisation tools such as player speed.

Jeroen reiterated how playback speed is an important technical feature required by online video learning providers. The importance of consistent learning experience, no matter the delivery platform accessible to students, can never be understated.

“Our video players are very good at pre-buffering, so they load videos fast. We have a lot of capabilities like changing the playback speed, changing language, having multiple audio dubs on content so you can reach additional language content, a feature that automatically transcribes the content so you can search inside the videos and through a search, unlock the content and get students to find the right pieces,” explained Jeroen.

In a price-sensitive market like edtech, it is crucial to offer quality learning to students and enhanced platforms for teachers to navigate with ease.


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