Technology will democratize learning and will make it available to everyone at almost zero cost – Sanjeev Kumar

In Interviews, Technology

Gradeup is India’s largest exam preparation platform for competitive exams. Through its website and app, it helps more than 1.3 crore registered students across 2500 cities in the country to prepare actively for various exams & score better. They believe that people prepare better when they prepare together; by questioning, helping & challenging each other. Hence, at the very core of Gradeup lies a community of students & expert mentors.

Sanjeev Kumar is the CTO and Co-founder at Gradeup. An engineer by profession, Sanjeev secured B.Tech degree from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur. Prior to Gradeup, he has been associated with  Infosys as System Engineer. At Infosys, he was part of testing team of Amex project at Infosys Jaipur.

In an interaction with IncubateIND, Sanjeev Kumar talks about how technology and online learning will impact the future of Education. Read on!

Tell us something about yourself and what does Gradeup do?

I am Sanjeev Kumar, I am a Co-founder at Gradeup, I take care of Technology here. An engineer by profession, I have over 7.5 years of experience in mobile and backend technologies. I completed my B.Tech degree from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur. Prior to Gradeup, I was working with Infosys as a Systems Engineer.

Gradeup is India’s largest exam preparation platform for competitive exams. Through our website and app, we help more than 1.3 crore registered students across 2500 cities in the country to prepare actively for various exams & score better. Established in the year 2015, we have nurtured highly engaging exam-specific communities of students and mentors for JEE, NEET, GATE, Banking, SSC, UPSC, Defence and State level exams. Our focus remains on continuously adding more exam categories & introducing products to make preparation more effective. Any aspirant can join Gradeup free of cost & start preparing for their respective exams. To further enhance their preparation, Gradeup offers two paid products – Test Series & Classroom. The former allows a student to revise the concepts & be exam ready through a collection of real time topic tests & mock tests, whereas the latter offers comprehensive preparation course for a specific exam through live classes, quizzes, mock tests etc.

We believe that people prepare better when they prepare together; by questioning, helping & challenging each other. Hence, at the very core of Gradeup lies a community of students & expert mentors. We also appreciate the value of structured preparation, not just the quantity of it but also the approach. It is only by preparing actively every day & making small but significant headways can one ensure continuous improvement. We also believe that competitive exams can make a huge impact in a student’s life & that derives the statement of purpose for Gradeup – To help aspirants prepare smart and score better in the exams.

What does the future of online learning look like?

Online Learning can provide quality education to students at a nominal cost. If the student is motivated to learn she/he can do so, without spending a single penny via online learning. I believe that deeper services will soon evolve in online learning. These will cater to content needs of the student, along with other needs. Needs like motivation, personal attention, recommendation are the ones which are not focused in current scheme of things. I believe that as online learning matures, it will solve these needs, making learning and preparation a lot more effective.

How Technology and online learning will impact the future of Education?

It will democratize learning and will make it available to everyone at almost zero cost. So, if somebody wants to learn something, they will be able to do so easily through online learning. It makes me really happy when I visualize India 5 years down the line, where a student has access to all the high-quality content. This will create a level field for everyone to have an equal opportunity and grow in life.

How is artificial intelligence changing the education industry?

No two students are same. Some might catch-up with things at great speed while others may need more time to understand what is being taught. The way courses are taught in schools and colleges might suit some students, but there are a lot of students who’d think they want the content to be taught at a different speed or may be in a different way. However, there’s only so much a teacher can do and it’s practically impossible to make everyone happy. This is where AI comes in. AI can recognise the speed at which a student likes to learn, it can recognize which subjects/topics a student is weak or strong at and recommend content based on that and design the complete study plan. 

How can IoT be used for Online learning?

When things get connected you get the ability to gather a lot more information without being present there physically. It fundamentally removes the locational constraint. Imagine you have a big telescope at your school which you can control from your phone. Now you can explore the whole sky, sitting from the balcony of your home. Isn’t that super exciting and a whole lot of learning. Similarly, you can have a lot more things which when connected can provide learning in real time without any locational constraint.

How is Augmented reality/ Virtual reality the next big thing in online learning?

Education start-ups are providing live classes to students. But are not yet interactive. Students need to type their questions if they want to ask a question. With VR, you can create a classroom like interactive environment for students. For eg. A human body; students can actually see each body part and see how they are working. 

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