When The covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March forced school classes to go online, the digital divide in the country became even more apparent. Only a handful of private schools located in big cities and towns could adopt online teaching methods while budget private schools and government schools were left in the lurch. .
Cut to present. Technology companies have developed and delivered learning modules via free apps and radio channels, and free live classes are being delivered through popular social media platforms. Edge-based technologies can play a crucial role in expanding the impact of digital learning beyond private schools in urban centres. Effective industry collaboration to accelerate technology innovation across cloud, network and at the edge can also pave the way to a more dynamic and accessible school environment across the country. A success story from the National Capital Territory of Delhi’s (NCT Delhi) government schools shows how technology can act wonders.
The department of education of NCT Delhi engaged Career Launcher to find a fast-scaling solution to not only ensure educational continuity but to also serve as a platform for long-term educational transformation. Career Launcher enlisted the help of Intel and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and worked with educators to adapt aspiration.ai, Career Launcher’s learning portal, to address the needs of Delhi’s government schools. Within two weeks the trial was successfully launched, and Project Aspiration 2020 was born.
From the initial group of 55 schools and 1,500 students, aspiration.ai is now serving over 165,000 students with extremely high rates of engagement: 90% of students enrolled are regularly active. With requests to participate in the programme coming in from across the country, the project aims to reach one million students. “The aspiration.ai learning platform is focused on delivering learning, fun, and mentoring at scale,” said Rahul Sharma, president – Public Sector, India and South Asia, Amazon Internet Services.
“The goal for the programme stretches well beyond the Covid-19 crisis. The fast scaling that Career Launcher, Intel, and AWS have achieved is inspiring government officials to think differently about education. They’re seeing the potential for this programme to have a lasting impact on students’ lives and to help lead a transformation in the education system across the country that gives more children access to the best learning experience possible,” said Prakash Mallya, VP & MD – Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India.
Aspiration.ai is built on AWS Cloud, which offers scalable performance and built-in AI acceleration with Intel Xeon Scalable processors. AWS scaled up quickly and seamlessly while offering a wide array of services and delivering the needed performance for very large groups of users. For intensive workloads that involve video, analytics, AI, and more, Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors deliver extensive compute headroom to cost-effectively scale platforms like aspiration.ai to meet the future learning needs of students.
Project Aspiration 2020 has empowered hundreds of teachers, many of whom have limited experience using computers, by putting powerful digital tools and skills at their disposal. To ensure that the special connection between teachers and students continue, Career Launcher is using cloud technology to offer livestreaming of classes as well as archival and replay of past recordings. By offering both synchronous and asynchronous learning content, the programme is inclusive of students who have limited access to broadband internet. While these students are unable to stream the lessons live, they can view the content on demand when they are able to get online, often via a parent’s smartphone. In addition to the face-to-face connection that aspiration.ai allows, it is enabling advanced analytics for teachers.