App replaces textbooks with tablet

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2012 10:46 hrs

Hyderabad: A teacher conducting a class with a touchscreen board and students using digital tablets as textbook, notebook or a test pad may seem like a scene in a futuristic movie. But it is a reality now, courtesy MOCA (mobile learning classroom application), an interactive tablet -based education platform delivered via cloud technologies.

Developed by Hyderabad-based print-to-digital delivery services company Pressmart, which provides cloud-based publishing technology to over 600 publishers in 33 languages from 61 countries, MOCA, which is device and operating system (OS)-agnostic, completely eliminates children’s 15-kg backpacks and enables them to take their class work, homework and exams, including classroom reporting, on a 494-gramme tablet.

Pressmart had, in 2011, piloted MOCA (on Samsung tablets) with Grade-V of La Salle Green Hills, a 100-year-old Catholic educational institution in Manila, and deployed it across all grades till XII in June 2012. Covering 4,500 students and 400 teachers, the deployment, Pressmart claims, makes La Salle the world’s first school with fully-digital classrooms.

“The pipeline is phenomenal. La Salle has 17 schools with 97,000 students in the Philippines for which they will start deploying MOCA slowly. We are also seeing a potential in Thailand where the government is planning to distribute 800,000 tablets to primary school students this year,” Vikram Simha Torpunuri, chairman of Pressmart, told mediapersons here on Monday.

The closely-held company is presently in talks with state governments, schools and institutions in India, and is looking at doing two pilots in the domestic market during the current calendar.

“Discussions-wise ... we are quite close. We will be launching a pilot with a school in Hyderabad within a quarter,” he said, adding that MOCA was expected to generate $1-million revenues this financial year.

MOCA, which jams every other thing on the tablet, other than the classroom content, as soon as a student enters the school perimeter, supports Android and iPhone operating systems. The company will release a Windows version soon.

“If we have an Aakash tab, we will install MOCA and do it,” Torpunuri said, adding that the company will be launching a new application for the life sciences vertical in the next couple of months.

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