Emantras: Digitally yours!

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 08, 2010 05:31 hrs

Sesh KumarEmantras, an innovative digital education solutions company with capabilities that extend far beyond course development, is bullish on the e-learning market. Having delivered nearly 20,000 hours of e-learning to 100 global clients, Emantras aims to become the 'industry gold standard' in digital education.

The nine-year old company is known for providing training, education and work flow solutions for Fortune 500 corporations, academic institutions and publishers - notable global clients being IKEA, Lufthansa, Nokia, Siemens, Raytheon, FLVS, Pearson and also Cengage.

With nine offices across the globe, Emantras engages itself consistently in developing curriculum and instructional design, custom courseware, courseware migration, LMS (Learning Management System) integration, videos and podcasts, simulations & animations.

In an exclusive interview with Sify, Sesh Kumar, CEO - Emantras Interactive Technologies, tells us about the company's growth plans and also the enormous potential of the e-learning market.

What's special about Emantras?

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Emantras is an innovative digital education and learning partner delivering world-class training and educational solutions to academic and publishing clients, who are keen to use technologies that support learning. Founded in year 2000, with the vision to educate through technology, Emantras provides engaging learning experiences that enable effective knowledge delivery through our integrated digital and mobile solutions.

How important has e-learning become in the present era?

The traditional approach to learning in the form of lectures, assignments and tests is slowly fading today. Blended learning techniques that equip users to learn by doing tasks rather than mere reading have been found to be the most effective. As students begin to absorb information through multiple consumption formats, it becomes important for e-learning to adapt to these changes.

M-learning, social media learning and game based learning are key areas where e-learning is rapidly making strides to engage the learner and capture their attention at different delivery points.

Does the Indian education system need to undergo a change and why?

We need a national effort to improve the Indian educational system. There is a broad consensus on the need for educational reform in our nation, but there is none on how we should proceed. Our problems are far broader, beginning with early childhood development and continuing through on-the-job training. They are also rooted in cultural attitudes. The traditional Indian education system is geared towards memorization rather than understanding and does not inspire creativity and innovation.

Several schools around the country are taking the first step in using technology to enhance the e-learning experience, and the ministry is also taking positive steps in this direction.

Is the Indian education system ready to undergo the change and opt for e-learning system?

Yes, the Indian education system is ready to undergo a change as it has understood that skill development through eLearning will become a significant growth driver in the future. At Emantras, we help our users achieve their full potential through customised e-Learning tools with direct internet interface. We also use blended learning techniques that combine traditional teaching methods and interactive tools such as games.

With the significant growth of broadband use in India, more students are able to access interactive learning content. While this is primarily in the metros, larger cities and towns at the moment, the government is also taking steps to bridge the gaps to the smaller villages and rural areas to provide services to a much larger audience.

In what way would mobile learning system be beneficial to the students?

As mobile connectedness continues to sweep across the landscape, the value of deploying mobile technologies in the service of learning and teaching at all grade levels seems to be both self-evident and unavoidable. The mobile phone is no longer a simple voice communication tool, and younger users are heavy users of text SMS, mobile Internet, mobile social media as well as third party applications for mobile use.

M-learning leverages this to provide students access to learning content on-the-go and on-demand. Students no longer need to be in a classroom or in front of a PC to study. Emantras is about to introduce a new product that bridges the gap between educators and students by providing a platform for educators to create rich media content through a web based application and simultaneously publish the content to mobile and desktop platforms with ease.

In what way has the slowdown in the market helped e-learning?

The economic slowdown has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for e-learning. Cost cutting measures have induced businesses to reduce instructor-led training and convert to e-learning solutions. The immediate effect of recession has been the tightening of purse strings and most companies, even large enterprises, are converting from instructor-led training (ILTs) to rapid instructional design (RID). The traditional approach to learning in the form of lectures, assignments and tests is slowly finding its way out.

What scope does animation industry offer to students when the world is stepping out of a market downturn?

In the midst of the economic slowdown across various IT sectors, the animation, gaming, multimedia, and mobile computing sectors seem quite unaffected. Globally and in India we have a booming entertainment industry and this has always helped. Students from multimedia, animation, and allied subjects can also get jobs in textile companies and ad agencies, which are increasingly hiring trained professionals.

How can the mobile gaming industry alter entertainment into a source of learning in today's time?

Learning techniques that combine traditional teaching methods and interactive tools such as games rather than mere reading have been found to be very effective. This way the learner is engaged and empowered to learn the subject quickly. Emantras recently won the coveted Brandon Hall gold award for excellence in the 'Best Learning Game' category.

We developed this module for Lufthansa to teach aviation English to ease understanding the language specifically of use to Asians and those for whom English is not their 1st language. Learning takes place by carrying out a variety of interactive tasks in various lessons and challenging games both of which offer an enhanced level for self-motivation.

What is the vision of Emantras?

Emantras aspires to be known as the industry gold standard in digital education. Being an innovation partner to enterprises and institutions by creating effective knowledge, enabling delivery and empowering access and usability with effective technology. To champion new advancements and innovations in e-Learning and bring it to market for greater use of the teaching as well as learning audience.

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