Vuclip, a mobile video search and delivery startup, has launched a new mobile video channel, edu, that will feature educational videos for K-12 and higher education. For the same, Vuclip has partnered with Khan Academy and MIT Higher Education.
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit education organization that offers free micro-lectures teaching mathematics, history, healthcare, medicine, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics, computer science and other subjects, and claims to have delivered over 234 million lessons worldwide.
Vuclip’s channel currently features educational videos in English, however, the company says it will soon include course material in Indian languages as well. The portal features videos in categories such as Biology, Algebra, American Civics, Banking and Money, among others. It has a universal search bar on the mobile site, and also offers trending and recommended videos as a discovery tool.
The My Vuclip feature stores user’s history and lists their playlist. When we tried the mobile site, without registration, it noted our viewed videos, which means that it uses browser cookies to store the data. Users can also customize their homepage filtered with regional preferences, and also create a custom channel.
Users can stream videos in high definition and standard/regular definition. The portal also allows users to view videos in small packets or parts, which makes browsing/streaming videos on a mobile device much easier. Users can also like the video, leave a comment on the video, add it to the playlist, or share it on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, among others.
We checked out a couple of videos on our Android smartphone and iPhone 5. Although the videos we selected, played without the need to buffer on a 3G connection, the videos from Khan Academy appeared to be distorted. For example, the American Chinese debt loop video crops the extreme left side of the video, making the graphs and texts difficult to read.
While the portal does provide videos from Khan Academy, it does not provide course modules that a user can follow. Users have to search and create a playlist based on their course on their own, which is too much of a hassle. The Khan Academy’s key value proposition is of providing student data to teachers, to enable them to help students improve their performance. What the Khan Academy TED talk here.
It’s not clear how Vuclip plans to monetize the mobile portal, as we didn’t notice any advertisements on the portal or ads embedded in the video. Monetization on mobile ecosystem remains a tricky subject and even more so when it comes to mobile video platforms.
Other Vuclip developments
Vuclip recently raised $13 million in Series D funding led by new investor SingTel Innov8, and existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Jafco Ventures. In July, 2012, it had launched a women-oriented mobile video portal ‘Mira‘ which will showcase videos pertaining to health, beauty, fashion and style tips, parenting, cooking recipes, career and entertainment, celebrity videos and astrology among others. The company claims that this is India’s first dedicated mobile video channel for women.
HCL Learning, the education and talent development division of HCL Infosystems, has launched MyEduWorld, an interactive learning app that includes school curriculum in digital format. In August 2012, e-learning company iProf Learning Solutions, which offers a personal education tablet device and runs a chain of Wi-Fi-enabled e-learning centers across India, launched an online service, TheDigiLibrary.com. The service offers content for entrance exam coaching for IIT JEE, AIPMT, CAT, Civil Services courseware, CBSE 11th Medical and non medical sections, CBSE 12th Medical and Non Medical, ICSE 10th Science and Maths, and English Speaking.
Research in Motion (BlackBerry) in association with mobile service provider Vodafone had launched an application, Study Buddy, for B-School aspirants with test prep institution IMS. The Study Buddy app offers mock tests for MBA entrance exams like CAT and CMAT.
Vriti, an e-learning company, had partnered with Tata McGraw-Hill Education to launch free, online ‘Smart Courses’ for Engineering and Management on Android tablet devices. Minglebox also provides Android apps for CAT/MAT/XAT and AIEEE entrance exams.