On first glance, MySchool looks like a half-hearted attempt – it has far fewer features compared to competitors Smartclassonline by Educomp which offers online tutoring and a content library, or Meritnation by (Infoedge funded) Applect Learning Systems, which features a comprehensive library of sample test papers. MySchool has three segments with content in the form of small articles and videos powered by Watchmojo.com. It also offers games, by again an international provider Kidsgames247.com. But overall we got the feeling it was targeting parents and not children – the news, announcements and poll (Should TV watching be monitored for kids? – the answer children would have is obvious) lent it a serious look.
Partnership With Ryan Global School
Moneycontrol reports it will be adding a virtual classroom for Mumbai and Bangalore based Ryan Global Schools. This “virtual classroom” however sounds more like a calendar that will allow parents to learn what lessons their progeny would miss on taking leave. According to the school, the website was launched on August 7, 2009.
Registeration, The In.com Id, UI, Social Features
In.com does seem to be force-feeding its email domain onto the registrants at MySchool, as Pluggd.in pointed. Here’s a look at the registration process made available on Ryan Global’s website. Note how new registrants have to first sign up to an In.com account in four steps. It also has an Invite Friends button to allow the user’s contacts to enlist at Myschool.
Even as social networks and online services are starting to open up and allow users to login using their existing email ids (under Open ID project), Web18 is playing the “catch them while they are young” game to bring future users onto its domain In.com.
It has a clean interface, with an “add status” bar and a search for friends box similar to social networking sites Orkut and Facebook. But beside the inbox where announcements to parents, assignments, events and emails are stored, there is a short profile with the user’s name, standard (grade), group, registration number and school name.
Right now it looks like a service piggybacking on the school and Web18 will need to build up on it quickly if it plans to create a strong niche for itself.
E-learning Going Strong, Monetising
The education sector is one of the few to brave the recession and it seems that we could see more e-learning companies go public, like Edserv Softsystems did earlier this year. Edserv’s offer was oversubscribed 1.3 times, according to Indianomics. It offers vocational training for the retail industry.
There are many ways to monetise e-learning portals, both directly and indirectly – charging for study modules, tutoring per hour, fees for submitting an admission form to an offshore university, tuition for competitive exams etc. Or by inking long term deals with schools and universities to make a content library available to their students. A mini social network or enabling students to access school-authorised e-books from home – ideas for this untapped sector are everywhere and soon will come to life in the virtual world.