Technology start-up Voicetap Technologies has launched a Value Added Service called Tutor on Mobile (TOM) on Tata DOCOMO. It is pegged to be a knowledge marketplace offering educational content and services including knowledge conference calls from experts, to enable end-users, mainly students, to learn on the go.
The service uses Voicetap’s proprietary oneTAP platform to aggregate and deliver content across various mediums including IVR, IVVR, Web, WAP and SMS. The content provided is in the form of videos, text, images, live interactions, pod casts or knowledge conferences. The Voicetap web site (in Beta) explains how a user can SMS search topics to the number 92121 48888 and receive an SMS with the relevant options of people available to connect ‘at the time of the user’s choice’ and ‘from the place of his/her choice’. Though the web site states that it’s a 24X7 service available throughout India (with the usual disclaimers), we did not receive any options to our multiple queries sent to the number.
However, the TOM app on Tata Docomo seems to be gravitating towards specific requirements of students. If the app does deliver as it claims, it does have a few offerings that may interest students – multiple conferences with subject-matter experts, tutor content to Class X, XII, IIT and Engineering students and conference podcasts on various subjects via more than 60 expert partners.
The searched content is accessible to users through SMS, WAP, Web, IVR and IVVR. Offering flexibility, TATA DOCOMO allows customers to subscribe to the service in 3 different ways – by sending a free SMS ‘TOM’ to 5333300, through free SMS link and through the tom.tatadocomo.com web site , which can be used for only previews and for uploading user Videos. In attempt to lure subscribers, the first month’s subscription has been waived off.
Though the company believes that this service ‘liberates from a classroom session to a complete mobile way of learning’, it is too early to make such a claim considering the mindset of the Indian user about classroom experience, especially students. From the perspective of the service provider, this m-learning app has potential to draw in curious students the first time but in this case, the content needs to be exhaustive and engaging for repeat audiences.