IBM has entered into a five-year agreement with Pearson India for its program to offer e-learning solutions to more than 22,000 classrooms across India, reports Live Mint. As part of the agreement, Pearson India will create digital classrooms for K2 students, while IBM will supply, install and maintain of the IT infrastructure in these classrooms.
Remember that Pearson has stake in two e-learning companies in India — IndiaCan and Tutorvista, but it’s not clear if it will use the services for this deployment in schools, or if it will create fresh solutions based on the education material it has in the books it distributes. It is also not clear if these solutions are targeted at educating the uneducated or to improve the educational levels of children who are already in schools.
Pearson had acquired 50% of Educomp’s stake in IndiaCan in April 2013 and acquired the remaining 20% stake in TutorVista, increasing its stake in the company to 100% in February 2013. While IndiaCan is a vocational training business, TutorVista provides online tutoring to students using Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol. The company also distributes e-books directly to institutions and also via Google Play Store & iOS store.
In the K12 space, Pearson India competes against iProf, which raised $9 million earlier this year in a round led by Daily Mail Group Information on behalf of its education subsidiary, Hobsons. It also competes against Applect Learning Systems, which runs the e-learning site MeritNation, that had raised Rs 71.5 crore funding from Info Edge (India); WizIQ has mobile apps that enable teachers to conduct live, online classes using iPad andAndroid tablets; Greycells18 Media, the company set-up by Network18 and Educomp, which owns the Topper Learning brand in India, and runs the subscription based education channel Topper TV; and Authorgen that operates WizIQ.com, a web based platform that creates virtual classrooms.