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Way2SMS founder launches e-learning marketplace for instructor-led courses LearnSocial

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Person-to-person (P2P) online messaging service provider Way2SMS’ founder Raju Vanapala has now launched an e-learning marketplace called LearnSocial. Unlike traditional e-learning portals and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms LearnSocial claims to offer live instructor-led online courses through streamed sessions in topics such as technology, languages, business management, and robotics among others.

The 50-strong LearnSocial team curates courses on the platform keeping in mind requirements of college students, mid-career professionals and senior professionals. The company claims that it has roped in over 200 industry experts as instructors on its platform.

It’s worth noting that mobile messaging company ValueFirst had acquired Way2SMS in an all cash deal back in May 2012. This was barely four months after Way2SMS had itself acquired competitor SMS Country’s P2P messaging portal 160by2. But a twist in the tale saw the acquisition deal get reversed. Read more about that story here.

Courses: At present 16 courses are listed on the website, including courses on Android Development, Digital Marketing, Spoken English courses, Big Data and Hadoop Development, Mango DB and Administration, iOS Development, Business Writing Skills, etc. The batch starting date, course duration, number and frequency of sessions, session timings and number of enrolled learners is also displayed along with the course details. These courses are priced between Rs 3500 and Rs 19899. The company claims it will add about 10 new courses every month going forward.

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LearnSocial Courses

LearnSocial claims that anyone with a PC/laptop and a 1Mbps or more internet connection can attend the live sessions. It also claims that an expert support team will be available 24*7 through email, phone or live chat to clarify any queries the learner might have regarding the course. The e-learning platform also allows working professionals to join LearnSocial as instructors and get paid.

E-learning space gaining momentum

– Earlier this month, Samsung launched an online education store under its Media Solutions Centre division called the Smart Learning solution. The app provides multimedia tutorials, simulations, practice tests, study related text, exercises etc. for CBSE students between the standards I and XII.

– In July 2014, e-commerce marketplace Flipkart had also forayed into the services business by launching an e-learning category on its site. Flipkart’s competitor Snapdeal had also launched a similar online learning vertical in February this year.

– Indian government had proposed setting up virtual classrooms and online courses during the budget presentation earlier this year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed an allocation of Rs 100 crore for this initiative as well.

– Pearson India and IBM tied-up to offer e-learning solutions to over 22,000 classrooms across India in March this year. As part of the deal Pearson India would create digital classrooms for K2 students, while IBM would supply, install and maintain the IT infrastructure in these classrooms.

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– National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) also launched a new e-learning course in association with IIT and IISc this year.

– E-learning companies Zaya Learning Labs, Embibe, Foradian Technologies and iProf Learning Solutions India have all raised funding so far this year.

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