Mobile Applications

Social Learning in Rural India

By the year 2030 an estimated quarter of the global youth population will be in India. Yet an alarming 85% of this population lives in the rural areas where education is still a dim and distant dream. It was these two facts that provided the catalyst which triggered a brainwave called Classle.

Classle is a cloud based education system which blends cloud computing with the power of social networking. It is used to promote literacy and develop higher education in areas where education infrastructure has precious little to boast about. Participants interact on social forums, exchange information and learn from one another. It is free for student users and aims to deliver the power of learning to the masses.

As the system is based in the cloud, it possible for individuals to access materials and download them onto their mobile devices. This is crucial, because now even the rural population of India is flooding online, via mobile phone.  As the organization deals in social collaboration it has also partnered with over 100 colleges and universities, mostly in the rural areas, which helps extend its reach and earn its revenue.

Founded in 2009, it has come a long way from the days when people ridiculed the idea and suggested it was a non-viable business. In fact it has been nominated for a series of industry awards since its inception and Vaidya Nathan, the Founder and CEO sees the future as very bright indeed. “The vision for the company is to be the Talent Platform for the World.  What Google did to organize information, Facebook did for relationships and communication, Classle would do it for Education and Learning.”

There is great power in peer-to-peer learning. And in practice this provides a virtual campus on the cloud that is private for every institute. Students can access material pertaining to their specific area of interest and collaborate with other students who are part of the curriculum. Teachers provide assignments and study material.

The advantage here is that study is not limited to the hours in the classroom. Extended hours of coaching can be provided beyond regular teaching hours to those who lag in their coursework. Students can share a topic of your interest, ask questions and get answers. They can publish blogs and thus educate others on relevant topics to elevate their understanding of a subject.

In practice, much of this is made possible by Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS).This solution provides the scope to store data with reduced levels of criticality. This in turn, reduces the costs of data storage and makes the solution economically viable to small institutions.

This is extremely important, as Vaidya Nathan explains, the business model is two-fold: “The learners and students are users and they are in one side.  We service them free of cost and help them become talented and successful.  There are companies who are on the other side who are interested in both engaging and getting insight into such talent.  We offer a set of services to them and earn service revenue from them.”

This company leverages technology to fulfill one of India’s greatest needs - pushing education into the distant corners of the country. And nothing could be more in line with the demand of this new, young generation fed on smart mobiles and the internet.


Indu Roy is a freelancer writing on technology and finance


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Indu Roy

Indu Roy is a freelancer writing on technology and finance.

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