IIT-ian Merges Technology With Education

by Hinesh Jethwani    Aug 06, 2004

The first technology wave to hit the Indian academic world during the height of the dotcom boom was e-learning. It didn’t quite take off, as virtual classrooms preached a non-personal philosophy, reducing student-teacher interactions to a bare minimum. What Indian classrooms and corporate trainers were looking for was a system to retain the essence of personalized training, simultaneously weighing it down with new technologies.

Today technology has touched virtually all aspects of our lives. So if the Indian academia has progressed to installing wireless networks on their campuses, why not replace the ancient blackboard and chalk system with hi-tech multimedia learning solutions?

That’s precisely the question that IIT-Mumbai professor Kirti Trivedi sought to answer. The result: A solution that claims to revolutionize training; both in the corporate and academic sector.

IL&FS Education & Technology Services (ETS) along with IIT-Mumbai has developed a compact media centre called K-YAN, which combines the functions of a multimedia computer, a large format TV, DVD/VCD/CD Player, CD writer, LCD projector, Internet surfing, video conferencing and a visual audio studio system in a single compact unit.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Alok Bhargava, Executive Director, IL&FS (ETS), said, “The approximate price of K-YAN per unit is Rs 1,50,000. The product has already bagged around 130 customers, including Kirloskar corporate. We are eyeing corporates, academia, and also the rural sector as prime markets for K-YAN. The basic problem with today’s schooling system is that teachers by and large are not IT savvy. What academic institutions need to do is equip the teaching community with the right tools, and introduce technology-enabled learning solutions.”

K-YAN is an integrated, easy to use product with a display of up to 300 feet, with a single combined remote control-cum-mouse, that can be used for anything from changing TV channels to playing DVD’s or operating the computer. The product can be loaded with teaching aids, and used to deliver technology-enabled lessons, or view television programs/ educational videos in the class. It can also be used to surf and download material from the Internet.

“The solution comes with pre-loaded learning content (education material up to 10th standard) designed by our in-house team. We have already applied for a patent with the Patent Corporation Treaty. Service and support will be initially provided through our 19 locations across the country, and we are targeting a sale of anything between 3000-5000 K-YAN’s this year,” concluded Bhargava.

K-YAN is loaded with a 1800 lumens LCD projector, Pentium IV 1.8 GHz processor, 512 MB DDR SDRAM and 120 GB hard drive. The system can be scaled and upgraded according to a users needs.

Tags: K-YAN