Times of India, India’s most widely read newspaper, in association with BYJU’S, India’s largest EdTechCompany announces the launch of the #KeepLearning campaign. With a key focus towards offering innovative, engaging and informative content for young students, the campaign platform will also offer guidance via discussions and one-on-one chats for parents and educators.
Sanjeev Bhargava, Director – Brand, TOI & Mrinal Mohit, Chief Operating Officer, BYJU’S, speak to MediaNews4u on this initiative and why was it necessary.
Post lockdown TOI has initiated innovations and tie-ups, your thoughts?
The Times of India has always been at the very forefront of bringing new purpose-driven and thought-led initiatives. Showcasing a high sense of responsibility to the nation and its people, each of our initiatives has brought in positive change for the betterment of society at large. In these trying and testing times, where the pandemic and its resulting lockdown has affected every industry, be it large or small, we took it upon ourselves to curate special initiatives, for our readers and society. Our country has always been on the brink of digital transformation and the process has indeed accelerated over the past few months. Education ecosystem has also seen a sudden transition from blackboards to digital screens. Realizing the pressing need to bridge the gap at the very earliest, we thought #KeepLearning initiative will provide the education fraternity, a one-stop platform that will help them solve the e-learning challenges and facilitate a smooth transition to the digital shift in classroom learning.
Times Keep Learning Initiative, can you take us through this campaign and what made you do this?
As I just mentioned, amongst the many industries and sectors that have been severely affected due to the pandemic and its resulting lockdown, it is the education system that has witnessed an unprecedented transformation. In a matter of days, students and teachers, who had never experienced anything but blackboards had to adapt to their laptop and mobile screens. While this was a problem that rural areas faced in prominence, urban cities too took time to get used to the ‘new normal’ in education.
In-order to make this transition smoother, we are now helping students, parents and educators adapt to the online learning process through our #KeepLearning campaign, where we have joined forces with Byju’s, who share the same passion and drive as us in bringing about an effective and positive change in the society.
The platform includes: –
- Plethora of content on Online Education: Almost all topics related to online learning are covered through variety of articles, listicles and videos on the website
- Discussion with Subject Matter Experts: There are a series of Webinars and Panel Discussions with subject matter experts on various topics throughout the 2 months duration of the initiative
- One-on-One Connect with Experts: Registered users will also be able to connect one-on-one with key experts from multiple domains like Education System, Lifestyle Coaching, Child Psychology, Ophthalmology, Career Counselling etc. to answer their questions/queries
- Discussion Forums: Registered users will also be able to participate in discussion forums on various topics and get perspective of top experts and other participants
What makes this initiative even more effective and noteworthy is that almost all the content is getting curated by luminaries and stalwarts from the education sector including AnubhaDoshi, Founder- Director – Artsphere&Soulsphere; Dr.Arunabh Singh, Director, Nehru World School; Dr. NavinSakhuja, MD Ophthalmology; Dr. Sameer Malhotra, Director and Head – Max Super Specialty Hospital and RamyaRajendiran, Co-Founder, Spring days School & Fountainhead Leaders among others.
Some of the key topics include New Education Policy, curriculum during COVID and beyond, Blackboard to a Digital Screen, Screen Time – how much is too much, and many more. The campaign is also engaging with prominent celebrities and experts. The list includes known influencers like Rajiv Makhani, Katerina Folkman, MomComIndia and many others.
Check campaign microsite http://www.timeskeeplearning.com for more details.
How have you been marketing this initiative?
As one of the largest media conglomerates in the country, our reach extends to almost all the parts of India. We are actively promoting the initiative across our print and TV platforms, which enjoy readership/viewership across nooks and corners of the country. By also leveraging various digital tools, we have bridged the information gap that exists amongst educators, children and parents. We are reaching out to bloggers, celebrities and experts to help us create awareness, so that more and more people come to know about the initiative and benefit from the content/activities that we are offering.
Due to the lockdown, learning from home has become mandatory. How will this initiative make it easy for all the stakeholders?
The key focus of the initiative is to offer innovative, engaging and informative content, discussion forums and webinars for students, parents and educators. The Keep Learning platform is a holistic platform that will guide and empower parents, teachers and students with the ‘how-to’ of e-learning, best practices of online learning and creating an impactful online teaching environment.
This initiative is focussing on making learning/teaching navigate easily to online mode. Can you elaborate on this?
The platform focuses on various aspects of online learning and includes:
- Content on online education – An abundance of topics related to online learning are discussed through articles, listicles and videos.
- Discussion with subject matter experts – The platform will feature a series of webinars and panel discussions with subject matter experts, throughout the 2 months duration of the initiative.
- One-on-one connect with experts – Registered users will be able to connect on a one-on-one basis with key experts from domains like child psychology, lifestyle coaching, career counseling etc.
- Discussion forums – Users will also be able to gain perspective from experts and other participants through various discussion forums.
The campaign will further engage with prominent experts and celebrities such as Rajiv Makhni, AnaitaShroff, Momcom India, KaterinaFolkman and so on. All these features can be accessed by everyone on the Time Learning Platform for free.
Technology is an issue with many. What will be some of the methods to make it understandable and easy?
At BYJU’S, it has always been our goal to make learning accessible, engaging and interactive for students across the country. We understood very early on that technology will have to be at the core to make quality learning available for all. And while students, who are digital natives, have always preferred learning online, parents and teachers have been apprehensive about children learning from screens. While we have already seen this trend changing, with more parents and teachers opening up to online learning due to the pandemic, we aim to make the transition to this new format of learning easy for them through the Keep Learning Initiative.
Through informative piece videos, expert panels/forums and one-on-one discussions, we aim to enable students, teachers and parents to understand and embrace tech- based learning. To ease the use of technology, this platform explores important topics like excessive screen time, handling a child’s demotivation, dealing with stress, making online learning more effective, ways for teachers to upskill themselves, learning how to maintain digital etiquette.
Many online initiatives have been planned by TOI and BYJU’S. Who will be TG for this?
Students, parents and teachers are our target audience.
Today education is beyond syllabus. What are the other related topics you will be stressing on?
At BYJU’S, our approach to learning has always been to instill lifelong learning in students. We have always focused on helping students learn beyond the concepts in their syllabus and develop the necessary skills to be future-ready. The Keep Learning initiative is focused on exploring concepts that can help teachers teach better online, help students learn more effectively online and help parents manage their child’s learning at home. Some of the concepts that will be explored are: setting up a digital classroom, managing screen time, learning how to stay motivated, bringing innovation to e-classrooms and much more.