How many kids in India buy iPad to study?

I am an Indian entrepreneur in more ways than one. I always look around and ask myself – how am I making a change around me? I was in the iStore today morning. An iStore is an Apple retail store chain that is run by Reliance Digital. I saw a woman and her daughter walk in and ask for scratch guards for an iPad and iPod. I asked the girl what does she use the iPad for – browsing or studying. Her answer was prompt (with a look of “is that even a question, who studies with these cool things”) – for general browsing! Ofcourse, this is not a representative sample set and she could just be an outlier.

Now the big question – how many kids in India buy iPads to study? This might be a question that is too early to ask. But what is important is how deep can technology go in making a meaningful impact in learning. I am consciously using the word learning and not education – Education is a mere business, but learning is an experience. The growth of modern technology is a focus on experience. The iPads combined with latest collaboration technologies are bringing in the experience that is critical in delivering a meaningful learning experience.

It is not sufficient to set up a virtual classroom or an expensive enterprise grade software hoping students/learners will “learn”. It is the experience that will make things work – the future is immersive technology that can engage and connect learners and teachers together. Let’s look forward for some innovation in improving the experience.

Prediction Markets are here…

Well they always were. We are beginning to realize the presence.

Dus Ka Dum (power of 10) is a reality show hosted by popular Indian actor, Salman Khan. The show progresses by asking the player a question, the answer of which tries to predict a percentage. A possible question is “What percentage of votes will the Congress Government win if India has a general election today?”. Answering five correct questions would bring Rs. 10 crores ($2.5M). The correctness of the answer is measured by the fact that it falls in a particular range of the correct answer. The first question allows a 40% window around the correct answer and wins you $250, the second allows a 30% window and wins $2500, the third allows 20% with $25,000 return, the fourth returns $250,000 with a 10% window. The bull’s eye is for the fifth answer with a $2.5M cash prize. Continue reading

Age of the Wikimania: the importance of online collaboration

Wikinomics

The Web 2.0 and the easy access to bandwidth has ushered in some new paradigms in collaboration. The rise of the wikipedia (in general the open source wiki frameworks such as mediawiki) and P2P frameworks have transformed knowledge sharing in the open-source (or should i say open-knowledge) world.

Continue reading