As the name of the service suggests, people in India now can easily connect with a tutor via their mobile phones. According to the press release Tutor on Mobile (TOM), a partnership between the Indian startup Voicetab and the mobile carrier Tata DOCOMO, is India’s first knowledge marketplace. Something WizIQ may disagree with, though the technology used is totally different.
Whereas WizIQ uses the Internet and a Flash based virtual classroom, Tutor on Mobile is based on mobile phones, SMS and phone conference calls hence a technology that is far more available than Internet access.
The marketplace itself features educational content and easy learning mechanisms and it is layed out to be used “on the move”. Similar to web based learning marketplaces like Udemy or Learnable, Tutor on Mobile offers a variety of different learning materials and options like videos, texts, images, live interactions, podcasts, IVR (interactive voice response) and IVVR (interactive voice and video response). Depending on the mobile phone and its capabilities the learner will receive the matching content accordingly. Another main feature are the “Knowledge Conference Calls” with the experts who provide the different courses.
The partnership with Tata DOCOMO, one of the major mobile carriers in India, is of course a great push for the two year old startup. DOCOMO is also planning to expand its m-learning offers in the coming years to provide education even in the most remote places of India. Quoting GurinderSingh Sandhu, Head Corporate Marketing of Tata Teleservices Limited
We at Tata DOCOMO have been at the forefront of launching initiatives that re-define the way Indians lead their lives and this initiative is yet another addition to our ever expanding portfolio on M-learning! Our mission is to take learning to the inner reaches of the nation and the service marks the beginning of the many Mobile Learning initiatives that we hope to undertake. The service liberates from a classroom session to a complete mobile way of learning a language and we hope our subscribers will reap the benefits of the application in the days to come.
The sign up process for learners is done via a free SMS with the text “TOM” send to 5333300 which will send back the link for the sign up. There is also a matching web portal where the learners can see previews of the different courses offered by the currently 60 experts on the platform. Also, as a promotional offer, the first month of learning with Tutor on Mobile will be free of charge. From the second month on the service will cost Rs 15 for all the educational content, calls with experts are charged extra.
Experts who would like to offer their services on the TOM platform can also sign up via the Tata DOCOMO portal.