Saturday, July 16, 2011

Online Education - The Future way of education

Educational Site


Revision History

Rev

Date

Authors

Change

1.0

8/15/2010

Bijumon Janardhanan

Initial Draft

1.1

10/31/2010

Bijumon Janardhanan

Second Draft

1.2

11/25/2010

Krishnakumar

Third Draft

1.3

11/26/2010

Bijumon Janardhanan/ Krishnakumar

Reviewed


Table of Contents

Number One Educational Site. 1

Revision History. 2

1. Introduction. 6

2. Primary Features. 8

1.1. Online Courses. 9

1.1.1 Online practicing site. 9

1.1.2. Online Sample Exams. 10

1.2. Interactive Online Tuition. 11

3. Secondary Features. 12

3.1 School sites and ERP. 13

3.2 Institution Home page. 13

3.3 Institutional Notice Board. 13

3.4 Virtual class room.. 14

3.5 Institutional social networking. 14

3.6 Students passport. 14

4. The Third Front (Computer Language courses). 15

5. Fourth Front (Online multimedia books). 17

6. Marketing and Revenue model 19

6.1 Direct Revenue. 20

6.1.1 Institutional membership. 20

6.1.2 Google Ads. 20

6.1.3 Revenue from facilitating online tuition infrastructure. 20

6.1.4 Revenue from facilitating online computer language and IT courses. 20

6.1.5 Franchisees: 20

6.2 Marketing. 21

6.3 Market research. 21

7. Setup and hosting the site. 22

7.1 Setup cost. 23

7. 2 How and where to host the service. 23

8. Cost and Revenue. 24

8.1 Summary and breakeven. 24

8.1.1 Investment Requirement. 24

8.1.2 Breakeven. 24

8.2 Development Cost. 25

8.3 Material Development Cost. 26

8.4 Year 1. 26

8.5 Year 2. 27

8.6 Year 3. 28

9. Team.. 28



1. Introduction

Vision :

Our vision is to create the world’s number one educational content site with features to push education online

Our vision is to push home PC (its variants like iPad, smart phones) and Internet to the center role in education system in the next 5 years.(in other words a paperless education system)

There are so many educational sites already, why another one??

Most of these educational sites hosts some specific courses, subjects etc. But we are trying to develop an educational platform with its own large amount of content and attract third party educational institutions use it to host their content and courses.

Our long term plan is to dominate e-Education with a cutting edge platform that helps us to host our own content as well as a platform for all interested third party firms to host their contents and courses.

The platform (or Educational OS)

It is most important to highlight this on top of everything as it is the core of the concept.

This site is a platform for hosting online educational contents. It includes online courses, books, tuition etc. Any organization who wants to host their course and content can become a partner of the site and they can use the technology and site features to do it. In other words this will act as an educational cloud.

We will host our own courses partnering with experts in this area, for all possible courses. Since educational field is so vast, it is almost impossible for us to host all courses that are running in the world. But this site must be the de-facto place to host such contents and courses.

We would like to call it as education OS where many educational system to run

PC is useless now (Use IT!!!!!!)

IT and Internet is dominating in all other fields, but when it comes to the case of lower grade students it is kind of a game machine only. I have a strong urge to use PC for my kid’s education but unavailability of suitable platform and contents make it impossible to use PC as a regular educational instrument. The emerging new iPAD like form factor of PC, wifi, fast and every where available internet brings up the opportunity and possibility to make it at the center of education.

Books, notes and slates can be easily replaced by a single iPad kind of device.


2. Primary Features

These features will help us to create and run online courses. It will help us login, billing, manage contents, interactive tuition, online tests etc.


1.1. Online Courses

· Facility to host course contents as recorded lectures, flash and other presentations.

· Organize course as content, practice questions, online tests etc.

This site offer facility to host recorded lectures/presentations of specific courses lessons. And that content must be tailor maid for each course so that a student does not have the burden to pick the contents matching their syllabus. For example a CBSC 4th grade student will have all their subjects and its class room lectures, question bank readily available.

What colleges and schools offer you? An atmosphere (Facility), social life and then the lectures? Among all other things offered by those institutions these lectures have a very important role. If they are not of good standard it affects the reputation of the institution. This site cannot offer all the facilities offered by an education institution. But it can promise the world class lectures by those who knows to do it well. There are limitations on things and presentation a teacher can do in his class. Here we have flash/graphic and animation to make the lecture richer.

This site is now planned to kick start targeting Upper Primary students in India. Comply with CBSC syllabus offered by Indian govt. Then gradually spread to all other areas.

Talk to parents of the above category students. They all have this concern of inexperienced teachers giving classes. Back at home parents are struggling to teach them and prepare them for examinations. As far as I know Indian middle class invest their dreams on their child. This attitude of middle class parents opens up a good vast market in a developing country like India. Author has firsthand experience as a parent of a student belongs to this category. (Necessity is the mother of invention)

1.1.1 Online practicing site

This feature allows parents/teachers to force students to practice questions online. For every chapter in their syllabus there will be lot of online questions which students can answer. Parents can allow students to listen to lectures answer the questions and then they can evaluate it later. For multiple choices questions application itself can evaluate. Parents can assign tasks to child and later evaluate them.

Innovation will play a critical role here for science and mathematics most of the questions can be generated automatically. This will reduce parents/teachers burden to generate mathematics and science practice questions. You can force your kid to practice as many questions you want.

Here are some examples

· Two digit multiplication

· Finding factors

· Learning spelling. (Computer says a word and kids to write it)

· Many science questions can be generates from a pattern. (A train travels between X to Y at a speed of M. How much time it takes etc.)

· Chemical formula of substances

In case of descriptive type questions initially we have to depend on human evaluations. But there is a scope of automating it. Most questions expect few points to be written. Along with that a syntax /semantic analyzer can do the rest of the stuff.

The site will also help students and parents to prepare for term exams. Once you select the chapters application can generate questions from those chapters for a sample test.

There are lots of things an innovative team can do there. Even if there is competition adding innovative features will help the site to stand out.

1.1.2. Online Sample Exams

In order to evaluate student’s parents and teachers can instantly create tests by just selecting the chapters. Site will generate tests by randomly picking the questions.


1.2. Interactive Online Tuition

Nothing can replace an interactive tuition. It is always a head ache for parents to arrange tuitions in addition to their normal schools. If they have to go to some institution for it then it is a worry to drop them there and pick them up in high traffic. If it is a home tuition you have to keep an eye. All these steels lot of your time and efforts. Now with the current technology and high speed internet these things can be arranged over internet.

It can be less expensive compared to private home tuitions as the teacher can address more students in their single session. They are also relived from travelling.

This site can be advertising for teachers who offer tuition. Students and parents can have the option to select teachers based on their rating. As a facilitator site can claim a piece of the revenue in that segment.

The site will provide all necessary tools to do the online tuition. Devices like iPad will allow students and teachers to interact more flexibly as it allows write things up. This same thing can be supported in PC with the use of a low cost additional device. This device is used to capture the writing and send it directly to the teacher to see it and evaluate. This might help them improve handwriting skills (In tomorrow’s world do these kids are supposed to write anything by hand?? I don’t know!!!) Also this is needed to support some foreign language where keyboard is of no help.


3. Secondary Features


3.1 School sites and ERP

These features will provide a kind of online ERP for schools to manage their show. In addition to that this will serve as a place for schools to communicate with parents. (Text messaging facility will allow schools to inform important events to parents.)

In additions to that it will provide them facility to

· Manage admission

· Fees payments of students

· Student’s progress card

· Course management

· Staff management

· Accounts etc

Yes It is an hosted online educational ERP for running any educational institution

Parents can login and find out the progress reports of the students. Student’s login can be connected to schools and classes so that this site will serve as a life time progress card for students. Though they move between schools their accounts will contain all historical information regarding their study. (In other terms this will serve as their online certificate)

In order to force schools to take membership in the site a piece of revenue generated by student’s login can be shared with them.

3.2 Institution Home page

It is a head ache for schools to maintain their web sites and show their presence on internet. This site will offer an easy way to do that. CMS offered by the site will help them to create their sites and manage it well.

3.3 Institutional Notice Board

This is an online notice board which student/parents parents can access after login

3.4 Virtual class room

This will contain the information’s and posts related to class where a student belongs. Teachers can post assignments, student’s achievements, and notice to parents here.

3.5 Institutional social networking

This feature allows students to create their own home pages and postings.

3.6 Students passport

This is a single student’s login which is portable across affiliates sites and institution online. This will help them to move around the sites. The most important feature of this passport is that, it will act as an online bio-data for the student. His life time achievements as a student will be showcased here. This will help him to project himself in front of his future employers.


4. The Third Front (Computer Language courses)


There is huge market for computer training especially for teaching the computer languages. There are institutions in big cities in India running computer language classes more than 200-400 students in one class. They just deliver the lecture and then it is student’s responsibility to do the rest of the thing. These classes may be just one hour or one and an half hour. Now days, all these can be easily accomplished over the internet. An online course (webinar) will open up more reach across the geography. Students and tutors are relived from move around to deliver and listen to such lectures. It is time for redefine things online.

How it works

· Deliver classes through WebEx kind of technologies. Multi cast technologies allows 100s of students attend the class online and interact with tutor.

· Students can attend them at their residence and this gives a big reach.

· Tutors can deliver their lectors more effectively using multimedia functionalities.

· Instructors can give one to one assistance by accessing their desk top

· This enables them to provide lab sessions without setting up expensive computer labs. They can use students own computers over the institutional equipments.

· If the student stuck at some point instructors can access their desk top and solve the issue interactively. This will give a feeling of one to one assistance for the students


5. Fourth Front (Online multimedia books)

Redefine the way authors write technical books, and distribute it


Until two years back I used to buy books to learn newer technologies in computer science. Now days I changed that habit to depend on online presentations, videos, podcasts etc. to learn about new technologies. This new way gives me the ease of listening to some multimedia presentations. This is much easier, faster and effective than reading a book.

But the problem here is that there is no complete courses/books are available online, rather than some presentations created by some random guys and organizations. It seems there is a good market for online complete courses on newer technologies. We have to push authors to create online multimedia books over printed books. They may have to put the some extra effort to create such books when compare to normal books. The beauty here is that even common people can write small books and sell it in this online market place. These kinds of books are more effective than a written book. It seems time is ripe to redefine the age old trend of writing printed books over online multimedia books at least in the area of education.

This site will encourage authors to create such kind of on line books which can bought on site and read practiced online. This concept is green and more effective than traditional books.

Here we are not competing with giants like Google, Amazon as we are only interested in educational online multimedia books


6. Marketing and Revenue model


6.1 Direct Revenue

This site can be launched worldwide. But as an initial step what I recommend is to start in India by supporting primary features. If it becomes a hit in a country like India it can sure win in other countries. (Not very specific about this suggestion it may be better start with USA and spread to other places)

Based on my little research I think it is easy to enroll 1000 students in a small city like Trivandrum in Kerala (where I live). By scaling it up to across India I think it is easy to enroll 1Lakh students easily. An affordable fees for middle class segment will be 20$ for year. That means initial revenue of 2 million can be expected first 2 years of launch.

But reaching out countrywide requires good dealer network or advertisements. That means we have to set aside 30-35% of revenue to marketing and dealer incentives. Another 20% can be expected as the hosting/infrastructure charges.

6.1.1 Institutional membership

This is another revenue channel once we set up the education ERP as part of the site.

6.1.2 Google Ads

Hope this can bring a good chunk of revenue as kids can be easily attracted to stuff relates them. They will definitely click on the add links just to explore. (In case of my daughter if she saw something named Barbie, Hanna Montana she will not miss clicking on itJ)

6.1.3 Revenue from facilitating online tuition infrastructure

6.1.4 Revenue from facilitating online computer language and IT courses.

6.1.5 Franchisees:

Third party vendors can use the infrastructure to run their specialized courses (Entrance exam, MBA, IIT, Yoga, art of living, Hobby electronics)

6.2 Marketing

Just hosting the site and waiting the users to come and join will not work well. Active marketing through media as well as dealership network is essential for conquer the market.

Accounts must be sold just the way a prepaid mobile connection is sold. The kit will contain a temporary user name and password. This will help us to push through all retail outlets and through dealer networks.

These kits must be available in all school/institutional stores.

6.3 Market research

An online market research using Google forms can be conducted to collect the user feedback.

7. Setup and hosting the site


7.1 Setup cost

Initial setup cost will depend of the scale of startup. It would be nice to have large scale startup with some hype.

7. 2 How and where to host the service

Microsoft Azure cloud may be the suitable place to host it as there is no initial infrastructure cost and no botheration over scaling up as traffic increases. Currently there is no statistics available for calculating the hosting cost.


8. Cost and Revenue

8.1 Summary and breakeven

8.1.1 Investment Requirement

Year

Investments

1st Year

$1,818,000.00

2nd Year

$2,711,413.04

3rd Year

$1,544,754.35

Total

$6,074,167.39

8.1.2 Breakeven

Year 1(6-9Months)

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Expenses

Development

$250,000.00

$250,000.00

$250,000.00

$250,000.00

Material Development

$768,000.00

$576,000.00

$432,000.00

$324,000.00

Operating Expense

$400,000.00

$903,804.35

$2,511,413.04

$3,619,021.74

Marketing

$400,000.00

$2,711,413.04

$5,525,108.70

$7,238,043.48

Revenue

Direct Revenue

$0.00

$3,615,217.39

$10,045,652.17

$14,476,086.96

Online Tuition

$361,521.74

$1,004,565.22

$1,447,608.70

Google/Online Advts

$3,615.22

$10,045.65

$14,476.09

Third Party Hosting

$361,521.74

$1,004,565.22

-$1,818,000.00

-$460,863.04

$2,703,263.04

$5,511,671.74

Total Margin End of 4th Year

$5,936,073.65


8.2 Development Cost

Modules

Sub Modules

Phase 1 Basic Infrastructure (1 Year)

Basic Site

$50,000.00

Login

Course selection

Course Buy

Content Rendering

Exams

History

Graphs

CMS

Third-party Hosting Service

$50,000.00

Online Tuition

$50,000.00

Total Salary

$150,000.00

Project Management & Infra

$100,000.00

Total

$250,000.00

Phase 2 Extended (2 years)

Writing Pad

$37,500.00

iPad

$50,000.00

Android

$50,000.00

Win7

$50,000.00

Educational ERP

$75,000.00

Total Salary

$262,500.00

Project Management & Infra

$100,000.00

Total

$362,000.00


8.3 Material Development Cost

Contents

Customers

Subjects

Grades

Cost/Subject*

Total

Students In India

5th grade to 12th

8

8

$3,000.00

$192,000.00

Students In US

6th grade to 12th

8

8

$3,000.00

$192,000.00

Students in UK

7th grade to 12th

8

8

$3,000.00

$192,000.00

Students in AUS

8th grade to 12th

8

8

$3,000.00

$192,000.00

$768,000.00

This expense is more or less repeats every 3-4 years depending on the duration of syllabus changes

8.4 Year 1

Customers

Price $

Expected Number of customers in 1St Year

Total $

Marketing

Marketing Commissions

Operating Expense

Total Expense

Students In India

$32.61

25000

815217.4

$407,608.70

$203,804.35

$203,804.35

$815,217.39

Students In US

$80.00

25000

2000000

$1,000,000.00

$500,000.00

$500,000.00

$2,000,000.00

Students in UK

$80.00

5000

400000

$200,000.00

$100,000.00

$100,000.00

$400,000.00

Students in AUS

$80.00

5000

400000

$200,000.00

$100,000.00

$100,000.00

$400,000.00

$1,807,608.70

$903,804.35

$903,804.35

$2,711,413.04

Total Revenue

$3,615,217.39

Total Expense

$3,615,217.39

$0.00

8.5 Year 2

Customers

Price $

Expected Number of customers in 2nd Year

Total $

Marketing

Marketing Commisions

Operating Expense

Total Expense

















Students In India

$32.61

75000

2445652

$733,695.65

$611,413.04

$611,413.04

$1,956,521.74









Students In US

$80.00

75000

6000000

$1,800,000.00

$1,500,000.00

$1,500,000.00

$4,800,000.00









Students in UK

$80.00

10000

800000

$240,000.00

$200,000.00

$200,000.00

$640,000.00









Students in AUS

$80.00

10000

800000

$240,000.00

$200,000.00

$200,000.00

$640,000.00

















$3,013,695.65

$2,511,413.04

$2,511,413.04









Total Marketing

$5,525,108.70

























Total Revenue

$10,045,652.17









Total Expense

$8,036,521.74









$2,009,130.43


























































































































8.6 Year 3

Customers

Price $

Expected Number of customers in 3rd Year

Total $

Marketing

Marketing Commisions

Operating Expense

Total Expense

Students In India

$32.61

125000

4076087

$1,019,021.74

$1,019,021.74

$1,019,021.74

$3,057,065.22

Students In US

$80.00

100000

8000000

$2,000,000.00

$2,000,000.00

$2,000,000.00

$6,000,000.00

Students in UK

$80.00

15000

1200000

$300,000.00

$300,000.00

$300,000.00

$900,000.00

Students in AUS

$80.00

15000

1200000

$300,000.00

$300,000.00

$300,000.00

$900,000.00

$3,619,021.74

$3,619,021.74

$3,619,021.74

Total Marketing

$7,238,043.48

Total Revenue

$14,476,086.96

Total Expense

$10,857,065.22

$3,619,021.74


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