It's time to prototype

Next Billion Tech

We all are going through uncertain and unpredictable times that we have never experienced. The current pandemic has not only affected and overwhelmed the healthcare system but also has crippled every possible system that we didn't make it resilient and 21st century ready. We, as educationalists and entrepreneurs, were talking about making kids 21st century ready and future-proof, but we completely forgot about our century old school system.

With our existing tools and resources, we can rebuild the overall education system, and it's need of the hour. We have technologies, and infrastructure in place, it's mature enough to disrupt the school system, make it obsolete, and reform it inside out.

The Journey begins

A few weeks ago, a dear friend, Shreya, felt the need to contribute something to the COVID situation, to help, and support people in need in some way. We started with the clean slate, with no idea what solution we can offer to the world. Using design thinking methodology, we come up with all the potential problems that various stakeholders are facing during the pandemic times by keeping our biases aside. Then, after a rigorous screening and selection process, we were able to nail down to solve a problem in the education sector, as we feel the team has the right skillsets and experience to do so.

Inspired by Marc Anderseen's essay - 'It's Time to Build,' we feel the urge to build, Binged, and offer something to the world by being a solutionary:

"The last major innovation in K-12 education was Montessori, which traces back to the 1960s; we’ve been doing education research that’s never reached practical deployment for 50 years since; why not build a lot more great K-12 schools using everything we now know?"

That's when the journey of Binged started, a learning platform designed for kids to learn 21st-century skills by having real-time masterclasses, collaborating with peers, and building their portfolios. The focus of the platform is to help kids learn, collaborate, and create.

How did we build this?

We did a rapid prototype in 2 weeks by using existing platforms and infrastructures like Zoom, WhatsApp, etc. It was easier than we ever imagined, we got 80+ registrations for four classes and four instructors. It has two major components: live masterclass instructor and an assignment given to kids. It led us to develop our thesis of the Binged product offering and positioning, which is a portfolio or project-based learning. Kids get time to work on the portfolio and interact with other group members, and this means - classes might not happen every day. The kids use the platform to collaborate & communicate with each other over the platform.

Class on Phone Photography
Portfolio: Storytelling

How we evolved?

We started by giving learning sessions and integrated project-based learning while doing the prototype. Now, we are planning to add a peer to peer learning element by leveraging technology, as that's the most significant piece students are missing when schools are shut, active social learning is critical in the overall child's development.

The next step

The rapid prototype gave us the right amount of learning at one end, and validation on the other end. Now, we are planning to build a full-fledged platform and a product that can tie up the three pieces: learn, collaborate, and create together. We believe kids should have the right to be future-ready, and it's our responsibility that we give kids the chance to curate the future that they want.

We have taken a step forward by building the rapid prototype; if you are an entrepreneur, product designer, venture builder, venture capitalist, etc., I urge you to take a step back, evaluate your strengths, and prototype something.

Become a solutionary and prototype!


I am continuously looking for ed-tech solutions that can create mass-market products for direct consumers or schools/universities. If you are building one or investing in one in Indonesia or SEA, please do write to me, I would love to learn more from you.

With Love,

Sagar


About

first followers” is founded by Sagar Tandon, a founding member at Moonshot Ventures. You can reach him at sagar@moonshotventures.org.

Occasionally, he blogs about the responsible investing, tech for good, venture capital, investment thesis, conscious capitalism, collaborative consumption, community, and humane lifestyle.