Global edtech company addressing e-learning challenges in emerging markets
Snapplify’s unique solutions make digital education easier for schools, colleges and universities
There’s no doubt that the digital revolution has changed the face of education, with more and more students and teachers using digital tools and content. While technology has the potential to transform classrooms around the world, the adoption of digital and blended learning in emerging markets comes with unique challenges. Global edtech company Snapplify has worked hard to supply realistic solutions to curb these challenges faced by primary, secondary and tertiary institutions:
Integration and usability
When integrating e-learning, institutions are looking for easy, no-fuss solutions. Getting started with Snapplify for Education is simple and painless. Users who have a Google account (if they already use Gmail or Google Classroom, for example) can even skip Snapplify’s short registration process and log in to the platform using their Google login details.
The suite is easily integrated with existing technology – compatible with most devices and operating systems. Using the free Snapplify Reader app, users can read ebooks and interact with content on iOS, Android, Mac or PC desktop, Google Chromebook, or Smartboard.
Snapplify also adapts to different markets, and ensures that their products benefit the end user. Recognising that the mobile money service M-Pesa is a preferred method of payment for many of its users (particularly those in East Africa), Snapplify was sure to include this option in its East African retail store.
Teachers and students need one holistic, reliable platform – and Snapplify for Education gives them just that. Snapplify’s Engage brings all of the company’s collaborative products into one cohesive platform, meaning that users can share multimedia resources, purchase ebooks or prescribed e-textbooks, and enjoy the school’s own digital content library – all in one place.
Lack of infrastructure in some areas makes e-learning difficult, as many systems rely on a decent internet connection. With Snapplify’s award-winning Snappbox – the company’s hardware distribution solution for ebooks – world-class digital education tools are available to all students – even those with poor internet connections and limited bandwidth. For schools with no internet, the Snappbox can be preloaded with content, hosting thousands of top-quality e-textbooks, which students can access offline, through their school’s intranet.
While the cost of devices remains a challenge, Snapplify has made the sharing of devices as easy and user-friendly as possible. If required, the same device can be used for multiple accounts, so that individual notes and digital reading lists do not get mixed up. Bandwidth costs can also create a barrier to entry for many institutions looking to integrate e-learning into their classrooms. Here, Snapplify has worked to reduce these hidden costs, thereby lowering the barrier to entry for many schools. With the Snappbox acting as a school’s content repository, students can save data by accessing digital resources from their school directly, instead of downloading each ebook individually – think, one download for multiple students.
Ordering and buying textbooks can be difficult. Dealing with multiple providers is a cumbersome process. Some titles go out of stock, and deliveries take time. A teacher who ordered 30 prescribed books last year and then finds she has a class of 35 students, has to put through a separate order for the five additional copies. These may only arrive later in the school term, or may not arrive at all, putting those five students at a disadvantage.
Snapplify has the largest catalogue of local and international e-textbooks in Africa. With Snapplify for Education, teachers can prescribe e-textbooks, and the school, students or parents can purchase these directly through the Engage platform. Students always have the most up-to-date editions and can access downloaded books online or offline, wherever they go. Users can also borrow ebooks for a set period with Snapplify’s digital library, which gives teachers and students automatic access to thousands of titles.
Training and support
While some schools do have the equipment and infrastructure to implement e-learning, many teachers are not equipped with the skills to use these tools in their classrooms. Snapplify’s Shaun Marshall has also seen some educators’ reluctance towards adopting digital education. ‘This most often comes from a lack of confidence,’ he explains. ‘While the benefits of digital education are difficult to oppose, some teachers’ hesitation to roll out e-learning is completely understandable, especially if they are not up to speed on particular technology.’
Teachers need to feel supported so that they can focus on what they do best: teaching. For this reason, Snapplify offers teacher training as part of its initial setup for signed schools, and allows for further training during the year, customised according to the institution’s requirements. As Shaun Marshall says, ‘Snapplify is committed to supporting our schools and an essential part of this is supporting educators.’
From simplified digital integration to its user-friendly interface, Snapplify for Education gives teachers and students everything they need to teach and learn, digitally. Snapplify works closely with schools and publishers, listening and learning, so that they can continue to find ways to make the adoption of digital education easier.