This EdTech startup promoting coding skills and STEM education among the K-12 segment, became the first EdTech to start coding courses in Hindi.
There is an undoubted rise in digital education for the past decade as India tries to prepare a tech savvy workforce. This push has only grown post-pandemic. At the same time, factors such as having a Hindi medium background has always been a disadvantage.
The latest UDISE (Unified District Information System for Education) report for 2019-20 reveals that over 25% of all schoolchildren in India now study in English-medium schools despite Hindi being the most popular medium of instruction, accounting for over 42% of enrolment.
Tinkerly is one of the few EdTech coding platforms that has come up with content in Hindi. The objective is to give an opportunity to young learners who come from Hindi backgrounds.
In India where close to 44% of people are Hindi speaking, it’s a natural progression for a startup to expand in the Hindi speaking populace, especially among extremely Internet savvy young kids.
Tinkerly has also started emphasizing vernacular content, as most Tier 3 city children are comfortable with their mother tongues.
The Tech Panda spoke to Sharad Bansal, CEO and Co-founder of Tinkerly about their latest initiative.
We decided to add Hindi to give equal opportunities to the 49% of Hindi medium school students and make our coding courses accessible to every student irrespective of their socio-economic status
“A recent study suggests that only 17% of Indian kids study in English medium schools, while 49% of Indian kids study in Hindi medium schools. Currently, coding courses are available only in English. We decided to add Hindi to give equal opportunities to the 49% of Hindi medium school students and make our coding courses accessible to every student irrespective of their socio-economic status,” he says.
“We are the first company in the world that have launched coding courses in the Hindi language,” he adds proudly.
The startup is gaining massive traction from tier-2 cities.
“It is a boon for non-English medium school students who can opt for coding courses in the Hindi language too,” he adds.
What They Do
Tinkerly’s offerings complement with STEM toys. The startup is positioned to advance kids’ existing coding skills with applications on robots, controllers, and sensors. The startup wants to become an alternative and more engaging way to develop logical skills for first-time learners.
“The best alternative to monotonous online coding classes is they offer more interactive ways to develop a child’s interest in STEM. The main objective here is to teach first-time coders the power of hands-on coding,” says Bansal.
By blending STEM kits with the play-based course curriculum, the platform is taking students’ learning journey beyond screens, thereby, saving them from overall unproductive screen time by almost 50%.
Bansal says that their courses ‘amplify students’ existing coding skills by teaching them about the futuristic skills that are needed in future jobs of the future’; and ‘developing a maker mindset among young minds by teaching them innovative technologies of AI, IoT, and Robotics using real-life scenarios.
The learning platform Let’s Tinker contains self-learning modules that can be learned anytime, anywhere to help slow-paced learners.
Tinkerly cultivates future innovators by providing a unique initiative of mixing fun and hands-on learning experience in live AI, robotics, and IoT coding classes for students of ages 6 to 16. Its STEM learning and coding courses are based on superior pedagogy, blended learning, and a play-based course curriculum infused with interactive STEM learning kits.
Our coding courses blended with STEM kits allows young minds to design, build and deploy their code to develop exciting real-life projects
The courses are divided into 4-grade levels like grade 1-3, grade 4-6, grade 7-8, and grade 8+. Each grade level offers three class packages, Explorer, Learner, and Achiever. All the course content is curated by a team of IITians and experienced educators. Both content and kits have received accreditations from US-based STEM.org.
Tinkerly’s coding courses are available on the STEAM learning platform, Let’s Tinker that offers the following unique features:
- Self-paced learning through interactive revision videos, beneficial for students who have a relatively slow pace of learning
- Knowledge-boosting learning with quizzes and assignments
- Peer learning through the STEAM community on the app
“Unlike other coding courses that offer monotonous learning, we here at Tinkerly add the fun element through STEM kits that ensure an immersive learning experience for young minds. We take students’ learning journey beyond the screens. Our coding courses blended with STEM kits allows young minds to design, build and deploy their code to develop exciting real-life projects,” Bansal explains.
“We offer affordable and vernacular coding courses. Our coding classes start from just INR500 per month, which is very little in comparison to other EdTech companies,” he adds.
Origin & Inspiration
“The inspiration came to me, Kapil, and Om Prakash when we were batchmates at IIT-Delhi. We observed how practical sessions made our engineering coursework fun and interesting. We decided to test this approach in the schools with an aim to make learning fun and interactive,” Bansal recalls.
The main aim of the company is to help young minds by preparing them for futuristic skills in the field of science and technology
With this aim, they carried out a survey and were surprised to find that a majority of the schools did not possess the bandwidth or technical know-how to push practical teaching.
“We joined hands with Vivek Pathak, a common friend of ours, and set up Tinkerly in 2015. The main aim of the company is to help young minds by preparing them for futuristic skills in the field of science and technology,” he resinstates.
For the last six years, the company has successfully benefitted 150,000+ students across India, the Middle East, and North America with its coding courses and STEM kits.
The Tinkerly USP
Tinkerly believes in the power of hands-on learning. It provides a better alternative to monotonous coding classes by incorporating the STEM kits as a part of their play-based course curriculum.
“These STEM kits add the flavor of excitement in the online coding classes and boost information retention among young minds through practical experimentation. It also reduces the overall unproductive screen time of a student by almost 50%,” Bansal says.
“The company believes in developing a ‘maker mindset’ in young minds by teaching them innovative technologies like AI, IoT, and robotics using programming,” he adds.
The company believes in developing a ‘maker mindset’ in young minds by teaching them innovative technologies like AI, IoT, and robotics using programming
It utilises the power of flipped learning approach and gives students the freedom to learn anytime, anywhere via the Let’s Tinker App.
“This is very good for students who have a relatively low pace of learning. They can learn at their convenience,” he says.
To give equal opportunities to non-English medium schools, the company has launched coding courses in the Hindi.
“The plan is to add more and more Indian and foreign languages with advanced AI-driven transcription and translation technology,” he says.
The company’s monthly revenues have grown 8X in the past five months since the launch of the new version of its learning platform Let’s Tinker App (STEAM Learning App). The learning platform has accumulated 50,000+ online school-age learners who have consumed over 300K+ hours of interactive learning content.
The best alternative to monotonous online coding classes is they offer more interactive ways to develop a child’s interest in STEM. The main objective here is to teach first-time coders the power of hands-on coding
For the last 6 years, Tinkerly has reached 6000+ schools and 100+ learning centers that enable it to acquire 60% of its users from the organic channels at near-zero CAC.
Their presence in the Middle East has been another milestone, where they intend to make content in Arabic as well. They will soon add more languages with advanced AI-driven transcription and translation technology to make its offerings accessible for all.
The company received funding in September 2021 from India’s leading publication group Navneet Education. The startup is planning to utilise these funds to focus on product development, increase consumer awareness about its coding courses and STEM kits, and grow business in new geographies with vernacular content.
“Our company’s unique STEM learning Kits + Live 1:1 Coding courses combined with Navneet, India’s most loved education brand that carries a six-decade old legacy, will set new benchmarks of learning outcomes and spark the thrill of making among young minds across the globe,” says Bansal.
“This is just the beginning. In the upcoming year, we plan to make our global expansion as well with regional languages and distribution networks starting with Arabic for Gulf council countries. We are also keen on expansion in new geographies with vernacular content. It will help us to create a strong global brand,” he concludes.