HeuLab pioneers integrated lesson delivery for next-generation learners
Educators today are moving their focus away from the traditional classroom setting and looking for ways to leverage technology to enhance teaching experience. At the same time, next-generation learners – the digital natives –want the learning process be highly interactive and innovative in order to stay engaged.
This was the opportunity and the challenge that presented itself to HeuLab, a leading independent learning software development specialist.Established in 2002, HeuLab has been developing solutions to address these needs.“HeuLab’s solutions evolve around our users,” said its Chief Executive Officer Mr Lim Soon Jinn. “We aim to develop solutions that are easy to use and complement existing consumer practices.”
For example, HeuX, HeuLab’s integrated lesson delivery system, has been designed to provide educators with the means to conduct classes and carry out related activities while leveraging on existing teaching content. By complementing the use of materials and resources such as PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, illustrations and diagrams, HeuX allows educators to create lesson packages using their existing teaching resources.
HeuLab also takes into consideration the importance of collaborative features in the design process, to enable self-directed and student-centric learning. For HeuX, HeuLab capitalised on existing functionalities of various smart devices (for example, photo and video-taking, audio recording) to encourage self-directed learning during a lesson. It also integrated features in HeuX to prompt students to present ideas in class in an interactive setting, allowing them to respond in real-time without inhibitions through the use of discussion forums and polls.
Beyond these, HeuLab also leverages on the multi-touch qualities of its Heumi multi-user platform to bring about student-centric engagement in the form of edutainment, or education in the form of entertainment to reinforce learning concepts and promote user interest and engagement without taking away the element of fun in the classroom.Heumi received anSiTF Award in 2012 in the General Applications category, for transforming the learning environment into an inspiring digital experience with advanced multi-touch technology.
However, HeuLab is also mindful of the fact that a successful productisation journey does not just end with a successful product. “We need to continuously relook existing technologies in the education marketplace and add value to these technologies to bring about enhancements in the learning space,” said Mr Lim.
For example, he noted that in recent years, there has been an increase in mobile device usage among students, with the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and One-Device-Per-Student’ models gaining traction in the classroom. “Device adoption is happening, and HeuLab aims to provide product extensions to leverage on this adoption for teaching and learning,” he said.
In line with this, it has developed a multi-platform version of HeuXwhich is accessible on multiple platforms such as PCs, Windows tablets, iOS tablets and Android devices. The new HeuX will empower educators to conduct lessons via a BYOD teaching model, inside and out of the classroom.
In early 2013, HeuLabalso set a strategic direction to promote and sell its products to new markets beyond Southeast Asia. There are significant opportunities with educators or educational institutions looking for all-in-one interactive solutions which allow teaching and learning to be presented on innovative digital platforms inside and out of the classroom. A related opportunity is with institutes in search of a BYOD cross-platform teaching environment which supports applications on Windows, iOS and Android.
Moving forward, HeuLabis also looking into a new product extension strategy to further develop HeuX to cater to corporate training and development, and to the needs of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) sector. Opportunities lie with companies looking to promote learning through value-added solutions which provide rich multi-media experiences unlimited to geographical boundaries; facilitating mass collaboration, communication and personalised learning anywhere, anytime.