From India to Kenya: long-distance learning over Skype

The power of technology has given us the ability to stay connected to people despite the physical distance that may come with significant life changes. No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection, Skype can bring you closer to people who can impact your life in huge ways. While our mission at Skype has always been to bring people together, Anupama Ukidve Sharma’s mission is to bring education to the people in her hometown in Pune, India.

Anupama started Anupama’s Academy in 2008 when her family moved back to India from Tanzania. Drawing on her background in a variety of academic fields, Anupama was able to help over a hundred students at her academy. But in 2011, her husband landed a job in Kenya, thus uprooting her family out of Pune again.

When her family moved to Kenya, Anupama continued to teach students back home in India who desperately needed help in creative writing and functional grammar over Skype. She started with just one student who was failing in English class at school. After daily tutoring sessions over Skype, Anupama was able to guide this student to success in his board exams.

The subsequent year, Anupama saw small groups of students from various backgrounds logging in on different days. With Skype’s group video calls, Anupama can now see her whole class on Skype.

Anupama tutoring her students over a Skype video call.
Class picture over Skype

“The last couple of years have seen a huge demand for Skype classes because we have proved they work smoothly and children are improving in leaps and bounds,” explains Anupama.

Anupama now sees more than forty students over the week, and they’ve all booked time with her in advance. Right before board exams in India, almost 20 students log in at the same time from various locations in Pune to receive virtual tutoring from Anupama.

“The class went off very smoothly without a glitch and videos were well supported too. In fact, before the English exams, I am on Skype almost all day, as students want quick last-minute revision,” explains Anupama.

Homework for her students is submitted online and subsequently discussed on Skype video call. During each lesson, Anupama types the solutions and explanations to the exercises she assigns in the Skype IM window. If a student ever misses a class, he or she can log in at any time to view the chat and solve the exercise.

Anupama enjoys being able to give students a way to attend her classes without stepping out of their homes, while she can also work from her own home.

Not only does Anupama rely heavily on Skype for her professional life, but it has also trickled down into her personal life. Because Anupama recognizes how long-distance, virtual learning can empower students, her son also takes chess coaching from a tutor based in India on Skype!

We love hearing how Skype has impacted your life by connecting you with people. To share your story, just tag us @Skype on social media and we might feature you!