Creating engaging online lessons: A Q&A with the founders of Padka

July 29, 2021

In this interview we catchup with Mai Lan and Jay Brand, co-founders of Padka, a new EdTech tool aiming to help teachers create more engaging online lessons.

Creating engaging online lessons...A Q&A with the founders of Padka

Hello Mai Lan, it’s great to interview you. Please can you tell us a little about your background

Thank you, Ronan, and Global EdTech for having me. I’m Mai Lan, Padka is my very first startup with my co-founder, Jay Brand. Jay and I are both lifelong learners. It doesn’t take us long to recognize that we’re now living in a world with so many distractions and there is a need to make learning more interesting, especially online learning. We observe from a student’s point of view and interview teachers from hundreds of live online lessons: there is no better way to learn than having fun. We want to make a tool to make live online lessons more fun and exciting in just a few clicks.

What was your motivation for launching Padka and are you currently hiring? 

I was born in a small village in Vietnam, growing up I didn’t have a computer at home until the age of 18. I remember staying in a small suffocating Internet cafe many days and forgot about time and space: there is a whole new world inside that little machine. It offered me so much knowledge that I couldn’t find anywhere else, not the kind of knowledge taught in the school, but the kind of knowledge that inspired me to dare to dream big and dare to live a different life, make a different impact.

That was long before the Internet and smartphones become more affordable. Nowadays, almost everyone from everywhere can easily access any information via their mobile. Online learning became one of the biggest industries in the world. Yet, the experience of online learning has not improved in correlation. Look at our kids, they can spend hours with phones and computers but struggle even to remain attentive for only 30 mins on Zoom lessons. It’s not their fault, neither their teachers.  Online classes should not be only replicating the behavior of in-person classes; indeed, they should be a fundamentally different experience. The gap between online and in-person learning cannot be simply bridged by business meeting tools such as Zoom or Google Meet. Don’t get me wrong, I love these apps, I use them every day to connect with my team from all over the world. However, for teaching and learning, we need more than that. That’s how I and my co-founder created Padka – a simple tool that can be used with all your favorite platforms to teach and stream online yet will make your life as an online instructor and teacher much easier.

As for the question of hiring, right now, our team handles quite well all the demands. We are a very neat and lean team. But very soon, hopefully, with the growth of Padka, we will turn on hiring mode, especially for product development and marketing.

Are you planning for your EdTech tool to be available on other operating systems in the coming months?

Definitely. We launched Padka first in macOS for a limited number of users who registered in advance to use Padka. From that very first version, we collected feedback and modified the application and now plan to also develop Padka on other operating systems such as Windows.

Do you believe Padka will have a place in traditional learning when teachers are not leading live lessons as part of remote teaching?

We believe that online learning is the now and the future. Many schools, universities and training courses will be back to in-person learning after Covid, but it doesn’t change the rise of online learning. Online learning has shown significant growth over the last decade as the internet helps to provide an accessible education for everyone from everywhere. Even before the pandemic, Research and Markets forecasts the online education market will reach $350 Billion by 2025 and this figure might be revised upwards after analyzing the growth impact of COVID-19 on the online learning market.

Padka is on a mission to make engaging online lessons for everyone, from everywhere. We already have the access, now it’s time to improve the quality accordingly to the growth of science and technology. Therefore, Padka has lots of opportunities to develop engaging online learning lessons and also in traditional learning.

Are teachers able to try Padka for creating engaging lessons before purchasing?

Yes. We offer a free trial of 1 month, where teachers have access to all the features of Padka, and can discover our collections of reactions, music, and transitions and their usage. We design Padka based on native behaviors, so that the app is super simple and handy. Teachers, are you ready to rock?

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