Eduspark Summit 2022: Day 1 witnessed speakers sharing insights on how upscaling and expansion of education avenues will help in building the future

AnimationXpress’ EduSpark Summit kickstarted today with an aim to identify the trends, strategies and pedagogies that will define and dominate the next level of education. AnimationXpress founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari set the stage with his inspiring thoughts on the AVGC education and beyond, touching the key themes of the summit – Gamification of education, New Education Policy, Remote Learning, Education.

After the welcome note, the first session for the day was ‘Upskill your AVGC knowledge’ with UtSide MD Puneet Sharma. UtSide is a state-of-the-art online learning platform for upskill training in animation, visual effects and gaming. They adhere to a motto that incorporates the four I’s – Imagination, Interactive, Immersive, and Intelligence.

Commenting on how it started, Sharma said, “We saw the industries and studios opting for work from home during the pandemic and that’s when we thought about how we can come up with an original and unique platform that is specifically designed for our AVGC sector. That’s how UtSide was started.”

Explaining what UtSide focuses on, Sharma said that the online AVGC campus offers an opportunity to its learners to get trained by the best-of-the-best of the industry from across the world. This helps provide the students with a global perspective of the industry and open opportunities for them in the Media & Entertainment industry worldwide. 

Reflecting on the current scenario, Sharma mentioned, “The biggest boost was our finance minister and prime minister introducing the AVGC taskforce. The taskforce is going to enable all the AVGC sectors, including education and training, to grow along with the industry.”

The first panel discussion of the day was called ‘Re-writing curriculum for new-age learning’. The eminent speakers were: Atlas SkillTech University dean – Atlas School of Film and Animation Jitendra Arora, NID Andhra Pradesh director prof Sekhar Mukherjee, Jagran Lakecity University dean of journalism and creative studies Diwakar Shukla, Vishwakarma University vice-chancellor Siddharth Jabade, and phantomFX CEO, MD and VFX supervisor Bejoy Arputharaj. The session was moderated by business partner-Arena Animation, Geeta bhawan, Indore, Asifa India Core Committee Member, and Horizon Institute of Design founder Sanjay Khimesara.

The session shared insights on how new institutes are setting up with the rising demand of AVGC content; as well as how it has opened opportunities for students to pursue it as a career option. 

The incredible growth of the AVGC sector in the last few years has opened up massive opportunities as new sources of value have been unlocked in the AVGC Industry. But, it also poses a major challenge in terms of the existing skill-gap in this sector that could potentially blunt its growth over the next five years. The solution to this looming skill-gap crisis is to provide students with focused short-term creative technology courses of an international standard. This will ensure world-class training can be imparted quickly to fresh students and existing manpower can be upskilled to tackle the new challenges faced by the AVGC industry like the advent of virtual production or the development of the metaverse. 

Lack of quality education being imparted to professionals is leading to lack of trained manpower for outsourcing work. Lack of standardised and quality curriculum also poses a big challenge to this industry. There are only a handful of institutes which are known for quality teaching. Thus, the curriculum needs to be of international standard to ensure that world-class training is being imparted and well-trained manpower is being produced. 

The third session was ‘AVGC making best use of online learning’, where the speakers shared the emergence of online learning and how it bought revolution in the education sector.

The panelists include Aptech president and executive director Dr. Anuj Kacker, Ri8brain (Part of Toonz Academy) founder and CEO P.Jayakumar, Pearl Edge academic director CB Arun Kumar, UtSide co-founder and managing director Puneet Sharma, Safalta chief revenue officer Shajan Samuel and was moderated by AnimationXpress founder, chairman and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.

The session kick started with Kacker highlighting how online learning became the most effective medium of instruction during the pandemic, how people were forced to adopt the online medium and how it changed the traditional model of teaching. He also insisted that visualisation of learning is effective.

Jayakumar mentioned about the skill gap existent in the industry and how the physical training lacked good skilled teachers. He also shared online learning and made them venture into exploring online platforms and reaching diverse groups.

Samuel highlighted the importance of skill training and how Saflta became a wide success. He also added that live interaction class is more effective than self-paced learning.

Kumar added about the fundamental courses, designing and creative courses can be learnt online, but courses like virtual productions need hands-on training, so it can’t be delivered online. He also touched on a few points on designing for the Metaverse.

Sharma shared about how hybrid learning is the new trend observed in the industry and how UtSide is catering to exclusive groups and partnering with studios and world class professionals to cater to the industry.

 

The panel discussion on Growth of Creative Arts, Media, AVGC-XR and Entertainment career pathways through specialized Institutions’ panel highlighted creativity, convergence, practice, audience –sensitivity, revenue sensitivity, technology proficiency, blended learning and project-based learning. They jointly spoke about the awareness that is required to understand the scopes and opportunities in this sector.

The esteemed speakers included Managing Director Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment (RSACE) and Director Ramesh Sippy Entertainment Pvt Ltd Kiran Sippy, Whistling Woods International Vice President & Business Head, CTO & Head of Emerging Media Chaitanya Chinchlikar, MIT Design HOD Animation Binoj John and SRFTI HOD Animation Cinema A S Krishna Swamy. The session was moderated by Global Media Education Council Secretary and Daffodil International University, Dhaka Strategic Adviser & Professor Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury.

The panel members spoke about the need of awareness towards the industry and also tried to highlight how specialized education institutions have been measuring up to the changing situations and coped up post pandemic, how realistic is the training, how employability is being focused and so on. 

Finally, it was time for the last session ‘Gamified learning: the way forward?’. The eminent speakers of the panel were Creative Galileo founder Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Bigfatphoenix Interactive head of product Bhavna Padmanbhan, Quizbee co-founder Abhinav Anand, AlmaBetter co-founder and CTO Vikash Srivastava, SXILL School founder Vineet Raj Kapoor and the session was moderated by Tapas Progressive Learning founder Preethi Vickram.

The speakers shared insights on the vivid topic of gamification in the education process and how game-based learning will help to hone the social skills of individuals. The eminent panellists stressed on the fact that how gamification of learning evolved over the years and teachers have been incorporating non-tech based gamification techniques to enhance traditional learning.

They also discussed how activities can help students to get hands-on learning. One of the speakers also highlighted that anything in excess is not good for health so the parents and teachers need to keep a tab on how long the students are spending in the gamified learning process. Today it is very essential to maintain a balance between competition and mental health. It’s wonderful how technology has spearheaded the gamification shift of the learning process and in the upcoming years it will be interesting to see where it heads.

With that, the first day of the EduSpark Summit concluded. Stay tuned for tomorrow.