Editor’s note: This interview is part of a Q&A series with winners of the ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020. oneCHARGE is a winner in the category Startup Awards–EdTech.


ACKTEC Technologies is a SaaS-driven EdTech company that specializes in providing a digital learning ecosystem that helps structure and digitize learning and development (L&D) content for educational organizations, large-scale MNCs, companies in the growth stage, and companies scaling beyond their borders. Through its technology, organizations can accelerate their digital transformation and be part of the global digital learning ecosystem.

Formerly a Deputy Director at Singapore’s Ministry of Defence, Rayvan Ho founded ACKTEC in 2015 with a mission to develop in all its students the passion to learn, the confidence to become self-directed, and to micro-learn through technology. In August 2018, the company was runner-up in mobile learning during an event organized by the MOE SSG Institute of Adult Learning. In November 2018, Ho was invited as a speaker and panelist to EdTech X Global 2018 in Beijing to speak about “Harnessing AI to advance Education.”

What are the emerging trends in education that are driving innovation?

Rayvan Ho, Founder & CEO, ACKTEC
Rayvan Ho, Founder & CEO, ACKTEC

The pandemic has changed the way corporations manage their operations and processes. The hiring and onboarding process will see a need to shift digitally, especially candidates from overseas countries.

ACKTEC will be able to extend and provide digital training to them through mobile learning, bridging geographical talent gaps and upskilling pathways for current employees to progress up the social-economic status.

Many organizations and institutions are using e-learning because it can be as effective as traditional training at a lower cost. Developing e-learning is more expensive than preparing classroom materials and training the trainers, especially if multimedia or highly interactive methods are used. However, delivery costs for e-learning (including costs of web servers and technical support) are considerably lower than those for classroom facilities, instructor time, participants’ travel and work hours lost attending classroom sessions.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic brought seismic changes to the way we work, there has been a clear need for more efforts in reskilling and upskilling. In 2019, only 17 percent of employees in Singapore reported being satisfied with the company’s learning and development (L&D), with 40 percent of workers quitting their jobs due to lack of skills training.

Yet without targeted and effective training, companies risk “throwing money into the void.” On the other hand, new developments such as immersive technology, where virtual reality simulates real-world experiences and tools, can help to bring training further.

What are the key industry challenges that ACKTEC is addressing?

The pain points ACKTEC can solve include efficiency of training, digital pedagogy of training courses, scalability beyond current market/border restrictions, high cost of training, less knowledge of online or digital technology by traditional organizations, etc. For instance, ACKTEC worked with airline partners and automotive partners to convert offline courses to a blended way of learning to combine both (Offline and Online), which help these corporate companies to save cost and improve productivity.

On the pre-school side, we partner with Josiah to save training costs by 40 percent and to expand Josiah’s business to China business partner EDUX to explore the dual-teacher live teaching model to increase business opportunities for both sides.

How is ACKTEC addressing these challenges?

ACKTEC offers both SaaS solutions, Enterprise L&D content digitization services, and LMS. It helps organizations and institutions across industries such as pre-school, F&B, Healthcare, Airlines, Transportation, etc. transform their Learning & Training contents as well as expand their reach beyond borders.

Effective learning is applied learning. What they learn needs to be immediately put into practice in a relevant situation. With prompt feedback, they can quickly understand their shortcomings and gaps in learning, and internalize what they’ve practiced.

The need for relevant training. Present corporate training is standardized and implemented at specific phases across all employees, which may have little immediate relevance to their role. Rather than this, training needs to address the immediate requirements of their jobs.

Effective training addresses problems and issues directly at-hand, so employees can immediately put what they have learned into practice.

Digitalisation and mobile technology can help faciliate these improvements. BCA had been working with ACKTEC to leverage on mobile-learning and immersive learning prior to COVID-19. However, there was a more general tendency by corporations to eschew such educational technologies in favor of more traditional methods such as classroom learning, which seemed to be working well.

Changing mindsets in the face of the pandemic. COVID-19, predictably, dramatically changed mindsets. With COVID-19, rapid digitalization became a necessity, as both asynchronous (online) and blended (self-directed and online) became the new normal, replacing traditional F2F training. There will be a permanent and strong shift towards digital lifestyles globally, into a new normal — a world of remote everything.

Similarly, COVID-19 cemented the need to embark on all types of training to help institutions train better.

What is the unique proposition of your learning platform?

The key difference of the ACKTEC platform is that it is immersive. We bring Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 360VR on our ACKTECLEARN platform accessed through mobile devices.

Many organizations and institutions are using our ACKTECLearn for M-learning because it can be as effective as traditional training at a lower cost, although one can argue that developing M-learning is more expensive than preparing classroom materials and training the trainers, especially if multimedia or highly interactive methods are used. The delivery costs for M-learning (including costs of web servers and technical support) outweigh the fixed CAPEX those for classroom facilities, instructor time, participants’ travel and work hours lost attending classroom sessions.

ORIGIN: Reimagining education amid increased digitalization brought about by the pandemic

Featured image credits: Unsplash