Launch of an education platform Sferum jointly with Mail.ru group
Moscow, Russia – March 31, 2021 – Rostelecom PJSC (MOEX - RTS: RTKM, RTKMP; OTCQX: ROSYY), Russia’s national telecommunications operator, today announces that ‘Digital Education’ – its JV with Mail.ru Group – has launched a pilot digital education platform Sferum.
More than 28,000 students across 15 regions of Russia and over 1,000 schools in total have tested their education services disrupted by school closures. Powered by Vkontakte software technology, the platform will be specifically catered to remote learning, based on Rostelecom’s digital infrastructure and facilitated integration with public information systems. The service will be accessible online and via iOS and Android apps.
Sferum is part of a holistic digital infrastructure built by the Ministry of education and Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media which is designed to make the remote learning more flexible and interactive, facilitated by media and educational technology.
The full-featured platform will soon allow for direct parent-teacher communication, engagement and learning continuity, helping to extend school life beyond the classroom to up to 10,000 participants. The platform will be synchronized with electronic diaries and allow for registration without mobile phones which is an important feature for primary school students.
Some other features include:
- simple and safe registration via VK Connect and linkage to public services portals for security and better user identification
- online video calls for up to 100 users fr om any device
- interactive chats to improve engagement while learning
- communities at school and class levels
- admin services for parents to track performance.
“2020 has accelerated digitisation of almost every part of our life, and education was very much among them. Within just weeks students and teachers had to shift to distance learning, which revealed the technological weakness of non-specialist platforms and solutions, including international ones, and their way of organising that process. Sferum was tailored specifically for it. It is intuitive to use and fully integrated with auxiliary services to deliver the best learning experience and actively engage with educational content.”
“Online education plays an important role in Mail.ru Group ecosystem wh ere anyone can develop skills and gain knowledge at any age. Remote learning solutions have become an integral part of our life allowing to stay continue learning no matter in which part of the world we find ourselves. We are working to create a platform which will give kids the opportunity to study more efficiently and in a comfortable and safe environment to complement traditional schools, while teachers and parents will be able to communicate better so nobody feels isolated.”
Further information is available at https://www.company.rt.ru/en/ir/news_calendar/.
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Digital learning JV was founded in summer 2019 with an aim to develop hi-tech services and solutions for education. The entity is owned by Rostelecom and Mail.ru Group on a parity basis.
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Mail.ru Group develops an ecosystem of services that help millions of people live online. More than 90% of Russian internet enjoys its services and solutions daily. The company owns Russia's two largest Russian language social networks, VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki (OK), leading email service, one of Russia's largest internet portals (Mail.ru), and four instant messaging services. The company also holds the international gaming brand MY.GAMES, with a portfolio of hundreds of popular games for a range of platforms and over 605 million users worldwide.
 VKontakte is the largest social networking service in Russia. It was ranked as the second largest global social network, with over 100 million active users.