Alternative to Zoom for Singaporean students: Allegro Solutions?

When the going gets tough, the tough go video-calling. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have the world by the balls, it's certainly business not as usual; amid partial/full lockdowns instituted by governments almost everywhere to break transmission cycles, folks remain huddled indoors on account schools and most workplaces were ordered shut. With physical interaction severely limited, virtual facetime just became a commodity way hotter than toilet paper. Small wonder Zoom, Skype, Houseparty and Cisco Webex among other major application developers are laughing all the way to the bank. Even Facebook has stepped up its game with the introduction of Messenger Rooms, while Google is making Google Meet free for all G Suite users.

Might there still be some pie left for smaller, newer entrants to the global video conferencing market already worth a staggering USD 3.85 billion in 2019? Allegro Learning Solutions, a technology startup whose specialty revolves around crafting holistic online teaching tools is keeping faith, well at least on the education front. Founded by Andy Lee, former vice president of business development at an American technology platform, and General Paper tutor Liau Chuan Yi (owner of My Mustard Seed Learning Centre), it endeavors to address glaring gaps that continually plague present-day learning management systems,of which many lack full-fledged remote classroom capabilities.

In his own words, Chuan Yi professed:"Numerous market offerings we explored thus far are either geared toward corporate users (instead of school-going children), or did only one or two things rather than deliver a wholesome teacher-student experience in cyberspace.....the latter arise because they have not been designed with a proper understanding of the diverse and complex needs of education."

As of this writing, Allegro comprises:

• AllegroLearn - A lesson management portal featuring both tutor and student accounts. Educators can upload and manage courses, assignments, quizzes, video clips as well as monitor each student's progress.

• AllegroMeet - A virtual classroom where lessons can be hosted with no time limits imposed whatsoever. It comes complete with built-in video recording, screenshare, collaborative notepad and whiteboard functionalities.

We corresponded with both Allegro founders via e-mail to sniff out the seemingly impressive horsepower transpiring under Allegro's hood, as well better appreciate how they strive to make good on their catchily devised "You teach, we tech" mantra.

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