How I made it

How I made it

Bett is the global meeting place for the education technology community where they bring together 35,000 educators and learning professionals every January. In the event one will see the latest technology and innovative solutions that inspire, in order to shape and improve the way people learn from the classroom to the boardroom. Bett 2014 promises to have more content than ever before. It is filled with a jam-packed Arena program, 3 bespoke CPD accredited Summits, 6 Learn Live theatres and a whole host of networking and fringe activity! With so much to learn & network, Bett is the must-attend event for education and learning professionals. There are more than 600 exhibitors with leading companies like 3fifteen,10 monkeys, Classteacher Learning Systems,etc.

e-Learning is the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and anywhere. e-Learning can include training, the delivery of just-in-time information and guidance from experts. Let's know more about digital learning form Mr. Rohit Pande, CEO Classteacher Learning Systems.

Q 1. Tell us about your range of digital interactive solutions for classrooms in schools and for students at home? What are the benefits that come attached with these tools that are altogether changing the ways of education and teaching?

Classteacher Learning Systems is a pioneer in the education industry and has been instrumental in changing the dynamics of digital education over the past 14 years. Since 1999, we have been working with schools and students (K-12), powering them with tools and technology to enhance teaching and learning outcomes.Today, due to our efforts, more than 1,500 schools, 2 million students and over 25,000 educators across the globe have benefited from the latest in education technology.
Our state of the art educational products and solutions come broadly under two headings - classroom solutions and home solutions. One of our classroom solutions is the Integrated Digital Interactive Classroom, which seamlessly integrates the traditional blackboard with a Digital Interactive White Board and acts as a single unit for teaching in classrooms. Another classroom solution is the All in One Interactive HD LED, a 55-inch finger touch LED which enables teachers/users to write, annotate and save tasks at will. Our new flagship product, ClassKonnect, is a revolutionary Class Room Management System that allows a teacher to be in control while offering a personalized learning environment to students. ClassKonnect connects stakeholders in a tablet classroom and allows the teacher access to every student's tablet, thus bridging the gap between student and teacher.Our flagship home solution, iPerform, is available both as a Web-based platform and an Android app, providing a personalized self-learning environment for students.
Some of our solutions bridge the classroom and the home. One of these is the Classpad, a beautiful tablet with personalized and interactive learning system perfect to use in the classroom as well as home and makes education accessible to every student according to his/her individual intelligence level and talent.
Apart from the efforts in the school, we have collaborated with the Ministry of Education from various countries to launch the solutions into various educational institutions and help the learners benefit. Our vision is to change the landscape of education by making it easier for the learners to learn and the educators to teach while using the best in pedagogical approach.

Q 2. How user friendly these solutions are? Do the teachers finding these solutions convenient for teaching purposes?

We at Classteacher Learning Systems have a dedicated user experience design team with a proven track record in designing friendly, safe and fun user experiences for children and teachers. The fact that all our products - school solutions, apps, and home solutions - have found a strong and enduring customer base is standing testament to the relevance of good user experience to today's market.

Q 3. What has been your experience about schools so far in terms of adapting the latest technology for imparting education to students?

To be honest, when we started out, we were very apprehensive about how well and how deeply educators would immerse themselves in our product. However, with over 5,00,000 user uploads on our Content Management System alone - a number which is growing every day - we are happy to say that our products have been adopted and thoroughly tried out by school teachers, administrators, coordinators, staff, students, parents, and other stakeholders too.
Before we took our tablet product to classrooms, we again spent a lot of time debating how we should educate the market on the usefulness of the product. But the moment we set up a live classroom using a tablet, the teachers and students were able to perceive the power that Classpads would bring to the classroom.
To sum up, the technology revolution in schools is here and we are right in the eye of the storm!

Q 4. Brief us about the training modules you provide to teachers in order to help them understand and utilize these digital solutions to the best?

We believe that teachers are the best curators of knowledge and any content that we create can only be successful if teachers are trained to understand our content modules and are able to fit them in their teaching methodology. To this end, we engage teachers through a regular and rigorous training program.
Our trainers themselves are selected by means of a stringent recruitment process that places emphasis on their sound subject-matter background as well as their passion for education and the possibilities of the digital medium. In the schools that we are associated with, we conduct year-round trainings on new and old products to ensure that the teachers are constantly reminded of the breadth and depth of the features and content available to them. With the detailed product usage data available to us, we figure how comfortable various teachers are in using our products and we are able to tailor our training programs to individually address any issues they face.

Q 5. Tell us about your after sale support services, as they matter most in terms of a technological set up in order to ensure smooth functioning of the system?

Classteacher Learning Systems is aware that how crucial it is to provide appropriate training to our clients & teachers, we understand that there are a large number of people in our country who are not so good with technology, they need some support to get familiar with latest technology, especially when you are talking about the previous generation. Keeping that in mind we arrange special workshops in episodic way, thus we keep our teachers aware about technological changes and it showed tremendous success as teachers are getting better and better with all high tech devices introduced in classrooms.
Also recently on teacher's day we came up with a unique idea, Classteacher World, it is one of the few networking sites which are totally dedicated to learning and education. Here on Classteacher World teachers can easily interact with other teachers and students from all different parts of the world and this is a getting a good platform for knowledge and resources sharing among teachers and students.

Q 6. Already more than 15,000 units of Classteacher's personalized learning device "Classpad" have been sold till now. What are the distinct features of this tablet making it a hit among students? How this device does facilitate personalized and interactive learning to students both in the classroom as well as at home?

Tablets are bound to provide tremendous power in the hands of learners and educators. With the tremendous interest of society in this (including governments) and the ubiquity of low cost computing, it is now only a matter of time before such a device reaches every learner. But that's the easy part and the cosmetic one. The more difficult part is to be able to seamlessly integrated with the teaching-learning and assessment processes followed in schools and to provide easy to use interfaces for educators to be able to make sense of the data generated from such computing in classrooms. That's where the crux of our work in classpad lies.

Q 7. As the digital revolution is defining the new ways of learning in schools and educational institutions, still the benefits of modern technology are limited to metropolitan or big cities only. How do you see the penetration of technology in education arena to smaller towns and cities or even villages in next 5 to 10 years?

India is a huge country and it is true to some extent that modern technology is limited to metro cities, but we have many clients coming from distant and mobile areas of the country. We started Classteacher with the dream of spreading education or say smart education to more and more people and if we are talking about reaching small or distant cities in country. Technology is expanding its horizons and I am sure soon we will connect rural and distant areas as we are connected to major cities.

Q 8. In order to embrace latest technology, schools are escalating their fees like anything and passing on this burden on parents. Are you making any efforts to provide affordable digital solutions range to schools to make the situation convenient to middle class parents?

We are well aware about these situations and to make it easier on less privileged families, we have started Classteacher foundation. Classteacher foundation is our initiative to provide such support (in terms of technology and its training) to children from poor and middle class families, we are providing them sufficient training and exposure to smart class tools and computers & internet and helping them to run toe to toe with students who have all these facilities within their reach. Interestingly all people who make products at Classteacher take some time out every month to connect with these children and find it meaningful.
Also we have a range of profit solutions which are very low cost and pretty affordable for most of the middle class families and again now we have Classteacher World, where students can connect with more and more teachers and learning resources at one single stage.

Q 9. In this era of cut-throat competition in business, how do you portray the solutions of "Classteacher learning systems" as different from the product line of other players of this sector such as Educomp, Edusmart, Tata Interactive Systems or eSense? How do you see the growth scenario in this business stream in coming years?

It is true that there is stiff competition in market, but competition is everywhere, we are now living in open market and liberal society and you cannot stop anyone to enter any industry and personally I believe that healthy competition is good for business and consumers. You got to work hard to extend your reach in the market as well as to keep your current clients with you. At the end of the day it is satisfactory that you are working and working hard and giving your best each and every day.
In our industry, we and our fellow companies or say our competitors, all are trying to solve different needs of the market and this is a huge market as there are more than million schools, which are yet to served and we bring the combination of cutting edge thought and intense implementation to produce value in schools and homes.

Q 10. Technology has also affected kids in adverse ways such as free access to adult content, inappropriate material on internet and issues of cyber security. What is your viewpoint on the mishandling of these devices by kids? Have you taken any preventive measures in this respect while developing your solutions?

These issues shall assume a criticality in the years to come, and have to be addressed through a consortium of providers, schools, parents and social groups. The predators in society exist in all offline and online modes and tremendous efforts are needed to protect our kids.

Q 11. As the digital learning revolution takes off, what do you think will be parents' most important role in cultivating and sustaining their children's growth?

In some sense, the digital alternatives and apps, can help unleash the teacher and coach in each parent, what's essential is to apply judgment and to be able to find a creative role in their child's learning path affordability and sustainability - talk about the Classteacher Foundation and how we want to build sustainable models which can be replicated as there are Govt. budgets as well as parental support available for good quality education.

Q 12. "IT in schools": Where's the limit?

There are none, and I think the question itself is misleading just like the Teachers vs. technology debate which is raging not just in our society but in others too. Technology is not a replacement for teachers (in the way it became a replacement for bank tellers), it's a tool to be harnessed by educators to produce superior learning outcomes and connect with the next generation of learners. Every teacher or parent decide their limits. We are now working on a system which shall be able to predict whether a learner can tackle a given problem or not, and what resources would help the learner deal with it. This would also be a tool for the educator who wants to deeply personalize the teaching experience. Besides what's a novel technology for one generation is a given tool for another.