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How EdTech firms are Helping Upskill New Breed of Educators

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a paradigm shift in pedagogy, with learning and training imparted through online modules often outsourced to edtech firms, which have seen a new breed of educators from engineers to teachers to housewives signing up for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics and science and mathematics (STEM) to train the younger lot.

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How edtech firms are training young <a class=educators (Representative image)” title=”How edtech firms are training young educators (Representative image)” height=”356″ width=”534″>

How edtech firms are training young educators (Representative image)

The edtech firms have prepared modules to teach students and even train teachers in new skills and methods away from rote learning.

  • News18.com New Delhi
  • Last Updated:August 06, 2021, 10:32 IST
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The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a paradigm shift in pedagogy, with learning and training imparted through online modules often outsourced to edtech firms, which have seen a new breed of educators from engineers to teachers to housewives signing up for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics and science and mathematics (STEM) to train the younger lot.

The edtech firms, News18.com spoke to, are actively engaged in schools imparting lessons to students from Class 3 to 12. They have prepared modules to teach students and even train teachers in new skills and methods away from rote learning.

With the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasising having new skills for employable youth and CBSE partnering with Microsoft for coding and data science lessons, there is a palpable shift from a conventional classroom comprising a teacher and students to a trainer or an engineer or even a housewife.

The ‘complementing forces’

With an aim to foster innovation and critical thinking, the government started Atal Innovation Mission, which established Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) at the school level. STEMBORO, an ed-tech firm, which was earlier using the ATL equipment, has now independently tied up with schools in new skills.

The firm is catering to students and teachers from Class 3 to 12, innovation labs in around 1,200 schools, 10 robotics labs across the country. They are also providing virtual STEM education classes and establishing ATL labs internationally.

There are two models followed under this partnership. “We teach both offline and online but due to the pandemic there is 90 per cent online teaching. Our team, which includes engineers, has started to take classes directly with students due to lack of trained personnel in new skills and are also training the educators or school teachers,” said Anurag Gupta, one of the founders of the firm STEMBORO.

Interestingly, a network of housewives, who graduated in technical education, is acting as a ‘complementing’ force in teaching block coding and python. STEMBORO has a part-time network of housewives who have a technical background (diploma in M. Tech and B. Tech) and are trained by experts. They then sit through a selection process after which they are eligible to take classes. They usually teach coding to students in a live session at the time preferred by them.

The firm is looking to expand this network which is currently 20 per cent. “The idea is to have more of housewives in the part-time network with the technical background because women engage well with children,” said Gupta. They are paid hourly basis.

The video content is developed and is used as learning management software with teachers. The lessons to teachers are not imparted at once, as the skills are new and could intimidate and “confuse them”. “Teachers might get confused so we have a one-month training and curriculum,” said Gupta.

Similarly, another ed-tech platform, Open Door, has a team of engineers that trains the teachers from grades 3 to 10. They offer two programmes to schools — Mastery Assessments and Thinking Classroom — which are a regular part of Science and Math teaching in over 200 schools. They have designed this framework to make teaching STEM an innovative experience and improve learning outcomes.

Open Door has engaged with 1.5 lakh students and trained 3,000 teachers in conducting a series of assessments that look at established facts with new perspectives.

Why train teachers?

STEMBORO has trained 50,000 schoolteachers in lab systems while Open Door has taught 3,000 teachers.

Aneesh Bangia, co-founder of Open Door, said, “Teachers have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in these subjects, mathematics and science. But the problem is the method that awards marks for memorising concepts and rote learning. We would like to train them in science and math concepts beyond definitions and formulae, and engage innovatively with the fact, ‘water is colourless.’”

While Gupta from STEMBORO said educating the teachers and getting experts in the classrooms is the need of the hour and demand of industry. “The education policies are aligned with industry demands, and today both education and industry are connected. They have to teach employable skills, which is not only about the textbooks.”

Hari Krishnan Nair, the founder of Great Learning for higher education, said he concurred with Gupta. Nair’s annual job report showed that India contributed 9.8 per cent of the total analytics job openings, with 93,500 jobs in data science and analytics in August.

Quoting the data on the need for new skills, Akhil Shahani, director, SAGE Foundation, said, according to a survey done by Statista, only 38 per cent of graduates have the skills needed across industries. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2018 said “generic job skills imparted by educational institutes over the last century would not be useful.”

His foundation conducted a survey on up-skilling of graduates being the key to employability, hence, “lessons need to be imparted early”, according to Ed-tech partners News18.com spoke to and in this, the role of an educator is also important.

Some teachers drop out

The changes in classroom teaching are bringing in newer forces but not all teachers are on board.

The ed-tech firms have observed that teachers from younger age groups are not likely to drop out from these high tech programmes, and take this as an opportunity to transition in careers. According to Great Learning, an ed-tech in professional and higher education, “Two of the three learners’ experience career transitions within the first 6 months of their programme completion.”

Gupta said, “The younger teachers are eager to learn and see an opportunity to pursue change in careers in AI and data science. But teachers who are highly educated and are above 45-50 are likely to drop out. We have seen a 5 per cent rate in two years,” said Gupta.

According to Gupta, 5 per cent of 50,000 teachers dropped out from their programmes, while Open Door saw 10 per cent of 3,000 teachers opting out.

The number of dropouts is less as compared to those trained, though it is not necessary for them to learn these skills but “seeing today’s curriculum and education policies, many teachers would eventually do,” said Gupta.

The network of educators in his firm involves housewives too with diploma in technical education. “The housewives are with our part-time network and we find women teachers more capable in this part-time network,” he added.

Echoing the views on up-skilling of educators, an Australia-based company, Victoria’s Global Education Solutions, said, “Companies in India must spend 2 per cent of net profit on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities (focus on Government schools in rural areas/for girls/NGOs serving underprivileged/ marginalized communities) Current spend by top 100 companies is $1.09 billion a year, including education,” Racquel Shroff, global CEO, Indian Career Education & Development Council (ICEDC) quoted as saying.

Limitations of ed-tech in imparting skills

Two types of skill sets would be important for the jobs in the future; “The first are technical capabilities, which are hard skills such as Machine learning, Data Analytics, Robotics; and the second are soft skills such as sales, collaboration and leadership,” said Shahani from SAGE Foundation.

While ed-tech provides technical capabilities, it has nothing to offer on soft skills, he added.

Mujahidul Islam, an ed-tech specialist from Azim Premji University, said upskilling means learning about different types of communication technologies and appropriate pedagogies. “This needs to be incorporated in all teaching education courses as well as in-service teacher’s training programmes.”

He said, “You should also know low and high-tech modes of communication in remote teaching.” Low-tech is a technology, which is available to everyone such as paper, pen, radio, telephone, and TV. High-tech involves internet-based digital devices.

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Source: https://www.news18.com/news/education-career/how-edtech-firms-are-helping-upskill-new-breed-of-educators-4052108.html

EdTech

Forward Thinking Expert Vishakha Singh Uses Edtech to Launch Habits led Leadership Course ‘SHIFT’

/PRNewswire/ — Using edtech as a delivery platform, forward thinking expert Vishakha Singh has announced the launch of a leadership course SHIFT that stands…

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MUMBAI, India, Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Using edtech as a delivery platform, forward thinking expert Vishakha Singh has announced the launch of a leadership course SHIFT that stands for Simple Habits and Ideas for Forward Thinking. With competencies in design thinking and business strategy and with more than twenty years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Vishakha is a thought leader in forward thinking skills. The course, SHIFT, is a three weeks long online-offline program which enables leaders and professionals of today’s world to adopt a forward thinking mindset to direct themselves and their teams towards the path of growth trajectory in a fast-changing business environment. The next cohort of the course is to begin on November 19th, 2021 which will comprise of business leaders and entrepreneurs from both listed and privately run ventures. C-Suite leaders from prominent organisations such as Infosys, Asian Paints, SBI Mutual Fund, SBI Caps, General Mills amongst others were a part of the previous batch.

SHIFT is a set of 15 habits and ideas that inculcates forward thinking skills for its users. Utilising edtech as a medium, Vishakha inculcates habits as behavioural interventions to nurture growth mindset in the course takers. SHIFT, an online-offline integrated course experience, enables users to develop a creative and critical thinking mindset, thereby empowering them to become better and confident decision makers. These habits and ideas are based on mental models and are designed to steer a mindset in the direction of growth and success. The course comprises four modules which includes habits like ‘Empathy Mapping’, ‘Listening Together’ and ideas like ‘No Marginal Thinking’, ‘Inversion Thinking’ and ‘Boyd’s OODA model’ amongst others which help the course takers to become an engaged leader while honing the innovative side of their mind. This entire course, through the habits and ideas nurtures skills of a confident, reflective, empathetic and innovative leader.

Commenting on the launch of the course, Vishakha Singh, the author of SHIFT stated, “The speed of disruption in the work environment is faster than the speed of change adopted by today’s leaders. Disruption comes from many directions- growth of technology, new laws, pandemic etc.. It is imperative for leaders to adopt a forward thinking mindset that is agile and innovative in dealing with the pace of the work environment. Thinking is a skill that can be acquired. SHIFT is a set of mental models that brings ideas to action through everyday work habits. It hones thinking skills for leaders to steer themselves, their teams and their work to paths of success.”

Appreciating how the course has helped, Mr. Shashank Kolekar who works with Infosys, stated, “SHIFT is an extremely effective course that has impacted my way of working. Under the guidance of Vishakha and her course, one can seamlessly develop the habits of effective critical thinking. Besides, it also helps one to make better decisions, better habits lead to efficient work productivity. I came across this course after reading an article written by Vishakha.”

One of the former course takers, Devangee Ganatra of India Food Network stated, “Our lives can arguably be defined as a sum of our habits. The ability to step back, identify, analyze and improvise is what needed structure in my life. This course has been significant in helping identify good habits and how to start breaking the bad ones. Experiencing the subtle shifts in mindset are much more remarkable than sudden big changes.”

Working methodologies are changing at a drastic pace in the fast-paced corporate world. The need of the hour for leaders and professionals is to develop the habit of becoming a critical thinker to be able to ratiocinate and become an independent thinker to lead the organization towards growth and success. Behavioral interventions taught through SHIFT fosters practicing strategic and critical thinking habits and ideas which is an essential practice to stay ahead of the curve.

About SHIFT

Shift is a curated set of ideas and habits that inculcates Forward Thinking. SHIFT – Simple Habits and Ideas for Forward Thinking is a three weeks online-offline integrated program that helps professionals and leaders develop a forward thinking mindset to steer themselves and their teams to success in the fast – changing business environment.

The course curriculum is covered over four modules. The online delivery consists of videos, reading material and assessments hosted on Canvas, the world class learning management system. The program experience includes live interactions with Vishakha Singh during the tenure of the course, a set of notecards for the workstation and an email trail for 15 weeks focusing on one habit every week after the online course completion. SHIFT is an integrated experience to help the course taker adopt these habits efficiently.

SHIFT’s learners are leaders from different backgrounds; the corporate and entrepreneurial world. It is aimed at Business heads, Marketing and Sales heads, CEO’s and MD’s, decision makers, SME owners and New-age Startups. Their current eminent list of clients includes employees from Infosys, Asian Paints, General Mills amongst many others from the corporate world and Chartered Accountants, health industry entrepreneurs from the SME world.

https://habitsforthinking.in/

About Vishakha Singh

Vishakha Singh, a thought leader in the forward thinking space has authored the course “SHIFT” – Simple Habits and Ideas for Forward Thinking. Her knowledge in design thinking, relentless curiosity and twenty years of working in the entrepreneurial and corporate world has honed her expertise in disruptive thinking and innovation. She imparts this knowledge through the forward thinking course SHIFT. As a critical thinker, she affirms that forward thinking includes critical and creative thinking and confident decision-making is a learnable skill that steers leaders, their teams and companies towards success. With the vision of Intellectual Indians in the workforce and driven by the force of sharing knowledge, she has brought together habits and ideas in the course SHIFT that shape up the leaders’ mindsets to lead successfully in the fast changing, uncertain business environment. A design thinking practitioner and an ingenuous business strategist, Vishakha uses mental models delivered through engaging workshops and told through stories in her newsletters to bring ideas into action.

Vishakha has studied Design Thinking from MIT School of Engineering. She has served on the board of the International Advertising Association- India Chapter from 2013 to 2015. She has been awarded the ‘Top Brand Builders’, Women Leader Award, featured on ‘Top Women to Watch’ in the E-commerce space by Images Retail Forum and has earned several other media recognitions. She also featured in Campaign India’s List and has been on the jury of various awards.

SOURCE SHIFT

Appreciating how the course has helped, Mr. Shashank Kolekar who works with Infosys, stated, “SHIFT is an extremely effective course that has impacted my way of working. Under the guidance of Vishakha and her course, one can seamlessly develop the habits of effective critical thinking. Besides, it also helps one to make better decisions, better habits lead to efficient work productivity. I came across this course after reading an article written by Vishakha.”

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/in/news-releases/forward-thinking-expert-vishakha-singh-uses-edtech-to-launch-habits-led-leadership-course-shift–893831669.html

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EdTech

ConveGenius AI, India’s Leading EdTech Startup Raises $5M USD (Pre Series A) for Mass Market Direct-to-Consumer Expansion to Serve 100M Households

ConveGenius has raised $5M USD in Venture Capital funding to grow its conversational AI platform in India and South-East Asian markets.

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LONDON, SAN FRANCISCO, and SINGAPORE, Oct. 19, 2021 /CNW/ — ConveGenius has raised $5M USD in Venture Capital funding to grow its conversational AI platform in India and South-East Asian markets.

The company first launched its conversational AI platform in 2020 with a focus on providing a tailor-fit EdTech solution that offers an adaptive Whatsapp-based learning system for K-12 students from lower tier cities, who has been deeply affected by school closures amidst the COVID pandemic. Within a year of launch, Its EdTech solution has blitzscaled to 14 million monthly active users with 35 million daily conversations, catering to 10 different languages and continues to grow at a rapid pace.

With this round of funding, Convegenius.AI aims to expand its products on Whatsapp ecosystem and other Conversational AI based channels beyond EdTech, to service more customers across different verticals and allow developers to launch their solutions on the platform. ConveGenius AI will also continue to strengthen its AI / ML capabilities and is currently in advanced talks with multiple businesses to deliver sector-focused solutions to over 500 million users currently active on different chat platforms.

This funding round was led by new investors, BAce Capital, Heritas Capital and 3Lines Venture Capital as well as existing investor, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

Quotes by Stakeholders:

  • “As schools were closed over prolonged periods during the pandemic, we believe that ConveGenius is well placed to tackle the learning crisis and gaps that have severely impacted students across India and in other emerging markets in the region. We are pleased to support ConveGenius in their mission to further scale their impactful solutions, providing greater access to affordable quality education for all,” said Ms. Janet Chia, Head of Venture Capital at Heritas Capital.

  • “ConveGenius has focused on the broad and hitherto unserved market of 235M students who belong to the first-generation mobile internet users with households using smartphones and mobile devices for the first time. Its focus on mass market users and democratisation of personalised content distribution by building conversational user experiences for mobile devices has created a niche segment for innovation and value creation,” said Pallab Chatterjee, Chairman 3 Lines VC Rocket Fund.

  • “The Dell Foundation first invested in the company in 2016 and we believe this is the right time to take the product to millions of children by launching the direct-to-consumer (D2C) version,” says Prachi Windlass (Director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation).

  • “We are excited to execute on our mission to take our value proposition to one billion users globally and make knowledge and content accessible for all in a one-click experience,” said Jairaj Bhattacharya, the CEO of ConveGenius.

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View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/convegenius-ai-indias-leading-edtech-startup-raises-5m-usd-pre-series-a-for-mass-market-direct-to-consumer-expansion-to-serve-100m-households-301402964.html

SOURCE ConveGenius International

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2021/19/c2623.html

Source: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/convegenius-ai-indias-leading-edtech-051500018.html

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Frontlines Media- The Ed-Tech Company Fetching Jobs To Thousands Of Graduates – News About School

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New Delhi, Oct 14: Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of education beyond classroom engagement tools. The use of ed-tech extends far beyond reading books and has become increasingly important for education. Though technology can never replace great teachers, the right teacher can transform the next generation with incredible results through technology. Amidst all these advances and innovations, Frontlines media, a social media active page, is doing wonders in fetching jobs to thousands of young graduates.

The Founder’s inspiring story –

The idea of commencing such an intriguing and valuable project first came into the mind of Krishna, who is an electronic engineer by profession. Krishna left his job in Australia and came back to India to start his own company, an ed-tech business proving to be a successful venture. The company has fetched 400+ placements opportunities in the last eight months.

In one of his talks with the media, he has made a point to mention his friend Upendra, who stood beside him when needed and is also one of the central pillars of Frontlines Edu-tech. Upendra has seven years of great experience in the IT industry that has helped the company to understand the demand of the technological world.

The two friends studied the current scenario of the rural students of India who remain jobless after the completion of their graduation. Due to the high population and less technical skills, rural youths find it very difficult to get a job. On the flip side, the companies in India are looking for graduates with good technical skills. That is how the idea of Frontlines media came into existence. The two friends came up together to build a platform that provides varieties of opportunities to learn about technology and helps to increase employment opportunities.

Krishna says, “All the acknowledgement we are receiving now couldn’t have been possible without our students who trusted us with their career and are successfully securing jobs.”

Opportunities –

The company offers free career guidance sessions with industry experts, train students with the best quality trainers at an affordable price and help them in fetching jobs. Additionally, it provides various job notification and acknowledges students about emerging trending and cutting edge technologies. The mentors in Frontlines Edu Tech are well trained and qualified from IITs, IIMs, Top MNCs, DRDO, and other premier organizations. In addition to the above description, the company offers opportunities such as basic aptitude and reasoning to all fundamental programming languages in addition to some cutting edge technologies like cyber security, blockchain, etc.

The ed-tech company has trained around 1200+ students, Fetched 750+ jobs, and mentored around 4000+ students. The majority of these students come from rural areas.

Krishna, the head of Frontlines media, has dedicated the company’s success to the efficient core team members- Gouthami, Ranjith, Harish, Nanda Kishore, Shiva, Vishnu, and Vamshi.

The description of the core team members are as follows-

Krishna – the CEO of Frontlines media, left his job and returned to India from Australia to start his dream company. He is a qualified electronics engineer.

Upendra – the Co-founder of the company, having seven years of experience in the IT industry.

Gouthami – One who gave the idea of starting an Edu-Tech company and the support team member who always drives frontlines ed-tech with innovative ideas.

Ranjith – Having grown up in a rural area, he now helps other students crack interviews and shape their careers.

Harish & Raghava – The members of the support team who lead the student grievance cell.

Swathi – Works in the administration department.

Sai Kumar – Works as a cyber security expert.

The mentor team consists of Nanda Kishore, Shiva, Vishnu, Vamshi, and Sai Kiran.

Ed-tech- the fastest growing industry –

Over the past few years, ed-tech sectors have experienced rapid growth, and the pandemic has accelerated their growth. Surprisingly, in India, the ed-tech industry is the top priority in the list of fundings just after the services provided by the financial institutions. Frontlines media started with only three students in a batch and currently running with 250+ students every month. The success and growth achieved by the company have gained the attention of many youths in the country. In the coming years, it is expected to reach extreme heights and show positive growth. They are looking forward to mentor more students towards a successful career by providing them with the best of their ability.

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Source: https://newsaboutschool.com/frontlines-media-the-ed-tech-company-fetching-jobs-to-thousands-of-graduates/

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