Smart assessment tools like OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets or clicker based solutions are helping teachers to monitor the growth of students in schools in rural parts in India.
Companies directly or through their foundations working in the education sector are providing smart learning solutions to not only monitor progress of individual students but also increase their participation.
For instance, HCL Technologies Ltd’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm – HCL Foundation is providing ZipGrade OMR sheets for students in grade 3 and 4 classrooms.
“OMR sheets create an active learning environment where the teacher poses multiple-choice questions on the projector and the individual responses of students are recorded,” Navpreet Kaur, project director of the foundation’s ‘Samuday’ initiative told India CSR.
On assessment, the teachers can identify the areas of improvement and concerns, Kaur said. Participative interactions between the students and teachers have improved the learning outcomes, she added.
HCL Foundation’s education programme ‘Happy School’ runs under the umbrella of its ‘Samuday’ initiative where the foundation is working in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh for social and economic development of the people. The foundation has partnered with the center and state government to work in the areas like education, agriculture, infrastructure and health & hygiene.
The Happy School is employing ICT-aided learning techniques loaded with video-based learning tools, Kaur said. This has enhanced the learning experience and bridged the gap between students with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, she added.
The Happy School programme has four essential components which provide students with a safe and friendly environment vis-à-vis effective school environment, assertive community participation, children participation, improved teaching and learning processes.
Approximately 15% of the total ‘Samuday’ spending is allocated towards improving the education sector, Kaur said.
The steps taken under the Happy School initiative has helped over 170 school management committees (SMCs) in three blocks of Hardoi district – Kachauna, Behander and Kothawan, Kaur said. Under the initiative over 200 school development programmes have also been carried out, she added.
TagHive’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pankaj Agarwal spoke about company’s digital initiative ‘Class- Saathi’ – for futuristic class-rooms. The solution has helped teachers analyse behavior and needs of the students, Agarwal said.
TagHive is a technology company which designs innovative digital solutions for kids by merging real and virtual worlds for interactive learning experiences.
The South Korean company designed an integrated solution which provides a clicker device to each student in a mobile app with teaching contents for the teachers.
“It is a playful device which engages teachers with students,” Agarwal elaborated. This solution allows teachers to have an accumulated score for their students on a daily basis. This enables teachers to incentivise students to improve their performance. It further allows teachers to create their own quizzes and polls for various subjects. Students can record their responses by clicking their tags,” Agarwal said.
The personalized solution also has interactive content and statistics for teaching. TagHive had done a pilot of its low cost technology solution with 20 government schools in Varanasi.
The pilot was done on more than 1,000 students for one month and the results were “encouraging” for the company, the CEO said.
The device also facilitates monitoring for parents to assess the progress of the child. It automatically sends students’ performance updates to their respective parents. Parents have an app, where they can track their kids’ progress in real time.
Another company Fliplearn Education has designed a participative learning application – ‘Flip Learn Prime’ to improve the learning experience of the students through greater teacher participation.
While the app has content, custom-made according to specific school syllabus, the app also has self-assessment tools for students. The personalised learning solution also offer tools for teachers to give instructions to students, Vishnu Dutta Sharma, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Gurgaon-based company told this new service.
The product has been in the market for over five years now.
“We have been working in the area of personalized education and are now associated with over 3,500 schools across India. Our technology platform provides quality content to each student at his doorstep. Flip Learn Prime has content from preschool to class 12,” Sharma said.
The students need to have a login id and password. They will have access to the content as per the school syllabus.
Sharma said that the solution is largely being used by students in rural part of India. Around 70% of our application is being used in rural parts of India because of the paucity of good teachers, he added.
The solution costs INR 12,000 rupees per application for the entire year for one student, Sharma further said.
Back in 2004-05, nobody believed that the blackboards will be replaced by digital boards Sharma said adding that most schools were now adopting smart learning solutions.
Smart learning solutions have brought the scope of learning beyond the four walls of the schools. It is an app-based learning solution that can be accessed from mobile phones and desktops, he added.