Director, Woodapple Resources Pvt Ltd. Indore
India is poised to become the fifth largest economy globally. In the 75th year of India’s independence, we are marking the Amrit Mahotsav. However, even as we celebrate and envision the next 25 years of Amrit Kal, there is much to be done. India’s diversity needs inclusion – social inclusion, financial inclusion and inclusion in education so that every child in India has access to learning and skilling as required for this era of technological advancement as we envision the next 25 years of India’s future. Education today is not easily accessible to millions of children in rural India and remote locations. They are prevented from acquiring good quality education even at primary and secondary levels to due remoteness, lack of infrastructure, equipment, and shortage of quality teachers.
Our education system today requires innovation – away from rote learning which narrowly focus on marks and passing examinations. Our world is changing rapidly and the future of ‘Work’ is uncertain. As new models of work are required, students need skills which can make them adaptable. Thus, the focus needs to shift from narrow, repetitive learning to understanding and true learning whereby students can absorb information, understand concepts, and apply their understanding across all the knowledge they gain. Rote learning, outmoded forms of assessment etc. have resulted in poor learning outcomes, and high levels of exclusion, leaving behind millions of aspiring young learners and their families. For this, education needs to be creative, rather than focus on repetition; learners need flexibility of self-paced learning. Research has revealed that another key issue leading to gross under-performance is because various stakeholders in the teaching and learning ecosystem are not well-connected. This creates barriers between schools, teachers, and learners. For example, it becomes a challenge to match students with the best teachers who will meet their learning needs. Similarly, schools are challenged in optimizing outreach and parents experience stress in locating the best institutions to suit their preferences. Innovation in education is the need of the hour. After conducting intensive research combined with several years of on-the-ground experience in education, we have concluded that the future learner needs learning flexibility with quality education mirroring the key goal of the NEP 2020.Further in the paper we shall go into the key details of the concept starting from the need to bring this forward.
In this globally interconnected world technology is transforming all aspects of our lives including the way we work, do business or acquire knowledge. Education needs to keep pace with these transformations. Young minds of today need to become adaptable professionals and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Skills required for the 21st C require urgent innovation in education and pedagogy. We need to redesign our pedagogies as well as, the content of what the student is learning. We need to focus on enhancing the learning experience of students, aiming to bridge the gaps between the “3-E’s” in India:
Our model need to be committed to enable the youth of today to acquire Education which has high Employability and will eventually lead to Empowerment. Focusing on mission to ensure employability and sustainability echoes the objectives of the NEP 2020.
One Nation-One Learning School For Me
We believe that education is a vocation. We recognize that to administer education requires strategy, business models and finding a balance between service delivery costs and ethical values. This is precisely our mission: we are committed to ethics and pledge ourselves to be a value-based company which will always strive to place “Student-First” satisfaction at the heart of our business relationships with multiple stakeholders. We believe in breaking barriers so that Any Child-Anywhere can access learning Anytime. We are motivated by the ideology of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: the world is One Family !
School4me is an online platform of learning. But it is also much more than that. It is both a product and a service. It is a product available to schools, teachers and students. It is also a service through which schools can showcase their special features to attract students, teachers can showcase their talent and expertise and reach students and students can find the best match of who will teach them and where they wish to study. Thus, S4M is an educational ecosystem which integrates the requirements of multiple stakeholders: students, teachers, as well as schools, providing each stakeholder with online resources and dashboards through which they can access a wide range of information about the available educational and learning choices. They can also access courses specially curated by S4M. Our user-friendly technology helps all stakeholders to navigate the platform with ease so that they can make well-informed choices from the comfort of their home. In creating this online Ed-Tech product we have used insights from our on the ground experience in running several schools. This experience has enabled us to envisage this transformative model well before NEP 2020 stressed the need for connecting different stakeholders and for designing educational programs with a focus on enhancing competences and skills.
School4Me works in multiple ways for all the stakeholders in school education.
Unlike other Ed-tech platforms, Schoool4Me is not just a platform for passive learning. It is a problem-solving platform.
By breaking barriers that block access between different stakeholders – schools, teachers, and students—S4M facilitates smooth and easy interaction between all stakeholders -- —with just a click! Flexibility of time and access across regional, national, and global locations is our anchoring principle.
S4M serves as a bridge and facilitator for different stakeholders in the education ecosystem as described below :
S4M and Students
Given that there are currently over 14,94,052 schools in India, and several crore students, access to information tends to be restricted by region.
S4M provides vast amounts of information about schools, their curriculum, their visions, and mission. Students and parents can get aggregated information all on one platform. They can review and compare where they wish to learn and who they wish to learn from even if they are in remote locations. They can also find additional courses on S4M platform to enhance their skill set. This integrated information about schools and presents is presented in a user-friendly way with carefully designed tech tools.
Outcome for students: S4M provides information about a wide-range of schools and teachers in an integrated and user-friendly way. Thus, students can find, compare, assess, and choose the school that is the best fit for their learning goals. Students and parents can, from the comfort of their home, remain abreast with the latest information about schools—their vision, pedagogy, facilities, infrastructure, and education policies.
All this information is just A-Click-Away, saving time and effort. Thus, S4M is a problem-solving platform for students and their parents as it expands access to learning and enables make an informed choice, with a single click!
S4M and Schools :
As in the case of students, schools also can enjoy several benefits from S4M . There are millions of schools offering education. However, schools are often limited in their reach. They may wish to showcase their vision, mission, activities, and other distinct features. However, this projection may be limited due to region-focused advertising or marketing budgets. S4M provides a complete solution to this problem of projection by creating a consortium of schools which are member schools. Member schools enjoy multiple benefits. Registering with S4M opens a world of possibilities for expansion.
Outcomes for schools
Becoming a member school with S4M, opens a world of opportunities because schools can easily be searched by students and families who are looking for ideal institutions for their children. Information about a school on our platform has unlimited reach because it is dynamic and ever-expanding. S4M membership automatically widens the scope and reach of the school, enabling it to be discovered anywhere, rather than being limited by narrow marketing channels. Through our user-friendly platform, schools can thus enhance their discoverability and easily showcase their cutting-edge facilities, teaching methods and other unique features so that their reach is enhanced multiple times through a simple moderately-priced membership fee.
S4M for Teachers:
In the conventional model of teaching and learning, the expertise of many teachers is confined to the schools in which they teach. Tutors who are freelance also usually teach within a limited orbit. Students and teachers who are remote from each other usually remain unknown to each other. Unfortunately, this means that many talented tutors who are enthusiastic about expanding their arena of tutoring, are unable to do so due to geographical location or time constraints, like family and other professional commitments. We have created S4M as a problem-solving platform to remove these barriers for teachers. S4M provides courses designed not only for students but also for teachers who wish to scale their professional expertise.
Outcomes for teachers:
Teachers can easily expand their discoverability and optimize their professional excellence by reaching the maximum number of learners. The Padho Anywhere-Anytime principle works in the favor of teachers and students to mutual benefit. Geographical remoteness or time-zone barriers are dissolved through our tech-enabled platform. Teachers can augment their own skill set, upgrade their professional learning through our specially curated courses. At the same time, educators can offer their expertise with complete flexibility of timings which suit their individual life activities as well as those of their students. Teachers can thus benefit from income-generation from the comfort of their own homes, without disrupting their current life activities.
School4Me thus creates multiple opportunities for Padho Anywhere-Anytime. All these opportunities can optimize the talents of both the learners as well as, the educators.
To sum up:Connecting schools to teachers, students and their families can bring unlimited benefits to all stakeholders . By joining S4M consortium of members, a school can project itself to a wide national and international audience of potential students and faculty. Schools can attract the best teachers and students. And teachers and students can engage productively in learning Anywhere-Anytime. It is a Win-Win strategy for all !
“The Learning Mechanics” Woodapple publication
Woodapple Publicationa is the fruition of a dream of 3 women entrepreneurs. We have extensive experience in school education and we are leveraging that experience to bring in our best practices from the time we founded “Udaan : The 7- Habit Foundation School” (estd 2008). In our rapidly changing world where ‘work’ is being redefined and the barriers of time and place are being blurred by technology , we believe that along with innovation in teaching methods, there is a crying need to innovate the content of what is being taught to students. Books and resources which impart only theoretical knowledge do not prepare students to adapt to situations which are new and challenging. We are therefore, committed to reframing the content of students learn. Our aim is to integrate knowledge with skill-learning and applicability and create publications which help students in developing transferrable skills which can be useful even when the paradigm shifts, industries change and jobs are redefined.
We share the rising concern about capacity-building for the 21st C which has been widely discussed by educators and policy-makers globally. We are now adding innovative educational publishing and content creation to our repertoire of educational services. Woodapple Publications is our key product whereby we are curating books and publications which aim to provide premium content for school learners. Our content is specially curated to integrate knowledge and skills so as to empower a student to confront the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The 21stC . In publishing this specially curated content for school children we commit ourselves to the concept of “catch them early”. Our driving motto “catch them early”means that learning and skills are embedded in the student experience from an early stage , thereby reducing the need for remedial learning in later school years. We are proud that Woodapple Resources with its an integrative approach to education and curriculum design also supports key aims of NEP 2020.
Woodapple Publications : Special Features
Woodapple resources books are a comprehensive series of books with natural progression for students to enhance their learning. The books focus intensively on aligning the content with the requirements outlined in the NEP, as well as other Boards of Education in India. We support a unified approach and seek to provide uniform standardized content for children across our vast and diverse nation.
Key Features of Woodapple Series of Books:
The books have been designed keeping a unified theme across the chapters. This enables enhancing the knowledge pyramid, while revolving around the same topic. This leads to stronger learning outcomes.
Skill Integration:The books are designed to integrate academic knowledge along non-academic skills. This leads to an integration between concepts and their application. Learning thus becomes a joyful experience for the student rather than a dry theoretical experience
Multidimensional Integration:Woodapple Books transcend disciplinary boundaries to integrate cross curricular knowledge, enhancing the scope of learning. With every chapter there is progression in learning.
Another key feature is Linguistic Integration:We believe in a pan-India identity among students, so that they are exposed to languages from different regions. Our books have multi-linguistic content so that a student can grow into a professional or businessperson, who has some exposure to languages from another region of India as well. We believe this adds another skill set to learning.
Experiential Learning:Our content provides a plethora of experiential learning. Students’ learning will include elements from local, national, as well as global, as we pay attention to social, emotional and personal dimensions of learning.
Examples of Woodapple Series
The vision of Woodapple EVS is to accelerate curiosity in the students : to know and understand their surroundings through everyday activities. We have designed every element of the book to provide a different learning experience to the students.
This series develops everyday communication skills in students giving them the confidence to express themselves and be skilled at conducting conversations in English without hesitation. We have introduced different theme based plots to engage the students in a stimulating reading experience every time they open a new chapter.
Woodapple Arithmeticis a series with a vision to enhance the learning experience of students by explaining arithmetic concepts through everyday life experiences to which they can relate in their everyday life. The approach is interactive and learner-friendly.
School4Me: a revolutionary model: “Padho Anywhere; Anytime”
NEP 2020 and Unique Outcomes of S4M :
The anchoring concept of S4M is ‘Learning Beyond Boundaries’.
We believe in One nation One Learning application. Our innovative model supports many aspects of NEP 2020. For example, S4M supports liberalization of education. S4M liberalizes access, and opens the doors of learning, expanding its reach to millions. It thus supports inclusion —regardless of where the learner and teacher are located. It breaks many stereotypes of traditional teaching and learning which has many fixed parameters of place and time. Thus, it goes beyond Framework Learning.
To sum up S4M provides:
*Personalized match making between schools, learners, and teachers
*Skill-enhancement courses for teachers
*One nation One learning application
* Local/National or Global learning from single click
Our vision is to make Inclusion easy and smooth. We have harnessed technology to enhance flexibility. S4M provides user-friendly tools so that students can find the teachers they want to learn from; teachers can extend their services to students in remote locations; schools can offer their services to potential families who may be school hunting; and ease the stress of parents to find a school or teachers most appropriate for their child.
We bring our expertise and our insights in launching S4M which is grounded in real-world understanding of educational needs as well as a vision for educating children for the 21stC.
Bridge the Divide; Build Empowered Communities
We strongly believe that education is one of the most important drivers of empowerment. We wish to support an approach to education which is professional rather than charity-based. Education must enhance opportunities – for all!
Our long-term vision supports the NEP and NCF to create an education system where access to education is widespread.
We are committed to help to blur the boundaries that prevent all children from accessing learning, regardless of the barriers of time and place.
We wish to create a quantifiable difference in the learning outcomes as referred to by NEP and NCF.
We believe that redesigning content is a key driver to bringing about sustainable change, for a stronger workforce of Indians for the future
We wish to bridge skill gaps from an early age, so that our youth of today can truly be empowered to build a future India which is ‘Atma Nirbhar’.
We envision creating holistic developmental opportunities for building strong human capital in India.
Our model of education is committed to the vision that India becomes a global powerhouse of talent, skills and the best human capital -- VISHWAGURU ! S4M welcomes you to join us on this exciting journey !