In the era of technology, the digital way of teaching has become a default method of knowledge delivery in many educational institutions across the globe. As digital technologies have taken over the world of education by a storm, a large number of schools in India have begun to implement e-learning solutions in a bid to enhance the teaching and learning experience. However, not every school that deploys digital learning platforms realizes the potential benefits of technology. It enhances the delivery of classes with curated content that is extensively mapped to the prescribed syllabus. Moreover,  e-learning strategy is not just about the digitization of the content and installation of the IT infrastructure, rather it demands reliable technical support to effectively maintain the hardware and ensure seamless operations.

Digitalizing the Delivery of Education    

TATA ClassEdge, a division of TATA Industries caters to meet the end-to-end needs of schools by offering an interactive e-learning platform with content mapped to the entire school curriculum along with reliable support services and enabling them to leverage digital technologies in order to improve teaching and learning experiences. “We primarily focus on private schools, helping them digitize the delivery of education, covering the entire range of various state boards, CBSE and ICSE. We aim to use technology to improve the learning outcomes for children in the K12 education landscape in India through interactive methods,” says Milind Shahane, CEO, TATA ClassEdge. “This comprehensive coverage of syllabus from different boards in the country gives us a competitive edge over other peers in the market, and it is the reason why we are one of the leading e-learning companies in India. We have mapped the syllabus not just to the textbook level but to the chapter and the topic level as well. Our ClassEdge platform is mapped to over 500 publishers and 7000 textbooks,” he adds.

Interactive and Engaging Learning  

Milind Shahane (CEO), Tata ClassEdge

The use of technology in schools allows students to understand the topic by visualizing the concepts thereby moving beyond the textbooks and conventional classrooms. Technology  also helps teachers teach better by using videos, smart boards, etc. But these technology-powered, video-based digital learning techniques are making students mere spectators who receive knowledge from teachers and smart boards, without much involvement in the process of knowledge acquisition. “There is a misconception in the space of education today that digital learning is just about delivering education through digital means, particularly through video. But this video-based learning could in many cases turn counter-productive, considering the short attention span of humans for a video. And the attention span of children is much lower, probably less than five minutes. Hence, we do not limit our teaching techniques to videos; in fact, our videos do not exceed five minutes. We allow teachers to use multiple techniques like multimedia worksheets, interactive games, role plays, and other activities, which we refer to as multiple learning experiences,” elaborates Shahane. The ClassEdge platform which is built on the Multiple Learning Experiences framework enables students to use their multiple senses and engages them in a variety of carefully planned activities. This helps them to not just understand the concepts but retain them by being immersed in the learning process. This interactive and multiple learning experiences method also helps to promote critical and creative thinking in the students.

“TATA ClassEdge has been continuously working in the space of school education in India with an aim to provide better learning solutions for children by using technology. We provide an innovative and comprehensive instructional solution that empowers teachers to teach better with an effective blend of curriculum-mapped classroom activities and interactive technology. TATA ClassEdge’s proprietary instructional framework, multiple learning experiences (MLEX) model makes use of distinct types of activities that promote social and thinking skills in students, including critical thinking and creativity,” explains Krishnamohan. B, CIO, TATA ClassEdge about the multiple learning experiences framework on which the ClassEdge platform was built.

A Strategy Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy  

TATA ClassEdge follows a four-fold strategy of Teach, Assess, Manage and Learn which is based on Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning.  The company believes that the ultimate goal of a teacher and the teaching is to make the student self-learn; hence, it designs digital learning solutions accordingly. The ‘Teach’ module is about empowering the teachers to help them teach better using technology and multiple learning experiences in-classroom as well as virtually. The ‘Assess’ module enables teachers to assess the performance of students in-class & even remotely with the help of assessment platform, digital question bank and quizzes. The teachers are also allowed to develop comprehensive assessments by framing their own set of questions depending on the requirements and capabilities of the students. The ‘Manage’ module is about enabling school management and teachers to plan the academic year easily such as holidays, timetables, exams, etc. The parents are equipped to keep track of the child’s education through a mobile application. Finally, the ‘Learn’ module is about empowering the students to inculcate self-learning. Tata ClassEdge recently rolled-out ‘Studi’ in the 4th quarter of the last financial year, which ensures continuity from what is taught in the class by allowing students to revise the topics later. These four modules put together make the ClassEdge an end-to-end solution catering to the complete needs of schools including all stakeholders such as teachers, students, school management and parents.                    

Building a Strong Foundation    

Early years of education of a child are of paramount importance in ensuring the holistic development of a child in terms of social, emotional, cognitive and physical aspects. The company has designed a solution named EarlyEdge specifically targeted at the early education of the children. EarlyEdge which is based on the ClassEdge’s Multiple Learning Experiences model focuses on the overall development of the children. EarlyEdge is a perfect blend of conventional and contemporary methods of learning with an emphasis on experiential and interdisciplinary learning. With EarlyEdge, Tata ClassEdge aims to redefine the learning experience from simply teacher-led to self-explored, forming a strong foundation for the kids. The curriculum content is based on the Indian context and culture, thus making it easy for kids to connect with the world around them.

Reliable Support Services   

Though technology helps to improve the learning outcomes of the students, it takes technical expertise to realize the real benefits of technology. Hence, technical support to ensure the seamless working of the IT infrastructure plays an important role in the success of technology deployment. Helping schools address the IT hardware and networking problems, TATA ClassEdge provides reliable support services. The company’s team of 500 people spread across different states ensures better system uptime in schools by addressing the issues related to computers, projectors, TV panels, interactive flat panels, etc. In addition to the hardware support, the company also provides academic support services to help school management and teachers in terms of how to better use the software and update it regularly.      

As a research-based EdTech company, TATA ClassEdge thoroughly engages with academicians, influential stakeholders, parents, and students to identify the challenges in the Indian school education system and strives to address them using technology. “We believe that teachers are integral and central to the teaching-learning experiences and the role of technology is to facilitate and empower them in their work. Success therefore lies in thoughtful pedagogical design and meticulous implementation of technology,” concludes Mr Shahane.

A Long-standing Partnership with CMS Lucknow
To date, more than 1900 schools ranging from large group of educational institutions to small individual schools across the country have implemented the ClassEdge platform improving the way of teaching and learning. The company’s largest installation of the ClassEdge platform is at City Montessori School, Lucknow (CMS), one of the largest groups of schools in India. CMS deployed the ClassEdge platform across its 70-80 schools with over 900 classrooms covering more than 30,000 students. CMS has been successfully using the platform for more than six years to improve their students’ learning outcomes by enhancing teaching-learning experiences. The installation of the ClassEdge platform in the CMS is considered to be the world’s largest deployment of technology in any school.

TATA ClassEdge – The Learning must go on.
Considering the evolving situation of COVID-19 in India, during these unprecedented times with lockdown of schools across the country, Tata ClassEdge announced an initiative “The learning must go on”. The initiative allows the use of ClassEdge content (curated content that is extensively mapped to the prescribed syllabus) through a video conferencing software. Teachers can teach via the ClassEdge platform and use any video conferencing service to conduct a virtual class.

With the help of these technology solutions, Tata ClassEdge is attempting to support schools to utilize the TCE online content to conduct their classes. The teachers can now use the same content and curriculum that is being taught in the classrooms. This ensures familiarity and consistency in the entire teaching-learning process.

The Learning must go on initiative thus assists teachers in continuing teaching without losing time and to plan and schedule classes at their convenience. Schools are thus able to provide a classroom experience to students through access from their home – anytime.

As part of the continued initiatives to support school & teachers in a difficult scenario as the current pandemic, Tata ClassEdge introduced products not just for online teaching but also for assessment of learning outcomes. More importantly to make teachers ready for virtual teaching, an academic training support is being provided wherein teachers learn how to use online platforms for accessing content, use digital conferencing features, assign homework to students and evaluate them remotely and provide a great learning experience without any compromise in the learning outcomes.