And You thought Edtech Startups only Taught Students

And You thought Edtech Startups only Taught Students

November 10, 2016 | The Economic Times

Education technology cos have created tech that can track teacher performance and offer them appropriate advice to help them teach better

Raji Sarath has been teaching English on e-learning platform Vedantu for just over six months. In these six months, the Kerala-based teacher has taught students not just in India, but also from countries like the UK, Canada and the UAE. The experience has been a learning curve for Sarath as well, as Vendatu tells her on how she can constantly keep improving.

“We get a monthly feedback and also immediate feedback from students. There is a comparative analysis with other teachers on the platform. It says how many hours I have taught as compared to others, among other things, and I also get to know where I stand among the fraternity,“ said Sarath. While education technology companies have focused on making students learn better or finding a good tutor for them, they are also recognising the fact that `teaching’ tutors to teach better is as important.

Vedantu has come up with an algorithm that takes into account 26 parameters so as to give a comprehensive feedback to a teacher. “For example, if you are teaching on a (virtual) white board, the algorithm can infer that this way is the most efficient way to use it and will then broadcast to other teachers saying, this is the best way,“ said Vamsi Krishna, CEO, Vedantu.

Similarly, other startups have created technologies that can track te acher performance and give them appropriate advice.

“We give two sorts of feedback -child-level feedback and concept-level feedback. Each teacher will benchmarked against other teachers,“ said Vineet Dwivedi, CEO, flipClass, a startup that connects students to tutors.

Impartus Innovations, a video-based learning platform, which captures classroom lectures that are made available to students for anytime re-learning, also has tools for teacher improvement.

“When we started, we had in our minds that until teachers benefit from our technology we will not be helping students. For many institutions, the biggest problem is teacher improvement,“ said Amit Mahensaria, cofounder of Impartus Innovations.

The startup’s technology can tell teachers when they were off topic, whether the students were interested, etc. Though there is initial resistance from teachers on being video-graphed, they do come to accept it when they see the benefits.Impartus’ platform is being used in the Indian Institute of Management and PES Institute of Technology, both in Bengaluru, among others.

The feedback does not just go in the form of raw numbers. It is rather in the form of progress boards and visually appealing representations. “We avoid giving raw numbers. Visual metres and progress boards influence teachers better,“ said Amruth BR, CEO of teacher assistance and training platform GuruG.