Rohit Pande, CEO, Classteacher, speaks about the of acceptance of tablets in the modern education system
In your opinion what kind of role do tablets play in education space?
We are positive that the tablet is going to play a prime role in the education space. The most important thing in favour of the tablet is that it is uniquely capable of leading to more personalised system of learning in schools. Lot of people who are not our competitors often end up believing that we are their competitors. We are not competitors to Aakash, Samsung or Apple, we are perhaps the collaborators, because we use those devices in the classrooms. We focus on the ‘after that’, on readability, which is various kinds of content books, on assessments which happen both at home and classroom, on the flow of assignments. So basically we have put together a virtual learning vironment that can be called cloud. An important system of connectivity for us is through the whiteboard. We have a connectivity module with the whiteboards, where the content from the whiteboard goes to the tablet and vice versa.
How has been your experience with schools?
The children are excited. However, the teachers fall into three categories, some are excited, some are lukewarm, and there is the small bunch who are completely against usage of new technology. his is a very normal state of affairs, and it happens in all the schools.
What kind of response do you receive from schools?
Schools are welcoming a new way of learning. When I look at schools, I look at them not as one thing but as three things – teachers, school manage- Low Cost Tablets on Adoption Curve ment and parents. Here the parents are more directly involved, so people are welcoming. Yes the issues are humongous; there is a whole lot of confusion in parents’ minds. We provide a device, which is high end device, but there are cheaper devices available in the market. So which device do they chose? We are very flexible, so we end up telling schools that no matter what is the device, you can bring your own device. But make sure that when the child enters the school there is some working device. We give our own device, but many times we work on other devices. So I think the primary issue that parents have is- ‘Don’t force anything through our throat, we have the right to make our own choices’. Once results come out and it becomes obvious that tablets are leading to better educational outcomes, the device will be welcomed in larger number of schools. The parents, the teachers, the school administration, will become supportive.
Can you tell us about the percentage of these three categories of teachers in schools?
At this moment the overtly excited cate- gory might be not more than 10 percent, those in the fence might be the majority because they have heard about such devices, they have experienced some of them, so I would say 60 percent of the teachers are waiting on the fence. Once the adoption occurs, I think they will become supportive of tablets in schools. 30 percent of the teachers might be vocally opposed to tablets. But what is encouraging is that the adoption rate of parents is very high. Second point is that school managements, when they work with whiteboards, have seen the constraints of depending on a single model and t hat too totally dependent on teachers. So managements in schools are not sure whether this model will work or not, but they are dissatisfied with the previous model’s outcomes.
What is the ideal way of utilising Tablet in classroom?
When we say educational setting we are referring to a connect between school and the home. One powerful applications that we are developing allows teachers to keep track of what the students are doing at home. So if the student is working on a test at home, teachers will get the data through online systems and when they come to the classroom, the teachers are already aware of where the specific learning gaps are. So they are able to customise their lecture to bring fulfilment to those learning gaps. This is not a usage only in the classroom but I would say it is a hybrid. I think it is not about how to use it, but like one of our board members said, you have no child left behind in US, now it will be like no teacher is left behind where e