[Exclusive Interview] Find Out How This Ed-Tech Startup Is Empowering Teachers With Technology
Once again like every year on the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan we Indians have celebrated Teacher’s Day on September 5th.
From debates, and speeches on the contribution of teachers to facilitating teachers followed by other activities, this is how teacher’s day is majorly celebrated all across the country.
However, barely anyone talks or points out the real issues that might occur as the biggest threat to our teachers in the future, which is a lack of awareness of teachers about technology in STEM education.
To make our teachers become 21st-century-ready, India needs to invest in the up skilling of the teachers.
India is home to approximately 9.7 million teachers across 1.5 million schools ((bit.ly/3KHNDV9) so in order to compete with the developed countries in terms of quality of education and to take a big leap toward becoming the innovation hub and a nation of ‘digital talent’ India needs to pay more attention towards its teachers.
That’s why we asked Mr. Rajeev Tiwari, co-founder of Stemrobo Technologies about How Stemrobo is helping teachers in acquiring 21st-century skills.
Highlights from the interview:
Q1. Define STEMROBO and what all services STEMROBO Technologies offer?
Answer. STEMROBO is an EdTech start-up providing End-To-End Solution to K-12 Schools & Students for Nurturing Innovation & 21st Century Skills among young Students of age 6-18 years. We offer 21st-century students an opportunity to explore, experience and bring Innovation through a world class STEM, AI, Robotics, Coding Curriculum Integrated with our unique & affordable Technology Products and Solutions delivered in an Online or Hybrid model; thereby enabling and empowering students to be able to become Creative-Thinkers and Problem-Solvers.
STEMROBO is on a mission to build an ecosystem focused on leveraging technology in education where STEAM, Robotics, Coding & Artificial Intelligence are utilized as crucial tools for kids to become smart in their academics and be able to solve real world problems in the 21st Century.
Q2. What’s the role of teachers in building STEMROBO and how do you upskill them?
Answer. Teachers are the foundation of our vision at STEMROBO; they have been an integral part of our journey, from developing the curriculum for K12 students and delivering it in the schools as per the integrated methodology and pedagogy to help kids understand the concepts of STEM-Robotics, Coding and AI in the STEMROBO Innovation Labs and Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across India. Teachers have played and continue to play a critical role in achieving our mission of building an ecosystem for nurturing the innovation and 21st century skills among K-12 students.STEMROBO has trained thousands of Teachers across India and continuously providing them with the requisite skills through various forms of training to make all our programs successful by ensuring quality end-mile delivery.
Many programmes are being launched as part of the new education policy to encourage Innovation, Ideation & Entrepreneurship in schools so that students can be prepared for the future technological world. One of the flagship programs of NITI Aayog, Govt. of India is ATL (Atal Tinkering Lab), which has achieved its landmark of establishing ATL in 10000 schools across India which is aimed to provide students with a hands-on learning experience around various technologies and equipping them with the required 21st century skills.
For a long time, our teachers have been teaching STEM education theoretically, with less emphasis on actual learning and more on learning through books. It’s analogous to teaching computer operation on a blackboard rather than on the machine itself. With our teachers having almost no experience in teaching the concepts practically. STEMROBO has started this Educators training program to equip them with the skills required to teach STEM education, Robotics, Coding & AI practically in labs and focus is completely on Experiential Learning aligned with NEP 2020.
Q3. What all skills do you equip the teachers with during the training?
Answer. All the skills required to teach STEM education, Robotics,Coding, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning through Activity Based Learning and Project Based Learning. We first train theteachers through Activity Based Learning through which they get comfortable around various technological tools, resources, software platforms and DIY Kits and then utilize their theoretical understanding of the subject to teach the students through hands on experience. Our focus is on nurturing innovation & 21st century skills which can be achieved when teachers are helping students in solving real world problems aligned with UN sustainable development goals. This process is the part of our patented methodology i.e., CIC Approach, where every student and teacherstart their journey as Consumer, and we use Activity Based Learning to give them the exposure through defined activities and progressive curriculum for hands on experience designed by the experts. This helps us in infusing Ideation and Innovation among them. In the next step, which is Project Based Learning, our focus shifts on making them solve real world problems and become the ‘Creator’ by using the concepts and learnings what they got through activity-based learning.
Q4. How many teachers have benefitted from the training till now?
Answer. We’ve implemented our programs in around 2500+ schools across Indiawhich includes STEM-Robotics Program, Coding & AI programs and ATLs. To make our programs successful on ground, we have trained almost 22,000+teachers who are helping students in nurturing their innovation & 21st century skills thorough experiential learning.We have also increased our foothold in Ghana by implementing STEMROBO Tinkering or innovation program in over 50 schools. In Ghana, STEMROBO’s engineers from India are providing training to their local engineers and teachers in the hybrid and online mode.
Q5. How are these skills going to increase the scope of more opportunities and a better pay scale?
Answer. Technological advancements have simplified complex tasks and have made our lives easy. However, our education system has been operating on the traditional method for a long time now. This industry has adopted technology at a very slow pace which resulted in our teachers and educators having almost no experience with the technology.
With more chances, a better pay scale, and no geographical limitations, ed-tech dramatically transformed the game for teachers and educators. It offered work-life balance and other perks, but it came with a condition of technical skills.
With each passing year, we become more surrounded by and reliant on technology. With technological advancements making our lives easier and saving us a lot of time and money, it can be said that technical skills are the need of the hour. As Coding, AI, STEAM, Robotics and Experiential Learning are becoming mainstream in the curriculum, it will bring enormous opportunities and of course at a better pay scale for the teachers with the required skills.
Q6. What’s the purpose of building the teacher’s community?
Answer. We all are aware that coding and experiential learning are an integral part of the new education framework as per NEP. The mission and vision of STEMROBO Technologies have always been on making students capable of solving real-world problems through technology tools and project-based learning.In this process, by delivering an immersive learning experience we’re nurturing innovation and vital 21st-century skills among K-12 Students around the globe. And this goal cannot be achieved without the assistance of teachers who are playing the crucial role in delivering these methodologies for students successfully in the schools.
The fundamental goal of constructing these communities was to establish an atmosphere in which educators can study and obtain technical skills with the assistance of each other and contribute to the overall advancement of education. We are on a mission to build an ecosystem focused on leveraging technology in education where teachers are trained around crucial tools like STEAM, Robotics, Coding & Artificial Intelligence so that they can deliver the contents for kids to help them become smart in the academics and be able to solve real world problems in the 21st Century.