As there is a changing pattern in education, people are shifting from one mode to multiple modes of learning now and keeping in the mind the education requirements Online classes, e-learning platforms, virtual classes on social media platforms have started emerging to continue the teaching-learning process and also academic solutions like Mylestone was launched by S. Chand and Co., are acting like a helping hand in this pandemic situation for students.
Such platforms are offering a streamlined curriculum through well designed integrated components which includes teachers handbook, students course book and practise book, assessment support and teacher training. Financial Express Online caught up with Vinay Sharma- Head of Digital & Services, S.Chand and Co. Excerpt:
What is Mylestone and its key features and USPs?
Mylestone is a smart curriculum that was conceived with a vision to bring the change in education that makes students learn better through Empowered Teaching, Easy Learning. The Mylestone curriculum is a learning solution from the house of S. Chand Group, with an all-inclusive content solution mapped to the National Curriculum Framework, 2005 which enriches the whole classroom experience across the K-12 segment. The program is geared towards creating interactive learning experiences with its diverse content and activity-based learning features that create a participative learning experience, thereby improving the cognitive abilities of students and increasing their attention span. The curriculum operates on an “I DO-WE DO-YOU DO” approach, wherein the teacher starts by demonstrating, followed by collaborating which ultimately helps students build on that knowledge independently. It also offers a streamlined curriculum through well designed integrated components which include Teachers Handbook, Students Coursebook and Practice book, Assessment Support, Digital Content, Resource Kit and Teacher Training.
How do you plan to create a new ecosystem in schools?
Mylestone is creating an eco-system in which schools see the curriculum program differently than they see their current vendors. It acts as an academic partner to the school which typically means that the job does not get over once the desired product / solution is delivered to the school. Comprehensive teaching and learning materials along with the support on its deployment makes it a responsible academic partner whose success is linked to the school’s success. With the schools already grappling with challenges like admissions, finances, branding, teacher scarcity etc this shared responsibility in academics comes as a relief, so this makes the school tilt towards curriculum solution, and Mylestone in particular.
What changes have you seen amid the Covid situation?
Mylestone, unlike other products in the industry, actually got a boost during school building closures brought about by Covid-19 pandemic. Schools were locked and books didn’t reach on time, Mylestone brought the entire curriculum online, using a digital portal and mobile app, and trained the teachers to conduct online classes so that teaching/learning continues during lockdown. Just in this period, the online teaching and learning through Mylestone reached over 1.5 lac students across India. To keep up with the demand and its pace, the Mylestone support team had to adapt to the challenge and onboard schools to the program almost 100% remotely. Even the new schools who subscribed for Mylestone during this period were signed up through online engagements. This substantially reduced our operating expenses and showed us a new way to manage our school operations.
How is Mylestone adapting the changes with this New Education Policy 2020?
Mylestone content is clearly structured on 5+3+3+4 design which is a new pedagogy in the NEP 2020.
Classes 1 and 2 have an informal approach in comparison to Classes 3, 4 and 5.
Classes 3 – 5 introduces the students to a more formal approach
Classes 6-8 builds on the pedagogical and curricular style of the Preparatory Stage
Mylestone content emphasises on the importance of physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of children through the various activities. As a part of the thrust on experiential learning, art-integrated education is embedded in ‘Let us Connect’ creating joyful classrooms. Learning happens in this section across subjects too.
The Teachers Handbook is the backbone of the Mylestone curriculum. All classrooms get transformed into ‘Enquiry Rooms’ as the teacher draws learners to explore and engage with the concepts using a variety of concepts. This transforms the learning space to make it dynamic, experiential, and filled with the joy of discovery. Mylestone activities across subjects, range from an easy level to a level which demands higher order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity as suggested by NEP.
During the lockdown period Mylestone supported schools by giving them Blended Learning Assessment Framework for each quarter. This empowers schools to conduct a comprehensive, continuous evaluation system which caters to different types of learners and is focused on assessing different skill areas and to ensure that the Mylestone books are fully utilised, teachers have been given material for teaching the content in a very interesting, interactive and effective manner.
Teachers have been equipped with measurable objectives and outcomes and sufficient time has been given to the teacher to organise activities which require more preparation.
How is this application helping teachers and students with online learning?
myStudygear app becomes the medium as well as the platform for the teachers and students to engage immediately with Mylestone. The teachers connect with students over a video call where they can show or share digital as well as offline materials to engage and more importantly, since the content on the app is completely synced with the academic books which the students have, and digital resources provided to the teacher are completely in sync with the assessments they are supposed to provide over the year. This app becomes the ‘main’ app of concept development rather than a ‘supplementary app’ for explanations and very soon the app will be upgraded with new features and will be called ‘mylestone’ app instead of myStudygear to reflect.
What are your views on opening of schools amid COVID19?
That is for the government to decide basis larger interests. However, what makes us happy is the fact that our schools and we are ready for any situation in the future and even if schools do not open for the entire of the remaining academic year, the learning will not stop.
What are your future targets and visions?
We will develop more online professional development interventions for teachers, some key state boards and augment curriculum looking at new opportunities like coding etc in NEP 2020. Mylestone was launched with the vision to provide a complete academic solution ensuring better learning for the students in terms of concepts, skills, and holistic development, and supporting teachers to become more effective & prepared while teaching in class. In 2018 Mylestone had 67 Schools with just above 20000 students but this has now grown to around 400 schools and over 1,50,000 students in a period of just 2 years. We expect these figures to now grow at a much faster pace in the coming years. In the COVID led lockdown phase, we have seen an increase in the app downloads by 500% and the usage of the application by parents has also increased by 70% which is a huge jump.