A teacher in need, can use a software indeed!

TEACHER-CLONE

Bangalore-based eDreams Edusoft, has been riding on a wave ever since it bagged a funding project for its latest innovation. The company has built an adaptive personal tutor for primary school education.

Having termed it as an “almost human-like clone of a teacher”, scientists at eDreams have developed a software that promises to offer one-on-one attention and guidance for students. Wanting to fix the learning deficits that arise from the homogeneous nature of a classroom, the core team of eDream Edusoft spent months creating a learning tool that is based on artificial intelligence technology.

The product, ‘FunToot’, is personalised to understand and gauge each student’s IQ. It also catalogues their performance on a daily basis. This can be accessed by teachers through a programme called ‘report and analytics’. The assignments posted to students are customised to suit the student’s likes and dislikes.

FunToot is used outside the classroom, in a computer lab and covers national and international syllabi. The technology is installed into school servers/ end-user PCs and accessed by students, parents and teachers. So far, it can support study content from Class 2 to 8. Subjects covered include Math, Science and English. The pilot was launched in Rashtothana Vidya Kendra School in Mysore in 2011.

Note: There is no actual grading or marks allocated for completing an assignment on FunToot. Students win ‘fundaas’ or reward points to engage in learning activities online.

FunToot strives to observe, assess, diagnose, interact, encourage and help students based on their characteristics in a manner that a classroom teacher can offer a single student. This software is ideal for those who need after-school help with lessons and the attention and guidance of a teacher from a young age itself.

Says Kavitha Jain, VP, Edify Education, “We’ve had this software installed in 10 schools under the DRS-Edify Group umbrella. It is such a boon for teachers. It lessens their load drastically. Plus, students love anything that involves working on a computer. It takes them away from the monotony of a classroom and it is highly engaging. We are waiting for the end of the year to see results. But we are positive.”

These are the highlights of this software:

Discovery: FunToot can discover the various characteristics of each student and adapts itself (questions and suggestions are framed based on these observations) uniquely to each student.
Observation: It observes and assesses each student in the same manner a human would do, while the student solves problems or does his work.

Interaction: It interacts with each student in an unique manner on the issues that students face through voice and messages.

Assistance: Unique assistance to each student through video and text messaging
Teacher’s View: The teacher can view various reports for students, classes in progress, issues, etc.

Parent View: Parents can view close to 12 different reports for their kids on their progress, issues, weak areas, etc.

Rajeev Pathak, CEO, eDreams Edusoft, says, “The implementation so far indicates an improvement of 25 per cent in grades across the spectrum of schools we have been involved with.”

Through FunToot, eDreams hopes to create a new paradigm that offers one-on-one attention to each child. “It is almost like providing one assistant teacher to each child, only in the virtual form.

While the aim is to improve grades significantly, each of these virtual assistant teachers also ropes in the class teacher and parent too,” adds Rajeev.

This Bangalore-based company began work on the learning software two years ago and is still patent pending. Rajeev Pathak and his team of innovators recently received a Rs 5-crore funding from ‘Mumbai Angels’, a business reality show.

Here’s where the software wins: It offers to not just lighten a teacher’s load by organising a student’s report card into several areas such as score card, positive, negative, feedback, areas of interest, etc, but it also does the following:

Pre study: Teachers can engage students in a pre-study programme using a topic from the software, prior to the lessons taught in class.

Adaptive learning: Teachers may ask students to learn topics on FunToot as per the lesson plan/schedule of the school. Funtoot adapts itself based on a child’s feedback and performance.

Teachers also automate and schedule homework through FunToot. This helps the teacher keep track of work that has been assigned and understand the areas that need work.

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