Learning today is vastly different from learning, say, a decade ago. Today’s learning institutions have woken up to recognising individual learners as unique, and are focusing on creating personalised learning trajectories for them. In case of conventional education set-ups, with low teacher-to-student ratio, such individual attention and progress tracking wasn’t possible, but thanks to the disruption caused by technological tools, this personalisation of learning is now a reality.
Leading this technological disruption from the front is the ed-tech firm Extramarks. Founded in 2009, Extramarks has been working for close to a decade to make education accessible, uniform, personalised and student-centric in a manner never seen before! And it does so by catering to all segments of learners, right from early childhood, to K-12 and competitive exam aspirants.
“Students in India come from unimaginably diverse backgrounds. They have their own unique learning curves and different starting points as they step into the formal education sphere. What is common in the midst of this diversity, however, is the drive to excel. What is also common is the belief in the transformative capacity of education, which has the potential for fulfilling dreams and leading even the most remotely situated student to a future that is bright with possibilities”, shares Atul Kulshrestha, Chairman and Managing Director, Extramarks.
He further adds, “Despite this faith in the transformative potential of education, the ground realities depict astounding regional and institutional gaps in education delivery. Extramarks is driven by the mission to bridge those gaps, and make education a seamless, standardised and uniformly accessible force, which can literally be brought to a child’s hand.”
It is true that education in India suffers from delivery gaps. These gaps manifest in poor quality of content, lack of enabling infrastructure in schools, as well as lacunae in teacher training and empowerment, which leads to uninspired teaching at schools. If education cannot engage a child, how can he/she be expected to pursue it like a passion? If education does not catch the imagination of each end user, how can they excel in it? If education is not simplified to the level of each individual, how can they afford to catch up with the demands of a competitive exam climate? These are questions Extramarks constantly asks and deeply researches to find answers to.
Living in the digital era comes with its benefits. Technology enables access, innovation, engagement and lends a dynamic edge to any industry it integrates itself with. Education is no different.
“At a time when technological aids had still not started making their presence felt in formal education sector, we envisioned them as tools of power. We decided that traditional pedagogy needs to dynamically align itself to enabling technological gifts, so that education systems in India can blossom to their wholesome levels”, shares Atul.
Truly enough, technology has, since then, been leveraged in every manner possible at Extramarks. They are building intricate algorithms that predict a student’s learning needs even before they know it! Using data analysis techniques, their programmes/apps are able to learn from the performance of an individual and throw questions, practice material and prompts, mapped to where he/she stands on the learning curve. Extramarks stays by the student in their journey, driving learning like a teacher giving personalised attention.
Extramarks makes learning visual. They create learning modules, which, first of all, are engaging, and second, are effective simplified animated representations of text book concepts. These are more memory friendly – thus enabling retention for a life-long romance with learning.
The process of knowledge delivery doesn’t stop here. All the learnt concepts are then rigorously tested through practice material and exhaustive tests in a fool-proof ecosystem defined by the Learn-Practice-Test (LPT) approach. Developed in-house and now globally lauded, the LPT approach has been seen to deliver results and is applied throughout the different products and services Extramarks develops.
These products and services cover a wide spectrum, which includes learning apps, tablets and hand-held devices, web-based learning solutions, digital integration in classrooms as well as coaching centres to mentor competitive exam participants.
Like stated earlier, Extramarks endeavours to make learning child-centric. However, there are many stakeholders who need to come together to make learning holistic and effective for a child. These are the teachers, parents as well as the institution and its administration, who need to be integrated on one platform, and this problem finds solution in Extramarks’ Total Learning Approach. Through an app, it connects all these stakeholders on the go!
“Total Learning is a platform that ensures continuity of education delivery from home to school. It helps a student plan studies, while keeping the parent and teachers informed of the progress. By doing this, it enables informed intervention and mentorship for student success”, explains Atul, who is glad with the way this concept has been received and integrated in innumerable schools across India. Not just India, the concept is now finding takers in international spaces as well.
Isn’t it great to see how technology can be the great integrating, as well as equalising force when it comes to the education segment, at least?
While primarily developing modules and products for the K-12 segment, the expanse of Extramarks products does not end here. Right from toddlers to engineering and medical aspirants, Extramarks has meticulously conceptualised solutions for everyone.
The current generation of learners learns better on the go, and the Extramarks apps, cater to all levels of learning – right from early childhood education, to junior, senior and even beyond the school career- oriented learning. The array of apps include Extramarks – The Learning App, IIT JEE Test Prep, NEET & AIIMS Test Prep App and Learning App for Kids, and they cover everything, from rhymes at an early age, to tips, tricks and formulae to crack competitive entrances. Extramarks has developed an all-round, holistic expertise, which they gladly pass on to students.
The Extramarks multimedia modules are customised for different segments using a game-based, thematic learning approach for junior learners and a hierarchical, layered, and adaptive approach for senior learners. This is how effectiveness in education is ensured through differentiation in approach at each level.
It is no surprise then that Extramarks has been the recipient of many awards and honours in the decade of its existence. These awards, however, are minor consolations. The 2000+ strong Extramarks team finds greater solace in the knowledge that they help shape futures and are trusted in their endeavor to do so. Extramarks is reimagining the way students learn. For this ed-tech giant, each day is an opportunity and challenge to make learning a joyous process for each child.