Improving Your School’s Productivity And Why It Matters [Interview]

We love our customers but more than that we love to see them succeed and make better progress with the tools that we build. We often hear great stories and use cases of how Schools and School staff members use SchoolPad to progress better and to spread the knowledge. We usually share these stories with our audiences through our blog.

As a part of it we recently interviewed Mr. Atul Aggarwal, Director at New Rainbow Public School(NRPS), Ghaziabad who talks about this term called productivity in context of a School and how SchoolPad helped him and the complete staff at NRPS achieve it and bring a significant transformation to the way they manage their School and communicate with Parents today.

Here’s the interview:

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What does New Rainbow Public School stand for? What is it’s vision?
Education takes a person from darkness towards light and a rainbow having different colors is created from the light. Similarly, New Rainbow Public School is an institution with the purpose of not only lighting the lamp of education but to color young scholars with knowledge, wisdom and courage. We nurture children so they could realize their full potential. The mission of the school has always been providing quality education affordable to people.

What does a day at New Rainbow Public School look like?
A typical day at NRPS begins with a Morning assembly which is treated as knowledge sharing platform by students. The assembly is followed by daily schedule that reflects age-appropriate balance between academics, enrichment and activities. By midday, the students go to lunch and have the opportunity to engage in conversation with friends and classmates. Meanwhile, student captains and vice-captains perform their assigned house duties by teacher in-charges.

The afternoon session typically begins with couple of core subjects followed by club activity scheduled for the day or physical education/Library/Sports or creative subjects period to keep the interest level of students high. The school houses various clubs i.e Eco Club, Health and Wellness Club, Heritage Club, Tony Blair face to faith foundation club etc.

What are your thoughts on the use of technology in education? How is it driving education at your School?
Teaching has undergone a drastic change at our school from mere black board based teaching to usage of Digital Classrooms, Collaboration with overseas students on projects using technology, Online Assignments, Computer based  Assessment. Technology has provided a great platform for both learners and educators and made education more fun and interactive with better output. In fact, We have successfully transitioned from no feedback school to the school with direct feedback to school management by parents, students and staff members. Our first tryst with technology dates back to usage of offline data management system for keeping basic student records 6 years back. We were one of the early adopters of cloud based technology and signed up with Google Apps for Education and started using a lot of Applications from their web store.

Online Attendance and Gradebook tool  Engrade, Lesson Planning tools, school management tools to Xero/Wave Accounting, Evernote, Dropbox and many more. We realized the power and ease of Cloud. Not only we made good use of technology for school operations; we embedded technology into classroom teaching by encouraging students to play around with these tools. A lot of our students these days participate in Online Gaming Competition to enhance their decision making skills, using Type Writer tool to enhance their accuracy and speed, using tools to improve their grammar skills, Blogspot and wordpress to communicate with overseas students or going through khan academy or virtual labs for deeper understanding. Technology is playing and will continue to play a vital role in Education @ NRPS. Times have changed and Schools should be more open and embrace technology in this fast changing landscape.

What do you mean by the term productivity when you say that we have been able to improve our School’s productivity with SchoolPad?
Productivity is defined as the amount of work achieved per unit effort. What if you start getting more and quality output for the same or lesser amount of effort then you have to call yourself productive. Before signing up with Schoolpad, We were using a lot of different tools and they were good to begin with until we wanted them to converge; They had lots of restrictions and made the school operations complex. SchoolPad brought all school operations under single window, gave us more freedom to make decisions backed up with power of solid data. Hundreds of reports are available at our fingertips. School Principal and coordinators are in a position to monitor both students and teachers performance at ease and take better academic decisions early.

Parents are getting timely information without having to waste their time by visiting school which in-turn saves crucial hours for staff members. Online Tests have zeroed the correction mistakes and is preparing students for CBT at early ages itself, Approvals/Requests are taking place online, Feedback on School activity, curriculum, academics are being given online, Transport department and Finances are managed with ease. In fact, we are gearing up for online Library Management as well. Such is the power of this tool that a student, teacher or parent makes use of schoolpad right from Day 1 when they enquire about admission into our school to the moment they leave the school and thereafter as well. The complete record of any student is available online backed up with powerful reporting which complies with CCE curriculum of CBSE. 

What’s been the major difference before and after using SchoolPad?
Performance of students and teachers have improved due to early warnings shown by data provided by Schoolpad which helps educators take early corrective measures. Parents Interaction is much better due to availability of data . In fact, I would say that using Schoolpad has improved most areas of school operations.

There are lot of technology adoption myths specifically when we talk about School education. Did you come across any such myths and were able to overcome them?
Myths are meant to be broken and we did exactly the same. Most schools particularly smaller schools think that they are better off without technology but they do not know how much are they missing on because of this myth. Their decision is mostly finance driven but cloud based service providers have made adoption of technology both affordable and meaningful for schools.

We adopted technology at New Rainbow Public School like a Fish to the water and credit goes to the hardworking and dedicated staff members, educators and technical background of leadership at our school. However, that doesn’t mean that we did not face challenges. Our school had just 5 computers 6 years back and now it is being completely driven online making use of latest tools and technology in and out of classroom. Imagine the transition that has taken place and journey we have covered in this short span. Ours is a story to celebrate but keeping feet on the ground and deeper commitment to provide quality education by making use of new pedagogy, skills or adoption of new technology for that matter. We remain flexible but focused to realize our mission.

Beyond School education, another very prominent myth is that important decisions like these require a physical presence of a sales person from technology company and It is often demanded by various schools before a meeting is even scheduled with School Principals or Directors. It would be hard for anyone to believe that we researched for almost 18+ months evaluating various products in School management systems category(meeting people mostly in person) before sealing a deal with Schoolpad CEO Mr. Abhiraj Malhotra after couple of online conversations and demo in Flat 24 hrs. It sounds unbelievable but it is completely true.

You have been using SchoolPad for almost a year now and evaluated a handful of products already before going for SchoolPad. Would you like to recommend SchoolPad to any other school over these existing softwares that you evaluated. Why?
We evaluated almost all products available in this category. In fact, products which were being used by 1000+ schools in India and abroad to products newly launched but Schoolpad turned out to be the smart decision from day one. The team at Schoolpad has not one but two exceptional quality i.e. “Ease of use of their Software” coupled with “Lightning fast support”. The folks at Schoolpad truly understands the meaning of customer delight setting a new benchmark. I would highly recommend Schoolpad for schools not because we are using it @ NRPS but because of sheer belief in the product. All the very best to Schoolpad !

 


A big thanks to the Vice Chariman, Mr. Atul Agarwal for taking out time to answer these questions. To know more about New Rainbow Public School, Ghaziabad, you can check out their website www.nrpschool.com