At a time when education sector across the globe is going through a massive transformation, in every aspect, due to digitization, an edutech startup in India’s Hyderabad is showing the right direction, for both students and teachers, for learning and teaching.

23.4 Degrees Education Services Private Limited provides solution to improve the productivity and effectiveness of teaching and learning for both teachers and students.

Founded in 2014, the edutech platform is the brain child of Vinay Chousalkar, Sujay Shivram and Manoj Kumar Jain, who were classmates, alumni of IIM Ahmedabad and ISB and who have work experience of more than 10 years each at various multinational companies.

Providing a customized solution for teaching and learning, the platform currently offers two products - a curriculum solution known as Compass, which aimed at improving the productivity of teachers, and another called RASTA, (Read, Analyze, Summarize, Test, Achieve), which helps students face exams.

23.4 Degrees' first product, Compass, and how it works

Under Compass solution, the company provides textbooks in the subjects, currently Social Studies and Science, lesson plans for the teacher and a mobile application for students and teachers of grade one to eight in the CBSE and ICSE board.

The chapters in the textbooks (Social Studies and Science) are broken down into individual B5 sized booklets. The subjects textbook, classwork, homework and additional worksheets are combined into one and given in a booklet format wherein 20 books for one subject in each grade are available in a box. This box of books is available at a price of Rs.400 to Rs.700. The price depends upon the grade and subject.

In words of co-founder Vinay Chousalkar,

"We look at best practices in teaching like flip a classroom, interactivity, neurosciences and learning, etc. and convert these ideas into a process. The product helps the teacher to implement these processes. Compass here, shows the right direction for learning and teaching as well."

Since the 23.4 Degrees’ booklets adhere to CBSE and ICSE syllabuses, they replaced the standard textbooks in schools, which resulted in reduction of the weight of a bag that children have to carry.

 

School bags

Image source: Mediabites

 

The mobile application supports a teacher with additional teaching material. It also contains videos that teachers could display over a smart board for better understanding of students. The app for students allows students to test their preparations for exams by identifying their strength, weaknesses and methods to rectify their weakness in a subject.

According to reports, Compass has replaced regular textbooks in 70 schools across India and over a period of four years, more than 40,000 students and 1,000 teachers are using the product.

23.4 Degrees' second product, RASTA, and its purpose

RASTA is the second product offered by 23.4 Degrees. It was launched in March 2019. Mainly for grade nine and ten, RASTA guides in exam preparation. The product at present is available only in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, but the company has plans to reach out to schools across India in 2020.

Explaining the product, Chousalkar says,

"Generally, schools complete the syllabus by the month of August or September, post which it is constant practice for a student with multiple worksheets and question papers. This leads to memorizing which is very stressful. We help children complete the syllabus in the same amount of time. Instead of writing down the answers, they can capture the key points in a graphic organizer, which is called as visual notes, present in the form of a book. With this, a child can learn better and revise in a shorter period before exams."

Meanwhile, 23.4 Degrees is currently working on a third product, an online adaptive assessment platform lined up for launch in support of the government's National Education Policy 2019. It is reported that the startup will also be adding mathematics to its RASTA offering in 2019, and by 2020 to Compass.

Needless to say, 23.4 Degrees’ platform is guided by four academic reviewers from educational background to provide inputs and validate the product. Also, the India-registered startup was one among 13 edtech startups from India selected for an acceleration program by the US-based venture capital firm Village Capital.

About the Author
Author: Stephen Soulunii
Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

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