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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Upskilling firm OrangeSlates has prepared over 30K teachers for the future

OrangeSlates, founded in 2020, trains educators in a variety of pedagogies, instructional methodologies, and technological technologies. It has so far trained over 30,000 instructors.

They say that a good education can transform anyone. A excellent teacher, on the other hand, has the power to change everything! Recognizing this maxim, Pradeep Pillai, Sindu Aven, Vishal Singh Khutel, and Vrushali Sheth founded Mumbai-based OrangeSlates in 2020 to improve educational quality.

OrangeSlates strives to prepare educators for the future by bringing together teachers from around the world in a community where they may learn various skills, pedagogies, and tactics to maximize learning outcomes.

“There was a time when edtech felt that great education was achievable without the teacher,” says Pradeep Pillai, Co-Founder and CEO of OrangeSlates. “We realized that this was not a long-term solution to the education challenge. Attempting to centralize curriculum design and delivery while removing a teacher’s autonomy and agency would merely conceal the problem – the need for really future-ready teachers.”

Following the pandemic, most teachers are eager to improve their skills by acquiring new teaching strategies and methodologies.

OrangeSlates assists instructors in staying on top of their game by teaching them the latest technologies. It provides both live instructor-led (synchronous) and self-paced (asynchronous) courses, as well as longer-duration career-defining certificate courses. OrangeSlates was bootstrapped with personal resources of around $15 million by the founders, who previously worked together at Zee Learn, the education branch of Essel Group.

OrangeSlates takes a hybrid approach to program design, utilizing both online and offline mediums to complement one another. A web app is used to provide courses.

“The embrace of technology by instructors during the epidemic is the behavioral shift. We capitalized on this and created a path for instructors to begin experimenting and working among themselves,” adds the entrepreneur.

As the video tool, the upskilling startup provides live instructor-led classes via a custom-built platform. Self-paced courses make use of pre-recorded videos and related content stored on a Learning Management System (LMS). An educator-centric design thinking methodology is used to curate all programs. 

“Teachers come to us as individuals, as part of an institute, or as a result of our agreements with B.Ed colleges, universities, and other educational platforms,” Pradeep explains.

On request, OrangeSlates also organizes bespoke programs for institutes and publisher communities. The live classes are scheduled on a monthly basis.

The startup has collaborated with about 1,100 schools from various boards, locations, and maturity levels. Don Bosco School Group (237 schools), Superhouse Group of Schools in Uttar Pradesh, TVS Group of Schools in Tamil Nadu, and Rich Mount School in Nagaland are among them.

It features a training network of over 150 skilled instructors and professionals. Experienced principals with more than 20 years of experience, NABET-certified educators, CBSE-approved resource people, Google or Microsoft-certified trainers, mental health practitioners, subject matter experts, overseas trainers, and edtech pioneers are among the trainers.

“We also have an advisory network of industry professionals, lawmakers, and active and retired school principals. They assist us in co-creating the curriculum “he claims

OrangeSlates offers over 200 teacher training programs in Hindi, English, and Marathi.

It provides 45-minute courses for micro-training, although the majority of live classes are 90 to 120 minutes. Long-term courses can last up to 60-80 hours over three months, and self-paced courses last four to five hours. The short-term courses cover tactical technology solutions that educators can utilize in their daily work to boost impact and productivity. Live courses cover important teaching practices and assessments.

“We also hold eight-hour bootcamps over the course of four weeks. These consist of two hours of weekly courses and practicals,” Pradeep explains.

According to the firm, its trainers come from all over the country. It does, however, have a physical presence in Pune, Mumbai, and Gurugram. The offline training programs are delivered on the campuses of partner institutions around the country by a network of educators.

It features a 13-person team that includes operations, a content quality team, marketing, and sales. According to OrangeSlates, 60% of educators are from major cities, while 40% are from Tier I, II, and III cities, as well as rural areas. Attendance at Hindi and Marathi programs is around 90% from Tier III-IV and rural areas.

It is also popular in the Gulf region, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Portugal, Uganda, and Spain.

Pradeep says, “We don’t actively target these markets and have little over 100 consumers.”

Aside from upskilling, educators are provided continuous real projects with major global edtech companies on content creation, course construction, and instructional design. These are paid assignments ranging from Rs 4,500 each module to Rs 11,000 per lesson or, at times, narrative boards.

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