“Tell Me and I forget.
Teach Me and I remember.
Involve Me and I learn.”
These words by Benjamin Franklin undeniably reflect the fact that it is the involvement that matters the most when it comes to learning and can make children of different calibers upscale their intellect and character. Understanding this simple yet effective mantra led an educator to redefine the education techniques in her own venture and launch a platform that brings out the best in students.
Nisha Sara Abraham, an educator turned to entrepreneurship and launched the Be A Wiz Education platform to Redefine the learning experience for the well-being of children of all sections of society.
Through Lanes from The Past
An alumnus of Women’s Christian College, Chennai, with a Master of Science in Biotechnology, Sara, while interacting with us at Captain’s Tale, told us that after being in the education sector, she observed that several variations exist in learning patterns. These variations pushed Sara to further explore and attain a deeper understanding of things; she equipped herself with Post Graduation in Educational Administration from Symbiosis Institute, Pune.
Inspiration Can Come from Anywhere and Anytime
“During my thesis work in this course, I interacted with a multitude of children of varying calibre and motivational levels. I inferred that children spent a lot of time on screen with questionable learning outcomes. A student is not able to recall or remember a majority of the information they see. I thought of the philosopher Socrates who always questioned his students rather than giving them content or the solution. Questioning/evaluating a student has two advantages, identifying how much information they understood and remembered and encourages them to reason and learn based on their understanding level.” – Nisha Sara.
This was the idea behind establishing Be A Wiz Education. Sara shares with us the foundational elements on which the platform is formed:
“Intellect is not Static – Bringing about excellence through continuous enrichment and engagement
Growth Mindset – Guiding a student on the learning trajectory through constant feedback
Competing with Oneself – The best challenge to a student is themselves where one is constantly trying to improve.”
Nothing Comes Easy
Being in the education sector made it easy for her to identify the areas that required attention. However, that doesn’t mean she did not have to face any challenges. When we asked Sara, what was the most challenging aspect of bringing the Be A Wiz Education idea live, she elaborately spotlighted the tough parts of her journey:
“One of my key observations during field interaction with students was that there is a wide disparity in learning excellence among students in middle school classes, and as a result, these students seem to struggle in higher classes. At the same time, there are a plethora of
educational tools in the market, focusing on practice tests, digital content, and using gaming concepts. This led to a deep thought on dissimilitude between what is offered and what is required to solve the problems.”
To be specific, she classified the issues into two main categories: Primary and Secondary:
“The primary problem we are trying to solve is ‘Disparity in Learning excellence /outcomes across groups although the secondary problem statements cannot nevertheless be set aside since they provide us more clarity on how we can approach the primary problem.”
According to her, the secondary ones constitute: Excessive screen time that affects the well-being of children and Low levels of emotional preparedness
All We Need to Is Seek Solutions
To overcome such deep-rooted issues, Sara took an approach that leverages scientific research and interaction methods.
“Based on the in-depth knowledge of scientific research and interaction, I inferred that one of the solutions is to identify specific areas students need help in a non-intrusive manner and subsequently take them incrementally through the steps of learning. This approach has multi-fold advantages of providing help to the student only in requisite areas, lower the cost of learning, and minimize screen time.”
To ensure that her idea is feasible enough to implement and achieve the desired outcome, she proceeded scientifically. After seeding the idea and creating a strategic blueprint, she tested the waters before leaping. A pilot test was conducted at a Bengaluru school, with about 600 students participating in the session. The pilot session results were satisfactory, with around 10% of students showing improvement by 40% over the academic year. The participating institution specifically liked the model due to the platform’s intrinsic focus on the pain-areas and elevating them after identification.
When Being Unique Makes the Difference
That’s not all. The unique aspect of the Be A Wiz Education platform is that it offers an interactive and engaging learning assessment that adapts to each user, rather than making users adapt its features.
“Most of the time, children experience difficulties in learning at one point or another, and overcoming these challenges is an integral part of the learning process. A child may develop a dislike for a subject for various reasons, such as an inability to follow the instructor or perform well in conventional assessments. Finding the right learning pattern is important for a child to develop an appreciation for a subject instead of imposing a pattern on a child.”
The best part of the initiative is that Sara doesn’t feel that competitive pressure. According to her, Be A Wiz takes a divergent route to target the issues that create a barrier in achieving learning excellence. Also, the market segments are different and do not intersect with the other educational platforms in the market.
Nisha Makes Us Remember Our Favorite Teacher
Nisha’s passion for redefining educational techniques is reflected at every point. She explains that the concept is similar to having a favourite teacher who would make the class interesting and taught by analyzing the students’ moods. In other words, the platform is simply replicating the teaching methods of an ideal teacher, who, along with imparting knowledge, also made the classes an engaging and delightful experience.
Out-Of-The-Box Thinking Expand the Horizons
Another amazing fact about the platform is that it also considers the emotional aspects and integrates them with learning. It inspires students to think, considers their mental state at the time of learning sessions, aims to reduce screen-time, and encourages them to develop writing habits. It further displays the amount of necessary content, thereby not cluttering the young minds with unnecessary stuff. Be A Wiz Education calls it ‘Integrating Learning with Emotional Preparedness’.
The out-of-box solution also brings push and pull strategy to life.
|What is Content Push and Content Push and Pull Strategy? Educational methods can be classified into 2 broad categories namely ‘content push’ and ‘content push and pull’. In the push strategy, the content is static which implies that the same content is given to all learners assuming that learners will adapt themselves to absorb this material. In order to entice the learner, the pusher of the content may adopt techniques to influence the immediate gratification of the learner in terms of visual appeal, and incentivizing the learner using gamification and prizes. In any case, the onus is on the learner to absorb the content. This method of learning works fine as long as the learner is tenacious and is able to drive themselves. This is typically known as push strategy and is the most widely adopted technique. This is the method typically used by teachers and by most of the learning tools. An alternate strategy is the push & pull strategy where the learner is made to reason and the content itself can take varying forms such as visual, audio, or text. One of the most important aspects of this strategy is the influence of the learner’s mood on the learning process. The selection of the content and how much content to push depends on the emotional state of the learner. The emotional state influences the amount and type of content they can absorb from the source. One of the classic examples of this type of learning is Socratic learning where a learner is questioned and made to reason by providing only appropriate information to trigger their thoughts. Nisha Sara Abraham, Founder, Be A Wiz Education More details can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-constitutes-out-of-the-box-solution-k-12-education-nisha-sara/|
What Future May Behold
When asked about the future aspirations for Be A Wiz Education, Nisha puts it humbly:
“We are in no hurry to achieve quick growth but rather achieve steady and sustainable growth like the Be A Wiz learning model where one constantly learns, readjust, and repositions oneself to climb the next step in the ladder. Be A Wiz is currently offering mathematics for Classes 6, 7, 8.We also do customized packages as per the requirement of the schools.
The pandemic has changed the education model, and it has accelerated the need for out-of-the-box thinking in education. Be A Wiz Education is riding on this wave. Our goal is to provide access for every aspirer in the country to achieve excellence.”