What does it take for an EdTech company to steer schools in small cities and towns toward digital transformation?

Posted by Ajay Ravichandran on Jul 14, 2021 11:39:01 AM
Ajay Ravichandran

Tags: Thought Leadership

Children studying in classroom

A school is a complex organisational setup involving multiple stakeholders. Ensuring quality in education is the shared responsibility of the management, teachers, and school owners.  LEAD School shares this responsibility by acting as a trusted partner to help schools in their digital transformation journey to adopt the latest technology and best practices. This is achieved by assigning a program champion who works closely with the schools.

Choosing a school for one’s child can be a very confusing and challenging process. While several factors contribute to school and student success, parents tend to look for the most obvious criteria such as infrastructure, learning outcomes, instructional quality, use of technology, etc. The importance of managerial expertise and leadership in schools is very often underestimated. But, at the heart of a good school lies structured processes and efficient management practices. 

Further, it is a common misconception that the integration of technology reduces the need for human intervention. Schools that have especially not used technology or an integrated education approach earlier require more hands-on support from an expert who understands the product and solution better.

As a tech and curriculum partner to schools in the affordable private sector (APS), LEAD School has laid out an organisational structure that ensures effective two-way communication with the partner school and the different divisions within LEAD School. Our team works collaboratively with the entire range of stakeholders in schools to accelerate the adoption of technology and realise the complete potential of LEAD School’s process and methodology. The goal behind every partnership is thus to complement the LEAD-powered partner school’s administration with best practices, drive digital transformation of the classroom, and support teachers with proven academic interventions. 

It is for this reason that we work with every stakeholder to holistically strengthen the school ecosystem. The commitment, therefore, extends beyond selling the technology, to ensure it is made use of in a way that addresses the needs of every individual child.  Staying in constant touch with the partner schools becomes imperative in order to glean insights into their requirements and contextualise solutions for the school. Being ‘partners’ in the true sense of the word, LEAD walks alongside partner schools throughout the entire period of association, helping effectively navigate any curveball thrown their way. 

One of the key players in this collaborative process is the Key Account Manager (KAM) who combines a plethora of crucial roles for the school’s success. As a customer success manager and a liaison with the LEAD-powered school, the KAM is the trusted partner who systemises processes and enables the effective adoption of our technology. Along with the Academic Excellence Manager (AEM), the KAM develops a comprehensive action plan for the school to ensure a harmonious transition into LEAD School’s proven methodology.

Bridging the gaps

Technology alone cannot drive results. Every stakeholder in a school needs to be aware of how to put it to the best use to enhance learning outcomes. The KAM thus serves as a Program Champion for the school by forming the crucial link between the partner school and LEAD School to spearhead and own the transformation. 

One of the glaring gaps we notice is the lack of alignment between technology, pedagogy, and administration. For most schools in the APS sector, digital transformation is a huge leap, and they were caught off guard with the pandemic and school closures. Schools had to embrace change swiftly to ensure continuity. The dearth of support in such scenarios puts school administration on a backfoot in delivering quality education. It is for this reason that the KAM works with the school right from the beginning to help aid a smooth transition, speed up processes, increase engagement, and deliver better learning outcomes.

The greatest strength of the KAM is the extensive knowledge of the regional market. This helps them gauge the standards of the school, identify pain points, and effectively use the data to set the school on a path of successful digital transformation. 

While the AEMs take care of the pedagogical support to teachers, the KAM makes sure every stakeholder is aware of LEAD School’s vision and intent and is comfortable with the technology. So the KAM and the AEM together work towards the success of the partner school.

Building trust with every stakeholder

As mentioned earlier, every stakeholder—student, parent, teacher, principal—needs to be able to take advantage of LEAD School’s technology and academic solution to bring about a meaningful change. The core responsibility of the KAM is to communicate this and to get the stakeholders onboarded

By working hand-in-hand with school owners and leaders, KAM helps in sustaining the partnership and ensuring that every stakeholder is convinced and satisfied. This has gone a long way to help ease the wariness of adopting technology, especially for school owners in Tier II, III, and IV markets. 

It cannot be denied that parents play an important role in their child’s education. The first step is to make them aware of the benefits of LEAD School’s approach. The KAM leads the setup of a LEAD experience hub for the school, through which parents are able to visualise the LEAD methodology and appreciate the change that lies ahead. 

Further, the KAM supports teachers and school administration by coaching them on how to discuss the progress and future strategies. 

A mindset for driving growth

Most APSes function on limited budgets and often struggle to cope with the changing demands of the education sector. The KAM pitches in by bringing about a change of outlook and helps set up marketing communications for the school with their knowledge of the regional market. Using their administrative know-how, the KAM comes up with a school success roadmap that can drive growth. Most importantly, with committed and enthusiastic LEAD personnel at school, a dimension of professionalism is brought into every aspect of the school. 

We at LEAD pride ourselves on our commitment to continuous innovation and process up-gradation. With their close association with the school owner and principal, and with data obtained on user engagement, the KAM can help the school ascertain their needs and advise them suitably. The KAM is thus well equipped to identify the lacuna in the current process and suggest new products, upgrades, and systems boost growth. 

Since the Program Champions are on the field, they can accurately determine what works and what doesn't, validating the results, and transmitting this information to the LEAD School as a voice of the customer. This in turn will help our teams strengthen our processes. Together with LEAD school and school owner, the KAM strives to introduce systemic changes with the focus of improving learning outcomes. Collaborating with LEAD School helps ease the administrative workload on partner schools by recruiting a team on the ground that provides cross-functional support. Overall, with the help of the Program Champions, LEAD School enhances competency in every aspect and catapults the school into a future where the benefits of an integrated education system become the right of every child in India.

LEAD is transforming schools by making children future-ready. To make yours a LEAD Powered School: Partner with us today

About the Author
Ajay Ravichandran
Ajay Ravichandran

Ajay Ravichandran is the AVP Strategy at LEAD. He has more than 6 years of experience across industries in different roles including Consulting, Corporate Strategy and Program Management. He is passionate about technology and finds purpose in solving some of the major problems in school education.

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