Non Creative Meet 25 – Pot Painting

Author : Antony Jackson

The NC dream comes True!
 
It took two years for us to bring people outside Reportbee to be a part of our non/Naan Creative meet. This time, We worked along with Team Everest (NGO) to bring kids from Kottur High School. The Team NC helped the kids to do some crazy art in the pots.
 
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We decided to try Pot Painting and luckily the date stood on March 25th, The 25th NC meet/activity. The 3 hour session started at 10.00 in the morning and was over by lunch. Few kids were open and interactive while few took time to interact. Some preferred to remain calm and observant.
 

Praveen kumar, narrating a story of his Dragon pot and Samurai Lady. 

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We expected the event to be fun and engaging. Instead, the kids enthralled us with their creativity and perfection. We, as a team, tried our hands on some pot painting before experimenting it with the kids.  When compared to what we did, the kids were way ahead of us.

To us, this activity brought much of joy as we got to interact with kids in our premises. They were free to take the pots they like and we have a couple of pots left with us.  As a token of love, We will be gifting these pots of love hope and joy to our guests!

 

Chaos, My new found Friend!

Jallikattu is the word of the month in Chennai. Before January 2017, this word just meant the sport played during Pongal in Tamil Nadu. But today, this word for many means Positivity, Strength, unity, Protest, Victory and Chaos. Personally, I do not know which word to associate myself with and I am nonchalant about this whole issue. I assumed the protests to end on Sunday (22nd Jan) as a fresh week was ahead and also the news articles were claiming that protesters were asked to leave that night! I am positive that the breed I belonged to, assumed the protests would end and planned their Monday just the way I did!

I had a school visit scheduled for Monday and I left the Report Bee office around 10:30 AM with Pallavi.  We managed to reach our destination well before the expected time and had a successful visit. I love visiting schools just for their infrastructure and feel.

The school we visited : The Pupil Saveetha Eco School.

As we came out of our meeting from the school, we heard about the protests being continued in the city. The well-organized silent protests had suddenly become violent! We got news that the ice house police station vehicles was burnt and there was complete chaos in the city!

Obviously, reading news like this, Pallavi and I wanted to head back to office immediately! We booked a cab and left for office. The cab driver, was an active participant of the protests. He had an A4 Sheet of paper stuck in his car saying “I SUPPORT JALLIKATTU” with a picture of the bull. On reading the news and looking at his active participation, I started having a conversation about what was happening. Our conversations were constantly interrupted with calls coming in, giving us updates on what was happening in each area and families asking us to get home soon.  With one of the calls the driver got, I overheard him saying he was heading straight back home! (I had to find out if he stayed near Kotturpuram. Just to make sure!)

Me: “Anna, where do you stay?”

Driver: “Ponneri! You guys get down here! I am going home.”

Me: (attempt of creating a sentimental dialogue) “Anna, 2 girls travelling alone. We do not know this area also. Only you can drop us safely. Please reconsider and drop us!”

Driver: “No Madam. I need to get home! I am sorry!”

Me: “Alright. Please drop us at the nearby bus stand atleast. Incase, we do not get another cab, we can take the bus back!”

We managed to book another cab and reach office safely. On our way, we spotted a lot of route diversions causing traffic. Protests were happening in all areas! I have never felt unsafe in Chennai. But, that day at 1:00 PM in the afternoon I did!

Protesters in Guindy.

I decided to leave home as soon as I reached office. Manasa (a new joinee in Report Bee) and I decided to walk it back home.

Walking back home I noticed that 100’s of people were stuck on the road, waiting patiently, not knowing what to do. The exact same situation I faced few hours back while coming back from the school visit. Just as how I felt unsafe, I realised that all these people waiting will be feeling the same too! I decided to spread some cheer and positivity as I was passing by and do my bit to ease tension. Here are the things I did on my way:

  • Since I love to talk, I stopped and chatted with as many people as I could. My favourite of the lot was meeting an aunt and uncle waiting to go to Thiruvanmiyur. (Something told me they were on their way to see a potential bride/groom. Don’t ask me why! :)) Their car was stuck right in the middle. So, while I was talking to them, I told them to step out and get some tea from the nearby tea shop, in case they got hungry . They thought I was really sweet and cute suggesting that. I didn’t know how to tell them I was serious!
  • I met a lot of my friends on the way. Funny way to catch up with long lost people! 🙂 I met my very own class teacher who taught accounts in class 12. She used to be one of my favourites! The joy I had while meeting her on the way was such a happy moment for me!
  • We spotted so many vehicles still finding their way to Kotturpuram to head to various areas (Adyar, airport mainly). Manasa and I managed to get as many people as we could to reroute and find another way. They all thanked us and were grateful for the updates!
People struck in traffic.

Yes, Chennai was chaotic on 23rd January. Yes, I did feel unsafe. But I learnt that given any situation there is always some positivity that can be created and I am happy my new friend taught me that.

From Panic to Positivity

  Author: Venkateswaran

It was the tail-end of September, the time when schools generate their Term-I report cards. I had to travel out-of-station for a set of meetings that were scheduled during that time. While there were certain pending tasks, I was pretty sure that things will still function smoothly if I’m not in office for a week.

With that in my mind and a little bit of excitement, I flew to Delhi, my first ever trip to the capital. The moment I landed there and switched on my phone, messages started flooding in causing uneasiness. The reasons were two-fold. Firstly, I weren’t in my work space to handle issues and secondly, I feared I wouldn’t be able to experience and enjoy Delhi as planned.

delhi-visit

One good emotion that saves us every time is “hope”. Hope doesn’t provide you a solution for any situation, but it helps you to move on. I hoped that I’ll be able to resolve all the problems that were unearthing and carry on with the scheduled meetings. As the day went by the count of work-related queries kept increasing with the expectation to resolve them all being within the same day.

I was starting to panic. Though I was trying to resolve most of it, work kept piling up. In the evening, after all the meetings, I called a colleague with whom I had planned to stay for the week. I thought of reaching his place early and finishing the work at his place. But alas, he was returning late from work. With nowhere to go I was roaming around Delhi. While I was trying my best to ease the situation my only source of communication, the single positive pillar that I had pinned my hopes on – my phone ­­­­– got switched off.

There is a popular saying in Tamil, “Muzhusa nenanja apram mukkaadu edhukku?” (After getting drenched, why do you need a scarf?).  With that thought my panic flew away. There was nothing to do but to be in the moment and let it sink. Sitting on a bench, a smile rose above my cheekbones.

For the next hour I roamed around the mall and found a place to charge my phone. I connected with a helpful resource at my office in Chennai and he briefed me of the things that were taken care of. By then, my colleague had also reached his house. I went to his place after dinner, had a nice talk and went to bed. It was a while since I had such a sound sleep.

 

Report Bee named as one of the fastest growing Edtech companies!

Each year Deloitte recognizes the fastest growing companies in the tech ecosystem. This year, we are proud to be recognized as one of the fastest growing  (33rd to be precise) tech companies. We’re even more proud to carry the Edtech baton at the event.

Five years of hard grind and persistence from the entire team fueled us to this place. The journey undoubtedly is hard, but as starry eyed entrepreneurs, we look forward to that – We have learnt to cherish the uphill climb. We wouldn’t be here, were it not for the people who believed in our vision and gave their unconditional love and support – The Bees who work very hard at Report Bee every day, our Investors, Partners and most importantly the School leaders and Teachers who use our product every  day.

img-20161114-wa0035-1RB team at Deloitte Technology Fast50 event.

These awards are essential milestones in the long entrepreneurial marathon. They give you the much needed energy boost. The last 5 years have brought us to where we are – serving more than 600 schools, a little over half a million children and 10,000 teachers. The possibilities from here are endless…

I end this post, borrowing Robert Frost’s lines, ones that keep floating at Report Bee often,

“  The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

    But I have promises to keep,

    And miles to go before I sleep. ”

Big Data – How ‘Big’ is the data in Education?

Author: Manasa Raghuram

Big Data. Two simple words. When I first heard these words I wondered how much ‘Big’ data can education really have? And as I started working a year ago on Partnerships at Report Bee, I gradually realised that there is vast amount of educational data available for every student. But, was this being put to good use? After all, the data’s worth lies in the interpretation and the subsequent action, isn’t it?

School education, as we know, has evolved dramatically over the years. It is not just academics now. Schools offer many different programs ranging from life skills, leadership, robotics to yoga.  So, we have all this rich student data available with us: How do schools essentially make use of this?  With Report Bee in schools now, many different beautiful, insightful report cards are made possible at the click of a button!

Low income schools :

What happens with such vast education data in low income schools supported by impact organizations? More often students’ progress in those schools is never tracked since such data sets are unstructured, cluttered and lack insights. It is cumbersome to maintain and over a period of time this can lead to data loss when stored as hard copies or excel sheets.

Let’s consider a student named Priya. During Priya’s school life, she would have a unique data set related to her: general records with academics,daily attendance, health, co scholastic records, standardized test scores and so on . This in turn, becomes a huge data set for many students like Priya under an impact organization.

What if this huge unstructured, but extremely valuable education data is mined? Let’s for a moment, forget the analysis that can happen across the spectrum and focus on the students. We would be able to find simple patterns in student’s learning, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of the individual academic performances and the factors influencing them which would in turn enable us to design more effective intervention programs.

What does Report Bee do?

The Partnerships team decided to actively foray into this new vertical to see how we can do what we do to help the many Impact Organizations in Education to make sense of the huge datasets they have.

So, What does Report Bee do for impact organizations?

big-data

Large Unstructured Education Data + Report Bee = Meaningful, Actionable Insights

Yes, we precisely do the above. The data given to Report Bee can be of any format, a text file, a comma separated file, a microsoft access database or any other format. Report Bee’s analytics engine is designed in a way to read these files of different formats and create insightful reports, that is visualized aesthetically for quicker and easy understanding.

Often times, different organizations have very specific objectives and have the need for a unique set of reports. That is when our data team steps in, providing customized visualizations with drilled down information regarding students’performance across subjects and across years. This can help organizations know the impact of their program on the students’ learning.

We know that the Best Decisions are Data Informed Decisions.

This information dissemination has in turn, helped the donors and other stakeholders with efficient capital allocation, eventually improving student learning.

Report Bee is all set to help create an impact in students’ learning by transforming how education data is read, understood, visualised and acted upon.

Big Data. Two small words with a big promise for education.

The story of how same marks can lead to two different grades!

Author : Hariharan

It was a sunny day and I felt my car’s AC air gushing at my face. It was in no time, the AC beat the heat but it was temporary. The heat came from a phone call then. The person X of Hive Public School at the other end tells me, “Hari all the overall grade calculation for class 6 is wrong”. I wanted to reassure whether she was telling what I heard, so I told, “Could you please repeat it ma’am?”. “Hari all the overall grade calculation for class 6 is wrong. What we have given in the sheet as aggregation what Report Bee has done doesn’t match at all”. I took deep breath which I don’t do often and claimed, “Your’s is a CBSE school right?”, the answer was ‘Yes’. “We do calculation based on the CCE* guidelines”. And the conversation went on till I agreed to change the grades for deviating students. Now, you would have got it, most of the time we end up abiding customer needs.

Usually the assumption for any CBSE school would comply to CCE guidelines. This was an incident on that assumption which proved costly. The next few passages, I will be explaining the math involved in our calculation and why the deviation happened in the first place. So if you are not really a math person and it bores you, feel free to jump to the last paragraph.

Our mode of calculation (CCE prescribed) :

captureTo your left is the grade calculation image. They say grade is calculated based on the marks scaled up/down to 100, basically percentage. Each grade also has a grade point pinned to it as well. Each subject’s grade for a term is calculated by aggregating the marks procured in the numerator, the total in the denominator and multiplying it by 100. That would give the percentage value for it to be displayed as grade in the report card. In this way individual subjects will have marks and the respective grades. To calculate the overall grade, the individual subject’s grade is the percentage expressed out of total marks in term all subjects inclusive. Below is the image explaining our calculation for the specific student Bee.

image-1

Hive Public School’s mode of calculation (The heart wrecking phone call) :

There is no legitimate image for this to be referred. The only place where the calculation can be found out is as fields shared by the school. Each subject’s mark is grade with percentage as base. Till this point they resemble our mode of calculation. After this, they do a calculation which you might not see in any CBSE school doing. For the grade procured, the corresponding grade point is referred and this is done for all the subjects. The grade points are summed up and divided by the number of subjects included part of their academics. This gives an average grade point out of 10. The overall grade referred is based on the grade point’s range. Below is the image explaining Hive Public School’s calculation for specific student Bee.

image-2

The teachers of the school had gone for a workshop three years back and had brought this take away of overall grade calculation. Had the overall grade calculation methodology been mentioned in the CCE guidelines, this problem wouldn’t have come. So, here we came with a hack. The school identified students with deviating grades and gave it to us. We changed the grades manually through CSS, the tool which is normally used to feast your eyes with vividness. Because of this, there was 956 lines of code at the back end. Also, we ended up editing the grades of 20% of students in a class on an average.

*CCE – Continuous and comprehensive evaluation is a process of assessment, mandated by the Right to Education Act, of India. Student’s marks will be replaced by grades which will be evaluated through a series of curricular and extra-curricular evaluations along with academics. The aim is to decrease the workload on the student by means of continuous evaluation by taking number of small tests throughout the year in place of single test at the end of the academic program. Only Grades are awarded to students based on work experience skills, dexterity, innovation, steadiness, teamwork, public speaking, behavior, etc. to evaluate and present an overall measure of the student’s ability.

NON CREATIVE MEET 6 – THUMB PRINT ART

Author: Jeevan Siva

Location: New Office

Time : 4.30 PM

It was our first NC meet at the new office. This time, I decided to use less tools as my belief in art has always been on tools like pen, pencil, brush, mouse and marker. As a result, the confidence has always been dependent on the type of tools I get to use. Using only the thumb restricts many forms and I want to know how it works. Thumb art is usually for kids in kindergarten to enhance hand coordination. Here I decided to check the extent of imagination in adults. After 10 minutes of brainstorming where and when we use our thumb, we started the activity. The answers varied from using a smartphone to screen recognition pattern and lot more.

No one had used their thumb to do any art. With the shape of a thumb, the art form flows along with creativity and thinking skills. The possibility of creating anything you can imagine makes it more exciting.

IMG-20150829-WA0006  1st NC meet at collaboration room at new office.

What you need :

  •     A sheet of paper
  •     Black marker/ gel pen
  •     Any color paint
  •     Thumbs and fingers

It’s quick. It’s simple. It’s Creative.

Many of them preferred to check online. While few tried replicating, few tried reproducing. And some of them took the influence alone and tried to bring that intensity in their work.

And here is the outcome of Thumb art!

IMG-20150830-WA0005Outcome of Thumb Art!

A man flying with a pool of balloons, two little bees, monkey and butterflies, shiva, a colour palette, a couple of trees, reindeer(s) pulling the sledge, dogs etc.

Unlike adults, kids have an extensive imagination. They don’t mind the risk factor. With adults, the pressure and fear factor pops up in all stages that we don’t enjoy the art or its process. Whereas we compete and submit to the pressure. This I believe can be changed over time.

Review:

Suganthi : The activity was new to me and I usually like to learn as much as possible through the NC meets. Everyone felt awesome and had different experience while making an art using their own finger instead of any tool. Though I did a simple bird, It came out really well. Thanks for the interesting activity.

Jack : I’ve heard of thumb art, but this is the first time I got to try it. Wow! What many things can be done with the thumb compared to a brush!!

After giving it a try, now I find the brush a little difficult to use as fingers seem to be more comfortable and give a personal touch to the art Thanks to Jeevan for bringing in the new form! Cheers!

IMG-20150830-WA0008Team participated at NC-6

 

Why every school is important to us!

June – The month where we from Report Bee buzz the most! With the fresh start to a new academic year, we have our happiness team welcoming the existing schools back, wishing them all the very best for the year; Creation team introducing new features, enhancing the existing features to make sure our users, the teachers enjoy the product even more! And Growth trying to connect with more number of schools and sell our product. After all, June is the peak time of sales!

As a member of the growth team, I am well aware of the entire process we go through to implement Report Bee. To me, it is the toughest job. Our product speaks for itself, so you might wonder what is there to convince. Let me take you through the entire process.

When a new school even remotely expresses their interest in Report Bee, we grab that opportunity. We call the concerned person at school and try and schedule a demo with the Principal.

A Principal, is the Prime Minister of the school. Starting the day at 8 AM or even earlier at times, they have meetings throughout the day. Principals to me, are super human beings. Try waiting outside their office and in a minute, you will find atleast 5 people who walk in and walk out of their room! So, imagine how difficult it can be for us to just get an appointment to talk about Report Bee.

After all the follow ups, we finally manage to fix an appointment. Even though a time is agreed verbally over phone, it gets postponed, no doubt! Working with over 400 schools we completely understand the life of the principal. I guess that is why we end up having a personal connect with almost every principal we talk to, irrespective of whether Report Bee is implemented or not. By the end of our follow ups, we have our moments together sharing what we eat for lunch!

I could say growth is an energetic team with a never say die attitude, but another reason for all the follow ups we do with every school is the target we aim to achieve by the end of this year. With a humungous pressure on us, every positive moment with a school only gives us hope. So, if you were a principal of a school who has shown interest in Report Bee, you can imagine the follow up phone calls you would get from this team. We use strategies to even call them at specific days and timings. The only thing constant is our smile and the talk we have with the principal.

Finally, after all the follow ups, the principal agrees to give us time for our product demo. The product speaks for itself, so the demos generally end on a high note. The colourful designs, the instant graphical representation, the user friendliness of the software are all the key reasons why a school agrees to implement our product.

But no. The story does not end there. A decision for a school to implement Report Bee not lies only with the principal but at times, also with the higher management. Phew!

After giving a demo, I am generally on a high. But when the principal says that she will get back after consulting with the management – my high drops to low! One drop instantly. Need to wait again.

After countless follow ups again, the school finally sends a confirmation email saying they have agreed to implement Report Bee in their school!

That is the moment we from Growth wait for! All our effort in closing one school to just receiving this email, gives us more energy to march towards our target for this year.

With a huge happy heart, we from Report Bee invite all the new schools to the family. We know your time is precious. Our service will be top notch to ensure your school, a member of our family is always happy and will never have to go through this process of finalizing another product software such as ours!

Boys perform well in Co-ed than single-sex schools

We belong to an era of data science, cognitive psychology and artistic visualization. At Report Bee, we performed an extensive analysis on single sex schools vis-a-vis co-ed schools and found that in Tamil Nadu, boys are performing better in co-ed schools than boys-only schools.

We took the last 4 years data (2012- 2015), and the findings showed us a trend.

In 2015, among the 6258 schools that appeared for the 12th board exams, the pass percentage of boys only schools is 59.8 whereas the pass percentage of girls only schools is 66.2. But in case of the co-ed schools, the pass percentage of boys and girls increases to 63.6 and 66.8 respectively.

In class 12, we found that boys in Co-ed schools on an average scoring 5.3% more than their counterparts in boys-only schools. Through a detailed analysis on each of the revenue districts, we observed a maximum average difference of 13.5% (~162 marks) in a Perambalur.

KANYAKUMARI, DINDIGUL, OOTY, NAMAKKAL, TRICHY, NAGAPATTINAM seem to have boys in boys-only school performing better than Co-ed schools, reason here is these districts are literacy districts and they perform well in any given condition.

When tested on girls in co-ed school and girls only school, there was an increase of 0.6%.It showed that girls are performing better than boys irrespective of being a single sex school or a Co-ed school.

Similarly In class 10, we found that boys in almost all the revenue districts in Tamil Nadu are performing better in Co-ed schools. Except Virudhunagar, all the other districts show a higher performance in average marks scored by the boys studying in co-ed school.

The performance of the students can vary from various reasons like peer pressure, discipline, employability, infrastructure, adolescence and so on.

Tamilnadu 12th Board – Spatial Analysis

12th Std boys12th std girls

Green colored districts are those in which the boys in Co-ed school have obtained a better average% than the boys-only schools. Red colored are the districts where the boys in boys-only schools have scored a higher average% than the Co-ed schools

Tamilnadu 10th Board – Spatial Analysis

10th std boys10th std girls

Spring is here! Join our community!

Date : February 24th

Time: 6 AM

I was home trying to decide what to wear for work. It was a special day at Report Bee and I wanted to look my best!  By chance, I found a new salwar set to wear and got dressed quickly.

I reached office at 8.30 AM. My colleagues, Jayashree and Siddarth were already in. Siddarth, pacing down the hall was trying to keep his cool. I could say he was nervous! The collaboration room was already filled with chairs. Lavanya, was running around to get snacks and tea ready, keeping the necessary stationery required and ensure everything else was in place!

While Rbians were hustling and bustling to make sure everything was perfect, I found a lady dressed in a beautiful blue and pink saree waiting at our office doorstep. I smiled to myself. Yes! We had our first guest coming in. To be sure, I went upto her and enquired,

Me: Hi Mam, Can I help you?

She: yes. Report Bee, right? I am waiting for my other friend to come.

Me:  Oh Sure mam! You may please come and sit inside.

Smiles all over, I got back to my desk waiting for the rest to arrive. One by one they came, got seated and finally we were ready to start!

DSC_0063-001

Siddarth took over the stage and had the entire audience listening to him in rapt attention. That day, I learnt he could actually be loud when he wanted. Halfway through his presentation, slowly a few questions were being raised, discussions starting to take place and we had Ideas popping right up from this astounding audience!

That moment we (and I speak for all RBians present that day) felt WOW! Our small dream was becoming a reality! A dream of having teachers, encouraging discussions among them, giving them a place to speak and share ideas, to make them feel like they were the most important person around!

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How did we do this?

Report Bee launched its first teacher workshop for teachers on Data, decisions and beyond. We had 15 teachers from various schools across the city attending the workshop. Through this workshop, teachers learnt the importance of data, how decisions can be made with the help of data and learn the difference between intuition and data driven decision making.

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It was important that we, from Report Bee conducted this workshop. When we say ‘we are a data visualization company, we have close to 8000 teachers using our product’, it goes without saying that it is in our hands to ensure that they understand the importance of our product in full and reap it’s benefits!

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A small thought became a dream and grew to be a reality. Today, Report Bee can proudly say, we help teachers to discuss, ideate and learn with one another. We are a community. We are a team. Join us. Help us blossom. After all, spring is indeed here!