BlueTree Education’s Journey: Transforming Digital Anxiety Into Success

Background

BlueTree Education (“BlueTree”) was founded in Singapore by 2 ex-teachers with a combined teaching experience of over 30 years. The co-founders, Jolene and Faith, are specialists in the Gifted Education Programme and provide various academic programmes namely English, Math, Science and Chinese, for both primary and secondary levels. Their weekly curriculum consists of elements of advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills. 

Started as a very traditional classroom, they have successfully embraced digitalisation and have expanded beyond Singapore, with presence in Hong Kong and Vietnam. 

Challenges

Over 2 years ago, Covid-19 hit the world in a storm with many schools and learning centers unprepared for the disruptions it brought to the education sector. BlueTree was among the affected ones with all physical classes suspended and had no clear indication on resumption. 

Governments around the world started turning to technology and encouraged educators to adopt them in their teaching to remain connected and to continue education for students during the pandemic. As a result, BlueTree reacted quickly and worked as a team for this digital implementation. 

It was a very tense and scary period for BlueTree as all the teachers were used to only one way of lesson delivery – teaching in a physical class with hardcopy assignments. Also, they were not tech-savvy so it was a very challenging moment to make a complete change to how they have to teach, assess and communicate virtually. 

However, these challenges did not deter BlueTree’s will to adapt-and-adopt. The team took it positively and saw it as an opportunity for them to learn new tools and motivated each other with constant encouragement.

Parents were very anxious with the new introduction and what it would bring. However, the children were very excited and receptive to digital learning. They were eager to understand more about the new way of learning and readily adapt-and-accept. 

With strong determination and perseverance, BlueTree has finally rode through the teething stage and started their online teaching and their digitalisation journey in education. 

The Success

Since then, BlueTree has never looked back and is reaping the success of digitalisation.

They are not only delivering lessons virtually, but are also digitally assigning quizzes and worksheets, marking the assignments, monitoring students’ progress, offering self-paced learning programmes, conducting Science experiments and has even conducted an online Math challenge in Vietnam. 

The feature they love most about digitalisation is the e-assessment tool, enabling them to gain in-depth knowledge of the students’ progress. With all work being assigned through SmartJen’s platform, assignments are auto-marked and an overview performance report is instantly generated. 

BlueTree monitors each student’s progress and also does a class cross-evaluation for a more precise learning profile of the students. After which, they will make adjustments to their teaching materials and personalise lessons for a more effective learning. 

An inaugural Math challenge has also been conducted via the SmartJen platform with one of their Vietnam partners, garnering participation from over 100 students. BlueTree was able to assess the children fairly, safely and in the most exam-possible integrity manner since the questions are randomised. 

Apart from gaining knowledge of the academic trends in Vietnam, they also made surprising discoveries about students’ behavioural and cultural traits. After witnessing the children’s learning potential, an initial learner’s profile is created. This data allows them to redesign and peg the curriculum more accurately and to strategise a more efficient market penetration. 

Previously, overseas market research can only be done in person, taking about 2 weeks to assess the children. With digitalisation, things have been so much easier for BlueTree. They have the ability to scale and widen their reach locally and overseas, without being constrained by locations. Their class capacity for the older students have also increased without classroom space constraint. BlueTree currently has students in areas that they never thought about, like Egypt and UAE. And these are impossible if not for digitalisation. 

Plans are in the pipeline for Science and more overseas challenges, these are interesting and engaging activities for students and allow them to build a reputation for themselves. 

Another advantage that digitalisation brought to BlueTree is the flexibility and versatility. Due to the recent rise of infection in Singapore, an increasing number of their Secondary students are being infected and had to be isolated. Compared to the earlier lockdowns, they are more well-prepared and well-equipped to handle such unforeseen situations now. They reacted promptly and shifted the physical lesson to online mode, avoiding disruption to their students’ learning. 

The initial hard work on digitising their years of hard work in content creation pays off. With teaching materials stored securely on SmartJen, they can access their rich digital content library anytime from anywhere. 

Conclusion

The landscape for education has evolved drastically, altering the way educators teach and how students learn. Usage of technology in education has increased rapidly with expectations higher than before.

Precisely this, SmartJen is constantly enhancing our features and system to provide educators with the best support via our powerful and intelligent E-assessment tools and LMS, customisable digital content library, together with HeyHi virtual classroom with video conferencing and collaborative whiteboard. We make it easy for educators to provide onsite and online teaching seamlessly, efficiently and effectively. 

BlueTree’s perception on digitalisation has also evolved – from perceiving it as a myth pre-pandemic, to a norm during the pandemic and now, as a staple option going forward. 

Digitalisation has been such a great success for BlueTree and they now offer 3 lesson modes for students – fully online lesson, fully physical lesson and a hybrid of online-offline (blended learning) lesson.

BlueTree has now become a forerunner in the digital learning space and are on digital social media spaces such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, staying close and connected with the younger generations.

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