Categories
Digitalisation

4 Reasons Why Your Education Business Needs to Go Digital

In 2008, pizza company Domino’s Pizza’s stock hit an all-time low of $3.00 per share. During that time, the company had a reputation of providing poor food quality and poor service, with public complaints of its pizza crusts tasting like cardboard. Fast forward to today, Domino’s Pizza has outperformed its competitors in the quick serve restaurant industry, beating famous brands like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s. Its stock price rose 5000% within a decade, the rate of which is rivalled only by streaming company Netflix. Now, Domino’s went from being a failure to one of the most successful fast food chains in the world; while its main competitor, Pizza Hut, struggles to survive. What is the reason behind this disparity?

The answer: Domino’s inspiring digitalization strategy.

When the company’s valuation bottomed-out, then-CEO Patrick Doyle led the company through a massive overhaul, both in its menu offerings and its digital transformation. Domino’s announced a new menu with new recipes, which garnered significantly better reviews from customers. However, the most notable reason for its success was the brand’s quick adoption of technological innovations.

If you have ordered from Domino’s Pizza online, you would have noticed how easy and user-friendly the process is. Customers can easily order from their website or app, choosing food items from a neatly-categorized menu, and customizing their selections effortlessly. After the order is placed, a progress bar appears, letting you know which stage your pizza is in at the moment. It even tells you the name of the staff in charge of your food! This smooth and interactive process was a hit among customers, especially with the younger crowd, thereby propelling the company to its leading industrial position today. Compare that to Pizza Hut, which is now one of the worst-performing subsidiaries of its holding company Yum! Brands. The difference between these two contenders are their willingness to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour, as well as their promptness in embracing digitalization as part of their business strategy.

So, after reading this story, do you still wonder if digitalization is for you? If an industry that is so entrenched in a brick-and-mortar business model can be disrupted by digital tactics, don’t you think yours will benefit as well?

If you still need convincing, here are four reasons why your education business should go digital, right now.

1. It will give you a competitive advantage over other establishments

One of the biggest benefits of digitalization is the ability it gives you to track and analyze data. When speaking with our clients, we found out that most of them still market their services by giving out brochures and posting banners. After distributing the flyers, there is no way for them to track how many people are actually interested in their services, and they also have no opportunity to collect contact information from potential leads. 

With digital marketing, you can measure the number of people that engage with your advertisements, and get in touch with them easily. This gives you an edge over other centres – rather than blindly distributing papers and letting them gather dust in an abandoned folder; you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right audience. 

On top of that, going digital allows you to efficiently track the two things that matter most in your business: cost and revenue. If you’re running a tuition centre, what is the most efficient way to figure out which classes are doing well, and which need help? When making plans for the next quarter or year, how would you know which parts of your business need expansion, and where to cut costs? These decisions can be made more effectively by digitizing your operations.

With a software that allows organized revenue monitoring, you can know how your centre is doing at one glance. For example, when using AOne Schools, you get to view detailed revenue reports based on the classes you offer, your subject categories, and student levels. You can even monitor monthly sales and enrolment performance, which helps you determine when to boost your marketing efforts throughout the year. All the contacts of your students and/or their guardians are saved in the system, allowing you to reach out to them easily when needed. You don’t even need to send individual messages to each guardian – just blast out notifications in one go! On top of that, tracking student’s attendance will be effortless, both for you as centre operators, and for their parents as well. 

2. Digitalization improves productivity

As mentioned above, the two most important things to a business are cost and revenue. To gain more profits, revenue is not the only thing that you should focus on. It’s also important to ensure cost efficiency when scaling your business. As an educator, what are the most time-consuming aspects of your daily operations? Scheduling? Invoicing? Payment tracking? All of them? If you have to keep hiring staff to perform these duties, it’s time to find a better solution.

AOne Schools is a software that helps education centres systematize their workflow. Students that are registered into your system can quickly be enrolled into multiple lessons at a time. Class schedules can be changed with a few clicks, and instantly updated on the calendars of relevant students and teachers. Recurring invoices are generated automatically, and payment can be processed within the app, leaving you with ample free time to focus on other things that matter. It used to be that growing a centre means hiring more administrators, which gets expensive with time. Now, you can grow your business while keeping employee numbers low, without sacrificing efficiency.

Photo: VanadAloha

3. You will boost customer satisfaction

Let’s do a little experiment. Observe ten people that you know. How many of them are on their phones when they’re hanging out with you? Do they still watch cable TV, or have they switched to a streaming service? Is there at least one food delivery or shopping app on their phones?

Chances are, most of them will check their phones multiple times in an hour; watch movies and shows online; and have apps on their phones that allow them to make purchases online. On top of that, they probably prefer banking online, and make transactions through e-wallet(s) regularly. 

If so much of their daily lives is already digital, why would you expect them to be satisfied with analogous systems for their extra-curricular education? Instead of receiving printed schedules, wouldn’t it be better if they can view all their lessons on a single calendar? Rather than going to your centre to pay their fees every month, do you think they’ll prefer the flexibility of paying anywhere they want, and receiving a digital receipt right away? 

One way education centre owners can improve customer satisfaction is to enable guardians to access information about the students’ education. As a parent, they might want peace of mind knowing that their kids are safely in class. They would also like to know how their children are doing, and maybe receive photo updates about their learning progress. This is why we added these features into our software, so teachers can help parents feel more involved in their kids’ education.

4. It creates more business opportunities

“My business is conducted offline. Why do I need to digitalise it?”

This is a question that many education centre owners have, when considering whether or not to go online. While it’s true that your classes may have to be conducted offline, having a digital component is still encouraged. First of all, you need clients to be able to find you. According to the Global Web Index compiled by Datareportal, 81% of people search for products or services online. Even if it’s a local business, consumers still prefer doing some research online before buying. Therefore, having an online presence gives you a higher chance to be discovered by potential students, and a simple contact form lets them inquire about your services easily. For centres who are not keen on investing in a website, at least have a strong social media presence, or list your services on an education platform. The biggest benefit of being online is the ability that it offers you to receive and keep your leads’ contact information. This gives you an opportunity to follow-up with them after initial contact, and share news about package deals in the future. 

On top of showing your business offerings, being online also allows you to share testimonials that you receive from customers. Similar to how word of mouth helps promote businesses, good reviews also build trust in customers’ minds. Going digital is a great way for you to give future clients an idea of the good service that they can expect from you.

“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to reinvent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate.” This is a quote by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, a.k.a the richest man in the world today. Identifying shifts in the way people shop, and jumping onto the digital bandwagon early helped him achieve monumental success.

Will you be like him, or will you be left out like Pizza Hut? Your choice.

Categories
E-learning

How to Conduct Online Classes: 4 Expert Tips for Success

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, most education providers are forced to conduct lessons online, to comply to social distancing rules. To ensure a more productive and engaging session, it is crucial that proper set up is done before each lesson. Here are four tips that you can use when conducting an online class.

1. Choose the Right Platform

The market is now saturated with platforms that can be used to conduct online classes. Among the most popular are Zoom and Google Meet. While these two software serve a similar function, which is to facilitate online meetings; they are mainly designed for corporate meetings and webinars rather than a classroom setting. Therefore, there are certain features that are not optimized for conducting interactive lessons.

Here we would like to suggest an alternative to the mainstream platforms – AOneSchools Online Classroom powered by HeyHi! HeyHi was designed especially for interactive real-time tutoring. It boasts a powerful yet easy-to-use interface for both teachers and students. Some of the features include: using your mobile phone as a tracking pad for the whiteboard, sending PDF files, and making annotation on documents! 

AOneSchools Online Classroom powered by HeyHi.

By selecting the right platform, you can conduct classes more effectively by streamlining your log-in and teaching processes.

2. Proper Audio and Video Setup

When classes started to shift online, most teachers had to make do with the equipment that they have. For many, this means a mediocre built-in webcam and microphone on their laptops. While this is sufficient to conduct a class, it does not warrant a conducive environment for both educators and learners. Poor lighting may result in dark visual appearances, and background noises like barking dogs or passing cars can be heard as a lesson is going on.

While this may not directly affect the teaching of a class; it can still serve as a distraction to students. Here is why – different students have varying learning styles, which can be categorized into three major components: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic.

For visual learners, a clear video feed with good lighting will provide a more conducive environment. As for those who learn better by hearing, the absence of background noise can help minimize distraction and facilitate learning. Hence, we strongly suggest investing in a proper webcam and microphone, especially if you will be doing this in the long run. You can easily find these equipment at affordable prices on Lazada or Shopee. 

Want to know how you can have a professional setup? Watch the video below!

LASER Share Presentation by Mr Wesley Chan.

3. Encourage Personal Engagement 

As mentioned in the previous point, every student learns differently. Hence, it is important to cater to each learning type adequately. For example, some students might be a little shy or timid when it comes to answering questions in a big group, and can risk being outshone by their classmates. In this case, teachers can give equal opportunities to all students to engage, by calling out individual names during their online sessions. By doing so, these students will appreciate the fact that their presence is acknowledged and valued, even though there is no face-to-face interaction. 

“Manusia sangat sensitif dengan nama sendiri” by Coach Mohd Noor.

Furthermore, teachers can also take the liberty to get to know their students better before starting each session. They can inquire about their day, ask what they had for lunch, or what they have learned in their previous classes. As a result, students will be able to build a good rapport with their teacher, which ultimately leads to a more productive online class. 

4. Use a Variety of Teaching Tools

At this point, we all know how boring some classes can get. It is undeniable that certain topics can be a little dry, even in an actual school setting. This is where teachers would normally introduce different learning tools or activities to make the session more fun. For instance, in physical classrooms, teachers can get students to form discussion groups, or create games that require student to work together and come up with answers.

If you’re wondering how to incorporate more excitement into online lessons, take a look below at some suggested activities that you can do:

  • Watch YouTube videos – If you are teaching Science, you can play a video of an awesome Science Experiment that is done on a large scale!
  • Have a quiz – Traditional QnA quizzes are a thing of a past!  Go for something more fun and engaging! There are many free platforms you can try out with pre-set questions or you can even customized your own questions such as Kahoot and Quizziz! Your entire class will definitely be on the edge of their seats to win!
  • Show the Camera your answer – Get your students to write out the answers on a blank sheet of paper and show it to the camera! Fastest one wins!
  • Post-session QnA – Class is over? Instead of giving students homework out of the workbook to do, you can have pre-recorded videos to summarise the topic and have a few questions for students to answer!

By including a variety of teaching tools in class, your students are bound to be more excited for class! We hope these tips will be useful for you to try them out!

Categories
Malaysia

学习创意美术对小孩的益处

如果你问我,未来的20年后,哪一项技能是孩子必须掌握的?

我的答案肯定是创意思维。

如果今天,你还只是在为孩子的学术课业烦恼,而不是把培养重点放在提升创意思维上,那么这个孩子就真的会输在起跑点了。随着人工智能 (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE )的普及化,现在已经有很多工作被智能机器取代了,比如运输分类,餐厅点餐服务,机场系统等等。在未来,人工智能将更加占据我们人类的生活,那么意味着在未来,我们的孩子所面对的不只是人类的竞争,也需面对人工智能的竞争。

然而,不是所有工作将被人工智能取代,关于创意的行业反而在未来是很不可缺少的。以后的每个行业一定都会需要创意和审美观, 而每一个领袖或精英,也一定是拥有超强的创意和敏锐的审美观!

那么要怎样培养孩子的 创意和审美观呢?唯一一个可以透过想象力,把创意体现出来的学科就会美术。 美术包括绘画,手工,粘土制作,雕像等,而创意美术不是注重在美和技巧的呈现,也包括作品的原创性和创意的表达。今天,让我们一起来看看,创意美术还有些什么好处:-

1) 提高自信心

有自信心的人不一定是成功的人,但成功的人肯定有自信心。 画画,是宣泄自己,自我表达的最好方式。有些时候,当孩子的一些想法无法表达出来,就可以表现在创作上。

评价一个孩子的绘画天分,不能用 ‘像不像’ 来说,但在过程中,你的一个鼓励和肯定,会让孩子保持画画的积极性,可以一直坚持下去,并在这方面得到自信。除此之外,也让孩子讲讲自己的创作内容,从而培养语言组织和表达能力。

2)提升审美观

在绘画过程中的探索,能让孩子的智力和审美观得到一定的提升,从而发现世界的美,感受世界的美。审美的能力不是突然说有就有的,也不是花钱就能买到的。它是靠孩子从小的生活环境,艺术修养熏陶而得的。一个从小喜欢美术的孩子和一个从小只看电视玩游戏的孩子,在长大后气质会产生非常大的区别。

3)提升记忆力&想象力

学习美术,有利于发展记忆力和想象力, 特别是想象力。孩子的想象力是非常丰富,宝贵和奇特的,这些都是未来科技,文学创作,产品创新的最基本原料,所以我们不要当想象力的杀手,要坚持让孩子的想象力得到扩展。

孩子在画画的时候,除了观察事物,还要把一些特点记住。比如孩子画的是之前度假的情景 ,在创作是,需要孩子去回忆。为了画出自己心中所想的事物,孩子需要开动大脑,去回忆,去想象。而每当孩子看到想画的场景或事物,就会更用心地把细节记在脑海中。

4)提升观察能力

在画画的过程种,孩子会不断用自己的视角观察我们美丽的世界,并融入到自己的创作中。你会发现学画画的孩子看待世界角度比较不太一样, 通常比较感恩和更加注意一个东西的质感,更能欣赏和体会世界的美!

5) 培养儿童良好的学习习惯

儿童在学绘画的时候,当然少不了准备绘画的素材,还要自己构思画面,给画画塑造构型,给画面涂色等. 从开始到呈现的所有过程中,都是独立完成和独特的。所以绘画可以有效培养孩子独立思考和专注的能力, 根本没有任何一个活动能与绘画相比。

除此之外,在绘画的过程中, 儿童的细心,耐心和坚持都能被培养,从小画出好习惯。

如果你要想让孩子探索创意绘画课所带来的好处, 现在 ARTIVO School of Creativity 有以下新生优惠 :-

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Categories
Malaysia

Education Centre owners, are you ready to grow your business? Here’s how the Malaysian Government can help!

Take advantage of their grant offer immediately.

According to research, almost 60% of the world’s population is online. We see people staring at screens without being aware of their surroundings. Teens texting on their phones instead of chatting with their peers. In this increasingly digitalised world, going digital is no longer a buzzword. It is a necessity. If you’re operating an education centre and are still managing your workflow manually, how do you prevent yourself from falling behind?

As a tuition centre owner himself, our founder, Darren, realised a few years ago that the old way of filing papers and updating Excel sheets is no longer a viable solution. In order to thrive, we needed a better system. That’s why he came up with AOneSchools – a management system that streamlines administrative tasks for education centres.  Back then, switching to a completely new way of doing things was nerve-wracking, to say the least. We did not have many precedents to refer to, and resources were scarce. Developing a brand new software and convincing other centres to give it a go was a daunting experience. However, in the past couple of years, other industries have started catching up. More and more digital solutions have popped up in our country, and now, we are proud to see that even the government is starting to realize the need to make a change.

In Malaysia’s 2020 Budget presentation, the Ministry of Finance announced that it will provide a new grant initiative, to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country adopt more electronic solutions in their operations. They called it the SME Digitalisation Initiative.

What is the SME Digitalisation Initiative?

As mentioned above, the Malaysian government is hoping to encourage local companies to incorporate modern technology to manage their businesses. The SME Digitalisation Initiative is a grant to give these enterprises a boost. A 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company will be awarded to eligible businesses that purchase digital service(s) from designated provider(s). For example, as a music school owner, you’ve decided to subscribe to an electronic point-of-sale software for RM8,000. With this grant, you can get up to RM4,000 of the fees subsidized by the government. This allows you to upgrade your operations without taking on too much financial risk. No fees are required for the application, and the grant will be valid for a period of 5 years beginning from February 17 2020, or upon reaching 100,000 applicants, whichever comes first.

What can you purchase with this grant?

The Ministry of Finance has identified 7 types of services that the SME digitalisation grant can be used for:

  1. Electronic Point-of-Sale System (e-POS)
  2. Human Resource (HR) Payroll System / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
  3. Digital Marketing / Sales
  4. Procurement
  5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Accounting and Taxation
  6. Remote Working Solutions 
  7. E-commerce
  1. Electronic Point-of-Sale System (e-POS):

An electronic point-of-sale system, or e-POS, is a software that can help companies manage sales and cashflow data efficiently. One of the biggest time drains for education centre owners, whether it be tuition centres, sports academies, or art schools; is having to deal with billing and cash management. Having to track each student’s enrolment, fee information, and payment method; not to mention tracing fees collected through online banking to match them to the right payees… these tasks can make even the most organised person want to pull their hair out. One of the most rewarding feelings of being an educator is being able to watch students learn and grow under your tutelage, but even the most passionate of teachers can feel like drowning at times when dealing with financial paperwork.

At AOne, we recognised this problem early on, and strove to develop a solution for it. With our software, you can rest easy knowing that invoices are being generated automatically to students, based on the packages that you offer. There is even an in-app payment feature available, so you won’t have to process payments every month – or worse still, go through a pile of cash deposit and bank-in slips to figure out which students they came from. When customers make payments through your app, their receipts will be issued automatically, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your freed-up time doing things you love. 

2. Human Resource (HR) Payroll System / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System:

To operate an education centre, you not only have to manage your students, but also the teachers that you employ. If you think organizing student data is hard, try tracking teacher payroll. Going through attendance records, calculating employee hours, totalling payment amounts – these could easily take up days of an administrator’s time. That is time that could be better used for marketing your business, preparing for lessons, and thinking up ways to better serve your students. If you employ many teachers and need a solution for this tedious process, consider getting a software that simplifies it for you.

3. Digital Marketing / Sales:

A business without customers is just a hobby. A good digital marketing service provides solutions for you to promote your school to a wide range of students, and helps you manage advertisements effectively.

4. Procurement:

Procurement software offers a more competent system for businesses to purchase and sell supplies. This includes sourcing suppliers, corresponding with them, and performing transactions through the internet.

5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Accounting and Taxation:

As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” As enterprise owners ourselves, we know that doing taxes can be the death of us. Accounting used to involve calculators and lengthy ledgers; but if you’re still doing that, it’s time to level up. An accounting software can help educators manage their books efficiently, which makes filing taxes a lot easier as well. 

What about ERP? ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is software that can handle multiple functions within an operation, such as product planning, development and manufacturing, warehouse management, financial management, sales and marketing etc – all in a single system. 

Since most enterprises have their own operating systems, ERPs are often customised to suit each business’s needs. 

6. Remote Working Solutions:

Since the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), citizens have grown used to the new normal of working from home. While challenging to adapt to at first, remote work has gradually become a regularity in our lives. A good number of AOne’s clients switched to online teaching during the MCO period, and many mentioned that it was a tough transition. For companies used to offline operations, having to pivot online in such a short time can be extremely difficult. Therefore, the government included remote working solutions, such as software that enables effective data exchange and communication between remote staff, in the SME Digitalisation Initiative to ease the process.

7. E-commerce:

Even before COVID-19 hit, e-commerce has taken the world by storm. Pioneers like Amazon and eBay have shown us how easily goods can be purchased with a few clicks of a button. With their success, other businesses have followed suit, whether it be clothing retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, even food services. Now, with stringent rules on social distancing, the ability to buy goods online has become an integral part of our lives. E-commerce digitalisation services allow SMEs to use technology to sell their products online, while providing them assistance in fulfilment, marketing, and other activities.

Photo Credits: BERNAMA

What are the companies affiliated with this grant?

You can browse through the list of approved vendors here: https://www.mybsn.com.my/formdownload?formDownloadId=2112

How do you know if you are eligible?

You can apply for this grant if:

  • At least 60% of your company is owned by Malaysians.
  • Your company is registered under the relevant laws of Malaysia, and is classified as a small or medium enterprise.
  • Your business has been in operation for at least 1 year.
  • If your company has been in operation for 1 year, you are required to have a minimum annual sales turnover of RM100,000 for the first year.
  • If your company has been in operation for 2 years or more, you are required to have a minimum annual sales turnover of RM50,000 for the preceding 2 consecutive years.

How can you apply for this grant?

For those of you who are eligible, you can go through the following steps to submit your application.

  • Appoint 1 to 3 approved vendor(s) to provide digitalisation services to your business.
  • Compile the following documents for submission:
    • Completed SME Digitalisation Initiative Application form (downloadable at https://www.mybsn.com.my/formdownload?formDownloadId=2111 )
    • Copy of Identity Card or Passport of Director(s) / Partner(s) / Proprietor(s), whichever is applicable
    • Copy of business registration licenses (CCM, Form A/B, Form 24 & 49 and M&A or any similar forms under the Companies Act 2016)
    • Audited financial statement for the last financial year and the latest management account (if any) or evidences of sales turnover (if any)
    • Company’s bank statement for the last 2 months
    • Company’s profile (if any)
    • Invoice/billing and service agreement from authorised vendor listed by MDEC
    • Any other information and documents as and when required by the bank
  • Submit the documents above to any of BSN’s (Bank Simpanan Nasional) branches. You can search for the nearest branch from you here: https://www.mybsn.com.my/location.xhtml?menuId=6
    • Keep in mind that only the SME is authorised to complete and submit the application documents. Appointment of any third party for collection and submission to the bank is not allowed.
  • Before applying for the grant, you will need to pay the price after deducting the subsidised amount from the grant to your service provider(s), and submit proof of payment to the bank.
  • When your application is approved, BSN will make a direct payment of 50% of the total invoice amount, or up to RM5,000, to your appointed service provider(s). Depending on the total invoice amount, this payment may be made in one lump sum or in stages, based on the bank’s discretion.

For more information about this initiative, visit https://www.mybsn.com.my/content.xhtml?contentId=1561

Digitalisation is a process that all businesses have to embrace in order to thrive. Here at AOne Schools, we strive to support you in your efforts to do so, by providing solutions and resources that can help you grow. If you are interested in finding out how we can assist you, please feel free to contact us or schedule a demo.

It’s time to leave the days of manual paperwork behind, and start using a more elegant system for your education business.