Red Comet wants to transform learning and empower students
What made you start Red Comet?
Only some people learn best by reading. Most people learn best when information is presented visually, verbally, kinesthetically, or in combination. This method of thinking has always been the cornerstone of Red Comet. Engage the student, and success will follow.
“My learning approach was different from others when I was younger. I frequently illustrated and read aloud the material when learning complicated topics. I offered to tutor other students so that I could master the subject. I loved building circuits and coding in my engineering program-all hands-on activities. Getting into the research-based Master’s program in Canada was like a fresh breath of oxygen. I loved to learn on my terms and excelled in original and creative research” Sapna shared.
Sapna got her bachelor’s in computer engineering from Mysore University in India and Master’s in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence from Queen’s University in Canada. She was awarded the ‘Distinguished Thesis Award’ at Queen’s University for her joint research in mechanical engineering, computing science, and applied psychology. Ms. Ganeshan received the National Science and Engineering Research Council Scholarship from NSERC, Canada.
Sapna’s personal experience laid the foundation for Red Comet. Here, students learn at their own pace. Red Comet provides opportunities for students to learn using different modalities. Color, fonts, infographics, and videos help those who learn best visually. Those who find visual input distracting can switch to black and white. There are many tools available to support auditory learners. Kinesthetic learners can study using augmented and virtual reality. This laser focus on student engagement has helped Red Comet achieve one of the best student outcomes when it comes to successful course completion.
Can you brief about Red Comet and what significant change has Red Comet made to the educational system?
The educational technology, or EdTech, market is huge with thousands of companies competing for market share. Due to accreditation standards and state laws, there is one important and sizeable area within this market that has high entry barriers. One of the few competitors in this market is Red Comet, which is globally accredited. From kindergarten to grade 12, they provide more than 300 courses for credit. Students can choose from various engaging electives and career-focused courses in addition to essential subjects like math and English.
Red Comet stands out because it defies the odds. Students from urban, rural, public, and private schools all succeed irrespective of their race, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic factors. Red Comet partners closely with schools to ensure all students have equitable access to curriculum and technology. Here, the curriculum is inclusive of gender as well as various cultures and traditions. Women’s and minorities’ contributions to literature, arts, math, and technology are showcased wherever possible. Students become more interested in learning when they can relate to the subject. And, when they are engaged in their learning, chances of successfully completing their course are also much higher.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the education system should be transformed, and what is the needed change?
The Red Comet team is redefining learning for the foreseeable future. Cutting-edge augmented and virtual reality technologies have been incorporated into regular classroom instruction. When pupils are engaged, learning is deeper, and retention is higher. With the help of new technologies, they can dissect a beating heart to better understand how it functions. When students hold an IC engine in their hands and can disassemble it, physics becomes exciting. Preliminary studies on these new technologies have revealed higher levels of teacher and student engagement, and this program has already demonstrated tremendous promise.
Globally, the educational system underwent changes both during and after the pandemic. How did you cope with pandemic and the aftermath? What strategies have you used to keep growing the business?
It was business as usual at Red Comet on the day COVID prompted the closure of businesses and schools across the country. At Red Comet, everyone has consistently worked from home. It increased productivity because the team did not have to waste time getting ready and driving to work. This approach also lowered costs for the company by eliminating office space rent. Right from the start, Red Comet employed collaboration technology to keep the crew in touch. Sapna apprised us, “Our communication platforms are constantly buzzing with activity as teams work together to solve problems or discuss fresh ideas. Our corporate culture is built on a foundation of trust”.
In response to COVID lockdowns and mandated virtual classes, the field of online learning saw a major backlash. Despite their greatest efforts, many students were left with a negative experience because nobody was prepared for this. While student engagement fell, learning loss reached a historical high. The gap between those who succeed and those who fail in school grew wider. COVID exacerbated the variations in student outcomes by race and ethnicity.
By harnessing exciting technology, Red Comet is reversing this negativity by making digital learning a viable and enticing option. Using a curriculum that is embedded with interactive manipulatives, augmented; virtual reality modules, Red Comet is reversing learning loss and promoting immersive learning.
Please share with our readers your professional experience, the business journey so far, and struggles you faced in earlier stages. It would inspire aspiring entrepreneurs.
In the early stages, each month, you will be making hundreds of decisions that will affect your Company’s future. Unless you have a clear vision of where you want to go, all these decisions can be overwhelming and even confusing. Build around yourself a support structure of helpful individuals. You will need help from people who understand finance and accounting. You will need help reading legal documents and contracts. You will need help with HR. Any shortcoming in any of these fields could quickly bring your company down. You will likely not have the funds to pay these people. You can compensate them with company stock – but if that is too cumbersome and an additional burden, keep track of their time and compensate them for their efforts as quickly as possible. Consider bringing them on board as you build out your executive team.
What trajectory have you planned for the future of Red Comet?
Sapna wants to see Red Comet’s curriculum used in as many schools as possible in the United States. Red Comet wants to expand to more states in the foreseeable future.
Please tell us about your company’s vision and mission?
We would like to see Red Comet transform how learning happens in K-12. Our vision is to make learning enticing and empower students with greater opportunities to succeed.
“The Red Comet team is redefining learning for the foreseeable future.”
“Our communication platforms are constantly buzzing with activity as teams work together to solve problems or discuss fresh ideas”