Supporting the automation of school affairs based on “Online Teachers’ Staff Room”™ to help promote the digitalization of schools 

Castalia officially launched “Educhat” today, a chatting service targeting the educational market that has been provided to Joetsu University of Education (Headquarters: Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture) and some other educational institutions as part of our feasibility study.  The service will be available for local municipalities, education boards, and educational institutions.  Educhat is now equipped with a new function that automates the administrative work at school based on a chatting function using a Bot, comprehensively promoting the digitalization of school affairs. Educhat is offered free of charge to educational institutions. 

Educhat is a service that offers support to school affairs based on Mattermost, a chatting service developed by Mattermost Inc. in the US, and optimized especially for the educational market in Japan after a series of enhancements.  By digitalizing the administrative work that has been done on paper by busy teachers and staffs, the service makes the sharing of information easy and allows them to obtain necessary information right away.

Over the past year or so, Castalia has conducted a feasibility study of a chatting-based service to realize the continuation of education amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, we realized that the teachers have so much work to do and in order to improve education, we should start by digitally facilitating the working environment of the teachers; thus we started the development of this service.  We are confident that by bringing the ‘granted’ environment of IT companies to the frontline of education, streamlining school affairs and facilitating the communications between the teachers/staffs, we can realize the education in the new era.  

[Service Overview]
1. “Educhat”, a teachers’ staff room online
Educhat is a chatting service that allows casual messaging like LINE.  By sending information over the chats instead of the traditional verbal messaging in the teachers’ staff room, the information sharing process among teachers will be made transparent and visual, which accelerates the openness of the community.  

1) Feature 1: Convenient Bot function
“Bot” is a function in which a computer automatically performs simple work that may take time when done by human.  On Educhat, a Bot in the name of “Koumu”, a bird character, calls up convenient functions.  For example, finding necessary information actually takes quite a bit of work.  Just talk to Koumu and it will lead you to the source of information.  It also sets your work plans according to your schedule; when the scheduled time comes, it will easily remind you or your working partner, whichever designated.

2) Database of past communications for easy reference
The database allows searches by word.  Just enter the keyword and you will reach the necessary information of the past right away.  The more you use Educhat, the more useful the entire service will become as a reference source.

3) Channel function creatable by purposes and contents
Educhat makes administrative communications among teachers and staffs effortless by creating channels (groups) like LINE.  The groups can be segmentalized by grades, subjects and assignments, which allows the sharing of necessary information with specific teachers and staffs.  In addition, if a municipal government adopts the service, it will streamline the communications between local schools and the education board.

2. “Educhat RPA”, the RPA for School Affairs
RPA stands for “robotic process automation”.  It means to automate the work process by using a robot instead of human.  

The automation of work traditionally done by hand will drastically reduce the time for work.
For example, by digitally and automatically coordinating the management of academic results and creating report cards will make it easy to create report cards.  Also, by automatically coordinating the students’ physical conditions, attendance books, and academic results, teachers can easily and comprehensively manage the students’ situation.  We are currently offering the Beta version of the service and will gradually expand and enhance its content.
Upon use, you are required to sign up on Google Workspace for Education, a Google service for educational institutions.

Feature 1) Reduction of working time
Feature 2) Application to instructions etc. by compiling a database 

[User plans]
We offer a free-of-charge plan of Educhat exclusively for educational institutions.
For more information, please refer to the Educhat website.

More information / Inquiries
We accept inquiries on Educhat via the following website.  If you wish detailed information of how to use the service, we offer online briefings.  Please feel free to contact us.  

Mattermost is an online chatting and messaging service for enterprises. It is developed and distributed by Mattermost Inc. based in the U.S. The service spurs an increase in internal communications and at the same time facilitate remote work. Its open-source project is simultaneously in progress and it has also been used around the globe as a free server software.
Mattermost has been introduced in public institutions such as the U.S. Social Security Adminstration, world-renowned corporations such as Samsung and Bristol-Myers Scribb to name a few. As for educational use, National University of Singapore and University of British Columbia, Canada are some of the institutions that have introduced Mattermost.
Castalia is an authorized distributor of Mattermost in Japan.