Classroom Expectations: Positive management for the productive growth of students

I got a questionnaire from edinbox.com to respond to. Though the brief is to write answers in a couple of sentences for each issue/question raised, I feel unless we do not understand the very evolution of a human being, cognitively and behaviorally, we cannot find solutions to any of the issues raised here. Hence, I am giving the context before I address each of the concerns raised in the questionnaire. My answers for each of these questions could be dramatically in variance with the conventional wisdom that is prevalent around most adults. Whatever I am sharing here is an outcome of over two-decades of hands-on experience of being with children and young-adults, setting up schools, creating learning environments there in; and also seeing over a couple lakh students excel in career and life. Quite a few of those grown up adults bring their children to us, to seek help now!

Phases of learning in the evolution of a human being.

Phases of learning in the evolution of a human being.

Fig 1. Evolution of the human being, cognitively speaking.

 

The above conceptual framework is self-explanatory. Various empirical studies observed that the rate of cognitive evolution is exponential in the first eight years of life, reaching almost to 90% of that of an adult; about 80% by the age of three. We have been using the above nomenclature – Ananda, Jigyasa and Sadhana – in our language for almost two decades now. They evolved over a few years of observing and introspecting as the children evolved.

 

  1. A child in the initial phase of one’s early childhood evolution, Ananda, involves all senses in absorbing one’s context. The slate in the early phase is clean. It is all about joy of discovering the contextual existence. The child is like a sponge, soaking everything that exists in the immediate environment. It is incumbent upon the adult around her – a parent, grand-parent, family or a teacher, the school – how rich we can make the immediate contextual environment forthe child to thrive. Learning happens at a pace unimaginable, all without any agenda. (The Howard Gardner’s Multiple intelligences is in full bloom – kindly google to understand this concept of Multiple Intelligences)

 

  1. The primary and middle school years – age 8-14 – Jigyasa phase, is all about observation, introspection, analysis, synthesis to consolidate thus far imbibed experiences, into a solid knowledge through active questioning and embarking on finding answers to those questions through further experimentation and exploration. Greater the exposure, the higher is the learning. So as an adult in the environment, a parent can help the child experience a variety of spaces and activities in the arenas of all intelligences. During this period, a lot of likes, affinities, interests develop in every child that may start shaping the thought process that eventually may play an important role in choice-making and decision-making, about what one wants to pursue in career and life.

 

  1. If the adults at home and school have been taking note of the likes and affinities that are evolving in the Jigyasa phase, one can proactively facilitate the child to make well informed choices by exposing the child to a variety of literatures, activities, events, people of eminence etc. so that the child will listen, engage, interact and evolve. As the child moves to higher classes the family and school can facilitate the access to all the avenues that can shape a child’s chosen area of interest, probably positively impacting the career too.

Now I would like to answer the following questions with the above frame work as a reference. I also need to add here that I have clubbed questions together, where I have found them to be closely related, and I shall addressthem in a logical way.

What should be an expectation level of a teacher or a parent from the student?

  • One of the secrets to bring about the expected outcomes from a child is to be EMPATHETIC first. Talk to a child the way you would talk to an adult, in calm, eager and understanding way. As I said, the cognitive evolution of a child is almost that of an adult beyond age three. So, keep your emotions at bay.
  • The first requirement of an institution – family or school – is to take responsibility upon oneself to create age appropriate learning environment and experiences even before they have expectations from the child.
  • So, my expectation is directed more towards the adults in the child’s context, asking, what exciting environment have you created for the child to explore, experiment and learn.
    • Can I be with the child, whenever I feel the child is struggling? Can I walk with the child and not just talk?What inspires the child is your walk, and not the talk!!
    • Everything boils down to a good, open communication with the child. Only when the child feels that you are understanding, will the child be open to hear and see your perspective.

Does over expectation from a bright child deteriorate his performance and self-esteem?How behaviour of a student can be modified with simple learning and how can we help him in developing his self-esteem?What are the methods to develop behaviour modification among students?How to motivate a child to perform better in the class?

    • The secret, as I shared, is open communication and facilitation. Understanding the child, in the given context, is paramount. Help the child gain confidence to be open with you, to share her fears and needs.
    • An adult should not talk from 6ft. Get down to the child’s level. That means, your eyes and that of the child must be at the same level! Make the child feel that you are her friend and facilitator.
    • Every child is unique and let us not compare one with the other. Acknowledging the child’s interests, way of thinking, strengths, weaknesses and evencurrent  prioritiesis very important. Being open is the key. That is the only way to stoke self-esteem. Every positive thing we say or do, adds to her self-esteem.
    • First,believe and help yourself to help the child understand that he or she is good enough; and it is just a question of getting more comfortable in the subject or topic or issue that we are concerned about, and give a message that by understanding the concepts and practicing more she would be good. And that you are with her in the process. Walk, walk, walk with the child, do not talk.
    • I have seen the transformation in many a child, including my daughters. Building trust and stoking the self-belief is the key.

Is there a model or a technique to deal with discipline referrals?

  • Most of the root causes of the discipline issues emerge from the child’s immediate environment. The behavior of the child has its origin in the way an adult or two is behaving in the child’s environment – How is the adult dealing with the child. The adult’s ‘walk’ may be inducing the behavior.
  • For instance, if the child is very energetic and active in the school, then you may soon realize that his energy does not find any vent at home. His home environment could be highly restrained and over disciplined. And that pent-up energy finds a volcanic outlet in the school. Similarly, a child shouted at or abused at home, may vent his frustration at his fellow learners in school.
  • My questions for institutions, are, “How open are we to integrating homes with school? How much do we know about the child’s home environment? How much of interaction between the school and home have we institutionalized beyond the formality of PTM (parents teacher meeting which most of the times is unwelcoming for the schools. It is just an item in the check-list)
  • When the home and institution will be seamless, most of the behavioral deviancies will be easily taken care of. In the technology-enabled world of today, institutions can really create that seamless communication channels to bridge to two.
  • Even after having amazingly cordial and proactive engagement with home, if we find the child’s behavior still beyond our capability, then we need to seek the help of a psychologist/specialists in diagnosing any other eventuality, like ADHD etc.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) affects the child’s ability to focus and control his behaviour. What steps to be taken to address the children suffering from ADD?

    • ADHD is the term that we usually use for affected children and adolescents, while ADD is used for adults. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children, more prevalent in boys than in girls; diagnosed based on the child’s symptoms and behavior.
    • Inattentiveness, impulsiveness or hyperactivity are the symptoms of a child with ADHD. It is a genetic-disorder and child has no role to play in acquiring it; one of the parents has contributed to the cause. Brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, don’t work the same in children with ADHD; Certain areas in the brain may be smaller or even less active in children with ADHD than those without the disorder. Most of the times, a parent feels guilty of even acknowledging the presence of ADHD, especially do to the social stigma it may carry. Hence, we as adults, both teachers and parents need to be proactive, yet very patient in dealing with the child.
    • Timely diagnosis is very important. If not treated in time, ADHD continues into adulthood. However, by understanding the child, working on and channelizing his strengths, facilitating a conducive environment, and using medication timely, a childwith ADHD can grow into a responsible and productive adult who is socially invaluable.

 

How show we improve the school environment so that it helps students to perform better?What are the key points to be kept in mind which helps in developing a cordial environment for students and teachers?How can a teacher build an environment that can help students struggling with serious academic deficiencies, lack of support, language barrier, or any other challenges?

 

    • Most of the times I see the really issue lies with institutions – School and Homes – and adults within. I measure the adults by exploring their attitude towards these three questions –
      • Do your really love children?
      • Do you love learning?
      • Are you excited about creating rich, stimulating learning environments and experiences?
    • We need to understand that the institution exists for the child and need to bring about changes in our environment and the way we conduct ourselves and our learning processes
    • As Charles Darwin says, the human being as an organism is programmed to thrive – survival of the fittest. Unfortunately, we adults control the environment, at home or school, in such a way that the brilliant mind, amazing body and soul is not excited to flourish. We shackle the being.
    • It is very important that the learning environment, pedagogy and engagement be conducive with the evolutionary phases of a human being that is illustrated in Fig. 1 above. The coordination of the school and home, along with the curriculum engagement need to be rich and stimulating. Homes need to help the child experience the real world beyond the classrooms and curriculum. Parents must be thinkers and doers. Expose the child to experiences in every dimension of intelligences that Howard Gardner talks about.
    • Does the outside world come into your classrooms? Do your classrooms go to the outside world? If the answers these questions isin affirmative, soon we would have found solutions to all challenges.
Evolving child being facilitate by family, school and the experiences in the world

Evolving child being facilitate by family, school and the experiences in the world

Hope, I have been able to address all the issues raised in the questionnaire. I apologize for writing a lengthy article to address your questions. I strongly believe, there is no short-cut to facilitate a parent, teacher or institutions toenable every child that is playing in our aangans, corridors or classrooms.

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Where is that imaginative, creative, energetic, vivacious child lost?

Smita, a teacher from one of the sought after schools in Dwarka, N K Bagrodia public school, has been chasing me for the last couple of months to visit her school. She confessed that, ever since she heard me speak at an education leaders conference conducted by ITIHAAS, she wanted to invite me to her school. She would call me to grace one function or other, as a guest. Most of the times, I was on the move. One thing about Smita I always felt when she spoke to me, is her energy and enthusiasm; that transcended the medium of phone. Last week when she called, I acquiesced to be the guest for their annual festival of creativity – Trishna, wherein about 30+ schools from across Delhi were participating.

The real pleasure being in a school lies in the children’s space.  On arrival, I was ushered into the Principal, Dr. Rajee N, Kumar’s room to meet her and a few more school leaders were called too. Dr. Rajee was sharing her experience of watching the children pushing boundaries since morning, in one creative activity or the other. Here I was, so keen to see the children in action, more than distributing the prizes, I was feeling incarcerated, though the interaction with the leadership was invaluable. The real learning is in experiencing the process, not in seeing the final product. I insisted on watching the children in action. The principal was graceful in facilitating me to watch a couple of activities.

Albeit it was at the fag end of the day, I could experience the theatre / acting performance, wherein the students were given 30 minutes to conjure a scene, write a script, select the performers, prepare and present. The students were from classes 7-9 and it was a delight to watch how they went about presenting. Children observe everything, absorb like a sponge and synthesize making meaning out of every action around them. This activity gave me one more opportunity to watch their thought process; how well they could project their learning. Needless to say, I really enjoyed every presentation, reinforcing my beliefs about children and their infinite capabilities.

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Post the event, I was now keen to interact with the school leadership. Thanks to Dr. Rajee, she too was keen to. I was sharing that the ingenuity of children that we witnessed in the activities of the event can be stoked every day, in every class and home; and who are we to restrict to one event or two in a year.

Very unfortunate that in most of the schools in India, in general, the child comes last. Schools need to exist for the child; she must be the center of all activities that schools plan. It is far from being so, the way we operate – the curriculum designed, the courses offered, the syllabus, the pedagogy, the planning to finish syllabus….. the list is endless. Everything is designed to help the school and the teachers to have peace of mind and to enable ease of execution. An imaginative, creative, energetic, vivacious child, bubbling with ideas ends up being a morose, thoughtless, aimless, fearful youth devoid of confidence and self-belief by the time he or she ends schooling.

If only each one of us, every adult – teachers, parents, schools, universities, educational leaders – can believe in every child, put the child first, acknowledge the needs of the child, really bring the openness to create exciting learning environments at schools, universities and home, I think the world will be a far, far better place to live in. The children and youth will be keen to solve the problems that the society in their neighborhood is facing. Every education institution can be at the fore-front of transformation of the society. Alas!

I am a culprit too. It takes immense effort to be open and facilitating. I am trying and have been on that journey for quite some time. Still short-comings come to the fore. I still need to keep my EGO aside. Working on being humble, pleasant, purposeful is still a huge ask, even with all good intentions and awareness of the outcomes.

My personal endeavour has been to be conscious and work towards making every child’s space an exciting one. To this effect, we, leadership at CL Educate, have been proactive to work with schools, institutions, universities to stoke jigyasa (curiosity, inquisitiveness) among children and youth; create an environment to help them explore, research in areas or subjects of their interest; have belief in their capabilities. Over the years the outcomes have been rewarding as we see the Ananda (joy) among children and youth. This facilitates the institutions and families to also realize where the inclinations of the child is and this has lead to remarkable breakthroughs for the progress of children and youth ahead in their careers and life. Many a child has presented his research and innovations in the global conferences, got her work published in prestigious journals; has had confidence to present oneself for an interview to reach the portals of a world class institution or university. The quest is to enable every child, irrespective of the outcome, gain a great deal of belief in oneself for one’s life. The process makes them so.

I welcome anyone who is keen to facilitate his child or children in schools, and youth in college, to write to me. We will be more than happy to facilitate.

keynote: #Creating #Innovation #Ecosystem in Institutions to enable learners for the future

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#Electrifying day it was; #TEDx style keynote on #Creating #Innovation #Ecosystem to enable  learners for the future; @ #Vision2030EduConference @MMUMullana. Of course, my TED cannot be staid and straight jacketed 🙂 Theatrics runs in the blood as the body, mind and soul get into action!
With the disruptive world gaining pace, the three things that we need to facilitate the child imbibe are – Keenness to learn, courage to push boundaries and not be worried about making mistakes and humility that can facilitate to build teams and lead. Each one of us need to be welcoming more and more abstractness in problem solving, and take every such opportunity as one to learn and discover, solve and impact.

 

 

It was day well invested with over 100 leaders of schools, colleges, universities interacting and sharing.  It was a pleasure listening to a few speakers too, who were also talking about need of learner-centric environment in the institutions.

The panel discussion that followed on #TEACHERSofFUTURE, seemed to be a corollary to my talk on innovation.

I am delighted to see very youthful education leaders emerging across the country, who are keen to create best of the learning environments; each one has had an exposure to best of the educational institutions within India or abroad. The entire event has been a brain child of Mr. Vishal Sood, an IIMA Alum, who is now at the helm of the Maharishi Markandeswar University in Haryana. With such young leaders, soon the hinterland too will have very meaningfully engaging learning environments that will integrate the outside world into the class and also take the class out to the realistic external world to engage and impact.

An institution would have served its purpose if and only if it is integral to solving the problems of the society within its vicinity. Imagine if every institution, school or university, solves half a dozen problems every year, what will the nation be. I was delighted to see a few of the principals of schools coming to me and talking about how they intend bring this change in their respective schools.

Feel blessed, for such moments. Life is Fruitful.  @careerlauncher @CLEducate @satyaumanandu
#education #educator #mentor #learner #student #changemaker #travel #Educational #Leadership #Transformational #workshop #Learning #Courage #Humility #career #careerchoices #careercoaching #Lifecoach #coach #Dynamism

H H Dalai Lama – ‘Love and Compassion make all the difference’

It has always been a pleasure contributing to the spaces where children observe, introspect, participate, engage, discuss, debate and learn. One such movement that I have been part of as a volunteer, contributor and advisor has been ITIHAAS, an endeavor by a team of strong-willed and highly capable youth lead by Smita Vats and Shivani, has been doing a yeoman service for over 15 years now, in the space of Heritage Education for children. The movement now addresses children and institutions in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh while children from across the country travel to these states to soak in and also learn the heritage of our rich, composite nation.

dalai_lama_25

There are many initiatives by ITIHAAS, year around, that engage the children, schools and the entire education community not only through their walks but also through facilitation of research in literature, music, traditions, livelihoods that are integral to Heritage.

As part of the latest initiative, first in the series of Changemakers talk, His Holiness Dalai Lama delivered the ITIHAAS ANNUAL ADDRESS to the school fraternity… What an interaction, it was !!  Always a pleasure listening to His Holiness. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with him too. Just observing him silently is good enough to absorb so much about purposefulness towards humanity…

As he was addressing the children, teachers and education community, laced with his inimitable humour, I made it point to tweet whatever I could gather. Here I collate my tweets and share for posterity. Each of the points that he shares are invaluable –

  • Every #child receiving #love, affection, hugs of #parents in #childhood, will grow to be a confident and compassionate adult
  • we, generation of 20th century created a lot of problems, your gen of 21st century, has to solve. Solve Disagreement by talking
  • Young generation, #brothers and #sisters, think how to build a happy and compassionate world, through education and learning
  • Through warm heartedness you will be able to resolve every issue in the world; love, forgiveness will help you to bring peace
  • Anger brings violence; conflicts need to be solved through dialogue; love others and respect them to facilitate. Create peace
  • Non violence, peaceful dialogue by you will create a peaceful and happy family, society and world228
  • #Secular #education needs to include moral #values, ethics; value of warm heartedness makes the difference to humanity
  • fear is part of human being; I train my mind through analytical #meditation; analyse the source of anger; you will solve
  • Positivity begets positivity, creates peace; work towards eliminating negativity; Ahimsa and Karuna can solve all problems
  • without inner #peace we cannot develop world peace? #Trust & #affection will beget happiness & peace at home and society
  • As an youngster, I can contribute to solving every problem with my small actions with awareness; environmental issues, example
  • People’s movement – I must think, I must talk, I must work – our vision, on sharing, can gather mass to bring change
  • All religions, all traditions talk of love, harmony. #India needs to take lead in promoting tolerance, forgiveness and peace
  • Different #religions may have different approaches for different people, but the final purpose is #oneness and #love
  • Be a kind-hearted and #compassionate person. #Education needs to just contribute for this one purpose. That is the basic value
  • I never saw my mother angry. Not just me, she cared for every child ….First teacher of love and compassion is my mother
  • Every teacher has responsibility towards every child.Yr love helps every child understand whatever U impart. Infuses Happiness
  • Secret of my youth. 9 hrs of sleep and rest of 15 hours with peaceful thoughts. Have healthy mind. Smile adds to handsomeness

He also interacted with students by taking their questions and responding. I shall get the complete video across soon…

I have not done justice to this event if I do not speak about the Live painting by Artist Vilas Nayak that mesmerized His Holiness The Dalai Lama Dalai Lama. I consciously did not do, as I felt I need to write a separate story on it. I shall.

 

“Widen your horizons, build a well-rounded personality” – S K Munjal exhorts the youth at CL’s Career Junction

Career Junction @ constitution club, New DelhiSri S K Munjal, Vice-chair, Hero motorcorp, extolling the youth at Career Junction

INDIA is a very very interesting place to be today
– Every govt has done better than the previous one

– When we got independence, we called ourselves socialist democratic country, with market economy; very unusual and one of its kind
– It was a bipolar world, founders of non- aligned movement
– It address the needs of people and meets the needs of people
– We followed five year plan, borrowed from then USSR

– Everything was licensed, where, even quantity to be produced was also mentioned
– efficiency was penalized; greater production was penalized
– industry created liaising; how to get license, and how not to allow others from getting it
– monopolistic markets formed
– quality, consistency, choice, etc customer had no choice
– in 60-70s .. 2% GDP growth rate…Hindu growth rate
– Historically, a couple of hundred years ago, we were growing at 20% china grew at 30%

– Soon, India will be the single largest, in population
– we need to find an employment for 12-15 million people year on year for next 20 years
– We run a school in Ludhiana, for children of industrial workers, all come from UP, Bihar
– we are encouraging people to bring families, so that children get educated
– in the last year 12 in the top 50 of the state, last to last year state topper
– I am sharing this coz, if not for such opportunities, these would have never been benefitted

– if one of you becomes an entrepreneur, you will create jobs; imagine what one can do
– Now 8 year olds, 11-12 year olds are becoming entrepreneurs
– education gives added advantage

– We are trying to build a university that will be nursery for world leaders
– We bring in leaders and corporates to create learning experiences

– A large part of our economy comes from services
– Manufacturing is 16%
– Agriculture creates less and less jobs, we need tech, systems and process to make it better
– We are the largest producer of veg, milk, ….
– We are low on yield
– 54% of population still dependent on agriculture

– Every manufacturing job creates, 6 services jobs… Whole host of activities get created
– If we are to grow in every sense, it is expected that in real terms 3rd largest economy in 13 years
– Opportunities are immense
– there are areas within manufacturing that are large multipliers
– the policies on infrastructure creation can make a huge difference
– You create industrial complexes, suppliers, institutions…..entrepreneurs..
– Auto motive complex attracts ancillaries, suppliers
– In the US – steel, auto motives, home were in the order…..
– Example – 107 companies produces stuff for home infra
– Lack of infra, red tape, corruption are putting India down

– One of the recommendations made is to change interfaces between govt and industry, govt and people
– Get rid off all human human interaction. Get technology for interface…
– Please only looks at the best and better it; look at the country and better it …
– starting the companies..let us better Singapore; Law, better than Malaysia..
– you should be able to go and settle anywhere in the country

– plan your work, work your plan
– have passion, you can cover all the handicaps
– if you are driven by passion, no time limits
– today ministers are working overtime
– ‘why should not we be a 20 trillion dollar economy’ – Modi said; very inspiring, a profound statement
– biggest problems gives best opportunities

– infra is the biggest problems…..largest conceived Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor
– high speed rail network corridor….100 Kim’s of industrial belt, smart cities
– smart cities are planned cities
– we have created only 5 cities in 60 years, china has built Over 100
– these cities will have tech, energy, food, logistics, places and work close, efficient mass transport system; water management systems… Clusters
– 7 seven smart cities have been signed
– modeled after Tokyo-Osaka corridor
– kol- Amritsar, Bangalore-chennai
– airports, highways
– waterways

– find opportunity for yourselves
– Abraham Lincoln failed so many times before becoming the President of the US
– Sunil Mittal failed seven times,….look at their perseverance,
– Sunil changed every model to become the best model in the world..

– You experiment with life..take sensible risks
– do not take wild gamble, take smart gamble
– opportunities in the new economy are new
– ecommerce companies valued higher than retail companies
– tech and communication is breaking all the barriers
– we are servicing the world
– we have opportunities; are literally all around us
– food processing, transportation; water, education, financial education
– SIP – saving and investment plan is an interesting

– 16% of world’s gold is in India lying idle??? if we can convert an instrument in making this financial opportunity
– world class companies have huge percentage of Indians
– never teach any one the answers, always ask them questions, so they go to find answers

– widen your horizons.. Learn about liberal arts, humanities
– Work towards lateral thinking, well balanced and well-rounded personality.

Wishing you all the very best.

E to the power of 6 – Yadavindra Public School, Patiala – A compelling workshop by Sreeni

Chilly morning of Jan 14th, Sankranti, the harvest festival celebrated across India, also saw the first day of the new academic year at Yadavindra Public School, Patiala. All staff assembled for the initiation into the new year with a magical and compelling workshop by me (Sreeni), E to the power of 6.

Sreeni's workshop, E to the power of 6 at Yadavindra Public School, Patiala

The light drizzle on the already foggy, cold morning, made all members of staff, over hundred of them, huddle inside the dance room of the middle school, that was equipped with hot blowers and heaters. I, with my personification of energy and child-like spirit, sent a shocker when I asked all of them to assemble in the well of the amphitheatre. They expressed quite a few reasons why they should not be in the rain. I wanted them to be children and not teachers, and do what children would do. Finally, with great reluctance, they made it to the well of the amphithetre.

They must have wondered what this crazy, monkish creature is up to. I could see the quizzical faces, and in the few smirks. A few shared that I looked like a musician. We all carry our own perceptions! for good of course 😉 What happened for the next hour or so, in the light drizzle (smiling sun peeping from behind the dark clouds at times) has been magical. The discussion that followed about the trust walk, made them realize a lot about what it means to be visually-challenged, being a facilitator to one, feeling of responsibility, the role of trust etc. etc…

Sreeni's workshop, E to the power of 6 at Yadavindra Public School, Patiala

The real import of the exercise dawned upon them, when I asked them to appreciate the situation of the child (ren) that they are guiding in the class, in the school or at home, to that of the visually challenged that they guided for a while, during the exercise. It was a bolt out of blue. A few were dumbstruck, quite a few very intensely lost, and a couple could not even fathom!

The whole of five hours passed by, with a few more exercises of self-introspection, each facilitating them to peal their own layers, each helping them to show the mirror for the participants to reflect and introspect. What was more heartening was that they did not want to leave without watching a few videos of lateral thinking on academic curriculum design and pedagogy. The session had to be extended beyond the time, at their insistence. Quite a few of the teachers and also the leadership team shared that, it was for the first time such a thing happened.

Sreeni's workshop, E to the power of 6 at Yadavindra Public School, Patiala

I had asked, the headmaster, Mr. Stanley Vinod Kumar and the coordinator, Ms. Sangeeta, a day before that I needed at least six hours to have a meaningful session. Stanley, with his sagacity and understanding of the mindset of the participants, asked me not to exceed four and half hours. He was delighted, so were the dean and the leadership, that teachers insisted on watching more and staying beyond.

As a facilitator, of course, I am always hungry for more. It is a ‘nasha’ – addiction – to facilitate more and more, for I always feel that I have not done justice to all that I wanted to facilitate, for the long travel that I undertook to conduct the workshop.

It was indeed a pleasure to be at this institution with about 70 years of legacy; the grand stadium that it is integral to, the rich sporting heritage with legendary alumni like Milkha Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu etc to name a few. Got to know that their students this year also have won laurels in sixteen different sports at the national level.

The institution is keenly  looking forward to becoming a full-fledged boarding school, that will enable them to make the whole environment an exciting 24 X 7 learning space. I too am looking forward to my next workshop at YPS, as much as Mr Stanley and the school leadership want me to.

I am waiting for the feedback forms to reach me from Bharat, the CL warrior at Patiala, who, in the first place, was instrumental in pulling me to the workshop at YPS. I am glad that Bharat did. It has been a very enriching experience learning during the workshop as well as visiting every nook and corner of the YPS, inhaling the air and imbibing the spirit of excellence it stands for!

Can we be masters of the technology rather than slaves – ICT in Education Summit

“Learning has hugely shifted online and is no more restricted to schools and colleges. The modern ways of learning have evolved with technology with a variety of tools and resources available online to facilitate this learning. It is to understand and deliberate on this that the 4th ICT in Education Summit was conceptualized and organized, which was attended by around 200 guests comprising of academicians, think tanks from the corporate world and government representatives.” – VAR India, who organized the event. The report is on 4th ICT in Education Summit

The afternoon panel discussion was themed around “Education in India merits Change.”  It was moderated jointly by Mr Vijay Shukla, Managing Director, Eduvisors, and Mr Sujit Panigrahi, CTO, Convergent Technologies. The panelists included, Mr Adil Usman, Business Head, iProf Learning Solutions; Mr R. Sreenivasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate (career Launcher); Ms Vineeta Mittal, Principal, The Millennium School, Gurgaon; Mr Gaurav Tomar, Director, Rabindranath World School, Gurgaon; Mr Varadarajan Sridharan, Fellow, Ed Tech; and Ms Sara H. Basson, Ph.D., Worldwide Program Director, IBM – TJ Watson Research Center.

The panel, discussing “Education in India merits change”

Topics for discussion revolved around the present education system in India, spanning from how to make Schools’ ICT Investment Count and technology-led disruption for Indian education ecosystem to upgrading ICT infrastructure to make learning environment fit for the future and safeguarding devices and prioritizing cyber safety and security.

Opening the session, Vijay set the tone for the panel discussion ..

– How does ICT impact the three dimensions of quality, access and equity
– Is the school space or higher Education radically impacted
– with just 18% gross enrollment ratio for higher education in India, what is the game changer

Varadarajan shared

  •  ICT challenges and compels improvement
  •  21st century saw ICT push, because of quality – as tool to enhance
  •  Most technologies and tools have evolved in the last decade
  •  The hole in the wall experiment by Dr. Sugata mitra, showed how ICT can make a difference
  • So, teachers’ role has changed – It is a question of how fast you adapt, what do you do as a facilitators
  • It all boils down to how do you, as an institution empower the mentors
  • concept of learning environment, home work and evaluation change
  • Policies of the state has to keep pace with this change in the outlook and environment

Vineeta Mittal

  • It is a tool, definitely required
  • What all needed to change in a school context –
    • Teachers have to move from content delivery to being facilitators
    • From memorization to giving conceptual clarity
    • life skills to be inculcated and taken forward
    • The learning will become interdisciplinary
    • May help children to evolve as out of the box thinkers

Gaurav

  • Only compelling reason I found was, every school in the vicinity is placing hoardings all over about ICT, whether they understood or not
  • Could procure hardware from Nehru place, software home grown
  • But one significant shift that technology demands is the cultural change
    • How fast people in the system orient themselves to the shift
    • Is it imposed or embraced
    • The leadership has to facilitate the whole process

Sreeni

Tech or ICT is only an enabler. If I look back at our journey in CL Educate

  • Launched compassbox in 1998, reached thousands of homes, initially mostly the MENA Region for curriculum support
  • Then we went on to introduce classrooms on the desktop in the MENA region – 2001, teachers teaching from remotest parts of India. Pankaj, an amazing teacher with passion for tech, used to take biology from Patna in 2001, when internet penetration in India was miniscule. But Indians abroad lapped it up
  • CL – we have sessions in the career and test prep space – webinars – attended by about 6-7k participants from nook and corner of the country and abroad too

The important challenges to focus in schools these days –

    • To make the learning environment and processes that stroke the right brain, any ways we are masters of clerical faculties
    • Idiot box was a challenge, it became a baby sitter… Now lap top, palm top… Whatsupp (FB acquired it for $19bn yday).. they all end up making  people unproductive, if not realized their role..
    • I had shared about a film that I had come across, in which the grade 4 curriculum was completely taught through a project to design the furniture for the classroom, during the academic year. Here is the film..

What is very important is how do we use it, where and when to use it.. Possibilities include

  • collaboration among mentors across geographies
  • collaborative learning among students,
  • customizing learning to differently-abled children in the same class
  • promote interdisciplinary work
  • bringing world class open source learning resources to the child and mentors

We need to be master of technology rather than ending up as a slave…. Hope the laptops distributed by the UP govt is being put to good use, not just for watching movies!

Sara

  • education is the next big thing for ICT
  • analytics holds the key to facilitate students
    • personalizing – individualized attention
    • Georgia school research. – with the data, can you predict the student where will he be?
    • enabling careers – education and the world – marrying the two
    • best innovation is pause and start buttonChallenges
      – complete info about the student
      – how did you know that he is going to succeed; analytics of historical data
      – we have technology, trying to find the solution; not the other way around

Adil

Problems that can be solved by tech

  • check a few industries – health…. Tech has changed paradigm
  • we need to think how tech can be used in the
  • Challenges
    – shortage of quality teachers – people
    – access to high quality content and tools
    – customized learning paths
  • We have deployed tools in – Meghalaya, Mauritius, now 15 million in CBSE
    – increase efficiency, reduce unwanted workload
    – tablet and online learning
    – Offline, online, in lass, outclass
    – mentors can be better facilitator

Vijay

– what is the matrix of success?

Q & A

Dr jayaprakash – I used IBM 1620 in 1964 first time; retired as Principal Baskara charya college

in Delhi and NCR ….
– quality of the student? How does it change? In NCR we do not have shortage of resources…what about the interiors of the nation

Vineeta
Kind of learners – visual, kinesthetic, …. Figure out what kind of learner and use it
Any where and any time learning

Varadarajan
– do we have a road map for ICT
– quality vision and road map
– Dmitry, a thought leader is working on Preserving his brain
– large hadron collider, whole movie has been made. How many get access to it

– failing to plan is planning to fail

Sreeni

  • Having batted other way around let me bat for ICT
  • In IWS, our schools, the best of the resources from the universities of the world is on the tabs for the students – imagine MIT, CALTECH videos to understand the concepts of specific gravity, viscosity..children get to see the experiments recorded
  • Come to the class and faculty does only practical to help you understand better
  • It is all about how best we use and we need to stroke the imagination of mentors first, then children will be take care off

Vijay
I sum up the discussion with a question

Can we strike a right balance both in creation and consumption of technology?

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