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Safety in outdoor classroom learning

Hima Mal started her session on Safety in Outdoor Classroom Learning by narrating the rescue operation of the 12 Thai boys of a football team who had got stuck in a cave with their coach.

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Hima Mal started her session on Safety in Outdoor Classroom Learning by narrating the rescue operation of the 12 Thai boys of a football team who had got stuck in a cave with their coach. This was a case of a school excursion trip going wrong. She observed that such mishaps can be prevented if proper planning and risk assessment are practiced.

She also noted that there has been a sharp rise in inquiries pertaining to safety measures to be adopted by school authorities during domestic and international trips. Since outdoor classroom learning is gaining popularity, it is important to change its perception as an aid to indoor classroom learning and to integrate such programs within the curriculum.

Mal stated that the two equally important concerns with such programs are education and safety. It is important that there is a review process for the educators and mentors with parameters like presentations, review boards, and making sure that the evidence of learning is held accountable. While the wards spend leisurely time outdoors, their guardians and school authorities are concerned about their wards' safety. By citing the example of a group of students stranded at a hurricane-struck area in New York, she underlined the importance of carefully selecting the travel partner for outdoor trips. During that incident, EdTerra ensured that each and every student that it was accountable for was returned home safely. She stressed upon the "skills, means and intent" of the organisation to address the crisis in a timely manner, thereby ensuring the safety of its clients.

In conclusion, she outlined some key competence areas of organisations conducting outdoor classroom learning such as expertise with working with students, execution that maximizes learning, rigorous safety standards within the program and recruitment of educators that have the skill-set required for outdoor education programs for student travel whose roles, rules and procedures are defined.

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Maths Premier League 2021 Concludes; Students from Tier-2 Cities Win Laurels

Registrations topped 60,000 students; 11,000 finally qualified for the five-week tournament

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The inaugural edition of Maths Premier League (MPL 2021) has concluded after five weeks of nail-biting contest, with Vadodara’s New Era Senior Secondary School taking home the Ramanujan Maths Trophy and a cash prize of ₹25,000. Middle school students from smaller cities outshone their peers from metros in this competition, with three of the four zonal winners from India announced from Ranchi, Vadodara, and Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district.

MPL 2021 was organized by Countingwell, a dedicated maths learning app, as a maths competition for school students studying in classes 6th to 8th. Delhi’s Darbari Lal DAV Model School won the award for highest average score across all three classes.

Over 60,000 students had registered to participate in the league, out of which 11,000 qualified for the tournament. In order to win and advance to later stages, students had to undergo weekly courses and participate in tests held at the end of each week. Middle school students from 11 countries participated in the tournament, including India, UK, USA, UAE, Kuwait and Bangladesh among others. Within India, students from 29 states and Union Territories participated in this edition of the MPL.

“The overwhelming response to the first edition of Countingwell Maths Premier League corroborates our belief in competitions and contests as a powerful motivator for enhanced learning of maths. We congratulate the winners and finalists and hope that they enjoyed learning new Maths concepts and putting them to practice in weekly tests as we did in putting together this league,” said Mr. Nirmal Shah, co-founder of Countingwell.

Within India, 51% of qualifying students came from metro cities, while 37% were from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. A total of INR 50 lakh worth of prize money including several cash awards was distributed among the winning students and schools.

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In total there were 44 awards given to 4 schools and 28 students.

Avaneesh Kaikini, a class 7 student of Mumbai’s Children’s Academy School stood third in the country in class 7. “MPL has been a great experience for me to explore various maths concepts and practice a variety of questions. I am very happy that my school gave me an opportunity to be a part of this amazing competition,” he said.

Commenting upon the nature of the competition, Baidehi Kuila, a Class 6 Student of Lakshmipat Singhania School, Rayagada said, My experience with MPL was awesome. The way the Countingwell app teaches Maths is unbelievable. In the app along with the concepts we get a number of problems to practice which improves our mathematical ability. Also the questions given in the app and during MPL matches were very good. The questions not only ask the answers but also the procedure to solve it. Hence such questions improve our conceptual clarity a lot. She stood second in the country among Class 6 students.

During the five weeks of the competition, qualifying students solved over two lakh individual maths problems in total. The finalists completed an average of 60 learning outcomes to reach the last stages of the competition.

Countingwell’s Mr. Shah added, “Our analysis has revealed that during the course of five weeks of MPL 2021, the participating students underwent a total of 37,366 hours worth of learning. So many students willingly and voluntarily spending so much time practicing maths is a stunning achievement for the league. We are also glad that MPL 2021 succeeded in its mission to make learning maths a fun exercise for thousands of students around the world.”

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India Inclusion Summit 2020 In A Glimpse: ‘Everybody’s Good At Something’

The online event saw stalwarts like Viswanathan Anand playing chess with visually-impaired national champion Megha Chakraborty and world-renowned speed painter Vilas Nayak creating magic with Anu Jain, an art teacher on a wheelchair. The summit also saw actor Sonu Sood in conversation with India’s 1

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India Inclusion Summit, since 2012, strives to spread awareness on the need to build a more equitable and inclusive society. Their endeavour is to provide equal opportunities for all, regardless of their colour, gender, creed, or ability. Their vision is to ‘Create an Inclusive India where nobody is left behind!’

Their mission is to:

  1. Create awareness on the need for Inclusion in mainstream society.
  2. Provide a platform for unsung heroes and celebrating the human spirit.
  3. Facilitate building deep connections and a thriving community of people who are passionate about making India and the world inclusive.
  4. Catalyze the journey of young entrepreneurs and artists who are in the disability and inclusion space.
  5. Partner with corporates to support people & projects that lead to education, employment, and livelihoods for people with disabilities

The summit of 2020 conducted a live session on 21 November 2020 where panellists spoke about inclusion, ability in disability and how ‘Everybody is good at something!’

Vikram Sridhar hosted the session, he is a professional Performance Storyteller and a Theater Practitioner. He started with a story about his childhood and his teacher who included him when he felt excluded in school. He also added how important it is to listen or talk about inclusion right in the formative years in school.

The summit began with an epic play of chess (online) when Megha Chakraborty, a visually-impaired professional chess player from West Bengal, challenging the legendary world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand. During this friendly game, they talked about their mutual interest in chess and the development of that interest since childhood as well as life lessons. Post-match, Anand gave the young player some helpful tips for improving her game.

His suggestions not only were relevant to playing chess but are also eligible in living life especially for those who are differently-abled. “It's mostly thoughtlessness we need to fight against,” said Anand.

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Karuna Shullai, Sridevi Jayashankar, Ananya Jain, Sagarika Nair are four school-going girls who talked next about inclusion and how ‘everyone is good at something.’ These girls spoke about their different disabilities and how their schools/teachers and almost everybody around have been supportive of them. These children study in mainstream schools, a little effort on their school’s part as well as a supportive staff has helped them immensely to grow in life. This is a very big example of the summit’s main aim, that is to create a world where all children are given equal opportunities. One of the panellists, Sridevi, was also interpreting in sign language during the group conversation, so those viewers with hearing-disability could understand the context. Though she does not have a hearing/speaking-disability herself, her parents were born deaf, and so, she learnt the sign language for them. Her considerate and compassionate nature is what makes a huge difference in the lives of people around her and teach them about inclusion. 

Later in the online event, Vikram Sridhar introduced a song on friendship by Vasu Dixit which was dedicated by Ashwin Karthik, who is the first successful engineer from India with Cerebral Palsy. He wrote the song for his best friend Bharat whom he met in college. Bharat had a huge hand in shaping Ashwin’s life and career while putting his own needs and career on hold. This shows how a bond so strong can make all the difference, showing how just one person can make it better for others if only they include those with different abilities.

In the next segment, the Indian-origin motivational speaker, Sparsh Shah, began by saying, “Disabled, for some of us, this word should not exist because it is too condemning to those who have been given this label.” A resident of New Jersey, this rapper, singer and songwriter who has a rare condition called Osteogenesis imperfecta, talked about how persons with disabilities can break barriers and live a life without limits. Shah talked about how society has seen the disabled people as a ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed, to which his answer for them was, “We are not entitled, we have simply been robbed of some basic human rights.”

Shah also talked about reclaiming the label ‘disabled’ by embracing it and not feeling ashamed or any less by it. He talked about world-renowned celebrities, scientists, politicians and more who had some or the other kind of disability yet they were the best in their field and are still globally-celebrated. He concluded his session with a new version of ‘Aasman Ke Paar,’ the theme song of IIS which he rapped & sang melodiously for the viewers. Shah is an inspiration for people who wish to do something constructive and extraordinary in their lives but are psychologically restricted by their disabilities.

“We are disabled, we are proud of that label, we always will be,” explained Shah.

Next happened a riveting conversation where Sonu Sood, the famous Bollywood actor/producer and humanitarian, talked to Pranav Bakshi, India’s first autistic male model. They discussed fitness, inclusion in the glamour world, and much more. Sonu spoke about how fitness is a very important aspect of his life, he also suggested to Pranav, as well as others, that they should take care of their physical fitness in order to keep the emotional health sound.

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Sonu, being an avid fitness lover, gave tips on how one can easily lead a healthy lifestyle. His humanitarian work during COVID-19 lockdown has not been a secret, the nation applauds him for the immense empathy he showed, and so, consequently, Pranav, too, asked questions regarding the same. In return, Sonu told Pranav how he is an inspiration to many. “Thanks to IIS for championing this cause and spreading the message of inclusion,” remarked Sood.

Anu Jain, a Fine Arts Gold medalist with no limbs, was next in conversation with Vilas Nayak, Asia’s fastest Speed Painter. They talked about Inclusion in the creative world. Anu is also a teacher of arts for children and conducts workshops in fine arts for adults. While talking about each other’s journey, life and dreams, Anu said, “I believe everyone is a student for life.” Vilas and Anu both have different journeys, but the path leads to the same destination – Inclusivity in the creative world.

VR Ferose, Vice President of SAP, the man behind it all and the founder of India Inclusion Summit, made his appearance in the end to share an encouraging message with the thousands of viewers. “It gives me great joy to see so many schools, teachers, parents and students participating in this virtual meet today.”

Ferose talked about how he enjoyed seeing these young minds interact with their role models, he said, “True change, not just in India but around the world, can only be driven by passionate youth.” It was wisely said by him that like a rainbow, which is made of seven different individual colours, the idea of inclusion, too, shall manifest when the youth with different abilities come together, embracing each other’s differences. 

The two-hour-long event concluded with a request to take the pledge of inclusion! We have, and you?

Send your creativity about the word “Inclusion” at [email protected].

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2019 GESS Education Awards programme received submissions from 45 countries worldwide

Winners of the 2019 GESS Education Awards have been announced, honouring outstanding achievements in the field of education from 11 countries around the world, including the UAE, Finland, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, USA, Hong Kong, Kenya, Jordan, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

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Winners of the 2019 GESS Education Awards have been announced, honouring outstanding achievements in the field of education from 11 countries around the world, including the UAE, Finland, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, USA, Hong Kong, Kenya, Jordan, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.

Thousands of submissions were received from as many as 45 countries, making this year’s edition of the prestigious awards programme the biggest to date.

Leading the winners is Dr. Ashok Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, The Indian High School who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in association with Taaleem. An educational leader with more than 30 years of experience in the educational sector, Dr. Kumar was recognised by the judges as a passionate leader with an unmatched track record of successfully managing various groups of educational institutions.

“Dr. Kumar is an exceptional person who came into the region and has certainly ‘Made a Difference’ in his time here. He led the Indian High School to an “Outstanding” rating by the KHDA in the DSIB school inspection cycle, for six consecutive years. His commitment to improving education both nationally and internationally was recognised when he was awarded a National Award for Best Principal in 2001: given by then Hon. Minister of Education for India, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi. He has also been honoured in the UAE by being the recipient of the Sheikh Hamdan Award for his Distinguished School and School Administration,” said Ros Marshall, CEO, Taaleem.

Among the teachers, schools and education professionals who were recognised for their various noteworthy initiatives were Louise McGeever – Safa British School (Ambassador for the Environment), Kamal Kalwani – Ambassador School (Best Initiative for Inclusion and Wellbeing), Janet  Mulei – Diamond Junior School, Kenya (Best Use of Digital Learning in the Classroom); Lauren Malin, Al Ittihad Private School Jumeira and Abdulaziz Ahmed – Dubai British School (Best use of STEAM Learning in the Classroom), International Community School Amman (Community Award for Citizenship); Year 5 Team – Jumeirah English Speaking School and Arabian Ranches (Innovation in Education Award); as well as Carolyn Bailey, Cambridge High School and Jaya Bhavnani, Dwight Global Online School (Outstanding Contribution in Education Award).

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The other set of awardees honoured education suppliers and individual products, including the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Best CSR Programme for Education), Immersive VR Education (Best Digital / VR / AI Product), Mathigon (Best Free App / Software Product), Claned Group (Best Paid for App / Software Product), Charanga for International Schools/Charanga (Best Product to Promote Arts, Music and Drama in the Classroom), ActiveFloor (Best Product to Promote Health, Fitness and Sports in the Classroom), ISKU Middle East DMCC (Best Sustainable / Eco-Friendly Product), Yap Books (Innovation Product Awards – Digital / Coding / Software), Gratnells Ltd (Innovation Products Awards – Equipment / Hardware / non-ICT), newmero bricks / newmero (Early Years Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Nahla Wa Nahil (Primary Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Aristo STEM Connection and Saudi Digital Library (Secondary and Higher Education Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Real Training (SEN Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Awecademy (Start Up Company of the Year).

Meanwhile, The Hollins Let's Be Foundation and Learn IT were given the Judges Commendation Award for Teachers, Schools, Educational Professionals as well as Suppliers, respectively.

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Shift from lecture-style classrooms to active-learning environments increases student engagement

A shift from lecture-style classrooms to active-learning environments
not only increases student engagement but also improves retention and recruitment rates, say experts.

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Technology is playing a key role in transforming the learning process in the Gulf region as educational institutions are investing heavily to shift from lecture-style classrooms to active-learning environments, say experts.

According to Patrick Hayes, Director at British Educational Suppliers Association, “The strategy not only enhances the knowledge of the students via increased engagement but also improves retention and recruitment rates at the end of their studies.”

“Technology benefits schools and students many ways. Some of the technology may not directly drive education but reduces the workload of teachers. If we have happy teachers it’s all about benefiting children. Technology benefits schools that’s the reason UK educators spend half a billion pounds per annum on technology,” said Hayes, who was attending the Global Educational Supplies & Solutions (GESS) exhibition in Dubai.

Stressing on the importance of the role of technology in boosting the learning experience in the classrooms, Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, Business Unit Director B2C, Canon Middle East, said, "It has been reported that by 2020 there will be 175,000 class spaces coming up in the UAE. At Canon, we believe four walls of the classroom is not just education, it’s beyond the four walls. The way technology is moving you see right from education intelligence to big data and interactive displays, there are multiple things coming more and more in the schools.”

Highlighting the benefits of technology in the classrooms, Duncan Kemp, International Business Development Manager, pi-top, said, "Technology, used correctly, makes lessons and learning better. By correctly I mean teachers and educators who have the confidence and skills to coach and mentor students and bring different subjects to life through technology. Technology has allowed educators to access new ways of teaching that weren’t possible previously. It allows students to become more creative, whereby they can create products or use code to solve the real world problems that matter to them."

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Speaking on “Online Learning: A Case for Flipped Classrooms in the UAE” during the Future Learning session at GESS 2019, Claire Hazenburg, Classroom Technology Teacher, Australian International School, Sharjah, said, “Technology benefits teachers in terms of efficiency. We get contents to students more quickly through technology and it helps students build their capacity through digital literacy. About 80 percent of students are happy with the technology use and 20 percent are reluctant to participate that’s might be a challenge for the time being.”

On being asked if increasing the role of technology is making education expensive for students, Osama Mohammed Idrees of Mohammed Bin Hamad School said, "No. It does not make it expensive since schools have high numbers of students.

Mona Al Laham from Saudi Arabia also agreed with Mohammed. "Well, books are not cheap as well. So, it’s kind of in the middle," she said.

Ali Akbar, a teacher from India-based Attalim School said, "Five years ago, the education technology was considered expensive for schools. But it has gradually become affordable."

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National Level Finals of National Youth Parliament Festival concludes

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will confer the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 awards to the winners on 27th February, 2019.

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The National Level Finals of National Youth Parliament Festival concluded, with the announcement of winners. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will confer the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 awards to the winners on 27th February, 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan. The winners from the national level competition were Shweta Umra from Maharashtra, Anjanakshi M.S from Karnataka and Mamta Kumari from Bihar. Four contestants won the Commendation award. The jury for the competition comprised of Sh Prafulla Ketkar, Ms. Smita Prakash, Ms. Roopa Ganguly, Dr. A.K.Dubey, and Mr. Parvesh Verma. All the participants were given a certificate of participation by Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports & Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd).

Speaking on the occasion, Col. Rathore lauded the participants for their efforts. Appreciating the level of the competition, he said that the jury found it very difficult to declare the winners. He called upon all the participants, who could not win today, not to lose heart but work harder in life. The Minster said the situation should not be blamed for adverse results. One should look inwards, and then only the champion will come out. He said that stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a sign of victory itself. One should adapt to new situations, as the future is in one’s own hands. He called upon the youth to take responsibility for their and the country’s future.

National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 has been jointly organized by National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), under the aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, on the theme of “Be the Voice of New India” and “Find solutions and contribute to policy”. Youth in the age bracket of 18-25 years were invited to participate in the District, State and National level Youth Parliaments. The National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 was conducted at the District and State levels. The participants for District Youth Parliament, (DYP) were selected through two screening processes i.e. Digital and Walk-in screenings in Nodal Institution in 471 designated districts across the country from 24th to 28th January. The best three speakers selected by a Jury from each District Youth Parliament participated at the State Youth Parliament (SYP). Two best speakers selected from each SYP participated as speakers in the National Youth Parliament (NYP). As many as 28 State Youth Parliaments were held across the country from 5th to 7th February to select 56 final contestants for NYP. The best three speakers at the National Youth Parliament will be awarded Rs. 2 Lakhs, Rs. 1.50 Lakhs and Rs. 1 Lakh respectively in order of merit along with a certificate by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. More than 50 thousand youth participated through Youth Parliaments at all levels.

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Educators Learn Productivity Tools at Tech Dive 2018

The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet hosted top educators from across India at Tech Dive 2018 on October 5-6, 2018. 

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Photo caption – Certificate of Excellence Being Presented By The Guests of Honour at Tech Dive 2018

The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet hosted top educators from across India at Tech Dive 2018 on October 5-6, 2018. Tech Dive 2018 is India’s answer to technology classroom for school leaders where they are oriented by design in the most updated technology-enabled learning solutions available. It is a 2-day back-to-school platform for educators where experts from leading technology solutions held classroom sessions with live demonstrations.

Technology in schools is here to stay. How important is it to integrate using technology and skills related to search, learn and re-learn effectively to create lasting impressions in the way teachers teach and students learn. Thanks to technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Robotics, 3D printing etc, possibilities to create a conducive learning environment in the classroom is possible.

According to Ravi Santlani, CEO, ScooNews, “Technology is all encompassing and is known to transform teaching & learning, accelerate innovation and solve tough problems in education. Tech Dive is a platform that will give the educators insight into tools, technology, and apps that best meet their learning objectives."

The principal of the host school The Hyderabad Public School, Mr. Skand Bali remarked, “As educational leaders, we need to create an atmosphere conducive for learning the latest actionable technology solutions. AI, VR, AR are the realities of future education system and cannot be ignored. My fundamental belief in a strong culture of learning & re-learning of the teachers will eventually benefit students and the society at large.”

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About Tech Dive 2018

Conceptualized as a two day, multi-geography, different-teacher assembly rolled out by ScooNews, Tech Dive is to serve as a Gold Standard for teacher training in Tech Skills. It was designed as a two-day residential learner-outcome assured event.

At Tech Dive, Technology enables learning to happen intuitively and self-paced for teachers who wish to take their learning forward to orient their students better. In the present times, school and teachers end up processing different types of data. Productivity tools (word processor, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software) are available on all computers and maybe the obvious tools to use for most teaching and learning tasks – and yet, it's probably true to say that 80 percent of computer users know only 20 percent of what a computer can do. The Tech Dive formula is designed to go to various cities.

About ScooNews

ScooNews is Media platform for the education sector comprising of print, online, online TV and events. ScooNews magazine has a monthly print run of 65,000 copies nationally with a targetted readership of 2,50,000. ScooNews also has an equal presence in the online medium at www.scoonews.com.

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Technology powers disruption

A discussion on ‘An Investor’s Perspective on Disruption in the Traditional Models of Education’ saw Prajakt Raut, Imran Jafar, and Nirav Khambhati participating.

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A discussion on ‘An Investor’s Perspective on Disruption in the Traditional Models of Education’ saw Prajakt Raut, Imran Jafar, and Nirav Khambhati participating. Asking the panel to share their thesis on where the investment world has seen the education world change, Prajakt Raut began by shedding light on the role of investors in the education ecosystem, pointing out, “Investors have a ringside view of the changing scenario in the field of education; they have a view on where and how the market is likely to go.”

Imran Jafar shared his thesis as focusing on K-12 education as well as ancillary products and services. “There are two broad areas where we see an opportunity for innovation; first, in driving core learning outcomes. The learning crisis needs the Google maps of education, wherein we have the data analytics for a better understanding of the student. We should be able to know where the student is today and clearly map out the destination and the most effective path to get there. We believe that technology is necessary but not sufficient for growth in education. I’d recommend Mindspark, a personalised technology-enabled learning engine for students,” he averred.
Taking the discussion forward, Nirav Khambhati shared, “I believe interesting opportunities are arising at the intersection of two conflicting trends. Most of the stakeholders in education recognise that there is a need for change and the society’s context around education is changing. It’s no longer about degrees because degrees no longer ensure employment. It’s about having the right skills. There is an urgency to bring about a change and, at the same time, education as a subject has changed very slowly over the last 5000 years. So, as we say there are only four fundamental disruptions in the world of education – first was the invention of writing, second was the moveable type, third was the printing press and now there’s internet, and every time there was a disruption, it took a lot of time for society to accept that. On one hand, there’s a pressing need to bring about a change but at the same time education, as a subject, changes very slowly. At the intersection of these two conflicting trends, there are rising opportunities. Technology isn’t just about recording the offline process and making it available online. Technology is about allowing the teacher to accurately track the progress that a classroom has made.”

Thus, the panel concluded that there is a need to experiment with tools that give us an accurate assessment of both the student and the teacher.

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Nation-building through education

Shukla Bose, founder & CEO, Parikrma Humanity Foundation concluded her #SGEF2018 session by saying, “It is with equal opportunities that we will have a robust nation.”

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Shukla Bose, founder, and CEO of Parikrma Humanity Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that runs English-medium schools for underprivileged children, made a moving plea for education for all. She pointed out that by 2020, 120 million students will need jobs in India but only 84% of them will be employable and this is a demographic disaster. We often don’t plan for the marginalised sections of the society in terms of education. We need to change this attitude and build a nation that provides education to each child.

Bose pointed out, “Students drop out of school because there’s no value in the schools that they go to. It is said that with basic education, 71 million people will get out of poverty and global poverty will be 12% less. That’s the impact of education.”

She also suggested the actions needed for change, “We need to make education relevant for the new world. The curriculum needs to span cultural, economic and personal and interpersonal global relations. Our curriculum, teaching, and learning is local while it needs to be global because our students will have to apply for jobs globally. We need to incorporate flipped classrooms with collaborative and independent learning, digital textbooks, artificial intelligence, personalized learning, etc. We need to teach students to use their own brain and let them understand what, how and when can they learn; that makes them learn better.”

Adding to her point, she said, “We need to promote multi-disciplinary learning. For all of this to happen, teachers must start learning and they must teach how to learn, they must teach collaboration and evaluation of information. Teachers must become curators of all the information that’s available for a child. Teach them love and tolerance and when that falls in place in a school system, half your job is done. We need coaches, not teachers. And when all that happens, there’ll be less social unrest.”
Bose also shared the two models followed by Parikrma, “The first is the 360-degree model wherein we give nutrition and total health care to each student while working with their families. The second model is the E-to-E model wherein we take care of the children from age 5 to 25; we mentor them till they’re placed in jobs and it is good news that 100% of our students went to college last year. We have trained students with school habits, toilet habits and follow no compromise curriculum. We also have remedial and counseling programs for students who are susceptible to danger or trauma or have seen horrific events. “

She also highlighted the healthy cycle that begins with educating these children wherein even their parents develop a healthy mindset and lifestyle, which in turn makes the student perform better in school. She concluded by saying, “It is with equal opportunities that we will have a robust nation.”

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Using #EdTech for school transformation

Lalit Yagnik, EON Reality, emphasised on the need to adopt AR & VR technology in order to prepare our students as leaders of tomorrow.

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Focusing on Using Technology For The Transformation of Education, Lalit Yagnik started by emphasising on the importance of perception in three dimensions (or 3D) by stating that since we dream in 3D and experience the world in 3D, our natural perception and capability of learning is in 3D. However, for the longest time, we have reduced our learning to texts and other mediums produced in mere 2D. Earlier we didn't have the technology to use 3D for learning but, now we do. Moreover, with collaboration between various institutions, we can connect two remote places using such technology. He further spoke about three aspects notably; the presence of the EON Reality, the company he represents, its area of operation and how the problems discussed during the various presentations of the conference could be solved.

EON Reality has been working in the knowledge, skill and education sectors for the past 20 years. It works on platforms like virtual reality or VR, augmented reality or AR for education while the majority of other VR companies work on entertainment. The company has a global presence with one office also located in Udaipur. They work with universities, vocational education institutes and more recently, with K-12 segment. Their technology is not only used for students but also for people who need training, re-training in various industries and also with national and state level governments. The government today wants to understand how citizens can be made aware of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and Cloud technology etc. It is important to understand how to train students so that they become more skilled in order to compete at a global level.

He explained that the biggest boon for India has been the telecom revolution in the recent years. However, some issues have come up regarding a shortage of teachers, low budgets for education, the complexity of what students, workers etc. have to know in order to perform.

Through a presentation of statistics, he elaborated that over the last 10 years, it has been observed that even though a lot of jobs have come up, sufficient number of skilled people are not available to perform them. The solution to that is the 'leverage' in terms of using technology and collaboration for their training.

Yagnik further elaborated on how to create content in minutes without the requirement of computer programming (since it is as easy as making a PowerPoint presentation). The reception of such lessons can be done on devices like mobile phones and head-mounted gears. Such teaching is done by virtual trainers in a group classroom using games in different educational institutions.

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He stated that most of the content shown in the videos were created by students and teachers themselves. He further added that it is not an independent piece of technology. It requires to be used in tandem with various learning management systems, student record systems etc.

In conclusion, he emphasised on the need to adopt this technology in order to prepare our students as leaders of tomorrow.

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Skilling up!

Education that can be accessed within India and to everybody in India is the aim of the betterU Education model.

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Speaking on The Global Solution to India’s Skilling Challenge, Brad Loiselle discussed the creation of self-employment. Battling difficult times as he hustled through school and college and took up numerous jobs, he talked about how his experience motivated him to look beyond the degrees mentioned in his CV and create an opportunity for himself. While addressing the problem of scarcity of jobs, he talked about how people have great resumes and PhDs but can’t get a job because they lack the fundamental skills required to do that job. “India is in a unique situation, you have lots and lots of people, not enough jobs,” he added.

According to Brad, the only way to skill the mass population that’s growing every day is through technology. He addressed the lack of facilities and quality teachers and proposed the idea of bringing top educators from around the world, under the roof of online education. Education that can be accessed within India and to everybody in India is the aim of his model. “It’s about education and delivering and access to it,” he explained.

Elaborating further, he shared, “Our model is to work around the world to bring educators together, bring all education from all different education sectors and all different depths and levels of education together to one system and then mass market it through some of our partners. We have partnered with Hindustan Times and Times of India, they are both shareholders in our company.” He put forth the idea of bringing this change not only to tier one cities but also in the rural areas through facilitated education. “A lot of rural areas don’t have technology or understand how to use that, but why not bring the facilitators to those areas to do that? We have been spending time on how to solve that problem as well,” he concluded.

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