Tell Your Friends....

17 Aug 2013

Coursera_Introductory Physics I with Laboratory

The course 'Introductory Physics I with Laboratory' by Michael F. Schatz from Georgia Institute of Technology will be offered free of charge to everyone on the Coursera platform.
Its aim to understand and to predict motion in the real world using a small set of powerful fundamental principles. The laboratories are the backbone of this course, providing opportunities (1) to observe and to analyze motion in our own surroundings, (2) to apply fundamental principles to build explanations of the motion, and (3) to evaluate, in a constructively critical way, our own measurements and models, as well as the measurements and models of our course peers. Other course elements (lecture videos with “clicker” questions, homework) support and extend the physics explored in the laboratories.
Participants who satisfactorily complete the course will be eligible for six (6) Continuing Education Units from the American Association of Physics Teachers. 

This is also a good opportunity to teachers to learn new methods of teaching 'Physics', I joined...

 Sign up



16 Aug 2013

How to Trigger Students’ Inquiry Through Projects

When students engage in quality projects, they develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions that serve them in the moment and in the long term. There are several ways to start designing projects. Here are six steps that will help you get started.


12 Aug 2013

TED winner "Mitra" warns teachers to be ready for change

I am happy to read this article today in LinkedIn post.

Professor Mitra, is a Physicist and teaches Educational Technology at Newcastle University.
Change in system only brings 
entire scenario of education system.

Excerpt  from the article:
“I do not know, I don’t know if there’s a teacher inside us but there’s a learner inside us and that learner, anyway learns all the time. It’s just that he decides what he wants to learn, what is important and what is not important. So if we don’t turn the learner on properly then (it) they doesn’t learn. And I think what some of my Workshops show is that the learner can get  that done by curiosity and by mystery not so much by threat. You can’t say to a learner: now you must learn, he can’t control it if the little learner inside says: “sorry”, then that’s it.”
Well as I’ve said we need some changes in teachers’ training programmes pretty several changes… but most importantly we need a change in the examination system, otherwise my work would appear to be against teachers. It is not against teachers, it is against the kind of teaching the teachers have to do, because of the examination system.”

4 Aug 2013

Teach as they Learn.

i like to bring few articles from new papers and get attention and suggestions.
Private coaching poachesmainstream education” TOI dated June 25 2013.
and

Private tuitions now amulti-billion rupee industry: Survey” Indian express dated june 26th 2013.

and Geek tragedy: Plot weakens"  TOI dated: 4th August 2013  


Few highlights of these articles:
“A majority of the middle-class parents have been spending one third of their monthly income on private tuitions for their wards to do better in their examinations and prepare them for competitive entrance exams for professional courses,” the survey stated.
“The current size of the private coaching industry in India is about $23.7 billion (Rs 1,41,416.33 crore) and is likely to touch $40 billion  (Rs 2,38,677.36 crore) by 2015,” the survey added.
 Private tutors charge Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 per hour per student on a one-to-one basis, while group tuition costs  Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000 per month, it said.” 
“Reports of vacant seats (80,000 in Tamil Nadu; 70,000 in MP; 50,000 in Maharashtra; and 7,800 in Gujarat), and colleges applying for closure are being seen as signs of interest in the field waning." on engineering education.

Schools are becoming only authorised centers for enrolling to  get the certificates as per rules and for learning the students are depending on some other source.
Why teachers in a tuition centres are teaching well and not in the school????
Are the tuition centres are well equipped with teaching methodology and education technology applications than the schools???????
What is the case of students who are not in a position to pay both school and extra fees for tuition centres?

Why to elaborate, what are your suggestions to transform the school education a real and meaningful within the school system? 

Is it possible to make a change by any methods for a real impact in the students and middle class parents  day to day routines???

19 Jul 2013

The teacher is a gardener who helps to....

If You Are a Parent --- BY Azim H Premji.


If you are a parent, you have many aspirations for your child that may include him or her becoming a doctor, an engineer, scientist or another. Kind of successful professional. I believe these aspirations are driven by your thinking about your child’s future, and her centrality in your life.

Since good education is often the passport to a good future, I presume it leads you to getting your child admitted to a good school. Then you encourage your child to study hard and do well in the school exams. To bolster this, you send him or her for tuition classes. This would have primed your child for board exam and entrance exams, thereby leading to admission into a good profession into a good professional course. Doing well at college increases the probability of landing a good job. And a good job means the child’s future is ensured.

I am neither a psychologist nor an educationist, and what I will now state may seem counter-intuitive. I think that these aspirations and actions might be doing more harm than good to your child. To understand why; we need to re-examine some of our fundamental assumptions.

In the first place, I have seen time and again that living: for some distant future goal also means you do not live in the present. The distant goal will always translate into an external measure of success, such as exams. And most exam – focused children start forgetting what it means to be a child, to be curious, mischievous, exploring, falling, getting up, relating, discovering, inventing, doing, playing.

Childhood is very precious; precious enough not be wasted by the artificial pressures of contrived competition, by too many hours of bookish study; and by school report cards that simplistically wrap up an entire human being in numbers.

The second assumption is that education is merely a ticket to socio-economic success. Give the state of our country; this reality cannot be ignored. But restricting education to only this aspect is, I think, a very limiting notion of the aim of good education. 

The primary purpose of a school is to guide the child in her discovery of herself and her world, and to identify and nurture the child’s talents. Just as every seed contains the future tree, each child is born with infinite potential. Imagine a school which sees children as seeds to be nurtured – here the teacher is a gardener who helps to bring out the potential already present in the child.

This is very different from the current view which seeds the child as clay to be molded – where the teacher and parents are potters deciding what shape the clay should take. There is an old (and forgotten) Chinese saying :“Give a seed to a potter, and you will get a bonsa !”

Even in a commercial organization, to make profits we do not have to chase profits. Rather, we need to build an institution that gives every employee an opportunity to do meaningful and fulfilling work.

Create an organization driven by values of innovation, integrity, customer centricity and care. And as you practice these values every day and moment, you will see the profits take care of themselves.

Similarly ; dear parent, this is my request to you. Do not give up your child’s present to secure his or her future. Give your child the freedom to truly explore life with abandon. In doing this, you will see your child flower into a creative and sensitive human being. And when this happens, everything else – money, social success, security – will fall into place automatically.




 Let your child be a child.











[Azim Hashim Premji  is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist  chairman of Wipro LimitedIn 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation,[14] a non-profit organisation, with a vision to significantly contribute to achieving quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The Foundation works in the area of elementary education.
In December 2010, he pledged to donate $2 billion for improving school education in India. This has been done by transferring 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd, held by a few entities controlled by him, to the Azim Premji Trust. This donation is the largest of its kind in India.]
"I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged"--- Azim Premji

14 Jul 2013

Create your Own Online Course (MOOC)

Many teachers enthusiastic to create their own MOOC (mass open online courses) to teach the kids. Here are few websites FREE to go ahead with.

Versal is a simple publishing platform with facility to add everything to develop a course. Add text, videos, images, quizzes and interactive learning gadgets and bring your expertise to life. To use one need not have any technical knowledge. This is a big advantage for teachers with enthusiasm to build courses online.
The Versal Foundation offers grants in two categories: Transformative education and Foundational education. Grants range depending on the scope of your course, length (one hour at a minimum), what it will take to build it, and its power to help people.  

video
Course builder : by ‘Google’ contains software and instructions for presenting your course material, which can include lessons, student activities, and assessments.It also contains instructions for using other Google products to create a  course community and to evaluate the effectiveness of your course. To use Course Builder one should have some familiarity with HTML and JavaScript

Help while learning

Freerice is a free online game and learning tool, that allows players to raise rice to fight world hunger while learning through educational, multiple-choice games. For every question the user answers correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme.
The available subjects include English vocabulary (the original subject with which the game launched), multiplication tables, pre-algebra, chemical symbols (basic or intermediate), English grammar, SAT, basic foreign language vocabulary for English speakers (French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish), human anatomy, geography (flags of the world, world capitals, country identification and world landmarks), the identification of famous artwork, and literature (classic and popular books). Total score is displayed as a mound of rice and the amount grains.

web sites for grammar and spell check

Here are few FREE web sites for grammar and spell check in English.
3. spell check 

13 Jul 2013

Courses from ‘coursera’ for teachers

Here are professional development courses from ‘coursera’ for teachers. Please note it is a ‘MOOC’. Free and get the certificate too.





10 Jul 2013

What we want kids to do with technology?

This  is shared on Linked in. Just as i am impressed with it i am re posting  here......


Invest to Invent Education

Today early in the morning (9 Am) i woke up and glance at the Times of India, Mumbai, front page news item ‘769 IIT seats get no takers’. Half of sleepy mood gone, and while taking coffee when looked at linkedIn  article  10,339 engineering seats vacant’,  for some time i had a deep sleep again (I am sure, not in unconsciousness state), and woke up now to share few of my views.
These days i am coming across this type of news items and thinking why this is happening.

The present education system is designed to train the next generation to be fit for the available jobs/services, some of them are becoming outdated in view of the job seekers and they are rejecting to get educated in those fields that will not fetch the job  (money) to live.
The third world countries, sorry... let me replace it, the developing countries designed the education systems to attract ‘investors’ with their natural resources and human resources. When the developed countries have their own problems internally with human resources, they imported human resources also. Good trends and good economical results.
Today the situation is different. The depended natural resources and technology is not going to address the 7.5 billion demands. Almost 70 % of the population do not have required amenities, not only electricity and personal transportation, food and water too. Image that all people on the face of earth have required electricity and personal transport facility today for example, may be tomorrow we have to shut down almost everything due to non-availability of resources (fuel and power).
When the entire development and economics of globe is depending on consumption, why to preach conservation?  And who has to conserve?  70% of population who are regulating everything with limited financial resources or 30 % whose conservation will hamper the economy.
Societies can face economic recessions and bounce back, but not knowledge recession. The glories of India, China, Greeks, and Masapotomia are limited to textbooks, but not the Germany and Japan. They bounce back within short time because of consistent efforts to keep up the knowledge bases.
So in my opinion, let us look for ‘inventors’ to new education systems, but not the investors to use the resources whatever available.
Let the investors come forward for the ‘inventor’ development by modernising the education system. Modernisations not mean equipping the schools with modern gadgets.
Do machines change human psychology and behaviours? No, the purpose of machine is to facilitate but not enable to think.
Only method is bringing back the teachers with self-development of thought and knowledge. 
How?
Invest in education systems to develop new methods of learning and teaching.  As an alternative to produce repeaters and improvers, education process requires to develop persons with insights. The present day ‘fixed syllabus’ and fixed syllabus’ model won’t do it.

It is part of responsibility of great industrial economic powers to invest in education, in addition to their R&D units. This is time to globalise it. Governments spent more budget allotments globally in defence systems than in education, how much civilised are we???

9 Jul 2013

Helping Students with FA and FC Using EdTech

Generally, many of students have few learning gaps and teachers know it well where they are lagging behind. With in school hours it is not possible to fill these gaps or to couch extra hours for slow learners. There are many ‘free’ tech tools available to help students without much difficulty and with little efforts on the part of teachers. Here I would like to suggest using ‘flipped class’ (FC) methods combined with “formative assessment’ (FA).  Before going to elaborate on technology side, let us recap these two methods.
An assessment is knows as formative if and only if it forms subsequent learning. This is also known as ‘assessment as learning’.  The point here to note is how the assessment outcomes are helping students to learn. The present day practices of small tests and class room verbal questions, even though termed as formative assessments, they are not helping learner with further learning process, so they cannot be considers as ‘formative learning’. Without feedback for further learning process, the assessment is only a compliance task, instead of learning activity.
There are few misconceptions on ‘Flipped classes’, like replacing teachers with videos, students learning independently. Actually, it is students taking responsibility of their learning and every student get personalised guidance from teachers.
Complete article in EdTechReview

6 Jul 2013

The only solution is.....

Educating next generations is a continuous process. Ancestors may have taught their next generations how to sustain in caves and live. The present day educational system designed nearly 100 yrs back with the development of new technologies on that day. As the technological development progresses, the needs of the societies changed, so that what is taught in the classrooms.  As the populations sustained, to satisfy the needs of growing needs and their demands, the education system modified to educate generations to provide the required services. And many intellectual minds by understanding the principles behind the technology  ‘improved’ old tech systems into more efficient one, either it is a automobile or a aircraft.
Today the circumstances have changed. By making efficient systems the resources will not sustain and conservation methods provide only extensions but not the existence. In addition to food and water, energy became a basic need of the societies. Almost half the populations do not have the needed resources, and the demands are increasing.  To provide comfortable lives, if not a superb lives, the immediate need is ‘innovations’ but not the ‘improvements’. For generations, at least in the last 40 to 30 yrs, the education system designed to produce majority of knowledge holders but not the innovators. I am not saying there are no innovations, except few areas, many are improved versions of existed technology, from room size to palm size or wriest size systems.
Education system became so much ritualistic, those who are able to remember and reproduce are considers as a great knowledge holders. Of course, it was the need, did it with all efforts, and it produced a great results.
We have to remember that nothing came from heavens. It has taken at least few decades but not years, to create an efficient methods and it is true in future too.
The only solution is to educate the next generations with concepts with in-depth knowledge of natural principles, not the ritualistic repeaters or knowledge carriers, but knowledge creators and accelerators.  
Modernising the schools with present trend and method will not create new direction but a comfortable schooling.
It is time for all intellectuals, industrial houses to contribute for the development of a new education system- starting from classroom practices, learning methods, in turn teacher training, textbook preparation, and evaluation process, so that every place come up with their own methods of developments.
When there are no contacts, how those old non-technical societies created pyramids all over the globe.  History is not telling us about the past, but its presence and future too.
What do you like to say? Am i shrinking in a paradigm.










5 Jul 2013

I am Scooping....

i am coming across few very much interesting articles online every day and like to collect them at a single place. I found Scoop.it a good online resource to keep them all, and to share them. It is easy to use this online resource, there is no need to collect URL copy, past,  it is just a click .....



So i started scooping.

3 Jul 2013

Sugata Mitra's 5 favorite education talks

Here are 5 talks that align with Sugata Mitra,Education researcher and 2013 TED Prize winner, vision of education's future.



What Makes Great Teachers Great?

Research  show the teacher is one of the most crucial factors in your child's school success. 
A great teacher inspires them forever. 

Few More Online Resources


This is amazingly great website for teachers and students with a collection of online resources.  Let me congratulate Mr N.J. Sharma and his team for the remarkable efforts to collect all important resources from the internet and keep them at a single point for teachers and students. Many number of them are very much suitable for flipped learning. it will be a great help if the resources are  arranged by subject wise as soon as possible ( i am informed on this)......

The NASA Science Education Program sponsors educational activities at all levels of education to provide opportunities for learners to investigate their world and universe using unique NASA resources.

Dedicated to help students excel in physics by giving notes, motivation and resources especially for secondary school students

 Science Videos,Interesting Fun Facts, ,Powerpoint presentations, Quiz,Questions,

The search engines are designed to search all kinds of information regardless of the user age group who may be a kid, teenager, adult or elder. So it’s nearly impossible to trace different users to restrict to some particular access of information. And so even with many top search engines provided with parental control options are not 100% safe. A kid of today’s generation needs access to right information, and that’s the reason behind the development of search engine for kids.

multimedia platform, providing innovative and informative content for everyone involved with or wanting to be involved in schools. Besides all the content from Teachers TV, there is something for everyone: videos, interactive games, work sheets, fact sheets, information and latest education news.



Fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena from the PhET™ project at the University of Colorado.


This concept map is elaborate and downright incredible. Robert Millwood built this behemoth and you should be sure to head over to his site to thank him and learn more about the Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning (HoTEL). In any case, this detailed analysis and chart of every single learning theory is worth zooming in and studying.


Free Teaching Resources PowerPoint Presentations free to download. Free PowerPoint Presentations for biology, chemistry, physics, English, maths, history, geography and........Of course, not all are that great...but many are... 

Do Other Alternative Exists???

More B-schools closing than new ones opening
Hemali Chhapia TNN 

Mumbai:The dawn of the third millennium marked the golden age of professional education in India. Hundreds of new institutes came up adding thousands of seats. An equal number queued up to grab them. 
    A decade on, the picture is one of stark contrast in technical professional colleges: this year more B-schools applied for closure than those that took wing. This academic year, 94 management colleges have sought consent to shut down. In the case of engineering colleges, many in the southern states, which experienced the highest growth in the professional education space, are up for sale. Many more colleges have trimmed programmes, branches of engineering or streams in the management course. 
    On the academic front, the Master of Business Administration programme was once supreme, attracting not only those interested in business but also those who wanted to master the tools of management. Today the overall growth of MBA education is negative in the books of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Between 2011 and 2013, the AICTE received 231 applications from management colleges wanting to shut down. The AICTE has okayed about 80 of them. ‘Professional edu must be in line with industry’ 
Mumbai: Professional education in India is going through a rough patch. Like the MBA programme, a similar story haunts the Master of Computer Application (MCA) course—while 84 colleges stopped offering the programme last year, only 27 started it. For students who choose not to apply to an MCA college, the decision is a nobrainer: with many more engineering seats available now, an undergraduate would rather earn a BTech degree followed by a two-year master’s than enrol for a bachelor’s in computer application and back it up with a three-year MCA that would also eat up six years. 
    The AICTE has decided to allow colleges to offer a five-year dual degree programme and permit graduates of science, BSc (computer science) and BSc (information technology) to jump to the second year of the MCA course. Yet, the small positive growth in the sector is from the engineering colleges where new institutes are coming up faster than closures taking place, largely in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan. 
    S S Mantha, AICTE chairman, said: “This is a critical phase for the professional education sector. Professional education must be in line with industry. If you don’t offer placements, students are not going to come. Colleges in remote India and institutes of poor quality are not getting students. There is just one key to attracting students: institutes need to be top-of-the-line. There is no payoff in running a bad college.” But things seem to be looking up. “As the economy revives, we will see a larger pool of applications from colleges wanting to start. We have received close to 120 applications from B-schools for the next academic year,” he said. 
    Joining a professional college was once the pinnacle of an Indian student’s career. Aspirants far outnumbered the seats. But often, they were put off by one or more of these three reasons: poor quality of teaching, lack of adequate faculty or no job offer at the end. “MBA as a programme has to be relooked at in many colleges. The AICTE must set up quality control cells,” said an IIM director.

Times of India, Mumbai edition Date 1 July 2013




23 Jun 2013

Weak skills, no jobs for most Indian graduates

 'Rema Nagarajan' TIG, Times of India, MUMBAI, page 19, June 23,2013.

Of the five million odd graduates that India produces annually, only a little over half are employable in any sector of the knowledge economy.

Just 2% are employable in corporate communication or content development, for which the primary requirement is English and basic analytical skills.
Only 3% are employable as analysts and a mere 2% in accounting.

 About 16% and 14% of the graduates were employable in sales and customer service or operations jobs, respectively. These require communication, cognitive skills and personality traits such as friendliness and agreeableness and in the latter numerical ability too. 


Over one third of the graduates (36%) were suitable for employment in clerical/secretarial jobs, the sector showing highest employability for graduates, followed by IT-enabled services and BPO. These show 21.4%employability as they require relatively low skills. 


However, when it comes to IT services and IT operations, only 13% and 16%, respectively are employable.

In teaching, the employability was just 15%. 


 The city from where the students graduate also influences employability. Employability is highest in the bigger Tier I cities (over 25 lakh population). The drop in employability is maximum for jobs of analysts and corporate communication , all jobs that require high competence in cognitive skills and English.

It was found that the higher the skill requirement for a job, the greater the gap between employability in Tier I compared with Tier II and III cities. Tier III cities (less than five lakh population) seem worst off when it comes to exposure to computers, while in English both Tier II and Tier III need help. 

When it comes to a drop in skills from Tier II to Tier III cities, it is noticeable that the drop in cognitive skills is the highest among management and engineering students. 

Full article epaper TOI


In the place of discussing the problem, is it not time to discuss the solution? 
The solution has to come from teachers, in my opinion, as they are the ‘oxygen’ of education system. 

Why keeping salient. Could you please offer your solution? 




22 Jun 2013

"There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.”

Not allowed to cheat, students lay siege in China

What should have been a scene of 800 Chinese students quietly writing their university entrance exams erupted into an angry protest after invigilators tried to stop them from cheating. 

Earlier this month, students at a high school in Hubei Province were aggrieved to find they would be supervised not by their own teachers, but by 54 external invigilators roped in from different schools across the county, The Telegraph reported. 
The move followed last year’s exam debacle when the province’s education department found 99 identical papers in one subject. Invigilators screened students with metal detectors to find hidden mobile phones and secret transmitters. As soon as the exams finished, a protest broke out. 


A crowd of parents and students chanted: “We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat.” The protesters said that cheating was endemic in China, so being forced to appear for the exams without help put students at a disadvantage. 
Hundreds of police personnel cordoned off the school and the local government conceded that “exam supervision had been too strict and some students did not take it well”.


Original article in Mirror

This happened in a  communist country. In democratic places this wont happens , because when nearly a 1000 people demands around 5% teachers don't have right to reject....(JUST FOR KIDDING).

Need of Academic Institute

An educational institute main purpose is to develop a certain level of competency in next generation. These institutes are designed to transfer knowledge gained so for by efforts of previous generations in different fields and to increase the thinking level to the present status. If this is not done the future generation may spend time/resources to reinvent the wheel. As it is not possible to  develop knowledge at individual level, institutes are designed as a mass program to increase individual capabilities and capacities, in turn entire society, as much as possible. The acquired knowledge used as much as possible for further acquirement of it in future. That is how humanity moved from geocentric stage to universe and to present multiverse theories.

As every individual approach and psychology is different their orientation towards subjects differs. One may highly spiritual oriented and other might be a chemical/physical.  Understanding learners early years orientations and shaping them also a part of school education. In the school years, the learner not only acquires maximum understanding in all the areas, but chooses an area of interest to expertise. So that mathematically oriented person may not go into wrong filed or literally oriented choose analytical mathematics as a field of study because there is a choice to study.

The assessment process in educational frame works is only to estimate the level of capabilities achieved to expected levels. Any group or an individual not achieved the expected level for whatever reasons, then automatically it is institute responsibility to find out how and what to do to impart the expected learning level. If not done, the next generation society will struggle with limited improvement or it has to depend on only available resources.
This is what i feel about the educational institutes and assessment process.

The present day technology is going to replace the jobs that exist and going to create much more sophisticated jobs. In the machine floors previously thought tough jobs which require great skilled hands to complete the assembly lines are replaced by the machines. In the banks, cash disbursal considered as a highly skilled job, replaced by ATMs, and maintenance customer accounts and cheque clearances. Google ‘driver-less car’ is one to say.

All those things that follow specific routines are replaced by machines.

Sure coming decades, with these technology developments are going to replace all jobs which follow specific routines. But going to generate new jobs which require high end abilities and qualities.
Just five years back to get a seat into the engineering or management stream, youngsters used to place all efforts. Within a short period they are rejecting to join. Almost 1 in 3 seats are not even getting applications according latest news. As these courses are designed to get a job and when this generation feels they may not get job doing these courses may be the reason. And present day generation may have alternative options.
The same trend may continue if the coming generations think they have other available avenues to get educated with literacy, numeracy and redundant structures, the school education is going to face consequence.
So to face situation we require immediate action to change the present education system. 
Watch Economist  Andrew McAfee in TED talk.
What to you say???



19 Jun 2013

Need to reinvent schools

"We don't need to improve schools. We need to reinvent them for our times, our requirements and our future. We don't need efficient clerks to fuel an administrative machine that is no longer needed. Machines will do that for us. We need people who can think divergently, across outdated "disciplines", connecting ideas across the entire mass of humanity."

Sugata Mitra is professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, and the winner of the $1m TED Prize 2013. He devised the Hole in the Wall experiment, where a computer was embedded in a wall in a slum in Delhi for children to use freely. He aimed to prove young people could be taught computers easily without formal training.

Read the full article in 'Guardian'.