Game of Educating!

Have you ever wondered, why education has just become a means for attaining good marks, which in turn gets you a so called good job thereafter? And the education providers a business for churning out mechanical robots day-in-day-out.

After all education was never meant to be a business and a factory for generating the above, it was meant to lead to creation of responsible and sensible individuals who could, after growing up, make rational and sensible decisions, guiding the world towards a sustainable and joyful place to live in.

The question that arises is whether that’s happening? And if not, what needs to be done to ensure that it happens? Very valid questions indeed and we do have an answer, though it might not go down well with the herd mentality of trying to make millions of dollars, yet can have an immense impact on the way people perceive education in a holistic manner.

Before we get into the dynamics of how it can be achieved, let us take a pause to understand what it means for a kid. Kids are born with inherent curiosity, which they express in so called constructive or destructive ways, yet one thing that should not be taken away from them is a zeal to ask questions.

Shouldn’t our education system be encouraging questions and enabling the curiosity to flourish among kids?

Once the curiosity take its own course, kids are bound to find answers to the same, be it asking their elders (parents, siblings, teachers) or seeking it for themselves, be it internet, any chat bot or other means of digital access.

Coming to our role as adults is to provide kids an environment and assets through which they can explore this wonderful world, ask us questions when they feel like and get the answers to the same or a guidance as to where they would be able to find the answers to the same, the latter being the preferred modus operandi, as it leads to self-exploration and building a confidence to explore.

Having said the above, there are many aspects to providing this environment, especially in the current scheme of things (assuming the kids are able to come to a school, though there are other aspects of how to bring underprivileged kids to the same which encompasses mid-day meal programs etc.):

number-demolition-11-20

 

  • Physical Infrastructure

 

      1. Classrooms (black/white boards, chalk/marker, chairs, tables, lights etc.)
      2. Toilets
      3. Playground (garden, trees)
      4. Projector
      5. Computer
      6. Science Labs (chemicals etc.)
      7. Staff room

 

  • Learning Material

 

      1. Text Books/E-Books (in every language)
      2. Videos (in-person/animation) (in every language)
      3. Experiment kits (aligned to concepts and real life examples) which kids can play with, relate to and learn from the same
      4. Tools equipped with AR/VR

 

  • Teachers

 

      1. Friendly, learned enablers having teaching aides (digital and physical) who promote the culture of openness and asking questions

 

  • Parents

 

    1. Acting as enablers off the school campus, giving children an opportunity to explore

The very idea to create an exploration environment equipped with technology and other fundamental assets to make the learning process a joyful experience is what one would want to aspire for when it comes to developing that all important vision of educating the next generation.

The learning process needs to be made joyful and easily understandable which means presenting concepts etc. in a manner in which the kid would want to receive it as, which in turn means that we need to have a fair understanding of what would be received well by different kids of different levels of understanding and the matter or the material being designed in accordance to the same.

Does that mean that the grades need to be rethought and regrouped into a fundamental parameter, such as level of understanding?

If that’s the case, can the concepts be organized per se according to the levels of understanding and not grades?

Does it also translate into different explanations/pedagogy for the same concept for different levels of understanding that kids might have?

After all, a concept is grade agnostic and the very assumption that the kids of a certain grade wouldn’t comprehend a particular aspect of life is derogatory in itself.

It’s like putting the kids into unwanted boundations and making them believe of the very limitations which don’t really exist.

Strong need to rethink upon how education can be made:

Relatable (to what one sees around oneself),

Realistic (based upon pure observation),

Simplistic (easy to understand),

Unbounded & limitless (making a conscious effort of not creating superficial boundaries in the minds of the kids)

and

most importantly Enjoyable.

Source of the image: https://www.education.com/game/number-demolition-11-20/

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Fascinations!

If I were to give you one word today, “fascinating” what is the first thing that comes to your mind.

Wonder, why all of a sudden am I talking about this 11 letter word? Wonder, what is it that has made me get into the things that have anything to do with the same.

For most of us, life has always been that one fascinating thing which has intrigued us, made us happy, made us sad, have been the cause of all sorts of emotions going in our minds.

And of the anatomical aspects, what has fascinated me the most is our ability to see and make sense out of things out there.

The process which starts from our retina going to the optical nerves to the brain, where we actually construct meaning from the things we see, has been well studied and documented.

Have always believed, that things we take for granted, as being coming naturally to us, have been the most difficult to comprehend.

And what better way to demonstrate the same, than by teaching an algorithm how to go about doing visual recognition.

Have you ever wondered, how a child would actually perceive things in his mind? If not, you will have to do so, in case you want to train your algorithm to do things similar to how a human brain does.

images

You will have to get to the very basics of the various wavelengths being detected by the receptors and being given a meaning through the very fundamentals of NLP.

Everything ranging from emotions to mindset, from perceptions to language, starts from the information we receive through our senses.

Be it love, hate, intelligence, the one thing that remains common in the development of all is how comprehensively we receive and perceive the information gained from our senses.

Which makes me believe the very essence of life is framed through the lenses of our receptors.

After all, it’s about making sense, which is immensely fascinating in itself. Isn’t it?

Source for the Image: https://www.questacon.edu.au/outreach/travelling-exhibitions/fascinating-science

End of an Era: A Tribute to the Man

Stanford or no Stanford, it didn’t make much difference to the man. A persona hard to ignore, a personality you woudl die to listen to, a character much child-like and a zeal to be a winner, the man was here to live life on his own terms.

The destiny had very much scripted the story for him, but trust me, it was not an easy one. He too had to face situations where any other person would have succumbed in big time. But there he was, ready to fight his way out of every ambiguous and difficult situation.

He certainly contributed in a big way to what society is at present. He certainly changed the way the business was being done. He certainly changed the way entertainment was being defined.

All in all, a person whom one would want to look upto. A true inspiration indeed. The only thing that I can say is: Three Cheers to the Life that he lived.

Source for Image: http://popdose.com/steve-jobs-the-winningest-loser/

Television and its Increased Importance

The Idiot Box, as they call it, is no more an idiot box. It has something which even the movies don’t have, the large number of audience day-in-day-out who are very loyal to it and will not betray it at any cost.

The medium has done wonders to the lives of many. From restoring Amitabh Bacchan’s lost fortunes to increasing popularity of some stars of Bollywood, it has helped shaped many careers.

Yesterday, even Anna Hazare couldn’t stop himself from coming to the singing show Sa Re Ga Ma, for promoting his fight against corruption and reaching out to the people at the same time. It is an astute move from an experienced person like Anna Hazare and is indeed a very good strategy of making the people aware about the pros and cons of the Lokpal Bill that their side (the activist) is promoting.

With increase in the population of India, especially in the middle income group, the number of viewers for television are all set to increase manifold. And with this phenomenon taking place, the television is all set to become an even stronger medium of reaching out to the people.

Source for Image: http://provisionslibrary.com/?cat=62

http://vibhu.wordpress.com/category/life-in-general/

Fast and Furious

When I tell you that we will be able to reach a place anywhere on this planet from our current position in just a span of 60 minutes, what would be your first reaction?
“You are kidding, right?”, and that’s is exactly how I reacted when a friend informed me about this new HTV-2 (Hypersonic Technology Vehicle) which is currently in the development stage.

The only three issues that are marring the development are in the fields of Aerodynamics, Aerothermal and guidance, navigation and control. It is hard to imagine how the development of such an aircraft, if these difficulties are overcome, are going to alter the socio-economic scenario in this era of globalization.

Seeing the rate at which technology revolution is moving forward, the day is not far off when we would just need to blink our eye in order to get our work done. Exciting as it might sound, it will certainly come with its own share of pros and cons. Hopefully, the pros are going to rule the cons and would help in making this planet a better place to live in.

Source for Image: http://in.news.yahoo.com/photos/falcon-hypersonic-technology-vehicle-1313123195-slideshow/

Technology Revolution/Mobile Phones: A havoc in disguise?

The one thing that surely makes us feel that we are living in a techno-driven World is the ubiquity of the mobile phones. It has become such a common thing these days that even a cycle-rickshaw puller possesses it with pride.

One thought that perturbs me though is the disadvantages of having a mobile. Just imagine, you are with your girlfriend and you don’t want to be traced and here you go, your Mom calls you at least 100 times and there goes your romantic mood in the drain.

A recent study also put a lot of question marks on the harmful impacts of using a mobile phone for longer durations. The study went on to caution people about the frequent use as it might be a reason for the increased cancer incidence in today’s World. This makes me wonder whether we are destroying ourselves and our planet by making our lives more materialistic.

There are so many other reasons that you can think of about why one should reduce his/her dependence on technology. Some of us who are die-hard fans of the newer technologies hitting the market every day would want to argue that these things are making our lives comfortable at the end of the day, so why we must give up on these things?

True, and the saying fits in really well with the above observation: “Without pain there is no gain“. I just hope that the pain should not exceed the gain, for if it does then we and our future generations are in for a hard time on Planet Earth.

Do you think technology revolution would result in havoc in the coming years?

Source for Image: http://www.pictures4cellphones.info/

http://theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/100-ways-to-save-the-environment/