Learning enhancement of students

It was a good interactive session. The audience was a discerning one. The scaffolding technique was discussed at length.

Here is the link to the session. https://youtu.be/OfoFHffrTcU

If you are short of time, you may skip the formalities. My talk begins from 9.01

Embracing the Culture of Education 

This paper was presented on the platform of Metamorphosis on September 14, 2023.

The topic is vast and I have condensed it to cover a few points relevant from the presentation point of view.

Ancient India – A quick look

India was a land of rich heritage and culture. The Greeks, the Huns entered the country through the northwestern passes while waves of pro- Mongoloids poured in through the northeastern gates. The Dutch, Portuguese and the Brits entered via the sea. All these diverse elements got assimilated into the Indian society making way for cultural integration.

They came to an India which had universities like the Nalanda, Ships that could travel to countries like Mesapotamia, rich in art & architecture, leading in textiles and so on.

They had made giant strides in science, estimate the time by watching the shadow, predict the eclipses. Make stories to get the people to remember the movement of celestial bodies and other scientific phenomenon.

In ancient India Women like Gargi were able to have a debate with the renowned scholars like Yajnavalkya.

Sushruta, Charaka were great physicans. Sushruta Samhita is the foundation text for Ayurveda. He is also considered the father of plastic surgery.

India presented to the world the concept of Zero. The land of spices attracted the Europeans like the bees to the honey patch.

Education was intricately woven into the Indian fabric.

Yet, today we have only 9 Nobel laureates from the time of its inception [1901] from India. Whereas from a small country like Israel have produced 13 Nobel laureates since 1966.

The impetus given to learning seems to have lost its focus somewhere.

Let us take a quick look at what is culture.

Culture is a system of values that is preferred ways by the members of a given community eg. Food, greeting, dressing.

I shall not delve into the elements of culture but look at  A few Tidbits.

The mulligatawny soup is a staple menu at the British pubs.

During the British Raj, between 1858 and 1947, when the sun never set on the British Empire, the fussy British colonists and soldiers refused to alter their way of dining. The first course had to be soup. In Chennai, a soup was served. The Indian cooks first concocted it to please the taste palate of the East Indian company officials. The chefs originally made the soup with pepper and water, which the British fell in love with and asked the chef to add meat chunks.  ‘Milagu tannir ‘ became mulligatawny soup. It is made from lentils, chicken, apples and pepper. They loved it and Milagu Tannir became mulligatawny soup.

The colonists brought mulligatawny back to Britain, where it’s a staple on pub menus, though the recipe varies widely.

Murgasana which is supposed to stimulate memory and enhance brain power later became synonymous with punishment

Influence of Culture on Curriculum

The NCF has included the Indian ethos into the curriculum. This is expected to rekindle an interest in our own cultural heritage.

Ancient India relied on 6 evidences through which they gained knowledge.

  1. Pratyaksha – direct perception, sensorial experiences which can be similar to the – Concrete experience
  2. Anumana – Inferences drawn out of observation
  3. Upamana – knowing through analogy and comparison
  4. Arthapatti – knowing through circumstantial implication
  5. Anupalabdi – Perception of non-existence is also considered a valid form of knowledge. – The Dogs did not bark at night
  6. Shabda – the testimony of an expert is sometimes considered as true Knowledge – voice of the guru. The teacher or the Guru is the facilitator of the knowledge.

This can be easily compared to Kolb’s cycle of experientialism. I have uploaded the comparison on my youtube channel Hungry for Learning.

Influence of Culture on Text-Books

Besides the core elements the teachers are supposed to have stories, incidents belonging to the local area are to be included.

Aims at a 5-fold  Development approach

Panchakosha is an ancient explanation of the importance of the body-mind complex in human experience and understanding.

The Panchakosha concept in the Taittiriya Upanishad is one of the earliest articulations of the different domains of development of the human being. These descriptions remain relevant along with the more modern understanding that has emerged through Developmental Biology, Psychology and Cognitive Neurosciences.

The child is a whole being with panchakoshas or five sheaths. A holistic approach that fosters moral development, cultural understanding, and social awareness among children through –

  1. Physical layer (Annamaya kosha) – Physical development
  2. Life force energy layer (Pranamaya kosha) – In Sanskrit, the word “prana” refers to life force and is the word for breath. Awareness of this kosha allows you to move stagnant energy, so you can experience greater vitality and an energetic connection to yourself, others, and nature.
  3. Mind Layer (Manomaya kosha) – emotional and spiritual development
  4. Intellectual Layer (Vijnanamaya kosha) – development of intellect
  5. Inner Self Layer (Anandamaya kosha) – experience of transcendence, bliss inner consciousness.

Specific types of practices are designed to enable the development of each of these koshas. However, the practices are designed keeping in mind that the koshas are interconnected and so activities that focus primarily on one would also contribute to the development of the others.

To conclude let’s try to realise the vision of NEP. Let’s begin with the achievable aim. ““The aim of education will not only be cognitive development, but also building character and creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with the key 21st century skills.”

Embracing the culture of Life Long learning

On 6th September, I had the opportunity to speak on ‘Embracing the culture of life long learning’ under  the aegis of Metamorphosis.

Here is the transcript.

Let’s look around us. The world has changed. The transport system be it train, bus or car are not what they were 50 years ago. There is a change in the communication system. Webinars, zoom meetings didnt exist a few years ago. Infact, the COVID pandemic brought in a set of changes that would have probably made their advent a little later. But, the educational system is one where not much change is seen. I am speaking at a macro level.

This education system was given to us by the British. Our current system measures long retention, speed of writing, ability to memorise, Quick recall. Capacity to learn around 13 chapters/ subject  by the time reach 10th grade! This system does us not give us a scope of learning with understanding.

It’s time for the teacher to move from the position of a knowledge bank to that of a facilitator.

To give a hilarious example.

Researchers asked children and adults the following question:

There were 26 sheep and 10 goats in a ship. How old is the captain? Adults laughed but some children wanted to know if they should add or subtract? An excellent example of surface learning.

The children of today are tech savvy. Posts and Telegraph dept wanted about 100 students to write on the post cards. They probably wanted to market the postcards. To get the children to do it we had to move heaven and earth. If only we had asked them to BLOG! So teachers at least need to know the tools.

Learners construct their own meaning and make connections between the old and new learning.

Let me narrate a little story at this point. There was a fish and a tadpole who lived in a pond. Tne were great friends. As time passed, the tadpole grew legs, tail disappeared and this 4 legged creature left the pond.

Weeks went by the frog did not return. The little fish wondered where her friend was. Then one day, the frog splashed back into the pond saying he had seen extra ordinary things. Like birds he said.

The fish wanted to know what a bird looked like. The frog went on to describe but how did the fish visualise it? The fish imagined the bird to have the body of a fish with frogs legs and two wings. The fish had only seen fish and frog. I would wonder what the imagination would be if the frog were to describe a cow?

This emphasises the need to link the past knowledge to the new one. Only then will holistic development will take place.

Learning is a creative process and not a passive one.

Researchers found that the students appearing for a SAT test could easily solve the problem A but had difficulty in solving B.

225 divided by 15.

If a gardener has 225 bulbs to plant equally in 15 flower beds how many would be in each bed.

Question B is a synthesis question that required problem solving. So the teacher needs to update her pedagogical content. Use techniques that the student finds interesting and challenging. Move from teacher directed  to student directed to finally student driven.

There are a few approaches that are making their rounds in the academic circles.

A few principle of learning according to cognitivist approach

  1. Teachers need to set HOTs which can be taught.
  2. Move from simple to complex

The constructivists principles include

  1. learning by doing,
  2. make learning fun
  3. What the learner does is more important than what the teacher does.

Behaviourists principles include

  1. Reinforcement should be immediate
  2. Behaviour modifications can be done in small steps

These would work as a foundation for the class management and student – teacher interactions.

When I did my teacher training the Blooms taxonomy of Krathwohl did not exist. It was introduced in 2001. Today, I conduct workshops on Blooms taxonomy!

Sugata Mitra conducted an experiment called ‘hole in the wall’. It involved minimally invasive education. Children leant to overcome the challenge of learning English to operate the computer. They taught themselves.

Learning  should be Contextual. Co-relate the subjects don’t teach in isolation.  Include any form of art into it, then it becomes Art Integrated lesson.

Collaborative learning is the buzz word today. Lets me give you an example. Topic is insects. The teacher discusses the experience and gets the student to learn using the ‘Jigsaw technique’.

This technique covers mastery learning, competency learning, experiential learning and collaborative learning.

Teaching through experiential learning will most definitely help in understanding concepts. – think, care and share concept will aid in the memory & retention

A good teacher  need not be just good in teaching, a teacher who believes in the children – can raise the performance of the class and an uninterested teacher can not only undo the work done but can take it down by a couple of years  This is proved by studies.

Change is sustainable only if it involves learning. Giving notes on ‘how to’ does not help. Teachers may have to be role models. They should create awareness and reflection. There is no oath like the Hippocratic oath in the teaching profession. So, the lines of ethics are drawn by the individual. One with principles with walk the talk.

We need to ask ourself 2 questions – Where are we? What are we here for?

Teachers have to rise to the demands of the NEP and cater to the needs of the kids. There is no ready recokner.

I conclude with  a citation from ‘Transforming the systems Movement by Russel Ackoff.

A student once stopped me on the hall and asked, ‘Professor when did you teach your first class?’ September 1941 I said. Wow You have been teaching for a long time. I agreed. Then he asked. When was the last time you taught a subject that existed when you were a student? This required some thinking and going back in time. Finally I said September 1951. Do you mean to say that everything you have taught us for nearly 50 years without it having been taught to you? Wow You must be a pretty good learner.

Check out the video.


From Rote Learning to Independent learning

Paper presented at the Panel discussion held at SIES school, Mumbai on 31st August, 2023.

“The ability to learn by oneself is the greatest gift any teacher can give a learner; indeed it is the ultimate aim of all education”.

After the exam, if we ask students any questions, they will go unanswered. The reason is simple, they have forgotten. To effect a change from Rote learning to Independent learning is a paradigm shift. Teachers need to work harder.

Students and teachers must be active while the students are learning study skills.  Giving notes on how best to study doesn’t work.

Firstly, one should Move from Teacher control to student control.

For starters,

Discuss with your students and have a shared vision.

Goal setting is to be done while keeping the vision in perspective

Students should be trained in self-evaluation

The teacher should be a facilitator -The emotional climate created by the facilitator is crucial. She /he must emphasise each student is treated equally and be non-judgmental.


Characteristics of an Independent thinker

Reasoning, analysis and synthesis, critical thinking, problem solving, resilience, open mindedness, focussed and growth oriented

Let’s see how this can be learnt. This technique is called the POE technique of teaching science. Predict, Observe and explain

The teacher takes a jug full of water and a Pepsi light can filled one. Before the teacher puts the Pepsi light can in the water the students have to predict what will be the result of such an action then the can is put in the water and what do you find?

The Pepsi light can floats. Now the students have to check their prediction after observing the experiment and state reasons why it does happen?.

This experiment can be made a little more difficult by pouring some oil on the can. This time the can levitates. Very often students do not arrive at this answer.  All students know to recite Pascal’s law But, fail to apply it to the context. Oil pressure on the water surface is bigger down than on the upper surface of the can and the pressure transmitted through the water increases the pressure on the bottom of the can. This is the reason for the levitation.

One More thing can be added to this Experiment. Show a diet Pepsi and the regular Pepsi to the students and ask them which would float?

Peer tutoring

This is one of the best ways to retain the information.

Encourage Think Pair and share. This is a collaborative learning strategy.

Think: Each individual student independently thinks about his answer to the question posed by the teacher

Pair up with the partner

Share: Communicate the thinking to the partner and discuss.

This can be used before introducing the topic, and after completing the topic.

  1. Integrate study skills teaching into the scheme of work. Include in the Lesson plan. Also, try to use the integration of subjects while teaching.

So that students are able to form connections and retain the matter for a longer time.

Let the students go out and look for insects in the garden. When they come back teacher discusses their experience. She then divides them into groups of 4 each. Each student from the group is given a different question. Each of them moves into a temporary group and discusses the answer to the question in detail. Once they have done that they return to their original group. One of them presents the matter to the class. In this way, each of the students would have learnt their part in detail and together it is comprehensive and leads to holistic learning.

Initially, the teacher has to do hand-holding by providing resources for the research or the links for online research. Jigsaw technique leads to Mastery learning, peer tutoring, collaborative leaning, to do research

Integrated learning is a kind of horizontal learning. A graphic representation is provided below. Integrated learning is holistic learning.

A simple concept like The Library, can be made into an interesting project. 

Through storytelling technique

I had developed this module a few years ago when I was teaching in the primary.   Let me start with that technique. we are familiar with the story Goldilocks and the three bears no how do we make this into an active learning process?  a few questions to ask first. This is related to the foundation level.

  1. how could Goldilocks enter the bear’s home? What was the mistake made by the bears?
  2. What should Goldilocks have done before entering somebody else’s house and helping herself to the food?
  3. Baby bear likes Goldilocks. He would welcome her to the house and treat her to milk and biscuits. What would they talk about? This would help in teaching conversation.

Grade 3 & 4  we can use slightly higher order questions.

  1. What would be the dialogue between Goldilocks and the Bears?
  2. Write the dialogue in the present tense and change it to
  3. We can get the students to see the similarities and differences between the tales of Snow White and Cinderella
  4. Sequencing the story is a good exercise so mixed templates can be given.
  5. Students can be asked to end the story differently.

Finally, teachers have a lot of responsibility in bringing in this paradigm shift.

Summaries of research on teachers and Prof. John Hattie’s reviews indicate that teachers have a much bigger impact on student achievement. Researchers have identified a few other factors that have a cumulative effect on this concept. Self-belief of teachers, motivation of the students, active and passive teachers. Mindsets are self-fulfilling prophesies.

What is it that teachers with active mindsets do that the others don’t? They know intelligence, talent and ability can be learnt. Motivation can be increased. They understand that teachers touch lives forever. So, they take responsibility and take initiative.




Mathematics Simplified

Aims and objectives of teaching mathematics

Keeping in perspective the fear of mathematics that is found among the children, it is necessary to plan school mathematics in such a way that children enjoy learning of mathematics. Understanding when and how a mathematical technique is to be used is always more important than recalling the technique from memory. Making mathematics a part of children’s life experience is the best mathematics education possible.

The objectives can, therefore, be listed as given below:


At the end of the course, students should be able to: 1. Know and understand the concepts from the five branches of mathematics. 2. Use appropriate mathematical concepts and skills to solve problems. 3. Select and apply general rules correctly to solve problems including those in real-life contexts.


At the end of the course, students should be able to: 1. Use appropriate mathematical language in both oral and written forms. 2. Use different forms of mathematical representation at the appropriate places. 3. Move between different forms of representation.


At the end of the course student should be able to: 1. Select and apply appropriate inquiry and mathematical problem-solving techniques. 2. Describe patterns as relationships or general rules. 3. Draw conclusions consistent with findings. 4. Justify or prove mathematical relationships and general rules.


At the end of the course students should be able to: 1. Explain whether the results make sense in the context of the problem. 2. Explain the importance of their findings. 3. Justify the degree of accuracy of their results where appropriate.


At the end of the course, students should be able to suggest improvements to the method wherever applicable.


  • Recognize the presence of mathematics in the world around us.


  • Mentions the usefulness and beauty of mathematics in nature.
  • Enjoys mathematics and develop patience and persistence when solving problems.

I have intentionally left out the psychomotor domain.

A few examples of mathematics in nature. A German psychologist Adolf zeising, found the golden ratio In the arrangement of leaves and branches along the stem of plant and the veins in leaves. The number of petals in the flower consistently follows the golden ratio for example Lily has three petals butter cups have 5, the chicory 21, the Daisy 34 and so on. Phi appears in petals on account of the ideal packing arrangement selected by Darwinian processes.

The golden ratio, also known as the divine proportion, is a mathematical ratio of 1:1.618, or Phi, with a decimal that stretches to infinity, closely linked to the Fibonacci sequence.

 Phyllotaxy which is the arrangement of leaves on an axis or stem is connected with the golden ratio because it involves successive leaves or petals being separated by the golden angle. It also results in the emergence of spirals it is sometimes stated that Nautilus shells get wider in the pattern of a golden spiral and hence are related to both Phi and the Fibonacci series.

 The honeycomb is a case of wallpaper symmetry where are separated pattern covers a plane like a tiled roof or mosaic. It is believed that it is the perfect shape to allow the largest amount of honey by using the least amount of wax. Some other examples of symmetry in nature are snowflakes sunflowers, and starfish.


Courtesy: From Chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching by Dr. Pramila Kudva

Teacher Efficiency and CLassroom

I had an interesting workshop on August 25, 2023 at St. Lawrence High School, Santacruz West on Teacher effectiveness. All of us have a favourite teacher who has influenced us to be what we are.

Teacher effectiveness is distinct from teacher qualifications. It deals with

  • Commitment to improved learning for all students.
  • Use of evidence to demonstrate that students in their class have learned.
  • Make measurable improvements in student learning.
  • Contribute to boosting overall student performance at their school.

This Teacher as a Person will exhibit the following characteristics: 

  • Active listening
  • Body language
  • Sense of humour – to liven up the mood
  • Technical skills – Technology is here to stay. Judicious use of technology is essential.
  • Caring
  • Fairness & Respect
  • Attitude
  • Reflective Practice

According to this teacher, Engaged Time + High Success Rate = Academic Learning Time.

The effectiveness would be enhanced when the right techniques are used along with the right teaching aid.  RAFT and JigSaw techniques were introduced along with several Graphic organisers. The think-pair and share method was also demonstrated.

Here are a few testimonials.

FRom Chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching – Review

I received a WhatsApp from a student of mine saying ‘Die Empty’.  On analysis, I found that it means one should pass on the knowledge to the younger generation before moving on. This was a great motivator for me to write this book. I have penned down every moment of learning in this book.

Watch the review on



Innovative techniques are the need of the hour. Only teacher talk and an interactive board may not hold the interest of the students. The content should be presented in a manner that evokes the curiosity of the learner.

Innovation generally refers to changing processes or creating more effective processes, products and ideas.

What leads to innovation?

Necessity is the mother of invention is the cliched term we have heard used over a period of time.

It is this necessity that probably led to the invention of the wheel, discovery of fire.

Historians have identified several causes for the Industrial Revolution. Research study shows that most innovations were developed as a response to discrete events, history-specific problems and new technological opportunities.

The Flip side of Covid is that technology-based education took off by leaps and bounds.  What we would have achieved in 5 years we achieved in 2.

Let me give you a couple of examples of innovation. As early as 2004, In my school, there were no textbooks in the primary section. The textbook was not prescribed. Theme-based content was provided by the teachers. It was also integrated.

When I was a teacher in an ICSE school, the principal told me to take up Hindi for my class. I thought it would not be possible since my Hindi is weak. So I was asked to take Math in one division of grade 1 so that the grade 1 teacher could come over to my class to take up Hindi in my class.

If I thought teaching maths was easier, I was mistaken. By the time I distributed the books, it was time for me to leave the class. Other teachers didn’t have a problem because they were homeroom teachers. After a week of this ordeal, I went back to the principal to say that I cannot teach Maths to grade 1.

She said” you cannot teach Math, you cannot teach Hindi, What can you teach?

I went home in tears. She was right. I cannot say, I cannot teach. That led to teaching math to primary with fairy tales. They loved it and it was a smooth walk thereafter.

So, two more causes I would add to the innovations which are:  rising to the challenge and change of mindset.

The current educational system was handed over to us about 300 years ago, by the world’s biggest empire. What they did was amazing, They ran the empire without computers, without telephones, data written on paper, moving by ships.  They have moved out of India but education system has remained. The reason is simple. It is easier to use the chalk and talk.

The teacher-driven classes are to be replaced by child centric techniques , the NEP is here to help in that.

Mohammed Fazil works in Bangalore, South India. He teaches grades 4 to 8. He uses augmented reality in the classroom by putting triggers around the classroom to give additional information. He uses virtual reality with Google Cardboard and Google’s Expeditions app. He also uses motion sensing with a Microsoft Kinect connected to a laptop where students participate in kinaesthetic maths games.

Ranjitsinh Disale, world’s most exceptional teacher, shares half of $1 mn prize money with other teachers. The Global Teacher Prize is an annual award instituted by the Varkey Foundation.

Ranjitsinh Disale works in Solapur, Maharashtra in west India where he has introduced a number of different ways of making his teaching more interactive. One way is the use of Quick Response (QR) codes in textbooks to provide additional links to online materials as a means to extend the curriculum, either in the classroom or when the children go home. He has created materials for Grades 1–4. At the same time he also makes a lot of use of mobile technologies to manage absenteeism and to keep in touch with parents. As Ranjitsinh works in a primary school, he works across all of the subject areas.

Shruti Sharma works in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh in the north of India. It is a co-educational school which serves children from pre-school through to senior high school. Shruti works in grades 10 and 11. She teaches English and life skills. In her classes she makes use of video conferencing and text-based discussions, on a platform offered by Generation Global, to connect to classes in other parts of India and also abroad (Italy and Indonesia, so far). They engage in exchanges on different topics which helps to enhance both her learners’ digital literacy and their social skills. The project has been running since May 2015

Barefoot College, based in Tilonia in Rajasthan, north-west India, has reached out to marginalised communities in seven different states – Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Orissa, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh – through night schools run by the organisation and their partners since 1975. Teachers and students in the night schools now use innovative digital learning tools to teach and learn literacy, democratic values, environmental sustainability, analytical skills, creativity, mathematics and science. The Barefoot College team are also creating a module that will help teach these children programming skills.

“Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence”





In “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence,” Daniel Goleman presents the nuances of life using cutting-edge scientific research and case studies from varied fields such as education, the arts, sports, and business.

Focus is always the necessary quality more so now with innumerable distractions. He discusses at length on how the teens are the vanguard of our future. He mentions about the number of texts that a teen sends and that the teenager is busy sending the text message even while riding a bike!

After having established the concept and the need for attention, he moves on to create self-awareness. A word of caution follows: One doesn’t have to speak everything that one knows. The book ends with the well-focussed leader.

It makes good reading and there is so much to resonate with and identify yourself with the book. I recommend this to those who like this genre of books.


4 Corners of Education – Learning Network


‘The beautiful thing about Learning is that no one can take it away from you’. Annonymous

To start with let’s understand the topic right. Learning is a permanent change in behaviour consequent to an experience or practice.

Education is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university. Holistic development of the student is the goal. It is a powerful weapon that can change the world.

Learning Network is a process of developing and maintaining connections with people and information, and communicating in such a way as to support one another’s learning.

Network and networked learning theories can be traced back to the 19th Century.

Ivan Illich’s book, Deschooling Society, in the 1970’s rekindled the spirit of networked learning.

Let’s now look at the 4 corners of education.

The entire school ecosystem is an evolving system. Students are dynamic. Holistic development is one of the goals of NCF. So it may not be advisable to place them within a frame.  Also, Development is not linear It is spiral. Therefore, it cannot have corners but can have pillars to support and help in development.

In which case, what are these 4 pillars of Education?

Jacques Delors, [ jack dulo pronunciation] prepared for UNESCO, a bibliographic research called the four pillars of Education:

They are learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together and learning to be. The four pillars are interdependent and form a single learning. To take it further…. Stanislas Dehaene, [pronounced Duane]  a professor from France put forth 4 pillars of learning.  As a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist, he has highlighted the main contributors to successful learning.

I have combined both these herein.

What do The 4 Pillars of Education and learning For the  21st CENTURY refer to?


This pillar deals with the knowledge of the current world that we live in and to develop the appropriate skills to deal with the reality.

What should the teacher do first on entering the class? grab the attention of the students. Attention is selective, it acts as a filter which catches some bits of information and lets others slip through. Make the subject interesting enough to hold the attention.

Let me narrate an anecdote: Dalai Lama was giving a lecture in Tibetan and his translator Thupten Jinpa was standing next to him. Jinpa was listening intently. Dalai lama spoke in large nuggets and Jinpa was as attentive as ever. At the most he scribbled something in  his little notepad. At one stage Dalai lama spoke for 15 minutes before stopping. Jinpa took a little time to breathe in and spoke for 15 minutes. When asked he said he had studied Buddhist scriptures as a child and had to chant them. Some of them could be 30 pages long. This made the memory sharp.

  • So, attention leads to memory , understanding, and reasoning. – the teachers should provide situations that move from concrete to abstract, from inductive to deductive method. Techniques that deal with critical thinking, problem-solving and also collaborative working methods.

Egg drop challenge – problem-solving

Vegetarians can use a ripe tomato instead of egg. Boiled egg can be used so there is less of a mess.

Problem solving is to develop a contraption that would protect the egg from cracking from a high fall. Students have to illustrate the design and explain why their design is going to protect the egg. Carry out the experiment to prove it. If they fail, they will analyse why they failed. Try again.

The internal padding that surrounds the egg cushions it like airbags in a car that protect passengers in an accident. The external protection on the outside of the container protects the egg by absorbing the impact felt when the landing craft hits the ground.

Have a friendly competition: who can get their egg to the surface the fastest? The slowest? From the farthest distance? With the fewest bounces?

  • Learning is evolutionary
  • Personal competence, creativity and innovation are essential factors. This is the reason the NEP mentions competency based Identify the skills that you would like to develop through the subject and help them to gain mastery over it. They should be able to apply the knowledge. Only then will the learning become complete. This Pillar covers the vocational skills and digital competence along with problem solving abilities, communication team work and innovation.
  • Nothing implants new knowledge in one’s brain and memory better than that intellectual struggle – Put the student in the role of a discoverer, learning by doing, experiential learning.
  • POE technique can be used for teaching science to predict – observe and Explain

Steps are

  1. Present a phenomenon. What will happen if the pepsi light can, that floats in a jug of water, if oil is poured into the jug.
  2. Students predict.
  3. Then the experiment is performed. Observation shows that the can levitates in water.
  4. If their prediction and observation does not match, it means an ‘disequilibrium’ has been produced. They are unable to apply Pascals Law which states that “The external static pressure applied on a confined liquid is distributed or transmitted evenly throughout the liquid in all directions”.
  5. They have to change their predictions and suppositions with adequate proof.


  • Deals with learning to live with others, with respect to dignity & diversity,
  • The deepening of the teaching of religious, ethnic and cultural diversity can be fundamental for this learning

It deals with communications, conflict resolutions, cultural sensitivity and multilingualism.

Encourage the students to debate, encourage public speaking, celebrate festivals of different states, learn songs and cuisines from different states, present dilemmas to hone decision making and conflict resolutions.

Eg: After COVID the lady lets call Padma, took her daughter swimming. She also invited her niece to join so that her daughter will have company. After reaching the venue she started to unload the car and asked the girls to go and get ready for a swim. What she did not know was that the girls had gone swimming. She ran to the beach when she heard the girls scream.

Her daughter knew swimming but not a very strong swimmer.

Whom should she rescue first? –  daughter whom she loved dearly or niece who is currently her responsibility.

It helps to develop emotional intelligence, critical thinking.

making errors can be beneficial – : it allows the learner to move past the mistake and correct it, provided they feel confident and encouraged rather than criticised and mocked  – specific feedback. Good, satisfactory – instead it should you need to work on the construction of sentences. Improve your vocabulary. These successive adjustments favour learning.

  • contributes to the integral formation of the individual & lifelong learning
  • Both in the classroom and outside it, children acquire the ability to discuss and explore relevant issues in a context of mutual trust and respect. Consolidation is the basis of this domain.
  • Whether learning how to count, how to read fluently, or how to drive a bicycle, the brain must repeat the mechanisms which govern that learning many times, until it is truly mastered. Overlearning can lead to mastery.
  • Over time, the effort fades and transforms into a routine, which frees up space in the brain to learn and do new things! While learning to drive, one would think of clutch, break and shift gears till the action moves into the autonomous system.

Finally I end with a quote, “ “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn, and you will.



Implementation of emerging apps in classrooms

Under the aegis of Metamorphosis, I had an opportunity to talk on the topic of the ‘Implementation of emerging apps in classrooms’. Here is the text of the talk and the link to the Facebook page is given below the text.

Let me take you back to the COVID days. Lockdown has brought an end to business houses but the teachers carried on with online classes. How did that happen? Answer is technology.

Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Technological innovations have integrated into every sphere of society and into our daily activities. It has changed the way we work, shop, interact and also learn.

Big basket, Myntra, amazon, Zomato, google pay etc are synonymous with daily life. Teachers say things like stream karo, google class is good, ChatGPt use kiay kya? Google docs is good for creating question papers and so on.

With all this, it is about time, One takes a look at  The education system that has been a gift from the British. This system tested rote learning, speed of writing and quick recall. The time has come for a change.

We are at the threshold of a new evolution that is moving at galloping speed. Covid with all its problems enabled us to leapfrog into technology that is about 2 ½ years ahead of time the world over. This rapid change has led to many a new career. It is here to stay. This brings me to the topic

Implementation of emerging apps in classrooms

Let me give you a brief over view of the History of technology in teaching

Thomas Alva Edison had predicted that the motion picture would replace textbooks in the classrooms. Yes, the film was the first true modern learning technology. As the US approached WW II there was a felt need to train the army. The solution came as much from Hollywood as from the educational establishment – A film to train the army! So pleased was the army with the success of this, that they continued sophisticated research on the use of the film and later television for learning. They partnered with the universities to create learning modules.

In the 60s only teaching machines and programmed texts paved the way for computer-based training. Instructional films became more creative and covered more topics appropriate to children in schools. A flourishing commercial educational film business catering to both the public and private sectors with films on almost every topic imaginable. But, it was the TV that got educators excited. The TV could bring almost any form of learning to the classroom. Children sat for hours in front of the TV to watch Star Trek in a teacher-less class happily absorbing the knowledge. But, in spite of a few sporadic successes such as Sesame Street, educational television did not bring about a learning Utopia.

In the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of effort was put into the area of Computer Based Training [CBT]. As more PCs were deployed in offices and homes, But, this hopeful sign was short-lived.

The Computer-based training business entered the 90s with four things going against it.

  1. Technology changes made it almost impossible to serve all the platforms that were in use.
  2. The programs were boring
  3. People were reluctant to spend the money needed to build and deploy an effective system.
  4. Finally, the limitations and problems associated with Computer technology as well as a lack of a robust instructional design diminished the contribution of advanced learning approaches.

At this point, it seems appropriate to quote

Rupert Murdock.

” I don’t understand the technology.

But, you don’t have to;

You have to understand what it can do for you”.

Today’s learners are the net generation. They are referred to as Digital Natives. Let’s look at some statistics: Children 6 and under spend more time in front of the computer. Almost all of them would have played video games at some point or another.  By age 21, the average person will have spent thousands of hours on a mobile phone, video games and spent hours in front of the television.

In view of this, it is not surprising that there is a shift from technology-assisted education to technology-driven education. This paradigm shift will lead to changes in the teachers’ role, students’ role and also in the curricula and delivery.

The solution lies in a shift in the learning methods, techniques and framework – a shift in the paradigm. This change in the trend could be envisaged as:

  • Learning from Classrooms to anytime anywhere.
  • Faculty-led to facilitated.
  • Straightjacket syllabus to customized training.
  • Paper performance to online training.
  • Physical facilities to networked facilities.
  • Cycle time to real-time.

A few Technological innovations that have benefitted the education sector:

Top of the list is Virtual and Augmented reality.

Virtual reality (VR), which creates a totally artificial environment,

What is augmented reality (AR)?

Augmented reality is an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated content. The content can span multiple sensory modalities.  AR users experience a real-world environment with generated perceptual information overlaid on top of it.

  • Lenskart app

Digital library: is not dependent on the availability of space to preserve books and other reference articles like the conventional libraries.

Interactive whiteboards are dry erasable whiteboards that come with an LCD projector. The objective of these whiteboards is to make the students more engaging. Advantages are shown on your screen, be written on, act like a touch screen, save what you write on the board, etc. But with LCD video boards take the power of your television and combine that with your smartboard.

Google’s Apps for Education – millions of students and teachers around the world use this App which is a bundle of cloud-based e-mail, calendar, and document sharing products available free to schools. Google classroom is a free App that teachers can use to create and organize assignments provide feedback promptly and communicate with their classes easily. Became popular with the teachers during COVID lockdown.

Microsoft’s Skype or Zoom – give the students a platform to have real-time interactions with students of their age group in different parts of the world. Educators can also learn about the best classroom practices followed in other parts of the world. There could be student exchange programmes as well.

Benefits children with special needs –

text-to-speech software – that helps students with reading issues,

Speech recognition software, etc. Software that can read and write content can be a useful tool for the visually impaired.

BlogsBlogs or classroom weblogs are becoming increasingly popular with teachers and teacher education.

A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically like a “what’s new” page of a journal. The contents and the purposes of blogs vary greatly from links and commentary about other websites to news about a company/person/idea, photos, poetry, mini-essays, project updates, and even fiction. Blogs may be personal or based on collaborative efforts on a specific topic or an area of mutual interest

Mobile learning is also known as m-learning. Mobile learning supports, with the help of mobile devices, continuous access to the learning process. This can be on appliances like the phone, laptop or tablet. Learning can take place wherever and whenever you want! With the advent of mobile learning, educational systems are changing.

m-learning in education

Tablets: Tablets with internet connectivity give access to various useful educational Apps, allows taking notes, enables reading up on topics relevant to subjects of studies, etc. Many IGCSE schools permit the use of tablets in class

Mobile learning usage:

  1. Offering mobile learning material is either asynchronous way of learning or Synchronous way,

Advantages of mobile learning –

  1. It can be anytime, anywhere learning.
  2. Motivation – An online quiz can bring in an added element of interest.
  3. More content – Videos and audios can be added. Videos make it possible to make learning livelier!
  4. Working together from long distance – While one student might be in New York and the other one in Amsterdam, it’s still possible to work together! This is one of the main benefits of mobile learning.
  5. Students share their work with their peers using camera phones. You can encourage students to take photos of billboards, street signs, menus, advertisements, or other examples of written English that they see around them. Compare the photos and discuss the spelling mistakes.
  6. The teacher can encourage students to create a personal visual story about their daily routine. The student can take a series of snapshots of moments in their day, for example, their schedule for a timeline and identify the snapshots as time wasters, worthwhile activities, etc.

Blended Learning

Popularized by Khan Academy and its massive library of instructional videos. Its roots are dug into online teaching–learning.  It uses online & brick and mortar space. The objective is to provide an integrated learning experience.

The process is explained using a ready example.

  1. A teacher explains the steps of the digital storytelling technique

– face to face

  1. Students write a proposal and get it approved – face to face
  2. Students follow the steps. They select any of the software that they would like—Powerpoint and google docs are freely available to work on online
  3. Students work collaboratively and prepare the storyboard which is presented to the others and feedback is sought – online.
  4. This work can also be planned in such a way that each student of the group pre-decides what would be done by him/her and submit the google docs or Powerpoint as the case may be and the other would pick it up from there and continue as a part of the collaborative work.
  5. The collaborative working space often called “Maker space” could be given an exciting name by the students.
  6. The offline vs online work is 30:70.
  7. The storyboard could be uploaded on the school website or e-campus which is the LMS.

Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) is a central government of India initiative It is a step towards a new India that will embrace and encourage novel and innovative ideas and inventions.

Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

Robotics:  This process automation is a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots or artificial intelligence /digital workers. It is sometimes referred to as software robotics.

Developing the right skills will prepare students for the competitive educational and professional society. Robotics boosts skills that are the foundation of success, such as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

When working on a robot, students are encouraged to use logic, engineering intuition, and critical thinking.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind

Weak AI—also called Narrow AI or Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)—is AI trained and focused to perform specific tasks. Weak AI drives most of the AI that surrounds us today. Siri, Alexa are examples.

Artificial general intelligence (AGI), or general AI, is a theoretical form of AI where a machine would have an intelligence equaled to humans;

Reactive machines: Garry Kasparov in the late 1990s was beaten by the IBM computer.

Self-driving cars: A good example of limited memory AI is the way self-driving cars observe other cars on the road for their speed, direction, and proximity. This information is programmed as the car’s representation of the world, such as knowing traffic lights, signs, curves, and bumps in the road. The data helps the car decide when to change lanes so that it does not get hit or cut off by another driver.

Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)—also known as superintelligence—would surpass the intelligence and ability of the human brain.

Let’s imagine what an AI-assisted classroom would look like. The teacher delivers a bite-sized lecture using a video-conferencing application. Students who have hearing impairments can enable the live audio transcription feature. Someone comfortable in a different language can also enable translation to a language of their choice. If the teacher has a rich vocabulary and is fond of using it, the app can include a feature that recognizes a difficult word and replaces it with a more common synonym.

Once a lecture is finished, an adaptive testing application can be used to ascertain if the student has grasped the concept and to what extent. An application for spaced learning can then chime in to determine the frequency of revision needed to make sure the transition from a student’s short-term memory to long-term memory is smooth. The revision itself can be supervised by an application that presents concepts according to the student’s learning styles.

The buck doesn’t stop here. Data-driven career counselling should then steer a student’s career path. To prevent burnout and ensure good mental health, optimal workloads and study times can be determined by an AI expert. And, in order that the teacher doesn’t lose sanity from the amount of work they have to do, an automatic grader can be used, which would significantly save teachers’ time.



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