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The monthly newsletter

SCOPE Issue 74 | July 2011 |

This Month’s Issue Use of Technology .......... 01 Poster Contest ............... 02 News Bite ...................... 02 ASSET Week 2011 .......... 03 Detailed Assessment....... 04 Mindspark ..................... 05 International .................. 06 Teacher’s Bite ................. 07 Video Review ................. 07 ASSET Ambassador ......... 08

Use of Technology It probably is a thin line to draw between exposure and over exposure of technology for the students in schools today. It will be a constant struggle for the schools to maintain this line. But banning technology from entering the school premises will mean alienating schools from the fast pace of revolution that the world is undergoing - in turn adversely affecting the interest levels of students in schools. Children today are bombarded with technology from everywhere possible. Parents want their children to have a

Intrusion of technology is something that cannot be challenged. What can be done is to modify how technology is being put to use.

I was astonished with what she had to say. At 7, she is comfortable using an Apple i-Pod that her dad bought for her last birthday and has reached the age where she trusted Google more than the elders in the family. That was her exposure to the computer and the World Wide Web.

mobile phone with them to stay connected – the more affluent the parents, the better mobile phone model the child carries; there are the PlayStations and the X-Boxes and several other video games to choose from; technology being talked and discussed on all possible platforms. After all these are an inquisitive and fast learning lot. How much can be kept in hiding? Only a few months ago, during a bus ride, my 7-year old niece and I were playing name / place / animal / thing. I was to think of one word for each of these categories starting from the alphabet B. Very casually I said ‘Bougainvillea’. She looked at me a said, “there is nothing like that”. I said, ‘Ofcourse there is. Bougainvillea is a beautiful flower”. “No it’s not,” she fought back, “Google it”.

Intrusion of technology is something that cannot be challenged. What can be done is to modify how technology is being put to use. Technology is not an end but a mean to reaching that end. It has to become an enabler of the education imparted. Simply digitising the content of the textbook and making students study using electronic gadgets is not what technology is for. It is time that we use technology to bridge the gaps that our current way of teaching leaves. Use technology to transform various education systems like examination, assessment and learning. – Vasundhara Vyas

Poster Making Contest – for students

Create interesting posters on the theme of

‘Stop Mugging... ...Start Learning’

Win exciting prizes and a chance to make your creation the face of our campaign ‘Stop Mugging...Start Learning’ The Contest is open to two categories: • Juniors - 3 to 6 classes • Seniors - 7 to 10 classes Take a picture of your poster and email your entries on Please mention your Name, School name, Class, City, Residential Address, and Contact Number along with the entry.

Rules: • Students must submit a drawing or painting that strongly follows the theme of the contest • An entry can be a drawing or painting using traditional media like paint, pencil, pen, crayons, oil, etc. or digital media causing photo editing software like Photoshop or Corel Draw or it could be a combination of both. • All entries submitted should be original and should not have been published or won in any contest. • One entry is allowed per child.

30 top entries will be exhibited on our facebook page. Last date to send entries is 20th August

Visit us on

News Bite Assam to Introduce Teachers' Eligibility Test The Assam government will introduce the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) for recruiting teachers in schools from this year. The Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) has been made mandatory for all teachers in the state, both in government and private schools to ensure quality education. The rules for Right to Education will be implemented very soon. The state government is to appoint 31,000 teachers during the next few years and the TET will be held in the first week of

October this year for selecting teachers in both lower and middle schools. The results of the test will be announced within seven days, following which the appointment process will begin.

Class 10 Certificates to Grade Life Skills The new Class 10 certificate to be issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) this year will show grades for life skills, besides all regular subjects, said the Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal. The certificates will carry grades reflecting students’ performance in attitudes, values and physical and health education, along with grades for subjects like mathematics, science, social sciences and languages. The new certificates, released by Sibal, will be given to over 10

lakh students who appeared for the Class 10 board exams under the new Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system, which gives grades instead of marks. “For the first time in the country, any board will issue a certificate which will show grades in scholastic and co-scholastic areas,” Sibal said.


‘All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind’ - Martin H. Fischer (1879-1962), a German-born US physician and author The world is full of information and learning is only restricted by one’s ability to ask questions. The more you ask...the more you learn. Asking questions will help students to not only open up their minds, but also will help to become individuals, who cultivate curiosity as a way of life. These will be the curious young minds who will grow up to become innovators, leaders, inventors and thinkers. As teachers it becomes an extremely challenging job to instil this practice of being inquisitive. For years this debate has been on – does education kill creativity? We are taking this thought a step further and asking

the students to step out of the classroom and explore. ASSET Week 2011 wants the children to become explorers and wants the world beyond their classrooms to be their laboratory. This will give the students an opportunity to notice the issues that surround them and hunt for possible solutions. The activities for the ASSET Week 2011 have been planned for the students from class 3 to class 10. All the activities will be around our central theme, ‘All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind’. For more details visit

Detailed Assessment EI’s Special Mobile Handsets Makes Detailed Assessment for Schools Faster

Students taking a test using mobile handset Examination reform is the buzzword today and CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) from CBSE is a step in that direction. A key objective of these reforms is to transform tests into effective learning instruments/tools that can identify learning gaps and help teachers and students to work on those in a timely manner. But there are two critical constraints in achieving this. Firstly, the teachers are neither trained nor do they have sufficient time to prepare high quality diagnostic assessments. As a result, the quality and consistency of these tests is highly person dependent. Secondly, the effort required to correct papers is high without a corresponding output – as measured by a clear and incisive insight into the learning gaps – that the teacher should address.

With every DA test, teachers get a report identifying the top learning gaps in the test taken by the class. The report also provides clear guidelines on how the learning gap can be closed. Educational Initiatives has launched a new product Detailed Assessment (DA) that proposes to resolve these constraints. DA will address these issues by providing diagnostic topic tests that clearly identify the learning gaps in a topic. These tests are customized to the syllabus followed by a school and provide a clear report to the teachers, students and the school.

Since this information has a time value to it, the earlier the teacher and students get to know of the learning gaps, the more valuable it is. For example, if a teacher has completed teaching a topic, say geometry on Day 1 and gets to know how much the class has learnt immediately the next day, the information is highly valuable.

Mobile handset kit And this is where DA uses technology. It uses a combination of a mobile application, Bluetooth connectivity and GPRS based data transfer to ensure that teachers and students get the report within 48 hours! DA has several benefits whether it is for the teachers or the students. With every DA test, teachers get a report identifying the top learning gaps in the test taken by the class. The report also provides clear guidelines on how the learning gap can be closed. This can be a powerful tool for the teacher to transform the learning effectiveness in class. Students get an individual descriptive report that tells them where and how to focus their efforts to improve the performance in that particular topic. Schools get a comparative snapshot across all sections. This helps the school eliminate subjectivity, identify areas for improvement and provides a performance dashboard for the Principal. DA is a clear example of education driving technology rather than technology imposed on education. – Vinay Chousalkar, AVP, Detailed Assessment Product

Mindspark Tablets and Cloud – The Way Forward for Schools The usage of tablets would enhance the experience of students in schools in many ways. The tablet with its touchscreen is a more intuitive way for students to use and adopt technology. Tablets are thin, lightweight and boot without delay, making them much easier to use in the classroom as compared to a laptop or a desktop. These tablets are a more personal device – a student can be at his/her own desk and enjoy the use of the tablet in his/her own pace and comfort. The advent of Android and numerous device makers ensures that the affordability of the tablet is ensured.

We at Educational Initiatives believe that technology has an important role in enabling learning with understanding. Our product, Mindspark has incorporated technology to help each student learn at his/her own pace and embrace mathematics, and now other subjects like Gujarati. But we look to further enhance this experience for the students by introducing tablets and the use of cloud computing. For schools, maintaining computer labs is expensive because of the real estate and infrastructure costs involved. Further, it is logistically challenging for students to travel from the classroom to the lab in between classes. Tablets address both these concerns – they would not require a lab and can be used in the comfort of the classrooms. While the advantages of the tablets to the schools are obvious, students, our end customers, would benefit most from the adaption of the tablets.

Further, because of numerous portable devices sharing applications – the software and hardware ecosystem for tablets is becoming much more robust. The use of cloud computing enhances the student’s experience further because even at peak hours he/she would not witness any bandwidth issues from Educational Initiatives. Besides all the above reasons, the feeling of using a tablet would ensure enhanced levels of interest by a student in a subject. We have introduced tablets in some of the schools that use Mindspark. With the advent of the tablets, we hope to bring a virtual teacher to every student to aid the teacher in the classroom. The tablet-cloud combination would enable personalized computing in a distributed and a shared atmosphere – the ideal way for a student to learn. Ajay Jain, AVP, Mindspark Support

Duke University’s talent hunt for 2012 begins Give your students this platform with Duke University has introduced their Talent Identification Program (TIP) in India and partnered with Educational Initiatives for the selection of participants. This 21-day long residential training program is an exposure platform for gifted students of Class 7. Faculty from Duke University train the students in topics like:

Forensic Science Environmental Engineering Java for Video Games Entrepreneurial Leadership Take ASSET between 1st August and 5th August 2011 and be a part of Duke TIP 2012 To Register for ASSET call : 079-40269623 or email at

International UAE student amongst Toppers in ASSET 2010 Tejal Jain, a student of Our Own English High School, Fujairah UAE, is among the top 10 performing students across the Class 3, who has taken ASSET. Tejal Jain is one of the 19,000 students studying in 500 schools across India, Middle East and Nepal from Class 3 who have taken the ASSET test. This is the first time that an overseas student has made her way up to the top.

"It was great to know that my daughter is amongst the top one percent of children who have taken the test. I have also gone through the test papers and realized that the test is really designed to enhance the child skills and to improve children’s IQ," says Pavanesh Jain, Tejal’s father.

On ASSET and more… ASSET fundamentally measures how well the concepts and skills underlying the school syllabus have been learnt by children. ASSET gives feedback on whether children have understood concepts taught to them and give them specific suggestions on improving these concepts. It also gives a comparative study of the learning success achieved by students in different schools in the country and region. With ASSET, teachers can monitor and evaluate each student of their class and benchmark the performance with other divisions as well as

other ASSET taking schools internationally. Based on progress reports, teachers can get a better insight into the progress report of each child and aim towards continuous skill improvement. Teachers also receive training from ASSET on how to improve the students’ specific areas of weakness detected from the test results. Mr. G. M. Nizam Uddin, Principal, Oxford International School, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Assessment Meet Singapore Educational Initiatives at APAC – Singapore Talks about Intelligent Assessment Solutions Mr. Sudhir Ghodke, Director, Educational Initiatives, was one of the only two Indians invited amongst the 25 international delegates present at the inaugural Asia Pacific Assessment Conference (APAC) 2011 held at Singapore on June 2 and June 3. The conference had education players like Pearson, Cambridge Assessment and Nanyang Technological University as participants. The theme of the seminar was E-Assessment, Trends and Challenges. Sudhir Ghodke was the Chairperson for one of the sessions during the conference. The session showcased new technologies and software to assist schools in understanding and implementing assessment innovation. He conducted two workshops with delegates to introduce various innovations from Educational Initiatives. These included EI’s self-learning tool for Maths (Mindspark) and a continuous assessment tool (Detailed Assessment) that can be conducted through computers/mobile phones / tablet PCs. These sessions were appreciated for their focus on student improvement which is a key area of interest in the highly competitive educational environment of Singapore. “Most of the speakers spoke about test conduction, data capturing and high stake assessment like the board exams. EI

Mr. Sudhir Dhodke, Director, EI

was the only organization bringing in a dimension of low stake and continuous assessment aimed at improving learning,” says Ghodke. The teachers were made to use the mobile handsets and tablet PCs to experience products to understand EI’s vision of assessment for learning. The content for the products was customized for the Singapore curriculum. Alongside the conference, there was also an exhibition showcasing eassessment developments held during the conference.

Teacher’s Bite Mr. Rohan Bhat, Chairman, Children's Academy Group of Schools, Mumbai


Who has had the most influence on you in becoming an educator, and how did they influence you?

I come from a family of educationists (the past four generations of my family have been in education). I have been most influenced by my family and particularly by my father who founded the Children’s Academy. I have seen his passion for good quality education, and I have seen him providing the right emphasis on discipline, hard work, co-curricular activities and the need for quality teacher training programmes. All these have shown wonderful results for our school and have resulted in the Children’s Academy Group of Schools being recognised as one of the front-running educational institutions of Mumbai.


What is your approach to classroom management and student discipline?

I hold the staunch belief that classroom management is a skill that needs to be continuously and consistently learnt and implemented. The ability to maintain discipline in a classroom is directly connected with the content knowledge and the level of preparedness of the teacher handling the class. Sound classroom management can help one mitigate discipline problems. It can ensure fewer interruptions and disruptions. However, when classroom disruption occurs, it is imperative that it is immediately dealt with. Students should understand

what is acceptable and what is not. Furthermore, one should make sure that the consequences for breaking rules are clearly spelt out beforehand. It is also imperative to enforce these rules when situations warranting their implementation arise.


What are your views regarding the importance of teacher training and development in educating students?

Even though frequently undermined, the importance of having good teachers is crucial. They play a vital role in the overall development of the students. In this dynamic era of fast-paced changes in almost every field, it becomes necessary that teachers keep updating their content knowledge as well as keep abreast of the latest teaching methodologies. The professional development of teachers should be an integral part of any school’s improvement plan. They should also be trained to assist students who have varied learning patterns and special needs.


What are your views regarding the ASSET test?

ASSET is a highly effective device for the development of the students of a school, in both an individual and collective sense. So far, we have been treating tests and examinations as an end into themselves. We have been treating them as an assessment of how well a student has comprehended a topic or concept. ASSET shifts this focus to analysis and remediation. It helps schools to be introspective and understand their strong points and their shortcomings. The detailed feedback formats help the students, their parents and the heads of schools to take timely measures in ensuring that conceptual learning takes place, and any misconceptions are nipped in the bud.

Video Review The Virtual Revolution - BBC Documentary Series Presented by Aleks Krotoski The Virtual Revolution is a BBC documentary series on information technology, especially on the internet. The series consisting of four parts is presented by Aleks Krotoski, a technology journalist and academician. The series looks at the impact of World Wide Web on human society over the last twenty years from the time of its inception. The series consists of interviews of world renowned scholars on the subject, inventors and business leaders including Bill Gates (the founder of Microsoft), Steve Wozniak (the founder of Apple), Chad Hurley (the founder of YouTube), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), and Sir Tim Burners-Lee (the inventor of World Wide Web). The first episode is on the history of World Wide Web. The Web has been the most empowering tool in the entire history of humankind. Today it is the ultimate platform for online freedom. The first episode explores Wikipedia and blogs that have given people a voice for civil rights and other sensitive

human and environmental issues, both local and global. Aleks then shifts to 21st century business models and how the Web is used as a promotional tool. In the second episode, Krotoski explores how the World Wide Web is affecting politics and the struggle for power in both democratic and authority states, and also how the Internet has inspired the freedom of speech through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The third episode explores free information and the fourth focuses on the overall impact and influence of World Wide Web on human societies. The series is a valuable resource for students learning about contemporary issues. Teachers can show clippings (which are downloadable from YouTube and the BBC site for free) and facilitate further discussions. By Jitu Mishra, Educational Specialist, EI

Photo courtesy by : Anand Niketan School

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Discoverer Join the ASSET Ambassador community and be the selected few to get a chance to represent your school, contribute to ASSETScope and win lots of prizes!

To be a part of this exciting COMMUNITY, contact your ASSET COORDINATOR Contact us on To interact with ASSET Ambassador Community, visit

Humourous Bite Mother: Son: Mother: Son:

What did you learn in school today How to write What did you write? I don't know, they haven't taught us how to read yet!

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ASSETScope July  

A monthly newsletter for teachers, students and principals of school.

ASSETScope July  

A monthly newsletter for teachers, students and principals of school.