Ahoy! Vol. 1 | March, 2011
Editorsâ€™ Note With lots of joy and happiness, we are here with the first edition of the newsletters for ASSET Ambassadors. The last 6 months has been a wonderful experience for us, interacting with students, organizing meets, engaging in activities etc. This initiative has given us an opportunity to work closely with students and understand their perceptive related to different things. We have currently 250+ ASSET Ambassadors from across the country who represents more than 2 lakh students. This newsletter brings to you the glimpse of all that has happened in the past months after this initiative was started. This newsletter will enable students to understand how students are leaders in their own way with creative minds, all the time sharing â€œLearning with Understandingâ€?. We intend to spread this community across the country in the coming years and build a world where children everywhere are learning with understanding and we wish to provide opportunities for students to be a part of a large community of students, where they share and learn in a joyful manner. We would like you to come forth and share your views and suggestions to make this newsletter experience a more wholesome one. Looking forward to hearing from you! Share your views at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading! Bindu Pillai & Sandesh Ghosal
ASSET Ambassador Initiatives
The ASSET Ambassador initiative aims to spread the vision of “Learning with Understanding” among different students across the country. The purpose of this initiative is to bring together different schools and students to one platform where they can share their school activities, events, thoughts and ideas with other students across the country. This would help them understand each other and know what is happening in other schools across the country. From each school we had selected two students as ASSET Ambassadors. The selection process included students making two-minute videos of their views on “Learning with Understanding”. It was a pleasure for all of us at Educational Initiatives to watch the video of the students and we really appreciate the effort that went into making it. As a member of this family, the students are involved in various kinds of communication, documentation, teamwork and reporting activities relating to ASSET. This gives them a chance to contribute, network, explore, share and develop on a national platform by working and interacting with members of this family.
They have dedicated an online site on Ning where they interact with other students on various topics, share insights from their schools and to create groups on various social issues etc. We want this group to increase and spread our mission of ‘learning with understanding’ among students across the country. This newsletter will give you a glimpse of all that has happened in the last one year.
“As a member of this family, the students are involved in various
kinds of communication, documentation, teamwork and
reporting activities relating to ASSET”
What they have to say “I am very lucky that I got an opportunity of being an ASSET Ambassador. Spreading messages to bring about a reformation in thought processes is the work I like to do the most. And it is only because of this platform, my dream has come true. After being an ASSET Ambassador, I made friends from every corner of India and I felt it was high time I interacted with them.” – Karishma Khan, ASSET Ambassador, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vidyalaya (Secondary Section), Mira Road, Thane “Ambassador- the word itself tells us a lot. It tells us about the great position we have and with power comes responsibility too. The fact that I am the ASSET Ambassador of my school gives me great pleasure and sense of conscientiousness. My experience as an ASSET Ambassador is both fun and challenging. The fun part being that almost the whole school recognizes me not as Pyusha Dalmia but as the ASSET Ambassador of the school. The challenging part being I have to handle my duties well and manage the whole school regarding any ASSET activity along with my fellow Ambassador. For example, during the ASSET week we had to encourage children to come up with brilliant and innovative ideas. I have to balance my academics as well as my other activities to fulfill these duties. The official site for ASSET gives us a chance to spread the hip and happening in our schools and to spread necessary messages. My experience taught me a great deal and laid out many opportunities.” – Pyusha Dalmia, ASSET Ambassador, Anand Niketan, International, Ahmedabad
Footprints on the sands of time cannot be made by sitting down. This is well explained by the wonderful initiatives EI comes up with from time to time, the ASSET Ambassador being one of them. It is a wonderful initiative providing a platform for the Ambassadors all over the schools in India to share their views, exchange ideas, blog, get to know each other personally and also learn about the happenings in different schools. The other advantage is that the Ambassadors are keyed into the latest events and are ever ready to convey the same to the students at school. The qualities of an Ambassador are implicit in his duties. It has been wonderful to see them spreading ASSET awareness in the school throughout the year. Our gratitude to EI for creating this opportunity to these youngsters. Wish we had a similar platform for the ASSET Coordinators too! – Ms. Bindu Jayakumar, ASSET Coordinator, Carmel High School, Basaveshwarnagar, Bangalore The ASSET Ambassadors initiative is a great idea. It reflects the confidence of a student combined with good speaking skills. Also, it would give an opportunity to students to assume roles and responsibilities in certain designated areas. This would provide an ideal platform to build their personality and enhance interaction with peers and teachers. Initiatives such as the ASSET Ambassadors help students share their ideas and prove their abilities, not only in their own school, but also spread their wings of imagination in the wide world outside. – Mrs. Madhulika Chandrakumar, ASSET Coordinator, Sishu Griha Montessori and High School, Bangalore
The Ambassador Initiative really meant empowering our children to be future leaders as through this process, they learnt to be responsible, developed things like, organizational skills, delegation of work and team work to achieve the set goals, which was to make the ASSET week interesting and successful as well. The fact that we received the second prize in the ASSET WEEK -2010 at the National Level, speaks volumes about the dedication, commitment and interest shown by ASSET Ambassadors and teacher coordinators. Through the final presentation, their creativity, presentation skills and confidence levels were gauged. Talking to them I found their eagerness to communicate with the ambassadors of other schools. For this, the organisers of ASSET could arrange a meet in the city for these leaders conduct some higher level competitions and also enhance certain skills already present in them to boost their morale and sense of achievement. – Mrs. Kamini Saxena, Principal, Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Pune My daughter has been giving the ASSET exam in her school for the last three years and we have been quite happy with the type of testing and the comprehensive reports sent home. And then this year it was a pleasant surprise when Sapna was chosen by her school as the ASSET Ambassador. What has caught my attention is the kind of activities given to them are very child friendly and practical in nature. The blogs created also are very appropriate and my daughter feels quite excited to go online to check out what’s happening, to interact with other ASSET Ambassadors all over India and also post some articles herself. There is active involvement of concerned ASSET team members on the ASSET Ambassador site. They come down to the level of the kids. I was also impressed with the ASSET week conducted in the schools. The ASSET Ambassador concept has helped do this in a more streamlined manner. – Ms. Nila Nayak, Mother of Sapna Nayak, ASSET Ambassador, Sharda Vidya Mandir, Panaji
ASSET Ambassador Meets The ASSET Ambassador initiative started with the aim of spreading our vision of ‘learning with understanding’. We have appointed 250+ ASSET Ambassadors from different schools across the country. ASSET Ambassador meets were conducted in Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bangalore. The objective of the meet was to meet all the ASSET Ambassadors in person and explain to them their roles and responsibilities as an ASSET Ambassador of their school. Around 60 students from 30 schools participated in these meets. All the ASSET Ambassadors not only had a wonderful time but also made friends with their counterparts from other schools. The occasion became even more special as some of the students were accompanied by the ASSET coordinators from their schools and parents who also participated in the event.
The entire meet was a blend of idea sharing, understanding roles and responsibilities and playing games! “We got to know the opportunities that being an ASSET Ambassador entails”
“We got to know so much about ASSET and about Learning with Understanding”
“We understood our Roles and Responsibilities as an ASSET Ambassador”
We discussed the vision of Educational Initiatives, a brief profile about its founders, what ASSET and Mindspark are, a brief description of EI’s Large Scale Assessment Projects, as well as various issues affecting us like, environment, cleanliness, traffic regulations etc. We also discussed the various measures that can be taken at an individual level to make a difference. The entire meet was a blend of idea sharing, understanding roles and responsibilities and playing games!
How we connect
The ASSET Ambassador online community has many features through which students can interact on a regular basis and share updates from their schools and vicinity. The students can even blog on the community and share interesting articles with others. Blogging has facilitated discussions on lots of interesting and hard-hitting issues and helped the ambassadors in improving their writing skills. The students are holding discussions on a wide range of topics like the ‘Role of students and youth in National Development’, ‘Child labour’, Corruption, etc. They not only discuss issues but also find out solutions to handle these problems
and eradicate them. This has been helping them become solution providers and is widening their horizons. The monthly activities conducted, bring out their hidden potentials. The Ambassadors are trying their hands at photography, videography, getting an experience of software platforms like photoshop, powerpoint presentations etc. Some of the activities require them to talk to a large group of students in their school, which brings out the leader in them. The main objective of building this online community is to help students come together and spread the vision of ‘Learning with Understanding’.
We have conducted many online activities and students have shown enthusiastic responses.
Blogging has facilitated
discussions on lots of interesting and hard-hitting
issues and helped the ambassadors in improving their writing
We learn to We believe that being part of the ASSET community is not just about taking the test but about celebrating learning and nurturing talent. We therefore organized monthly activities for students on the online community site. Every month we announced one activity which the ASSET Ambassadors have to do. The students had to do the activity in a group or individually and send us a report at the end of the month. The main objective of these activities was to keep students engaged with intellectual activities, and help them improve communication skills and encourage team work, build leadership, ensure problem solving and develop organisational skills etc.
Some of the activities done last year were: Interviewing an Ex-student – Students had to interview an ex-student who was studying in a prestigious institute. They had to then document their interview and send it to us.
Story Writing – Students had to complete the story in a very innovative and interesting way. Many students had sent their responses. This activity brought out the writer in them.
AD for your School Children’s Day Celebration – We had asked students to celebrate this Children’s Day in a very special way by doing something for the poor street kids and orphans. And their experience was awesome. Some of them organized a collection of old clothes from their schools and then donated them to orphanages or to street kids. Some students collected money and donated it for the education of the girl child and then went to the orphanage and celebrated the day with the kids by playing with them and giving them gifts.
We had asked students to create an advertisement about their school. The advertisement was to be created using different media including print, video, audio, animation, presentation and web. Students had a wonderful time showcasing their schools through various mediums.
I felt for the first time in my life that the joy of giving is a very powerful act of shaping one’s life. – Sridhar Shenoy, ASSET Ambassador, Sri Janakshi Vidyaniketan, Bangalore
Web reviews http://www.kidsknowit.com/ The Kids Know It Network is our student’s free portal into the many exciting facets that make up our Universe. From the human heart, to the moons of Jupiter you will find it all on the KidsKnowIt Network. The fun and educational games, activities, worksheets, free online classes, and much much more, make learning fun.
http://www.cut-the-knot.org/ This site contains Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles for all groups.
This website is a part of the National Geographic Channel that does not require any introduction. With different topics like blogs, music, science, education, animals, technology, etc. a majority of areas are covered and this will give them overall knowledge of every field that they can share with others.
The idea of Pitara was born out of the recognition that education is not an end in itself. It would deliver an experience to children with a high value quotient. The website has pages like news for kids, quotes, famous people, earth stories, etc. This would help them be in touch with the outer world and enhance their knowledge.
Book reviews Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
id Lawyer is an enthralling tale about Theodore Boon- a kid lawyer who gets dragged into a cold blooded murder trial, because of his knowledge about the way certain things work. A notorious killer is about to be set free and only Theodore Boon can set things right by exposing the truth. It’s full of suspense and is thrilling till the end and is very difficult to put down once you start reading it!
t’s Jeff Kinney’s take on Greg Heffley and his summer vacation being spent inside the house with his video games. It’s an interesting tale about Greg’s aspirations regarding his summer vacation and the clash with his mother’s ideas of what it should be like. Find out whose plans will ultimately work for this summer vacation.
It was very good journey and I enjoyed myself a lot when my friends and I made the video. – Vignesh Hari, ASSET Ambassador, Chinmay Vidyalaya, New Delhi
ASSET Ambassador on Facebook After the successful initiative on ASSET Ambassador on NING site, we are now on facebook. Facebook does not require any introduction, but it will create a platform for all students to come together and share their activities, thoughts, events, photographs with others across the country. ASSET Ambassador on facebook will give them an opportunity to be with other students globally and enable spreading the idea of “Learning with Understanding” across the globe. For more details visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Asset-Ambassador/136836396383766
World education rankings: The world education rankings from the OECD are out. The UK is slipping down in Maths, Reading and Science, and has been overtaken by Poland and Norway, this major study of 65 countries reveals today.
It shows that the UK's reputation as one of the world's best for education is at risk, and has tumbled several places since 2006. The UK is ranked 25th for Reading, 28th for Maths and 16th for Science. In 2006, when 57 countries were included in the study, it was placed 17th, 24th and 14th respectively. Poland has stretched ahead of the UK in Maths, while Norway is now ranked higher in Reading and Maths.
Around 470,000 15-year-olds across the world took a Numeracy, Literacy and Science test last year, the results of which are informed by the latest PISA study by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Andreas Shleicher, Head of the PISA programme, said the picture for the UK was "stagnant at best". "Many other countries have seen quite a significant improvement," he added.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is highly respected across the globe, and enables politicians and policymakers to assess how different country's education systems compare.
Being chosen as one of the ASSET Ambassadors of my school is a great honour for me. It makes me feel proud ... Nowadays I motivate my
classmates and my juniors to sincerely do the activities related to ASSET. – Sudarsan, ASSET Ambassador, The High Range School, Munnar
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