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Volume 1

Issue 7 February 2017 IGNITING MINDS

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think Margaret Mead

STRAIGHT PRINTED AND PUBLISHED by Ravi Santlani on behalf of EduPulse Media Pvt. Ltd

Editor Dr. Sanjay Parva Assistant Editor Anjana Deepak Reporter Ashima Sharma, Anuj Kr. Website Team Vaibhav Ramchandani, Pranav Sharma, Ojas Godatwar, Gaurang Mandhana Art Direction Rexsu Cherry Design CP Sharma Editorial Advisor Shobhita Rajgopal, Meenakshi Uberoi, Neeta Bali Pics Pressfoto - Freepik.com

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EDITORIAL OFFICE EduPulse Media Pvt Ltd, J-3, Jhalana Institutional Area, Second Floor, Jaipur 302004 India Email: editor@scoonews.com FOR ALL SALES QUERIES Virendra Kashyap +91-9953219439 Abhishek Tomar +91-9811756705 sales@scoonews.com FOR SUBSCRIPTION +91-9784447860 subscribe@scoonews.com PRINTED AT Navpack & Print, Dainik Navajyoti Building, Amrapali Circle, Vaishali Nagar, Jaipur 302021 India, www.navpacknprint.com and PUBLISHED AT EduPulse Media Pvt Ltd, J-3, Jhalana Institutional Area, Second Floor, Jaipur 302004 India Published for the month of February 2017 Total number of pages 132, including Covers

TALK

Dr. Sanjay Parva

Being a tech-savvy teacher

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t is not easy to become a teacher. It is difficult. You need a great deal of patience to become one. And if you are a tech-savvy teacher, you need twice as much. Technology is making rapid inroads into everything that we do now and that we will do in the near future. In order to be a teacher of tomorrow, teachers today need to gain an edge in using technology. They need to be tech-savvy. Though there is no rocket science involved , however, the first step towards being a tech-savvy teacher is to accept that technology is going to assume greater proportions in the way students would need to be taught in future. It is a question of attaining certain basic skills. The most basic skill needed is to accept that the time has come for teachers to learn certain new means of imparting education, which have come up because the classroom dynamics has changed. Children are widely exposed to technology outside the classrooms. In the classrooms, sooner or later, they will begin to find themselves out of place if they do not find the same influx of technology there as they find outside. A typical student's attention span, reveal psychologists, last a maximum of 15 minutes; and the same depends on several factors like emotion, motivation, time of the day and enjoyment. Most of the students have to spend at least 40 minutes or more in a classroom, looking at the same blackboard, scribbling at the same notebook, ogling at the same book and blankly looking at the same teacher. This is very monotonous – something a teacher would never know because a student would never dare to challenge the system or the teacher. This society is brought up like that. Even if a teacher is wrong, he or she is right! Use of technology, that is to say tech-enabled tools and methods to teach, has been found to be an effective method to break this monotony, keep the students alert and interested and encourage participation. Encouraged participation leads to expanded thought process and vision. Even as there are conflicting reports on whether or not technology increases or distracts attention span, a research reveals that some teachers feel technology distracts attention span not because it really does, but because the teachers are so conditioned to non-use than use of technology that they feel it distracts. It is being overtly judgemental. Some landmark research has directly vouched for use of technology in classrooms stating the benefit students have received from the same. A research at the University of California Irvine research revealed that medical students claimed 23 percent higher scores when they were equipped with iPads during national exams. In the same light, Pearson, world's largest education company, remarked: "more than six in ten college students and high school seniors agree that tablets help students to study more efficiently (66 percent and 64 percent) and help them perform better in class (64 percent and 63 percent). With such hard evidence , the straight talk is that with being a tech-savvy teacher, you would know it is more important to tell that budding child in your class the greatness of being Elon Musk than being Alexander the Great!

FIND US ON

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CONTENTS

28 COVER How EdTech Companies are Transforming Indian Education? COVER STORY: This certainly is unlike the way it was in the past – a big classroom, rows and rows of desks, a teacher holding a chalk, and his back mostly towards the class than the front. Blackboards, until turned white, meant no classroom activity had taken place

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INNOVATION: Vision on Tinkering

12 JUST BLOGGING: Classrooms, backpackers and a revolution

18 learning: Coding makes better learners

REFLECTION: Education: A Parents Journey out-of-high school kids

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INNOVATION: Gaming in Education

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54 FUTURE TECH How IoT in education is changing the way we learn

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SOCIAL MEDIA:

Feature

Twitter in the Classroom

Investments in EDTECH AN INTROSPECTION

PRINCIPALS ON BOARD Dear principals, your views matter to us. Do write in. Is holiday homework necessary for students? In what ways can children be engaged during the summer vacation? How do you think children should spend their holidays? Principals can send 150-200 word responses to editor@scoonews.com, along with their photographs. They should also mention their name, school, address and contact details.

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YOURS TRULY READING TRADITION I agree that students today do not have enough time to get indulged in paper books. Too much pressure and work load takes the toll. This somewhere has rendered children aloof to reading. For them reading is related to studies only. I believe that such a trend needs to be changed if we want our children not to get into life’s monotony. Most of parents today do not read themselves. I think that too can be a contributing factor to this problem. Children do what they see. If they see their parents playing ‘Candy Crush Saga’ whole day, no wonder they will also do the same. If we can put an example in front of children by reading one book at a time, there is a chance that a child may pick a book. A good habit, I believe starts from home and should be encouraged. It is alright to not to study for a while and instead get indulged in the world unknown. Momita Banerjee, Kolkata

HELPING THE MOM Yes it is important for children to know how to cook; irrespective of a gender they should definitely understand the skill. There is no harm in being prepared. We all come across a time when we have to leave the warmth of our home and love of our mother for the sake of job, bet-

ter education etc. We would not want ourselves to be fed on burnt toast or badly cooked tiffin. I also agree that it is a stress buster. It helps in relaxing and also helps making children patient. We shall also not forget that there are so many unexplored career options in the culinary field these days. So, instead of taking it just as another work to be done, one can actually learn the trick of the trade. You never know, merely helping mommy might develop a passion for cooking can give rise to the next Master Chef. I loved the story. Jyoti Motikar, Maharashtra

STUDENT-INTEREST STORY I read your social media article with interest. True, internet holds a sensational importance in teenage life today and also that it is very necessary . The variety that web offers is far beyond anyone can offer to our young brains. I believe it plays the role of a catalyst in development of an idea. There are so many things that could make a child gain new heights. The growing influence of smart phones and internet can help in flipping the table. There are multiple apps online which provide vast variety of reading material. It can be easier for kids to get access to certain book without actually carrying its load. Also, searching about a detail has become more accessible and hence, less time consuming. In short, there are many things that are good and are offered with a lot of viewpoints over the internet; a child should not be deprived of availing them. Please carry more such student-interest stories. C Satarupa, Bhubaneswar

THE REAL MODEL My son has been to a Model United Nations event. It is an amazing concept to teach students how things are done in matured world. It not only helps children in understanding the mode of working of the United

Nations, but also help them become a part of it. I have perceived a lot of difference in my son’s behavior after he joined one MUN. It is such an amazing way to make children interpret something so complex with such practicality. It is indeed one of the best ideas being executed for our students. Exposure, understanding, leadership are few of many traits which are developed among participating students. Every child, irrespective of their field and passion should, at least once, participate in MUN. Ii could be a life changing experience for personality development. Apart from this, I suggest there should more such programs which should focus on developing practical traits among students rather feeding them information documentarily. The same will help children being focused and will also keep education interesting. That would be the real model for them. Chahana Chandra, Assam

BUT WHERE DID THE STUDENT GO? It is indeed impressive to read about Richard Branson’s Student, however, I wonder what happened to the magazine later. Once he realised that the profit is in the music records he let go off the magazine which was an amazing effort. He let go of something which was worth keeping. I reckon, where it benefits to chase your dream of entrepreneurship, one should not let go of something so right. It is an owner’s obligation towards its readers, its followers to continue pursuing a good venture. Where on one hand it was respectable that Mr. Branson took a leap and followed his dream, it is sad that he decided to cut loose of Student. Although as per records, in the year 1992 he got himself into publication and formed Virgin Books. Yet, Student will be missed by those who loved it and by those who never got a chance. Your effort in ScooNews is interesting, please continue with it and keep us informed. Meetie Aihmol, Manipur

TALK TO US

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JAIPUR: EduPulse Media Pvt Ltd, J-3, Jhalana Institutional Area, Second Floor Jaipur 302004 India

Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts and samples before recycling

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INNOVATION

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February 2017


Vision on TINKERING Sharad Bansal writeback@scoonews.com

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ewton “experienced” the apple falling on his head that led him to discover the law of gravity, he didn’t learn gravity in books. In the same way the mathematician Archimedes was taking a bath when he observed that sitting inside a bathtub resulted in displacement of water, something that eventually led to the Archimedes Principle. Similar is the story of Thomas Edison, Graham Bell and many more popular inventors. In India we generally use the term ‘Jugaad’ instead of innovation or invention, why? Because without any subject literacy or research infrastructure people are solving their problems in their own way and this is called jugaad in local Hindi. The latest example is a school dropout, Chandra Siwakoti Sharma an Assamese village boy who is also a mechanic who has made a Helicopter using metal sheets and car seats. But imagine if a grade 3 school drop-out can do this without any external help, what our talented kids with availability of latest technologies and resources can build?

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INNOVATION

While on one hand we see such frequent Jugaad stories coming from the villages of india, on the other hand, we stand a lowly 7th in the world with only 1423+ annual patent applications compared to 57,385 by the US, 42,381 by Japan, 25,548 by China and 13,117 by South Korea.

While on one hand we see such frequent Jugaad stories coming from the villages of india, on the other hand, we stand a lowly 7th in the world with only 1423+ annual patent applications compared to 57,385 by the US, 42,381 by Japan, 25,548 by China and 13,117 by South Korea. To tackle this situation Niti Aayog, Govt. of India undertook an initiative for encouraging Tinkering in Schools and has launched the scheme of Atal Tinkering Labs(ATL) under the flagship Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). They have already selected 257 schools in the first phase that will be given financial assistance of Rs. 20 lacs to setup Tinkering Labs, encouraging young students to understand STEM concepts in a practical and creative way using the specific tools and equipments of ATL. “To grow at the rate of 9 to 10 % India must become a very innovative society”, said Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI (National Institution Of Transforming India) Aayog.

WHAT WE DO AND WHY? WHAT TRIGGERED? (RELEVANT TO TINKERING)

Govt. interaction details : How it’s going to trigger tinkering movement? How it can help? What more needed? Demand supply gap?

In SRJNA, we have developed 150+ physical working teaching aids and designed 1000+ methodologies to explain complex topics of Science and Maths. For example, a concept of Generator earlier used to be taught by a complex and unrealistic diagram on class board which only 2-3 students were able to visualize but when a SRJNA trained educator enters the class with a live prototype of a generator, science seems way easier and interesting. Our aim is to create a Happy Teaching Learning Environment and we have been quiet successful in it with all 16 schools who have adopted SRJNA Lab and support previous year.

“Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” according to a Niti Aayog statement.

WHY SRJNA IS RELEVANT TO TINKERING? HOW WE ARE ONE OF THE PIONEERS HERE? Taking a step forward, when students are taught with interactive tools, their creativity is not killed but applied in building new things. So we came up with our next product Tinkering Labs. We started conducting workshops where schools collect all the hard waste material through-out the year

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and in a 2 day workshop-cum-camp students build useful/decorative products out of them, applying all their year-long learning into these products. While this has been a life changing experience in a workshop setting, to take this phenomena of Tinkering to the masses we collaborated with US based Tinkering Labs Inc., cofounded by Gever Tulley (also known as father of modern tinkering movement and founder of Tinkering School San Francisco) and Matt Brocchini (a senior entrepreneur). This will not only be a catalyst in the Govt’s initiative Atal Tinkering Laboratories but also it will make us deliver an interesting and affordable Tinkering solution with a potential to reach 5 million learners in just 3 years. We feel that we have been pioneers of tinkering Activities in India, which has been taken forward by NITI Aayog under their flagship Atal innovation mission and I believe many more companies will be needed to fulfill this vision across the country.

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Total Financial Help by the Government: Rs.20 Lacs (Rs. 10 Lacs for establishment and an equal amount towards maintenance of the same for next five years) Who is Eligible: Schools (VI-XII) managed by the Government. Local bodies or private trusts. Infrastructure: Ideally designed laboratories with relevant equipment and tools related to robotics, mathematics, science and 3D computers. Objective: To foster interest towards STEM subjects by allowing the students to directly experience the concepts of science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Benefits: The students would develop a more dedicated approach towards STEM subjects and would also be inclined towards innovation as the model fosters a DIY (Do It Yourself) approach under able supervision. The


students would learn the real life relevance of STEM subjects and would also learn to associate various concepts and principles that would further broaden their horizons.

WHAT NEXT? The government has done their part by triggering the tinkering movement in India, they entered in a partnership with Intel Education to keep the standards of implementation high. Now it’s not only the Government who can bring change, we as an edu-preneur, principal, teacher and parent will have to take this forward through our individual efforts. We in SRJNA who have been doing tinkering activities from 2 years, have

now developed an integrated model of Tinkering Lab equipments, content for students and professional development of educators to help these selected schools in making effective use of ATL resources. SRJNA is also offering an affordable solution of starting a Tinkering Lab for schools who wish to give Tinkering facilities to their students but couldn’t get through the ATL selection process. Any school teacher, coordinator or principal can just simply fill their details on our website’s (srjna.com) tinkering page to get a Free Plan for Setting up a Tinkering Lab, they can simply procure things from different online/offline vendors and mentors or otherwise can get a quotations from SRJNA for full tinkering lab setup and implementation.

WHAT PART AN INDIVIDUAL TEACHER OR A SCHOOL LEADER CAN PLAY IN TINKERING? Being first as a lifelong student of science and maths and then an education entrepreneur the idea of tinkering lab at school level always fascinated me. Whenever I meet an Academician or education leaders I would always say that, “True learning comes when it’s being experienced” But Education has multiple stakeholders like School management, Teachers, Students and Parents. Everyone has to come together, collaborate and steer the growth of making force of innovators for this Century. The writer is an Alumnus of IIT Delhi & CEO of SRJNA. The views are personal.

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JUST BLOGGING

CLASSROOMS, backpackers and a REVOLUTION 12

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JUST BLOGGING

Aarti Chhabria

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magine schooling in a simulation machine. Or travel only through virtual reality. With digital explosion, immense amount of data is available to students and teachers altering the way they read, learn and even play. But does this give us a true perception of the world? Does it motivate us to be real global citizens? Is this learning experiential? Is it collaborative, immersive? If I ask you, how did you learn about World War 2 or about waste management or Shakespeare or formulae for volume; for most it is first a book, then perhaps the Internet. Can we add a firsthand experience to this learning? Sure you can! Connecting classrooms with international travelers in your city and listening to their personal stories of say World War, or waste segregation back home adds a new human dimension to learning which brings EQ, CQ alongwith IQ to the classroom.

We can’t learn things in isolation –

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If you as a teacher invite Charlotta from Finland, who is a yoga teacher currently, your classroom will learn about the northern lights in Finland, how Charlotta never had exams in school...

proof is the new Phenomenon based education reform in Finland where they are doing away with subjects. Pasi Silander, Helinski’s development manager, explained: “What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life. Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call “phenomenon” teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take “cafeteria services” lessons, which would include elements of math, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills. For India to adapt to this radical change it would take decades. But by having children interact with people from all across the world they get introduced to this learning method and pick up a lot of things in a single interaction. For example, if Jon from Sweden is speaking to a class about the current

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crisis of Syrian refugees (politics), and answering questions whether that would lead to job loss for Swedish locals and result in diminishing resources (applied sciences) while still showing empathy and wanting to help the refugees in the time of need (emotional quotient). If you as a teacher invite Charlotta from Finland, who is a yoga teacher currently, your classroom will learn about the northern lights in Finland, how Charlotta never had exams in school, how her friends who have had a baby from a live-in relationship still share the same legal rights, to how they have summer homes where even families like her’s coming from privileged homes use bucket water & candles for electricity to conserve nature. This is a blend of being collaborative & phenomenon based learning methods wherein the child learns about countries through the everyday slice of life of a real person and their life journey so far. Kids get more and more curious about other’s ways of life, innovations


in other countries, problems in the rest of the world and almost commit to making the world a better place. As they have met this person in flesh and blood, children sympathize with the traveler’s worries and celebrate their happiness all in a 90 minute conversation in the classroom.

only 15 Euros or Dharavi leather articles, or share how a chaiwala became our Prime Minister. Would you not change the image of India in their eyes? They get a peek into the culture, economic development, family structures, governance, passions and hobbies in India.

If, between the ages of three and fifteen, a child attends 6 first-hand interactions with 6 travelers every year, then by the time they get out of school, they would have experienced more than 7080 different countries and cultures. Can you even imagine what that child’s worldview will be like?

The learn India as a whole!

Have you ever thought as an Indian if you traveled to Paris and shared a presentation on yourself, your family, your friends, things you like to do, the environment issues in your city, the politics in our country, the festivals you celebrate, your profession; played Indian games with Parisian students and showed them things you use everyday like 4G phone Reliance JIO that costs

Pisa, an influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), ranking education systems across the world would earlier test students in math, science and reading abilities but are looking to include global competence as the fourth parameter for measuring a successful education system. CIE, Cambridge International Examinations’ too has introduced Global Perspectives as an independent subject from grade 1-10 and this will be compulsory in Cambridge affiliated board schools from 2018.

21st century learning needs to foster the values like those below and that’s exactly what inviting travelers to your classroom can do! By helping an entire generation grow up with regular exposure to different cultures and perspectives, we can bring about changes both behavioral and subliminal. Young people will grow more open-minded, adaptive and accepting; they will develop a higher cultural quotient, learn to challenge their biases and will act, create and evaluate themselves in the context of a much bigger, broader world. Don’t you think that this generation that will be the future lawmakers of India should know that in Mexico an artist can pay tax with his paintings? The writer is a speaker, inspired educationist & serial entrepreneur, Founder of City Sproutz & Co-Founder of Clap Global & Club Sproutz. The views are personal. More details can be found on aartichhabria.com

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LEARNING

CODING makes better LEARNERS

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February 2017


Ashima Sharma writeback@scoonews.com

Coding has a variety of benefitswhether you are looking to make a career in this industry, or just pick it up as a new hobby or just to understand this technology that is shaping the world

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f you are anything like me, you’ll know that we lot are not very tech savvy. I didn’t know what “pdf ” stood for let alone understand what coding meant. But these days anyone who is connected to the internet cannot say they do not know what something is. Go into Google, type “Coding” and voila just like that you have tons and tons of information related to coding. But to process this vast amount of information related to the topic we need to understand it’s basics .

WHAT IS CODING? We all know that programs are used to create software which bring to life apps on our phones, websites, Facebook and browsers etc.. These programs are written in a code. It is nothing but an instruction that is converted into a language that a computer can understand. Different codes have different purposes. Some codes are used for the web, others for app development and some for desktop software.

WHY LEARN CODING? Coding has a variety of benefitswhether you are looking to make a career in this industry, or just pick it up as a new hobby or just to understand this technology that is shaping the world. Coding helps in crafting your own personal space on the web. The big bang in the internet world started in 1991 with the introduction of the World Wide Web (“www”). There has been such a huge progress in this area that it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. So with all the technology that we use in our everyday life why not we understand what goes into making that technology?

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LEARNING

A computer programmer is one of the most underrated professions. The demand for these coders outbid the supply and because of this deficit in the number of coders available and hence there is a chance to see a booming growth in this field. At the moment the pay scale for a person in this field is very attractive. For instance an employee has an average base salary of $125K in Google or Facebook. What if you want to start your own business? This will require you to have your product on a platform which will reach the masses. For which you will either need a website or an app or both to showcase what you want to sell. What if you had a cash crunch while starting this business and didn’t have the funds to hire a team of coders to put up your website? Coders are expensive to hire, so why not learn to code yourself and build the product? Many entrepreneurs are now going from absolutely no coding knowledge to learning about it and building their own little software business. For example let’s take Nick D’ Aloisio who took his iPhone app “Summly” to Yahoo for a whopping $30 million. Selling software, Building mobile apps, E-Commerce and even better “Selling your coding time” through freelancing are some of the businesses you can start by learning how to code. Today’s generation start young. They have an appetite for knowledge about everything, especially about things that are related to technology. Teaching kids how to code is not only a useful skill for them to have but also helps them in

problem solving and communication skills by encouraging their creative skills.

HARNESSING CREATIVE AND WRITING SKILLS: Learning how to code expands a student’s writing skill. Kids don’t have to be a wiz in science or math to be able to code. There are various coding apps or online learning programs making it accessible to anyone who wants to learn. Some such apps available are Treehouse, Infinite Skills, Code HS, Code School and Learnable to name a few. Writing is a powerful skill, it involves more than jotting down a few words on paper. Many of these apps engage the minds and curiosity of students and help teach basic fundamental skills, while fostering the creative minds of those who enjoy reading, writing and drawing.

A CAREER IN CODING: With all the digitization that is present in human life, students of the 21st century will have to have some sort of coding skill imbibed in them. Over the next 20 years coding and programming will have a bigger demand across all sectors. If this is not inculcated into the educational curriculum it will result in leaving millions of students unprepared for the requirements of the future workforce.

BUILDING SELF -CONFIDENCE: Students who struggle in the classroom will welcome programming and coding because it can be done in a controlled environment, an environment which is controlled by those working on it. There is no “right way” or a defined path in coding. So it allows freedom and it can be done at their own time and pace. Students can express themselves in really cool ways through coding.

CODING A NEW LANGUAGE: Coding should be integrated into the learning of a student at a very young age. The coding concepts are likely to stick better and have a positive impact if taught young. By mastering this another skill set can be added to a student’s resume. The benefits derived from learning this skill set are Logical thinking, Problem solving, Persistence, Collaboration and Communication to name a few. The ‘learn to code’ space has absolutely no shortage of ideas to inspire young minds. Recently seen are some toys that encourage learning via play, connected hardware kits focused on inventing and project making to gamified software learning environments.

CUBETTO PLAYSET: These are for children aged between 3- 6 years. It is a logic-

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based playset that is pitched as a toy to teach kids coding principles before they can read or write.

SAM LABS INVENTOR KIT: Sam Labs is a London based learn-to-code start- up that focuses its efforts on simplifying the internet of things and has a range of hardware bits plus a drag and drop coding tool called the Sam Space App for Windows or Mac to help kids build their own connected devices with a handful of Bluetooth modules.

FLYBRIX TO BUILD YOUR OWN LEGO DRONE KITS: San Francisco based start-up Flybrix is combining LEGO and drones to let kids design their own flying creations. This is a plug and play module with no soldering required. These kits comprise LEGO bricks, boom arms and motors, plus other Flybrix designed parts. Kids can also sign up to free websites that teach how to play around with code. Code.org, Code Academy, Code Combat, Khan Academy, Scratch are a few such sites. “In the last 30 years computers have changed the course of humanity. Learning basic computer programming skills can help the 21st century students regardless of their future career” says Richard Barth, CEO, KIPP Foundation. Mr. Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO of Next Education on his view on coding makes better learners said “ Most creative people become programmers and it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that in the last 50 years, almost all the creative minds have coded and hence we have seen extraordinary literature evolve from this field. A learner can acquire both creative and analytical skills through coding and can hone both the skills. The amalgamation of both these skills is a rewarding experience. A coder needs creativity to add details and attain different outcomes and simultaneously needs to apply logic to add new sequences and fulfil requirements of the project. The logical and creative skills acquired by the learners can be applied by them in life” Technology is the future and is changing briskly. Coding is one trend that is likely to carry on. The future generations are going to learn to code younger and differently. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) child- friendly programming language “Scratch” already has 6.2 million registered users. One interesting fact is how little programming language has changed in the last 15 years. Then and now C and C++ have dominated programming. With the spread of internet of things in all fields from self- driven cars to toasters will bring in new challenges in bringing in bigger and more

connected systems. According to Glassdoor, 8 of the top 25 jobs in 2016 were in tech positions. With learning how to code software engineers can easily find themselves working at Apple, a health care center or even at an automotive manufacturer. Researchers are broadening their scope to include coding skills across five major job categories - Information Technology (IT), Data Analysts, Artists and designers, Engineers and Scientists. According to Code.org an initiative in the US, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million jobs in the field of computer science and there is no doubt that these will be one of the highest paying jobs in the world. India is marking its territory in the coding space. We have coders as young as 8-year-old Medansh Mehta who impressed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with a game he had created. Anvitha Vijay a 9-year-old has several IOS applications to her credit and was the youngest ever participant at tech giant Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Then we have 12-year-old Tanmay Bakshi from Toronto Canada who addressed over 10,000 coders at IBM’s biggest ever developer meet held in Bengaluru. “Learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things, that I think is helpful in all domains” – Bill Gates, Chairman , Microsoft. Coding not only helps us learn better about the very core of the technology we use but is also a field to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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REFLECTION

EDUCATION: A Parents Journey

Anjana Deepak

Do we pick a school that is just book centric or do we go with something that concentrate more on sport or do we go for a school that has a combination of both?

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anjana@scoonews.com

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re you a parent yet...? Are you a proud mommy or daddy of a little prince or princess? Are you in the process of thinking or on the way to becoming a parent? If you have said “YES” to any of the above questions then you have one of the most important tasks on hand and that is choosing what type of education you want your child to have. Mother to a strapping young boy… has been the most trying, overwhelming and rewarding experience. From the get go it’s all about the choices. Are these the right foods, diapers, clothes, etc.? It was eight years ago since these mind blowing choices had to be made. The easy part was the sleepless nights of feeding, the never ending changes of diapers, rhymes singing, the funny faces and the awkward dances that kept us all on our toes. But sadly that phase ended a little too soon for our convenience and now it was time for the husband and me to decide on the schools that we had to put our son in. As usual we took opinions from our

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near and dear ones. Friends, family and from people who were eavesdropping on our conversions had an opinion to share. “Put the child in play school as early as two years”, “Don’t put them in play school but home school them”, “Don’t home school them but put them in a regular school once they reach the ripe age of three”….. You get my drift don’t you? Sigh!!! Don’t get me wrong, all these people had our best interests in their hearts but the biggest question was what did we want and most importantly what did our child want? We knew our child the best. So after a lot of arguments and discussions on the pros and cons, we finally decide to put him in playschool. Our first experience was a nightmare….let me tell you why. The first day of playschool was a difficult one for us especially for me since I had never let my boy out of sight for more than 5 mins. I was going through what I think many of you mothers out there will agree to “separation anxiety”. We reached the playschool well ahead of time and waited for them to take him in. I thought there was going to be a lot of screaming and crying, but our little guy was only too happy to let go off my


hand and walked in with the “aya” with confidence. The next few days he settled in well. We were happy too. Then came the day when he was back home and he had a huge bump on his head. I didn’t think much of it but his grandma and a friend of mine asked me to probe him further. On asking him, with just the few words that he knew, he told me in his own way that a teacher had banged his head on the wall. It freaked us and we immediately pulled him out. Now the dilemma was where do we put him next. How do we choose the next place and trust these people with our child who were unknown to us? Well we went with our instinct and enrolled him in another playschool. This one turned out great and with no big incidents he spent the next 2 years in an environment where he was happy and content. Remember this was only the first step. Now came the more important step that would lay the foundation to his future. Which regular school do we choose?

JUST THE BEGINNING… A LONG JOURNEY AHEAD OF US. Decisions…. we had to make one soon. So we got down and dirty with loads of brochures and articles and tons of reading from eminent dignitaries from the educational sphere. But we still questioned if the choices we have made are right. At the onset of this journey there are things to ponder. Being in a diverse country like India we have various options. With different people, backgrounds and culture we have a multitude of educational boards to choose from, the most familiar being CBSE, ICSE & State board, these are just a few options. Then come the schools, the most renowned, the budget friendly, the one with all the extra- curricular activities, the distance from our home, travel time and the works. With the changing times we also have newer forms of educational systems that have been introduced based on the global systems / standards. Now this form of education is something that was alien to us and completely threw us off course. With no regular class rooms, curriculum and no books. It was more of learning from your environment and peers.

chalk in hand and reading out lessons from the text books and our noses in the books. This was something I had grown up with and I wanted my son to have the same experience. My husband on the other hand who I must say is great at sports wanted him in a school that had a lot of focus on different sports. Now here was the next hurdle. How do we choose? Do we pick a school that is just book centric or do we go with something that concentrated more on sport or do we go for a school that has a combination of both. We decided the latter. We were spoilt for choice. The number of schools to choose from is just huge. There are the international schools which would make our pockets considerably lighter. These schools have air conditioned classrooms and meals served on trays and lifts to take them up and down the building. All we had was a normal classroom with peeling desks and the windows open to the maximum during summer, sitting and fanning ourselves with our books and a muddy and dusty open tree lined ground where we took our “Tiffins” sat in circles with our friends and had our meals. Then we have our old and established schools, the one that have been around for years and where some of us now parents have passed out from. These schools still followed the old methods and ways of teaching and running the school with little added advantages (they do have to keep up with the times if they want stu-

dents enrolling themselves). So we chose the more established school for our son for we are from a middle class family and there is a mixed group of children in these schools. And being educated from one such school we understood it better. But like anything else, with time these institutions have also seen changes. Teachers now don’t need to have any teachers training whatsoever. We find most of the teachers who are from IT backgrounds. The question is again was this the right choice? I have no doubts about the teachers educational backgrounds, I’m sure they have the best degrees from the most prestigious institutions but are they and will they be able to handle the youngsters of today? With no formal teachers training, we as parents do think it’ll be difficult. PHEW... Are only some of the reactions to the mammoth tasks ahead of us. There’s always going to be the good, the bad and the ugly to any institution. In all of my research there has not been one place of study that I have found to be a perfect ten on ten. So my dear parents and parents to be, please don’t beat yourself up too much coz when the time comes we will have to make that decision and there is really no right or wrong, for it’s for these little bundles that we would only choose nothing but the best.

I was all for the regular school, the one like I had been too. The usual rows of desks and the teacher standing on a little podium in front of the class with

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INNOVATION

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GAMING in EDUCATION Scoonews Correspondent writeback@scoonews.com

H

ere is one of the many words that bring a smile to our faces “Games”. Now who doesn’t like playing games? This is one medium that keeps us engaged and stimulates us physically and mentally. Gaming doesn’t have to be only technologically driven but can also be a physical activity. How many hours have we played a game of hide and seek, football, cricket or even games that we invented making up our own scenarios with dolls or cars or playing house with friends and family? Games date back to the ancient human past. It is the oldest form of social interaction. It is a formalized expression of play which allows people to go beyond the immediate imagination and direct physical activity. It captures the ideas and views of worldwide cultures and passes them on to the next generation. Games were important as cultural and social events, as they were the

teaching tools and markers of social status. Games like GyanChauper and The Mansion of Happiness were used to teach spiritual and ethical lessons while Shatranj was seen as a way to develop strategic thinking and mental skills. The present generation has a variety of mediums to choose what games they want to play. Age old games such as chess, checkers, tic tac toe, monopoly now not only have the board game version but have it on iPad, computers and gaming consoles.

WHAT IS GAMING? It is the running of specialized applications known as electronic games or video games or game consoles like the X- box, Playstation or personal computers. The term “Gaming” originated from the word “Gambling” although most electronic games today do not involve gambling in the traditional sense.

GAMING IN CLASSROOMS Classroom games add flair and student engagement to difficult but necessary tasks, like teaching math, grammar rules and vocabulary, reviewing tests or even completing lab experiments. It adds an element of competition and energizes students. More and more games are being introduced in classrooms. It focuses on using “thinking” to turn an otherwise mundane task into something that engages a student and perhaps making it competitive.

GAMES + EDUCATION = GAMIFICATION Classrooms are primarily for learning. A bored student is less likely to grasp or focus on what the teacher is trying to teach. Engaging and motivating a class of students can be challenging. Each individual has different levels of understanding, some might grasp a

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INNOVATION concept easily and quickly but others might take more time. This is where the introduction of gaming in classrooms comes into play by improving a student’s engagement, productivity and enthusiasm for what the teacher has to say. Parents and some old school teachers believe in sticking to the more conventional methods of teaching as they think that sticking to the tried and tested rules of teaching produce greater results compared to introducing gamification which would just be a “digital distraction”. Teachers are looking for an upgraded educational format that would hold the students interest. Video games are

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playing an increasing role in the school’s curriculum. Some educators vouch that gamification in education is the future which will allow students to take an active role in learning and also develop technology skills they need to succeed throughout their academic and professional careers. The Quest to Learn public school in New York City offers a glimpse of how gaming is already transforming not just how students learn but also what they learn. The school has been modelling their curriculum around video games design since they opened their doors in 2009. It focuses on multifaceted challenges which might result in more

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than one correct answer that lets the students explore different solutions by making choices along the way says Ross Flatt assistant principal at the school. Alan Greshenfeld, cofounder and president of E-line Media a publisher of computer and video games and a Founding Industry Fellow at the Arizona State University’s Center of Games and Impact says “Games are also uniquely suited to fostering the skills necessary for navigating a complex interconnected, rapidly changing 21st century”.

GAMES SYSTEM

IN

THE

Minecraft a digital game requires players to build various structures out of cubes. MindcraftEdu is a version created by teachers for classroom use. It contains many additions to the original game that make it more useful and appropriate in a school setting. Many lessons and activities are available for free, and there is a vibrant, active teacher community exploring the uses of the game. Another example is SimcityEdu which is a game based assessment and learning tool for middle school learners. It covers Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Educators use this wonderful tool to help their students get a superiorquality learning experience. The Airforce uses piloting simulations to teach pilots in training how to fly airplanes. These simulations are meant to prepare trainees to handle the plane in any real flight condition at the same time preventing any loss of life in the process. The pilots could crash in a simulation, but can learn what mistakes have been made and correct it, re-set themselves and start again. Students learn new concepts or ideas through the process of gaming , take on a different perspective, or experiment with different options and variables. Gaming provides a context for

engaging practices. Students need a lot of practice to internalize important vocabulary and structures. While gaming, students develop a variety of connections with the content and can form positive memories of learning. Games usually follows a certain model and can create a certain level of frustration in the player, however this does not deter them from playing the game but motivates them to continue to play and improve their skills. Amidst an increase in the usage of video games in classrooms, educators are questioning whether or not video games can work within Common Core Standards. From a Psychological perspective this makes perfect sense. Teachers have been using games for ages. A quiz in English or a question and answer session in science for points. These are the kind of activities that get kids excited and have fun while learning. Human emotions are linked closely to memories and using teaching methods like video games evoke emotions that are more likely to “stick” rather than to be forgotten easily. Analysis show a 12% increase in learning outcomes that combines game based and traditional instruction. As more successful case studies are published we will most likely be able to witness an increase in game based teaching. Jessica Lindl, the Executive Director of GlassLab says that the educational gaming industry is currently a $1.55 billion industry and is forecasted to reach $2.3 billion by 2017. Games are here to stick around, with dedicated developers like Amplify, TeacherGaming, GlassLAb, Serious Games, GameGurus, and many others, there is a lot of world class talent working in the industry to develop and improve games in the field of learning. Beyond teaching, video games can also offer how well a child is learning and can show us visual displays of this information. It provides instant feedback typically through scores and can be used to determine how well students understand what the games are trying to teach them. Human minds are plug and play devices; they are not meant to be used alone. They are meant to be used in networks. Games allow us to do that- they allow us to use collective intelligence. Kudos to advancements in this sphere and hoping our educational institutions will stand up and take notice.

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COVER STORY

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How EdTech COMPANIES are Transforming INDIAN Education? This certainly is unlike the way it was in the past – a big classroom, rows and rows of desks, a teacher holding a chalk, and his back mostly towards the class than the front. Blackboards, until turned white, meant no classroom activity had taken place

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COVER STORY Dr Sanjay Parva editor@scoonews.com

“Indian education sector till date has been relatively under penetrated by technology. Given that spends on education ranks amongst the top 3 spends on an Indian household, the opportunity for technological penetration is massive. The size of the physical coaching market has been estimated by ASSOCHAM to be above $40bn growing at 35% annually. NSSO estimates that 3 out of every 4 students studying in schools in metros utilise professional tutoring services. Yet, there was no online service available to address the requirements & concerns of students & parents looking for quality verified tutors”.

"E

ducation is the most powerful weapon that can change the world", said Noble Laureate Nelson Mandela. With the advent of an array of educational technologies in this century, this weapon has got even more arsenal tagged to its belly. But how far and how correctly has this arsenal been used so far is something that every educationist must ask him or herself ?

Vidhu Goyal, WONK App

Enter a classroom now and you will be amazed to see a fifth grader skimming Google to know more about photosynthesis, a sixth grader learning about the effects of heat literally through YouTube, a senior student testing his circuit through simulation, students using social media like Faceboook and twitter to passionately debate about the current happenings, teachers uploading the class assignment on Google drive and students attending online tutorials, seminars and lectures of their interest.

With initiatives like Digital India, affordable data providers like Reliance Jio across rural and urban areas and the inset of cheap smart phones, India is on a trajectory of absolute digitalisation which is projected to come to fruition by the year 2020. We as a nation must prepare the coming generation for when that day comes.” Anushka Rajani, Head of Business Development at IIDE strongly believes that “Digital is the way to go! If you fail to adopt digital at this point in time, your business and you will be obsolete in no time. It’s either go digital or go home”.

This certainly is unlike the way it was in the past – a big classroom, rows and rows of desks, a teacher holding a chalk, and his back mostly towards the class than the front. Blackboards, until turned white, meant no classroom activity had taken place. In this century, where technology is interwoven in every activity of our lives, it has steadily made inroads into the education sector also, slowly and steadily changing its face. Knowledge is no more limited to textbooks and use of platforms as chat, videos etc, has expanded to include latest technology and application to be at the beck and call of students and teachers alike – this is the century of ‘educational technology’, popularly known as EdTech. EdTech has taken education to another level, making learning more fun and interactive. "Technology is not an event, it is part of everyday life," someone has rightly remarked. Given this background, it is important to understand what is education technology or EdTech, how was the education system before the penetration of technology ? what are the current areas where EdTech is used in Indian education system? what are the changes that it has brought out in the field? Who are the players in the scenario, popularly known as EdTech companies? their budget, aims and future plans, feedbacks of the users, road blocks, areas of

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Karan Shah, CEO, Indian Institute of Digital Education (IIDE)

Every industry is moving towards digitalisation. This is also the case when it comes to the education system. The current education system does not give ample space for children to implement their creative thoughts practically. With so much of competition it is very essential that the kids are digitally equipped. The first step to get the kids well versed is to get the teachers acquainted with the latest developments on the technological front”. Vidushi Daga, Director of Clone Futura Education

improvement, EdTech and the future of education technology and pros and cons of using technology in education.

WHAT IS EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY?

Education technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating e-learning, which in turn improves the performance of learners by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. Previously, teachers used to teach in rigid, formal and stereo-typed ways, with education being conceived as the process of transmitting knowledge and ideas. Students were silent audience then and couldn't make any logical

February 2017

Though the role of a teacher has changed to that of a facilitator, and we with the help of technology, have rolled out products and solutions which provide interactive audiovisuals, hands-on activities and simulations that appeal to the auditory, visual as well as kinaesthetic learner, thereby helping the teacher with essential tools for imparting lessons. Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO, Next Education echoes


queries or independent thinking of their own. "It was do what I say, as I say". Today, the student is not considered as an empty vessel to be filled in by facts and figures. They are considered as thinking individuals and are expected to use all available materials to get learning experiences from all sides. In the current trend education is regarded as a process of interaction and interpersonal communication. The modern teacher has to help, guide and facilitate the learner’s development. The teacher has to inspire and motivate the young learners and assist the adult learners in their quest for knowledge and skills. Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO, Next Education echoes almost a similar sentiment.

THE HISTORY OF USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION Usage of technology in education could be traced back to the early days of using tools to paint on cave walls. It can be said that the use of technology in education started with the introduction of educational films, in around 1900s or Sidney Presser’s mechanical teaching machines in the 1920s. The first large scale usage of new technologies can be traced to US WWII training of soldiers through training films and other mediated materials. Today, it's more of audio visual presentation style technology that is based on

the idea that people can learn through aural and visual reception in many forms like streaming audios and videos, or power point presentations etc. In the 1990s, there were a variety of schools that had computer-based learning (CBL) systems. They were frequently based on constructivist and cognitivist learning theories. These environments focused on teaching both abstract and domain-specific problem solving learning. The 2000s saw the emergence of multiple media and ubiquitous technologies which gave a new impulse to learning-in-context scenarios. One of the schools that took early lead

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COVER STORY EdTech companies are on a high from the last 2 years and the run is expected to continue as long as the sector remains recession proof. There are major constructive impacts that are expected to transform the sector. EdTech has been envisioned as an ambitious outreach to transform learning and development being digitally empowered to create a knowledge society led economy. The use of smartphones, mobile apps and internet services to impart education in far-flung areas where teachers’ access is difficult, makes knowledge availability seamless. The EdTech adoption is also being used now to improve retention rate of students in schools, colleges and skill development institutes”. Rishi Kapal, CEO, EduGild

in integration of technology in education is Canadian International School (CIS). Says its executive director, Shweta Sastri: “We have accomplished many firsts; back in 2011, we introduced one-to-one iPad integrated teaching and learning programs. The seamless blend of education and technology increased the student’s motivation and interest in learning. It promoted individualized learning, improved computer literacy and encouraged students to question concepts because they could research in

of technology in education can be justified as either the knowledge deepening approach, which means increasing the ability of students to add value to the society and economy by applying it to solve complex, real-world problems; or knowledge creation approach, which means increasing the ability of students, to innovate, produce new knowledge, and benefit from this new knowledge. The overall mood in the education industry is upbeat at the moment and many stakeholders are of the view that if looked at in the right earnest and correct approach, EdTech is certainly going to transform the Indian education system.

real time. Teachers found ways to make learning fun and inclusive with the help of technology. Today, every classroom at CIS is equipped with iPads, Apple TV's, projectors and Mac Mini computers in the classroom to make learning more meaningful. Additionally, we have 2 tech suites, a green screen and maker space to promote use of technology in education”. Students are now growing up in a digital age where they have constant exposure to a variety of media. Now, the use

The definition of technology is fluid: Kriti Parashar, Director, South Asia, Minerva Schools at KGI There is no doubt that technology has crept into the education sector in a big way. Educational institutions not just in India but elsewhere in the world, in a bid to differentiate themselves have invested in all kinds of technology. Of course the definition of technology is fluid and depends not only on the moolah available but also the customer base that the institution targets. Technology investment spans everything from replacement of the black board with smart boards, to replacement of the notebook with tablets or the adoption of applications that provide free and customized content that claim to help students master specific topics. Gadgets, applications and software are available in plenty, claiming to transform all aspects of the education experience. However, technology has, arguably, had the greatest impact on education in India in one particular realm: increasingly accessibility. With widespread internet access, increased

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adoption of digital devices and the advent of online video courses, just about anyone can access, share, and even contribute knowledge and information today, straight from their fingertips. This coupled with prices ranging from a few hundred to absolutely free for online courses, it appears at first glance that technology has rectified one of the fundamental flaws of traditional education: barriers to entry. However, such widespread content has also been associated with poor or unmeasured learning outcomes, and lack of structure. As such, online courses or educational content apps are more often used as either introductory or supplemental content, rather than as an equitable, and accessible alternative to classroom education. Therefore, infusion of technology in the direct education delivery has not taken place for the most part. As technology use becomes even more rampant across all aspects of education acquisition and delivery, it is also important to pon-

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der on a few important points - technology adoption will yield superior learning outcomes than the traditional way when technology is not merely used as a facelift for the archaic models of education delivery and content dissemination. Technology needs to deliver content and teaching strategies in a way that students are better prepared for the modern world. In addition, while access to all kinds of information is now easier than ever before thanks to technology, students also need to learn how to validate information, how to synthesize it, how to leverage it, how to communicate it, how to collaborate with it, and how to solve problems with it.


TECHNOLOGIES USED CURRENTLY IN THE CLASSROOMS Computer in the classroom: With a computer in the classroom, teachers are able to demonstrate a new lesson, present new material, illustrate how to use new programs, and show new information on websites. The earliest innovations and successful EdTech business models were created around providing software and hardware to make the classroom experience better. A lot of this is about making multimedia based study material, and having computers and screens in classrooms where audio-visual material can be used to teach. Class blogs and Wikipedia: There are a variety of web based tools that are currently being implemented in the classroom. Blogs allow students to maintain a running dialogue, such as a journal, thoughts, ideas, and assignments that also provide for space for student comment and reflection. For example, Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, allows multiple members of the group to edit a single document and create a truly collaborative and carefully edited finished product. Wireless classroom microphones: Noisy classrooms are a daily occurrence, and with the help of microphones, students are able to hear their teachers more clearly. Students learn better when they hear the teacher clearly. Mobile devices: Mobile devices such as tablets or smart phone are used to enhance the experience in the classroom by providing the possibility for better usage. The size, budget and easy availability make it a lucrative option. Interactive Whiteboards: An interactive whiteboard that provides touch control of computer applications. These enhance the experience in the classroom by showing anything that can be on a computer screen. This not only aids in visual learning, but it is interactive so the students can draw, write, or manipulate images on the interactive whiteboard. Digital books, digital newsletter and publishing of students work by desktop publisher enrich the students vocabulary. Digital video-on-demand: Digital video eliminates the need for in-classroom hardware and allows teachers and students to access video clips immediately by not utilizing the public Internet.

"IFIM Institutions have been relying upon EdTech to enhance the learning experience of our students since the last 5 years. Today the institution is equipped with a popular learning management system, a comprehensive Campus ERP solution, live lecture recording and streaming solution in all its classrooms and a very powerful CRM system all developed by Indian EdTech Startups. These applications are deployed on the Azure Cloud and are seamlessly integrated for use by our students and faculty. The institute is also one of the first few to have deployed and integrated at work from Facebook for creating learning communities and interest groups for information and knowledge exchange. The deployment of these systems has resulted in a valuable data warehouse which is being mined to capture learning behaviour of our students and to impact changes in our curriculum and pedagogy for enhancing the efficacy of teaching and learning at IFIM". Sanjay Padode, Secretary (CDE), Institute of Finance and International Management (IFIM)

Online media: Streamed video websites can be utilised to enhance a classroom lesson. Also online study tools motivate students by turning studying as more fun or individualised for the student. Digital Games: The field of educational games has been growing significantly over the last few years. Digital games are being provided as tools for the classroom and have a lot of positive impact including higher motivation for students. Many other tools are being utilised depending on the local school

board and funds available at their disposal. Gamification: It is one of the most appreciated approaches to technologydriven learning and is a potentially revolutionary idea. The biggest challenge in education is to engage students in a meaningful way, and make them genuinely interested in the subject. Gamification attempts to make this possible by reducing drudgery of studying and chances of getting distracted by embedding a lesson itself inside a game. Also, introduction of

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COVER STORY EdTech companies are working overtime to bring in something that addresses at least one of the pain points of either students or educators. Take, for instance, the case of KIWAMI Geometry, which helps students to get over the common fear of geometry and helps them to visualize shapes which are difficult to visualise. Mitsuyo Tamai, Representative Director, KIWAMI notes: "Technology in education is the latest and most prominent trend however, ICT based learning is still catching up in India. Not every schools in Indian metro cities has been able to introduce ICT based learning completely. Though ICT based learning has been received positively by the students where ever the pilot programs have been done but it has a long way to go in India starting from the metros. ICT based learning has made the whole process fun for the students where they can actually learn using imaginative thinking to resolve complex problems related to maths and science."

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Why schools need Apps and ERPs: Gaurav Mundra, CEO, MyLy App

February 2017

Cashless India – With India becoming lesscash (if not cashless), schools will need to be ready to collect large and small payments in non-cash mode. This means requirements of reconciliation and integration of technology to accept plastic money. Digital India – With increasing awareness in an increasingly mobile parent population, communication on paper is no longer sufficient. SMS and Email don’t make the cut due to inherent limitations. Compliance requirements – With affiliation bodies like CBSE and various state governments asking for more and more data in


leader boards, awarding of badges on completion of tasks, showing daily graphs of progress, breaking down learning in small tasks and so on tend to make a lot of students more interested in studying. Interactive multimedia based teaching: Progress in EdTech has led to much more than just multimedia content in the classroom. The Education Resource Planning (ERP) software by the pioneer in EdTech, Educomp, changed the whole education pattern as more interaction through multimedia could be made possible. Online testing system: It gives more accurate score, analysis and data backup. Virtual education and distance learning: Online learning or Live Virtual Classrooms (LVCs) have opened new avenues in the education sector. With the evolution of technologies such as the Cloud, Data Centers & Virtualization, the digital education ecosystem that we foresee is not a distant reality. There is a growing affinity by Indian youth for new technologies and products such as tablets, notebooks, LMS and IWB, educational institutes, and schools as there is a huge potential for technology to be integrated into education industry. Trickling down to the K to 12 segment, number of rural schools and teachers are embracing the ‘selflearning’ teaching models, serving as a significant communication bridge between students and teachers.

Performance management and tracking system: This allows teachers and management to assess the students all round performance, analytical data, exam scores, continuous evaluation performance, class participation, and attendance etc, related to the student’s performance. It is very easy to collect such data and create automated reports, graphs, alerts and action points for the benefit of principals, education policy makers, and even individual teachers. Students who need special attention can be easily identified, and performance of teachers can become measurable as well. Homework and assignment tracking system: Getting students to do their homework is probably the most difficult thing for a teacher. The technology makes it a win-win situation. Homework can now be done even on a smart phone that would enthuse a kid and for senior students, reading, retention and application can be tested online, and data over the year can be collected to measure the track record of a student. Such systems can also be part of an ERP or broader performance tracking systems. Classroom based distance learning: Satellite beaming of live classes or VSAT, study centers equipped with hardware where students interact with a teacher teaching remotely became very common for a lot of private sector tutorials, especially for test preparation. Even Indian government has tried to promote this model in the past with help from IITs. However, while low cost and high speed of internet have made this technology more viable and

near real-time, it will not be possible for schools to collect this data first on paper and then compile to submit in time. Ability to personalise – Students are behaving like customers for a change. They demand personalization of learning and that is only possible with the help of big data analytics and artificial intelligence. Information impatience – No one has patience to wait for information, so much so that it is the theme of most of the ads that our telecom companies make. Systems will be needed for the modern day school to work well. Remember, technology will not replace schools. But schools who use technology will replace those that don’t.

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COVER STORY What does the Indian education system do differently?: Arun Jagannathan, CEO, Crack Verbal

VSAT unnecessary, infrastructure cost of study centers and real estate prices work as a restraint on this model. Social platform for online discussion: Many social learning platforms like Grockit, and Remixlearning.com have achieved tremendous success. In India, Pagalguy.com is a good example, but there are not too many other instances of social learning, especially for primary and high school education. Online learning management system: These are computer-based learning environments that are used to deliver content, track progress of learners and sometimes to administer exams. This is quickly changing the horizon of possibilities when it comes to affordable access to high-quality teaching. Flipped classroom: This is where teachers assign students to watch lecture videos as homework and carry out discussions in class. There are many platforms and apps for teachers where they can gather students’ details faster, check attendance, conduct online tests, grade answer sheets, enter marks, do analysis on the performance, and thus be able to analyse data faster. The justin-time feature allows teachers to focus on matters of immediate concern. These platforms help the teachers to choose interesting teaching resources, methodology, various questions, crafts, games, quizzes etc. Open education resource and adaptive learning platform: Some companies like Projia provide software that enables teachers to create student specific teaching content and technology. This addresses the difference seen in the students learning ability successfully.

With Satya Nadella becoming the CEO of Microsoft, and Sundar Pichai becoming the CEO of Google, one question that many people around the world are asking is "What does the Indian education system do differently?" I think Indians are known for focussing on education right from the childhood and the emphasis we put on subjects such as Science and Mathematics is unparalleled. We are always on the lookout for something that would give us an "edge" in this brutally competitive space. Hence, it should come as no surprise that Indian students and parents are also taking to EdTech equally enthusiastically. In the higher education space, especially GRE and GMAT test preparation, we have seen a huge traction at CrackVerbal. Our online solutions have been taken by a lot of students, many of whom are busy professionals. This is a trend we have seen accelerating in the last few years. The lower internet bandwidth (thanks partially to Reliance Jio) has also caused an increase in online video consumption - a healthy sign for EdTech. Our classroom students have also benefited from the online videos, which supplements the classroom learning.

This allows content developers to develop online resource.

staff, and video monitoring are other roles of technology in education.

Classroom delinked technology: It helps students to expand their knowledge as learning languages at their own pace.

On a more social front, the digital alternatives like Integrated Digital Interactive Classroom (IDIC), Content Management System (CMS) and Classpad can bring an element of reliability in students – making them more competitive in their respective courses. Against this backdrop, there is a huge potential for educators in India to leverage the missing link between teachers and their students – and bridge the digital divide.

In the same way from an administrative point of view, school webpages have become more interactive providing all information about the schools. ERP is automated and can be accessed by all stakeholders. It has revolutionised online payments, mass message sending and communication between school, students and parents The school buses can be tracked by the school and parents through GPRS system making the safety feature more realistic. Biometric sign-in points for

Thus EdTech has brought in personalized learning, one-to-one computing, and blended learning. The digital platforms, by a huge margin, strategically deal with the less innovative pedagogy styles and lack of teachers for special-

Talking in terms of the global reference, DesiOPT.com is a case in point. An innovative startup, it helps Indian students align for higher education in USA and assist them find best career opportunities. This startup has created the largest International student community; almost a quarter million. Naren Yell, DesiOPT's founder and CEO remarks: "With the advent of technology, perhaps the most interesting of the things which we could think of was making student connectivity and engagement easy with each other globally. This is a great transformation for Indian education as students in India can directly connect with students in USA to exchange ideas and share knowledge. Due to this startup more than 5000 students are benefited. It helps Indian students align for higher education in USA and assist them find best career opportunities".

Rapid content authoring system:

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COVER STORY Believes that introduction of accreditation module in the ERP has benefitted innumerable number of institutions and will be beneficial to many more in the near future which in turn would bring out a remarkable transformation in the overall Indian education system.

Technology helps educators improve their teaching skills: Amit Mahensaria, Co-founder & CEOImpartus Innovations

Suman Nandy, Founder and Director, Epaathsala

ized subjects – giving students the best e-learning experience and seeding an element of independency in their learning style. Recognizing the increasing importance of technology in education and employment, the Indian government has a scheme that grants every public school in the district, regardless of the number of schools it contains, of Rs. 5m [£49,700] every year to invest in educational technology. Districts have to submit a proposal in order to be granted the funds. The government estimates that 22% of primary schools have a computer, but the reality is that many schools aren't using the equipment they have. In India's booming private education sector, technology is being adopted much more quickly. As many as 400 educational technology firms have launched in the past 10 years, yet the quality and longevity of their products is far from uniform. There are several factors responsible for that, not falling in the scope of this story.

EDTECH : THE LEADING GIANTS AND STARTUPS EdTech is a growing sector. The way EdTech has evolved is very interesting . While originally it aimed at providing a fun alternative to learning activities in terms of education-related games and platforms in general, they have now come all the way to including technologies dedicated to enhancing learning and education itself. If we look at the numbers, India’s online education market is set to go as high as $2.5 billion by the year-end, according to a research done by RedSeer Consulting. The report had further estimated a total of 20 million students between junior

When it comes to classroom education, we hadn’t seen much adoption in technology apart from overhead projectors or digital monitors. Students still had to struggle the same way we had to a couple of decades back, struggling to note down the lectures. As a result, a huge portion of the lectures would get missed by most students and they would have to rely on photocopied notes from toppers or YouTube videos. We started Impartus Innovation in 2013 on this note. The core objective was to make the learning experience more fruitful and easier with the help of our video based technology solution. Our flagship product is Lecture Capture, a video technology solution that captures classroom lectures, records and streams them online both on demand and live, for students to view the classroom lectures from anywhere anytime. Impartus’ video solution enhances traditional classroom teaching by enabling self-paced personalized learning, expanded access to relevant content, and the ability to extend learning experiences across geographies. Our solution also acts as a great teacher improvement tool. Educators are able to improve their teaching skills and use blended learning models such as lecture capture and flipped classroom to facilitate higher student engagement. Our strategic partnership with Xerox Research Center India (XRCI) further adds to our R&D and together we aim at improving and enhancing our product with new and more interactive features to help enhance the learning as well as teaching experiences. For example, the XRCI technology will enable more efficient video search and navigation, including multimodal topic extraction, and will offer contextually relevant content to supplement recorded videos in classrooms. We have seen a substantial improvement in students’ learning outcome and better academic performance after adopting our technology solution. The level of interactivity during classroom sessions as well as outside classrooms has improved rapidly. From a boring classroom where the teacher teaches and the student are busy taking down notes, we have been able to transform the one-way communication scene to an interactive and two-way communication process. We have also seen a boost in flipped classroom practice and peer-to-peer learning through our technology.

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COVER STORY high to senior school who would count as the contributors to this market. Interweaving technology with education seems to be helping students at all levels. Many educators in the know swear by instructional videos while parents are gradually opening up to the possibility of a platform which may help their wards learn something new in an innovative manner. The use of education technology is not restricted to cities and metros, as one might believe. It is expanding its base to Tier II and Tier III cities as well. One of the reasons for this is difficulty in having access to proper instruction channels and resources/quality of education available to city students.

EdTech industry is headed and how it’s potential can be tapped in order to change the stark realities prevailing in India with respect to education at the grassroots. A rough estimate shows that there are close to 400 startup's springing on board with already many giant players being established in the field. Some of the top players are NextEducation, Educomp, Vedantu, Edugild, Toppr, Embibe, Byju’s, SimpliLearn, UEducation, CultureAlley, Edukart, Robomate, Academia, Entab, Myly, Opendoor, Srjna, Words Worth, Pearson, Aptech etc.

Smartclass from Educomp Solutions is one of the first Indian companies in this space. Smartclass is essentially a digital content library of curriculummapped, multimedia-rich, 3D content. “Technology makes the teaching-learning process very easy and interesting,” says Harish Arora, a chemistry teacher at the Bal Bharti Public School in New Delhi who has been using Smartclass since 2004. According to Abhinav Dhar, director for K-12 at Educomp Solutions, more than 12,000 schools across 560 districts in India have adopted Smartclass. More importantly, the number is growing at

With globally a billion people benefitting from EdTech, India has not been exactly far behind, with a crop of Indian entrepreneurs working on EdTech targeted at indigenous problems. For policy makers, it is very important to understand where the

EdTech companies are fuelling data-driven education: Vishesh Goyal, CEO MeetCareer.com Recognizing the escalating importance of technology in the education industry, EdTech companies are playing an important role in transforming Indian education by leveraging technology. With the use of technology EdTech companies endeavor to change education for the better – make it more accessible, persuasive and affordable to benefit the student community. With the help of many EdTech companies, the government is able to drive digital reach for the progress and economic growth of Indian education sector. According to the survey conducted by EduStars, nearly 61% of Indian companies have created tab and mobile applications in the education space. Of this, 54% have leveraged Cloud and the rest are using video technology. The education sector of India offers great opportunities that everyone is looking to conquer using latest technologies. It is a known fact that in the internet space, video is the most engaging form of content, hence the EdTech companies are making use of technology to compress the information or data so that it can be compatible for easy transfer between devices even with just a 2G network connection. The success is not

about creating great technologies for educational purposes, it is about making facilities available to students. With the help of these EdTech companies, students are getting assistance in various segments such as tutoring, career counseling, coaching search, job assistance, college suggestions and even for schooling purposes. Most of the EdTech companies work as an online marketplace for teachers and students to meet and connect with one another. Every student who has the zeal to learn something beyond just their syllabus should definitely try these platforms. Students also get an opportunity to decide what they want to learn and how with the help of EdTech companies. It also helps in better understanding of the concepts through digital aids. Apart from these, it is also considered as the best tool to analyze the strength and weakness of each student. All students cannot be handled with the same standard of teaching; this is where such technology-based teaching techniques come in handy. With the help of EdTech concept, the content is engineered according to each student’s need. Apart from bringing a difference in every

student’s life through technology-based education, these EdTech companies have the power to attract the attention of investors. This interest among investors is a big reason why there is a direct impact of using technology in the Indian education system on the Indian economy. Also, these EdTech companies are fuelling the development of datadriven education technologies. Schools, colleges, and even professionals are now able to seek new skills with the help of these fundamental changes in the Indian education system. From tutoring and training on various topics, subjects and skills to financial assistance, motivation, and counseling everything is made available by EdTech companies to ensure each student is successful in his academic and career lifecycle. hese EdTech companies are making great efforts in creating student’s interest in using technology in education. This approach is helping students both mentally and intellectually to overcome different challenges of the real world. These institutions can be considered as hand-holders right from students’ education life to the time they find the right career path for themselves.

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COVER STORY EdTech companies are one of the main vectors in education system: T. V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education The priority for the education system in India until now has been to drive mass enrollment and promote literacy. With a massive slice of the budget (?99,100 Cr between 20052012), large-scale policies like Operation Blackboard, the Mid Day Meal program, and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, the national literacy rate is at 74.04% (2011) for adult literacy and 90.2% (2015) for youth literacy (between ages 15-24). Some states like Kerala are at 94% literacy. While we have done what was required to achieve this goal, it has come at the cost of quality and job readiness. I see education technology companies as one of the main vectors that will help our education system evolve to the next level and focus on delivering quality at scale. The goal has to be to make sure every enrolled student finds the most direct path to achieving their learning goals and to help them tangibly close on job outcomes. This can be achieved by a mix of public spending and innovation from EdTech companies. The government must focus on expanding the install base of the fundamental layers of innovation - providing free wifi at all educational institutions, a tablet to every student in every school and college in the country, enabling every teacher and school administrator with a smart device, and building a free and open national knowledge base of multi-lingual and multi-format content in every subject. On top of such an install base, EdTech companies can let loose a host of innovative value propositions and tech-enabled pedagogical models to enhance formal education and improve the learning experience of every student. These companies can drive products and services such as personalized and adaptive learning, multi-format simulations and practice environments, improved datadriven continuous assessments, and lifelong learning and training models to ensure that our students are learning more efficiently and are being prepared to thrive in a very different future. Our EdTech companies can drive the shift to prepare our students to move from rote learning and brute force memorization to becoming innovators and problem solvers in a new economy.

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COVER STORY It is important to deploy technology effectively : Dr Nirav Khambhati, CEO, Tata ClassEdge and Tata Interactive Systems

almost 20 schools a day. On an average, in each of these schools eight classrooms are using Smartclass.

"It is not about whether technology makes a difference but about how effectively technology has been deployed. Technology will never be able to replace teachers in classrooms; however, it can help good teachers amplify what they can achieve. It is very critical to focus on the method by which technology is applied. We cover close to two million children across India. This number includes students of both private and government-run schools. In most schools across India, there are no systematic interventions which allow teachers to continuously upgrade their capabilities and impart 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving to students. We wanted to make a difference even while remaining within the confines of the prescribed curriculum and the current schooling system. We broke the curriculum into various teaching points and developed digital tool kits based on them. We also trained teachers to use the tool kits, which included audio and video aids, a digital laboratory, and games and activities, guaranteeing a certain minimum level of engagement and quality of teaching"

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According to the “Indian Education Sector Outlook - Insights on Schooling Segment,” a report released by New Delhi–based research and consultancy firm Technopak Advisors in May last year, the total number of schools in India stands at 1.3 million. Of these, private schools account for 20% and until now only around 10% of the private schools have tapped the potential of multimedia classroom teaching whereas in government schools, it has barely made any inroads. Rajesh Shethia, head of sales and marketing at Tata Interactive Systems, which launched Tata ClassEdge in early 2011 and has partnered with more than 900 schools, says that “more than half of the demand for digital classrooms is from Tier II and Tier III cities.” Srikanth B. Iyer, COO of Pearson Education Services, also sees tremendous potential in the smaller cities. Pearson provides end-to-end education solutions in the K-12 segment. Its multimedia tool, DigitALly, has been adopted in more than 3,000 private schools across India since 2004. “DigitALly installations have been growing at three times the market for the past two years,” HCL’s Digischool program, which launched couple of years ago, has also made a strong beginning, with a client base of more than 2,500 schools. The same sentiment is echoed by Satish Nampally, Co-Founder & Head - India Sales & Operations, Byndr.com. He says: “Education space in India presents a huge opportunity, primarily because it is largely unstructured. With approximately 131 million mobiles in

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the country, we believe EdTech companies with great mobile tech can build something engaging which will be used by teacher and students alike”. Meanwhile, state governments are also giving a boost to the adoption of technology in schools. Edureach, a division of Educomp, has partnered with 16 state governments and more than 30 education departments and boards in the country, covering over 36,000 government schools and reaching out to more than 10.60 million students. “Edureach leads the market with 27% of the total schools where ICT projects have been implemented,” says Soumya Kanti, president of Edureach. “We are looking [to add] 3,000 more schools this fiscal year and 20,000 to 25,000 additional schools in the next five years.” As of now, Edureach has created digital learning content in more than 14 regional languages for these projects. “The task has not been an easy one,” admits Anshul Sonak, president of CORE Education Technology. “There are several logistical issues. Delivery of equipment to rural areas is a big challenge in itself…. There is lack of basic infrastructure — either there are no classrooms or there are ones with no windows…. Some schools don’t even have toilets. Moreover, the power availability in these areas is often poor and we have had to deploy generator sets in many schools.” But despite the challenges, educationists are optimistic. Rahul De, professor of quantitative methods and information systems area at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (IIM-B) believes that “ICT can have a huge impact on our education system.” He points out that ICT can result in increasing the reach [of education] and in keeping the costs low. “With increas-


ing penetration of mobile phones and Internet kiosks, the potential is indeed immense,” he adds. In line with this increasing interest in technology for school education, there has been a rush of education-focused tablet computers in the market. The most high-profile of these has been Aakash.. Aakash project is a part of the ministry’s National Mission on Education through Information & Communication Technology (NME-ICT). It aims to eliminate digital illiteracy by distributing the Aakash tablets to students across India at subsidized rates. While the project itself is mired in delays and controversy, it has generated a lot of awareness and interest among students around the educational tablet. Anand Ekambaram, senior vice-president and head of learning at HCL Infosystems, is in the process of partnering with more than 30 educational institutes across India for MyEdu Tab. “MyEdu Tab has content offline and

"Surviving a failure can be a tough game especially when the players are young and without any leader to assist them. Everything falls apart and students waste a lot of energy there", says Sandeep Singh, CEO & Founder, Edunuts.com.

can be accessed over the cloud. It allows students to learn at their own pace,” Earlier last year, Micromax, a leading Indian handset manufacturer, also launched an edutainment device called Funbook. Micromax has also partnered with Pearson and Everonn to make available relevant content for students. Susha John, director and CEO at Everonn, was upbeat at the launch. “Digital learning facilitated through tablets will revolutionize the educational space Latest entrant in the scenario is a mobile app that allows students to get answers to specific questions whenever they want. This becomes a personalized teaching educational model that could make learning student-led, with teachers being facilitators. Students get to decide what and how they want to learn, understand concepts better using digital aids, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and have conversations with teachers. Content is engineered for each student. And it's the students who rate their teachers. This is as close you can get to the perfect bottom-up pyramid, if there was any. The millions of students flocking to education-technology startups such as Byju's has drawn the attention of investors. The Bengaluru-based startup employs original content, graphics and videos to explain concepts, making learning contextual and visual. It leverages data to enable students understand what to learn, how to learn and how much to learn. The app has been downloaded by about 5.5 million students in more than 1,400 cities and towns. Byju's is India's most-funded EdTech startup with $125 million (nearly Rs 840 crore) raised since March. Vedantu, is another technology platform which connects students and

Minimal habit change among school management and parents key to EdTech start-ups : Chintan Bakshi, COO, Startup Oasis Indian K12 education, like the education systems of most countries around the world, is largely a legacy of the British. The British had designed the K12 education system to meet the specific needs of the military-bureaucratic-industrial model that it had starting implementing across the world in the 18th Century to fuel the industrial revolution. Despite the drastic change in the world situation since then, the K12 education system has remained largely unchanged. The inertia of an entire education system, in addition to significant governmental involvement and regulation, makes it very resistant to change from the inside-out. Which is why the hope that new “outsider” startups, building disruptive models using emerging technologies like the low cost Internet, mobile, Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc can bring about the change from the outside. Other factors that have now made the situation more conducive for change are a) the growing realisation among parents for meaningful, holistic and experiential education and b) the new and sometimes unconventional work profiles and job opportunities created by these emerging technologies, which the conventional education system is not designed for. Startups in the education sector need to build their products and services to enable minimal habit change among school management and parents – the two primaries by influencers of educational products and services. Thus, these products and services need to be largely mapped on to existing curriculum, need to strengthen the school teachers and school management, save time and effort for parents and at the same time improving the real learning outcomes.

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COVER STORY tutors online. Based on data, Vedantu also recently started an 'engagement quotient' for teachers to inform them where they should improve. Nearly all EdTech entrepreneurs have gained from data insights. The three big learnings that have been inculcated into these platforms thanks to the data are: chat-based interactions, video presentations and personalization. Based on the questions students post and attempt to solve, Gradeup builds individual profiles. If a student is good at fractions, the app infers she must be good at ratio and proportions as well. So the app will present her with questions of higher difficulty when attempting ratio and proportions. All these technological advancements have contributed to students getting bolder about what they want to learn, says Narayanan Ramaswamy, headeducation at consultancy firm KPMG India. "Knowledge was earlier confined to classrooms and teachers. “EdTech startups have turned learning on the head from a teacher-centric model to a learner-centric model. I won't be surprised if they become full-blown online varsities," adds Ramaswamy.

can be given and the situation can be changed. To be successful in rural areas, first of all study material needs to be distributed to the students, then online interaction and online videos can be made with teachers. Online teaching creates extended classroom communities for discussions, and virtual classrooms for interaction. There is another option in which classroom courses can be recorded in real time and used for teaching the students

who cannot attend these classes. This creates an expanded access to education. Rural education needs e-learning technologies. Apart from this audio conferencing and video conferencing are to be made a part of the education system in rural India. Teachers at the schools should be well trained and equipped with gadgets. So teachers should be given printers, laptops, for giving notes and notices to the students. By using technology the problem of unqualified teachers can also be solved.

FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES Augmented realities Things like Google Glass allow users to see additional information layered over what they see through the lens. Currently, however, access to AR technology for educational purposes is mostly limited to smartphone apps. With AR-enabled wearable devices, students can explore the world without having to hold up a device which could distract from the experience. Virtual field trips are also possible with AR. In other cases, students may be able to see supplementary and interactive information appearing on historical artefacts for them to learn more about its history.

EdTech startups are expected to play a key role in delivering education in India using the Internet to scale and solve the last mile problem. Combined with the availability of cheap smartphones and affordable Internet, they enable people to access quality education, anywhere, any time. Startups are looking to disrupt education using a variety of business models - from platform plays, to online courses, delivered through prerecorded videos and curated content, paired with study materials, online assessments and industry certifications. Other EdTech business models have been built around test preparation, edutainment, and discovery use cases.

EDTECH’S RURAL SCENARIO Like all other areas, in education scenario also, urban areas are influenced to a greater extent than rural ones and they in turn bring the revolution in learning process to rural areas of India. In India illiteracy is one of the biggest problems. Lack of easy access, lack of teachers, lack of interest, poverty, gender differentiation, lack of infrastructure, common curricula are few of the reasons which are holding back the progress in rural education. But with the use of technology mass education

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Public-private partnerships are playing a wonderful role in making rural India tech-savvy and in providing education via technology. NGOs are playing an important role in technology assisted rural education. A not-for-profit organization, Azim Premji Foundation, run by the Wipro group has been working towards this issue since 2001. It is currently helping 2 million children in 16,000 schools from 14 state governments. This foundation works by providing computer-aided learning. Many rural schools across India have received computer-assisted education through the collective efforts of NIIT and government. This has given positive results. Dropout rates have reduced to a great extent through computer-aided education. Edusat provided video education in rural India. Edusat was launched by ISRO. VidyaGyan – Works with an aim to uplift the exceptional rural students from economically disadvantage background. They are given world-class edu-

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cation free of cost at VidyaGyan which is a residential institute and an initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, HCL. Samudaya, under its programme teaches English, social science, science and mathematics to children through technology. It has tremendously reduced the school dropout rates and absenteeism and at the same time improved the level of confidence. One of the hurdles, however, is that rural India is deficit in technology. Along with this rural India severely suffers from a shortage of water, infrastructure, power, health facilities etc. For the success of every technologybased education, infrastructure has to be strong. Discontinuation of electricity is the major problem of all. There is an option for the same. Solar energy is available in abundance that can be used in many cases. Access to education is the second major issue. Students have to cover miles for obtaining education. To remedy this more schools are required

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to be built. Schools should open on the basis of population, and distance. Advantage Technology attracts the rural children. Their wish to attend school increases with the word computer. Even parents show more willingness in this case. Computer education builds up the required confidence and narrows down the gap between urban and rural education. So rural India needs great investment in this section. However, the picture isn’t all too glossy as it seems as EdTech companies are failing with as much rapidity as they are taking off and some of the reasons attributed to the same include having lack of understanding of education market, expectations of hyper growth right from the start and lack of patience, not being able to figure out the right revenue models and channels, wrong interpretation of early traction, and more users vs. more paying customers.


COVER STORY 3D Printing Engineering students and teachers are prime examples of who could directly benefit from 3D printing technology. The 3D printer produces working mini-models to test out engineering design principles, so students can perfect their design before making an actual prototype. Together with CAD (computer-aided design) modelling software, 3D printing allows these students to experiment freely with their designs without expending considerable costs and time. For instance, the concept of molecular structures and configurations may be hard to grasp, but by printing out physical versions of these structures, this can help students put a form on abstract thought, and aid in better understanding.

Technology plays the role of an enabler in education. Tech and education can form the right mix if the former finds practical applicability in the latter. I, having myself been a teacher for six years, have seen the power that tech can unleash in education, both offline and online. the technology that Vedantu has been employing has been found to accomplish tasks at two fronts: personalisation and democratization. Vamsi Krishna, CEO, Vedantu

Cloud Computing Cloud computing is buzz of the day and will most likely continue to change many aspects of our society, particularly education. In the future classroom, students may just need an electronic device to access all their homework and all other learning resources in the Cloud. This means no more lugging heavy textbooks to school, and having constant access to your reading materials as long as you have an Internet connection. Such convenience will provide students the freedom to work on their projects or homework anytime and anywhere. The digital library is accessible even when the campus library is not. Cloud computing seeks to virtualise the classroom. Schools can now leverage on cloud technology and set up online learning platforms for students to log on and attend classes in a virtual environment.

We need to redefine the way we look at textbooks : Tannistho Ghosh of Manipal Digital Systems Technology is changing the higher education landscape in ways that have not been perceived before. From micro-masters programs delivered through MOOCs that accelerate earning a master’s degree to the use of immersive technologies in classroom, we believe in 2017 we will see some major changes in the way educational institutions impart learning as well as the way students learn. It is the right time we re-looked at the textbook itself and figured out ways to make them engaging, intelligent and smart.

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COVER STORY Online Social Networking Numerous universities have already registered themselves with the online virtual world, Second Life to provide students with an online platform to socialize with each other. As a big part of the cloud platform, such social networks allow students to share their ideas freely, while teachers moderate. This is a very empowering notion because it will imbibe learners with a new perception – that learning is a personal responsibility and not that of the teacher’s.

Flexible Displays Note-taking on memo pads is still very much alive during lectures although there may be a shift from paper to laptops, notebooks or tablets. As educational settings become more digitalised future class rooms may have flexible OLED-based displays. Just like regular paper, these displays will be lightweight, flexible and extremely thin. This means we can roll them up into tubes or fold them like newspapers. Paper-Thin Smartphones are the plastic e-papers are not only durable but also provides interactivity. With swipes and taps these flexible paper-thin displays can take over paper-centric industries.

Biometrics Eye Tracking One technology that’s been gaining recognition is biometrics. Conventionally biometrics is associated with the security industry, as it uses what is unique to each one of us to authenticate our identity: fingerprints, facial recognition, iris patterns, and voice. In terms of education, some schools are only using fingerprinting to prevent truancy and for borrowing books from their school library. However, eye-tracking can be helpful for instance, in providing invaluable feedback for teachers to understand how students absorb and understand the learning content. As a matter of fact, advertising research has been using eye-tracking technology to see how consumers respond to their ads. Similarly, the same form of analysis can be conducted to ascertain course effectiveness or individual learning styles. Mirametrix is using its S2 Eye Tracker to assess how students learn by getting details of where they look during online learning sessions. The data may then be integrated with

Advantages of Education

TECHNOLOGY Teachers can collaborate to share their ideas and resources online. Students can develop valuable research skills at a young age. Students and teachers have access to an expanse of material. Online learning is now an equally credible. Long-term research indicative of the positives of technology on learning. Educational Technology improves student learning outcomes. Educational apps are very popular with millions of android and iOS device users all over the world. Its wide spread and easily usable, the price of tabs and Smartphone is coming down significantly over the years and mobile internet is becoming very cheap . The cost of printing and physically distributing textbooks to every nook and corner of a country like India is a major constraint on universal access to education. It is much cheaper and cost effective to give selective access to chapters in a textbook through online software. Over the past years, a number of studies have shown benefits from the use of technology in education. The role of technology in education is vital, and the question is no longer if technology enhances learning, but rather how do we improve our use of technology to enhance learning? Not all students are the same. Technology can harmonize learning, and help individualize instruction. Educational technologies are both intriguing and provoking. Technology can boost the quality and quality of a student’s writing and thinking abilities.

The promise of educational technology is more important in Indian context because India has a massive deficit in access to high quality education at the primary and high school level due to a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges, ranging from geographical distribution to socio-economic condition of the learners who attend a majority of Indian schools. Also, the cost of educating one of the world’s greatest populations has been steadily increasing, and there is expectation that technology may make education affordable for those who are so far unable to benefit from the same.

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COVER STORY interactive adaptive learning systems in a manner that adjusts the content to best suit each student’s learning style.

Multi-Touch LCD Screens The next board in classroom is likely to be a giant touchscreen LCD screen which allows a greater amount of interactivity that can generate infinite combinations of images, sounds and videos, just like our smartphones. The major difference with this new "board" and our smart devices is that it will be capable of detecting multiple touch inputs from many students simultaneously.

Game-Based Learning Growing up at a time when the world is connected by the internet, kids today seem to have a very short attention spans. This is unsurprising, since

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their childhood revolves around YouTube, Facebook and smartphones that provide them with on-the-go 24hours updates and the answers to all their queries through Google and Wikipedia. To cater to such a fastpaced generation, schools will eventually abandon traditional teaching methods of rote learning to align themselves with the times. One great way to achieve that is to use what had always been considered as a major distraction to learning – video games. Another concept adopted by educators does not focus on the gameplay or interactivity; rather, it emphasizes on how learning the game design process can educate students. In Gamestar Mechanic, the idea is to impart students with basic game designing skills (without the complexity of programming) to create their own games and consequently help them develop broad skill sets such as language, systematic thinking, problem-solving (through simulation, trial-and-errors, etc), storytelling, art and many more.

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Education Beyond the Classroom In the future, education will no longer be restricted to formalized and classes. Using AR, cloud computing, online social networking and adaptive learning systems utilizing eye tracking technology, learning can take place outside the traditional classroom.

CHALLENGES IN USE OF EDTECH IN INDIA Apart from hardware providers, and financing bodies which finance such projects, role of content developers is extremely important for this model to succeed. India has a lack of content creators working on creating multimedia learning material in regional languages although there are a limited number of content creators in English and Hindi . The new government at the center has been emphasising on e-learning to be


introduced in all schools, but the biggest challenge is of sourcing suitable multimedia content which is regularly revised and updated. If a number of high-quality content creators cannot be found to work on study material on a sustainable basis, e-learning will remain only a pipe dream in India. Despite early implementation of technologies in Education system, India still faces teething problems for the new technologies in education like limited access to computer hardware and computer software in education institutes, lack of time in school schedule for projects involving use of technologies, and lack of adequate technical support for education institutes. Besides this, insufficient teacher training opportunities and lack of knowledge about ways to enhance curriculum by integrating technologies do exist. That apart, many ethical questions and issues arise with the use of the latest technologies in education, like what is popularly known as the copy and paste syndrome, distortion of reality, too much trust in the information found, and loss of privacy and profiling. To conclude it can be said that any technology has its own pros and cons and same can be said in this scenario also. The choice is ours. We can use technology in schools to support students who dig deep and create knowledge, or we can continue with business as usual. It is not what technology does to us, but what we do with the technology is what matters. We have to get smart with technology and choose wisely in a way that might benefit all. Technology gives even the quietest student a voice as remarked by Jerry Blumengarten, the famous Cybrary Man from New York school system. In the existing scenario, technology will not replace teachers, but it will be teachers who know technology will replace those who don't. The way the world is being technology-driven now, it could be sort of living Steve Jobs’ vision when he remarked, “Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about yesterday". Yes kids love technology but they also love Lego, scented markers, books, mud and technology. It's all in the balance. Quoting Bill Gates, “Technology is a tool in terms of getting kids to work together and motivate them. Teachers are the most important key in them”.

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FUTURE TECH

IOT has had an impact across all fields, be it industries, government, small or large businesses and even for personal consumption.

Scoonews Correspondent writeback@scoonews.com

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hat is IOT (Internet of things) you might ask. It’s been a growing topic of conversation for some time now. Put in the simplest term it means anything that has an on and off button and is connected to the internet for receiving, analysing, storing or sending data. This could mean anything, from the watch that you wear to airplanes that can be controlled from a remote location. According to the analyst firm Gartner, by the year 2020 we’ll have over 26 billion connected devices. That could mean people connected to people, people connected to things and things connected to things. The new rule of the future is going to be “Anything that can be connected will be connected”. Take for example that when you set an alarm to wake up and that alarm goes off it not only wakes you up but also brews your coffee, sets the right temperature of water for your bath, puts on the television to bring you the latest updates from around the globe and all this before you

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HOW IOT in education is CHANGING the way WE LEARN

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FUTURE TECH even put a foot out of your bed. This is all done by simply getting the network of interconnected things/devices that have embedded sensors, network connectivity, software and necessary electronics that collect and exchange data.

IOT THE VERY WAY OF OUR LIFE To show how far we have come with technology and connectivity, we have smart watches such as Fitbit, Garmin to name a few that have changed the way we look at time. We have one device that not only tells us the time but also tracks the number of steps, calories and our heart rate. This watch is actually connected to our phone so with just one flick of the wrist one can tell who is calling or what messages have been received without having to dig through pockets or handbags. IOT is making its presence felt in Health care as well. Doctors can now remotely monitor and communicate with their patients. Patients and health care providers can benefit from this. Whether data comes from foetal monitors, electrocardiograms, temperature monitors or blood glucose levels, tracking this information is vital for some patients. Many of this requires follow up interaction with healthcare professionals. With smarter devices that deliver more valuable data it can reduce the need for direct patient – physician interaction.

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Take for instance in the sporting field, minute chips are being attached to balls and bats which will transmit information of how fast the ball is travelling and a batsman’s moves, the time, the angles, the pressure on the bat at different positions, data of the muscle stretch if he’s hit a six so on and so forth. Formula One cars are also being fitted with these sensors which relays information on the minutest moves being made by the driver. Chips are also being put into wearable devices of sportsmen to detect sub- optimal action of any body parts to show signs of stress or strain which will help in the early detection of injuries and take preventive measures. IOT has had an impact across all fields, be it industries, government, small or large businesses and even for personal consumption. IBM, Google, Intel, Microsoft and Cisco are some of the top players in the IOT spectrum. With billions of devices being connected security becomes a big issue. How can people make sure that their data is safe and secure? How do we ensure privacy of the data being shared? This is one of the major concerns in the IOT that becomes a hot topic. Another issue is with all these billions of devices sharing data companies will be faced with the problem of how to store, track, analyse and make vast sense of the information being generated. Companies are monitoring the net-

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work segments to identify anomalous traffic and to take action if necessary.

IOT’S PRESENCE EDUCATION

IN

Now that we have a fair understanding of IOT let’s see what impact it’s had on the education sector. The only constant in our lives is change and learning. From the get go we learn, be it to walk, talk or run. We adapt to the changing times and constantly learn from it. Education or learning as we know it in the broader sense is the most important of all and the one that decides which way we handle those changes to impact us and the world. Today's world is fast paced and to keep up with this we need an infusion of speed with learning. From the classroom assignments, lectures, blackboards and chalk we have come a long way to what is now known as e-learning (electronic learning) or m-learning (mobile learning).With the GenNext it is imperative to provide the right kind of education. The rise of technology and IOT allows schools to improve the safety of their campuses, keep track of resources and enhance access to information. It ensures data quality being the top priority but also facilitates development of content allowing teachers to use this technology to create smart lesson plans and ensuring the reach of this


content to any corner of the world . EDUCAUSE published “7 things you should know about the internet of things” which highlights the implications for teaching and learning and an increased capacity for immersive learning. With a greater spectrum of learning “things” available and wider use of different teaching techniques, the potential for more personalized learning increases. A Deloitte GOV2020 article explored this possibility pointing out that “Incorporating just a few connected devices creates the possibility for more dynamic interventions, more advanced classroom techniques, and even a modified role for teachers which is more focused on individual students. By shifting processes and procedures to the background, the educator has fewer responsibilities as an active ‘manager’ in the foreground – which could mean more time to craft a personalised learning experience" In India, universities such as Amity, Symbiosis and Manipal have set this trend and schools are not far behind. Schools have introduced SMART classes that enhance the learning experience. SMART boards are used here, which are the world’s first interactive whiteboards and have changed the way the teachers and students interact in the classrooms. Though introducing technology in the education system is no easy task, we can derive huge benefits from it. India is on its way to modernising the system which not only help students but faculty as well. The generation of today is wired to technology at a very young age and thanks to the internet everything is available at the click of a finger. Notebook and textbooks are on their way to being replaced by tablets and laptops. Amit Bansal, National Head and Director of Non Class Room Programme (NCRP) FIITJEE says, “Internet of Things (IOT) in education has been a boon for many who are deprived of coaching. Being the National Head and Director of NCRP FIITJEE, I have been understanding the need and aspirations of students. As per data of JEE-2016, over 56% of students who qualified in JEE Advanced did not study in any of the coaching institutes. This includes some of the rankers in Top 50 and top 100 ranks too. More than 87% of the

qualifiers of JEE Advanced, 2016 are from lower and lower middle class families where the annual income of the parents is less than 5 lakhs per annum. Over 50% of the successful candidates are from rural and semi- urban areas where there is no presence of premier coaching institutes. Many are deprived of joining any proper institution for JEE preparations, the reason being location accessibility or due to financial reasons. For such students syncing their studies through internet and offline education has been quite fruitful. Aspirants preparing for IIT entrance through distance learning have also been provided with an online portal and mobile application for preparation, and self-evaluation of their overall performance. All India Mock tests are also designed to analyse the performance based on several parameters including comparative analyses among tens of thousands of JEE aspirants. This also provides a progressive analysis of all past examinations which help students plan their path of preparation and take corrective measures accordingly. This mobile app has made it easy for students to analyse their performance anytime, anywhere. As evident, the right mix of technology with the examination preparation actually results in success”. According to a recent study, on an average an Indian user spends 3 hrs and 18 mins everyday on their smart phones. So why not use this same device to revolutionise the Indian education sector. Several initiatives have been taken by the Government of India to promote elearning. One of the most prominent among them was the “National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning” (NPTEL) which was to develop a curriculum based on video lectures and web courses to better the quality of engineering education in India. The NPTEL was a huge success and triggered various such programs to be set up by both public and private parties. In the Indian context of e-learning there came about different concepts of learning. Some of which are, Flipped classrooms: This is a new education mechanism that is revolutionising the education sector across the globe. It involves one-on-one content delivery and offline learning. Mastering initial concepts of a subject offline through video lectures and then

interacting with the teachers later to clarify doubts. It is absolutely essential to have face-to-face guidance for practical sessions and projects. These can be done through smartphones or laptops. Another variant to this is the “Massive Open Online Course” (MOOC) which delivers high quality learning courses/ content to anyone free of cost with no restrictions on attendance, age, location and so on. Top global universities have joined the MOOC platforms or have started their own MOOC initiatives. Globally Indians are the second largest to join the MOOC and the response from students to teachers have been fantastic. Game based learning (GBL): Mobiles are a necessity to one and all today and games on these devices have been a favourite pass time to all age groups. Learning subjects such as English, maths and Statistics with game based learning has proven higher retention and prolonged attention of the learner. Personalised learning: Every individual has their preference of learning. Some like to read and learn and others to watch a video to learn a concept. With the internet being so handy this is now possible on a variety of subjects customised to fit your preference of learning. Social learning: this includes various blogs and communities that help learn by collecting and sharing knowledge on these forums. Social media networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter have contributed to this way of learning by conducting question and answer sessions with experts from various fields. With the increasing focus on Digital India, the Internet of Things is all set to automate the access to all information through the internet and will not only ensure higher literacy rates but also will considerably reduce the number of students that drop out. Time and travel have been a constraint to a lot of students who are not centrally located to schools or colleges, but the use of the internet would bring about change and help increase the popularity of the education sector and would make it noteworthy. Over time, the IOT will be a mind set and not just a steady stream of technology. With it making its presence in our homes, workplace and our environment that will be intelligent to connect with each other, people will inevitably focus on the transformational possibilities for our world. Like Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

in the

CLASSR According to Social networking statistics for 2013, Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the list of social networking sites. Many teens are dumping Facebook with a preference towards Twitter

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Bruce Hopkins @academia_apps

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witter in the classroom is something that a lot of educators are considering adding to their toolbox. The site is very popular with the younger generation and as such can be useful as an educational tool. According to Social networking statistics for 2013, Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the list of social networking sites. Many teens are dumping Facebook with a preference towards Twitter. SNAP Chat is also fairly popular with the teens. We have been looking for a method to snap chat into a learning app, but can’t really see a need. It may prove useful as an advertising medium to attract potential students to a program, but as a learning app or even method to communicate with the students may not prove useful.

Twitter will show your post to others who may be searching for a similar topic. You can create a Hashtag with any word. So that is useful when you want to send a message to a particular group of students. You can append the hashmark to your course number or anything else you desire and it will show up to your students when they

search for the hashtag. It’s probably best to be a little unique as the millions of other Twitter users are also using Hashtags to allow their content to be located. Check out the resource below to find some other great tips for using Twitter in the classroom.

Twitter has its own language and rules that sometimes makes it difficult for teachers to understand the etiquette of the social media site. There is a great resource from Rosier Online that helps reduce this learning curve and will get you up to speed on the Do’s and Don’t’s of Twitter when using it for education. Whether you are using Twitter in the elementary classroom or Twitter in the college classroom, you can get some great tips from Twitter for Teachers

TWITTER IN THE CLASSROOM TIPS These tips for utilizing Twitter in the classroom will ensure you understand how to best reach students where they are spending their time. And ensure you can utilize Twitter as an educational tool. Twitter is a great resource and can really help you in developing your social media plan. One of the most powerful aspects of Twitter is the use of HashTags, such as #socialmedia. Appending a # to any keyword will create a hashtag which helps with the search ability of your post. This will help you reach a larger audience as

This article was originally published on academiaapps.com

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FEATURE

Investments in EDTECH AN INTROSPECTION The Indian Edtech market is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion by 2017. We have an estimated 227 million students in India and education is a priority for Indians. India is currently the second largest market for E-learning after the US.

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FEATURE

There is no lack of investors out there looking to invest in Edtech, but to do that they must be completely sold on the idea that developers/ entrepreneurs bring with them.

Anjana Deepak anjana@scoonews.com

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or the longest time we have learnt in classrooms. Lessons taught from textbooks with the teacher explaining it day after day, year after year in a monotonous way with a classroom full of kids who were either too bored or completely zoned out to listen to what was being taught. How many of us can relate to that? We never had any lessons or curriculum that challenged us to jump up in our seats and take an active part in the classroom barring a few. Up until lately we had never even heard of online or distance learning, a concept that was born when the internet came into being. Internet learning gives more importance to literacy anywhere anytime, rather than having students come into class day after day. This new age learning made it possible to customize educational curricula using technology, reach a wider audience helping them to actively take part in the learning process to get better results.

WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION OR EDTECH? It is a way to mold educational curriculum in different ways that challenge the brain into learning by more engagement and enhancing academic success. A question to ask yourselves: Why carry heavy backpacks stuffed with books when all you have to carry is a laptop or a smart phone? Educators are finding more and more ways to keep students engaged in classrooms. Tech savvy teachers are now collaborating with developers/entre-

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preneurs trying to develop various tools that make learning more interesting and helping them track progress and results. This elevates the teaching and learning experience. The rise in the use of education technology has removed educational boundaries. It has helped in the growth of mobile and distance learning. No one needs to be confined to a classroom anymore. Online education is flexible and affordable and students can attend classes at their time and can interact with teachers and other students virtually. It not only helps students but teachers as well both in the teaching and learning processes. Tools such as iPads, smart phones, smart digital boards have expanded the courses offered and have increased student engagement and motivated them to learn. It has broken down barriers in researching information. The Gurus of education bring in their knowledge on a subject and the developers their technical knowledge and these two work in tandem in developing tools to ensure success. All of this requires funding to take things forward. But then why haven't we seen a sharp rise in the number of investors in this field. Most of them shy away in investing in what could be one of the greatest platforms.

CHALLENGES The education field is vast and the teaching and learning approach varies from place to place or country to country. Education boards that sit at the top invariably make those decisions. They have a certain set of rules that make sure there is consistency in the information given across all schools or col-

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leges. Bringing in new methods or tools to teach will make them bend those rules. And technology being a bit complex some schools find it difficult to integrate it into their curricula. To enjoy technology in teaching, education boards will have to change the curricula. Refusing to learn how to use technology in the classrooms will leave many schools backward and in-turn can affect student grades. Teachers must be trained and kept upto-date on technology used for educational purposes. Most are not forthcoming in the process of getting trained as it means more work and will bring about a lot of changes in the old methods of teaching. Access to technology in most schools also acts as a barrier with not having enough computers, smart boards or projectors. In India, we see low success rates on Edtech start-ups. There are a lot of reasons for this: There is a lack of understanding in the education market. Barring the actual consumer (students) using technology, everyone else decides based on their judgements whether they should buy the product/service. The product sales depends on decision makers like the School Board and the parents. Parents need quality material at a cheap price and institutions want to buy it at an "X" amount and want a return on their investments to 10*X amount. With a lot of products that are already available in the market, basically all providing the same features, it will be difficult for newcomers to get a foothold as they have no real differentiator. To set themselves apart from the competition, then comes someone who will offer the same products/services for a lesser cost or


for FREE and that takes away any leverage. Lack of patience is another factor to be considered. Everyone wants everything super-fast. Education is one sector where patience is the key. The product has to fit the market perfectly. It is a learning process and success is not going to happen overnight. Venture Capitalists money is being used even before the product is made right thus ensuring a sure step to failure. Entrepreneurs must look at how they can sustain in the market rather than making a quick buck and exiting. They need to study their market well to ensure success.

Ninad Karpe

The market size of online supplemental education opportunity in India is expected to touch $2.5 billion in 2016 and is poised to grow at 15% over the next three years, driven by innovative ways of delivering courses and study material by players in the space, according to a report by research and advisory firm RedSeer Consulting. At the same time when we look back at 2016, total investments made in Edtech were not that impressive.

Correct this and we'll be well on our way to ensuring growth in the Edtech space and seeing investors fight to be a part of the action. This in turn will see a domino effect- If there is wonderful technology in education it will result in better and smarter students guaranteeing better jobs leading to the growth in the nation's economy. Mr. Ninad Karpe, Dy. Chairman, Western Region, CII and Director, Aptech said "Move over Fintech, it is time for Edtech. The first wave of tech investments in start-ups has happened in the Fintech sector and now investments are chasing opportunities in all areas of Fintech. On the other hand, investments in Edtech industry are still at a nascent stage. With rising aspirations for good quality education and the associated co-relation of good education with a good job and concomitantly, a better standard of living; the scope for technology based interventions across all sectors is immense. India has a unique opportunity of a huge length and depth of market for education, with the ability of skipping a technology cycle, due to the rapid rise of mobile phones and 4G technology. With this, the potential is truly, infinite".

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FEATURE

Jonathan Westwood, Investment Associate at Unitus Seed Fund writes " Byju's is the sole breakout success of the EdTech industry, and it alone paints a rosy picture for the Indian EdTech sector. Byju's topped it's 2015 fund raising exploits of $25m, by raising a whopping $130m in 2016. Yes, that means that 81 per cent of all funding in 2016, went to just one company".

'AN OPPORTUNITY WAITING TO BE TAPPED THAT'S EDTECH!'

A success story in the Edtech world would be of Byju Raveendran. The founder of Byju's classes whose tagline is "fall in love with learning". Byju recently raised $75 million in fund-

work with a large number of stakeholders from the start and must be designed with a diverse set of requirements and needs in mind. The most successful companies in the space will figure out how to work this way as early in their life cycle as possible. We are very encouraged by the progress being made in the market overall, and this should remain a very important investment category".

Other top investors in the Edtech space in the global market are: NewSchools Venture Fund, funded $23.5 million to Parchment a softwareas-a-service focused on electronic transcripts management. Recently they also funded Whitelab, an online writing coach and Kaizena a digital classroom feedback tool. 500 startups, funded well over 25 unique Edtech startups since 2012. The largest being to CultureAlley ($6.5 million), a language learning platform. Learn Capital, have funded over two dozen Edtech companies since 2012. In 2016 they funded Edunav $7 million, a class-planning tool for college students. The Indian Edtech market is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion by 2017. We have an estimated 227 million students in India and education is a priority for Indians. India is currently the second largest market for E-learning after the US. Pranav Pai is the Founding Partner at 3one4 Capital - an early-stage venture capital fund that is based in Bangalore. As part of the 3one4 team, he is deeply involved with the startup ecosystem in India and he leads the fund's partnerships and co-investments in the San Francisco Bay-Area as well. Through 3one4 Capital, Pranav has invested in over 40 companies in India and the US, and works closely with a funding ecosystem of over 20 different investment vehicles.

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Pranav Pai

"The education market in India has always been positioned as large, growing, and highly valuable; and it definitely is. However, most education technology companies face the fundamental challenge of how to carve out a differentiated first addressable slice to focus on and capture value from. Because of this, many Edtech companies will tell you that it has taken much longer to penetrate and prove fit than first anticipated. We remain very optimistic about this category at 3one4 Capital. Through our research on the space and the work we've done with our portfolio companies, we have identified several slices of the larger market that has willing partners that are hungry for technologydriven solutions. These solutions must

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Education technology is redefining how we learn. The future is in investing in research and collaboration. Funding for academic research is growing rapidly internationally. Sharing of data and equipment could dramatically increase the amount of collaborative research resulting in knowledge generation. Investing in education technology is no longer an option but a necessity. A Bengaluru based company Cuemath was founded in 2013, they provide after school math classes, using worksheets and quiz cards along with other tabletbased content. It targets students from lower kindergarten to class 8. It operates on a micro- franchisee model, where local tutors sign up with the company and conduct classes at their home. Cuemath has 2000 tutors and more than 10,000 students across cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad. They are looking to expand to more cities and ramp up their strength to 5,000 tutors and enroll 40,000 children by March 2018. The start-up Cuemath, run by Cuelearn Pvt. Ltd, has raised $15 million in


ing from venture capitalists Sequoia Capital and Sofina. This has been the largest funding in the history of Edtech in India. Byju has also acquired Vidyartha a Bengaluru based career guidance and academic profile builder for close to 50 crore. It was founded by Priya Mohan an alumnus of Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad and Navin Balan, a technology professional. A career guidance platform for students and later started academic profiling of students by partnering with schools. They have tied up with over 2000 schools and have

Series B round funding led by equity investment fund of Alphabet Inc., Capital G (formerly known as Google Capital). They previously raised $4 million from Sequoia India and Unitus Seed Fund in June 2016. The company is also backed by Alok Mittal, former managing director of Canaan Partners. Andreas Schleicher, Director at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) explained "Why should students be limited to a textbook that was printed two years ago, and maybe designed ten years ago when they could have access to the world's best and most up-to-date textbook?"

been mandated by CBSE to develop aptitude tests. Byju said "Vidyartha has been doing some great work in the learning guidance and career planning space for school students. They have created a unique platform that guides students based on their learning paths. As India's largest Edtech company, we are constantly innovating to create highly personalized learning products and Vidyartha will supplement our efforts in doing so".

investors concerns with government regulation, inertia of schools and colleges against upgrading their systems and evidence of strong exits in this space. However, Edtech is booming in other countries & I believe that some of the newer innovative B2C models that directly target students in India could see strong traction in the near future." Even as technology is taking over all fields, some more than others; In India the educational sector is slowly but surely catching up. All it needs is for

the technology to be streamlined for investors to take things more seriously. There is no lack of investors out there looking to invest in Edtech, but to do that they must be completely sold on the idea that developers/ entrepreneurs bring with them. But not to worry, with more and more technology being introduced to help learning it's not very distant for us to see a shift resulting in more funds being pumped to create and deliver better quality education.

Byju's Classes founder Byju Ravendeeran said "India is the largest K-12 education system in the world, but we consistently rank low in all global education assessments because of three problems: Lack of access to good teachers; learning is not personalizedit's a one-size -fits-all approach because of a 1:35 teacher-student ration in India (as against 1:14 in the developed world) and most importantly, memory based learning driven by fear of exams rather than the love for learning". Akhil Shahani, is the Managing Director at The Shahani Group, Director at Kaizen Private Equity & an active angel investor. He has invested in a range of edtech startups both individually and through the fund. According to Akhil, "The huge demand for quality education in India has unfortunately not converted into major funding for edtech startups. Some reasons include

Akhil Shahani

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EVENT WRAP UP

IPSC Principals’ Conclave 2017

Etiquette Par Excellence

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EVENT WRAP UP Everything about the conference was planned to the minutest detail and went on like clock-work Scoonews Correspondent writeback@scoonews.com

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he 77th Annual Indian Public School Conference was held on 8th of January 2017 with glitz and glamour. It was a 3 day affair and had over 55 school principals and media persons in attendance. The conclave was held at the prestigious Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet, Hyderabad. Everything about the conference was planned to the minutest detail and went on like clock-work. The woman behind the success was none other than Ramandeep Kaur Samra, the principal of the school overseeing every detail with the help of her team of school teachers and students who relentlessly worked for the success of the IPSC Conference. Unfortunately we lost this wonderful lady to her failing health a week prior to the conference. She told her colleagues that her last wish was to see the conference take off as scheduled and didn't want it postponed.

Unveiling of IPSC Journal 2017

On the first day of the conference the delegates arrived at the school and were escorted by teachers and students to their respective places. Once seated, a tribute was paid to the Late principal Ms. Ramandeep Kaur Samra. Everyone paid their last respects to this power house of a lady. The Chairman of the IPSC, Commander V.K Banga hoisted the IPSC flag and declared the conclave open. Chief Guest, Honorable Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Sh. E.S.L Narasimhan arrived at the venue and was escorted to the Shaw Cross Hall for the National Anthem and lighting of the lamp. A group photo session was held after which Cdr V.K Banga delivered the welcome note and the Honorable Governor Sh E.S.L Narasimhan presented Dr. Sumer Singh of Daly College Indore (Former IPSC Chairman) the lifetime achievement award for his work in the field of education. Dr. Sumer Singh addressed

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February 2017

Mr. Sumer Singh of Daly College, Indore receiving IPSC Life-Time Achievment Award from Hon Governer of A.P & Telangana Sh E.S.L Narasimhan


Dr. Jagpreet Singh of The Punjab Public School, Nabha with HPS students

Jorge Martin of GSD Schools speaking on ‘A World Class Cooperative Educational Experience’

Malvika Rajkotia, Advocate, Supreme Court speaking on ‘Child Rights’

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EVENT WRAP UP the school leaders and attendees urging them to call the schools 'Residential Schools' and not 'Boardings'. Hon. Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Sh. E.S.L Narasimhan delivered the keynote speech, telling the attending principals that it was probably a mistake inviting him for the inauguration as he was from another decade and would point out the weaknesses the education system has and also from a grandparents perspective. He advised the participating principals that the society was you, me and the children. Principals sow the seeds of the future. He said “rating of children should be based on what kind of human being he/she turns out to be rather than producing a machine”. He felt that there was a decline in ethics and values among children as schools now only concentrated on the percentage that their students score. He feels that technology has taken over and there is no more memorizing as its more of iPads and googling for answers. A memento and the vote of thanks was then delivered by The Hyderabad Public School principal in-charge Ms. Latha Shankar who thanked him for gracing the occasion. The theme of the 2017 IPSC was “Strengthening Roots and Spreading Wings”. The conclave reiterates the importance of building a strong foundation in order to help students gain an education based on ethics and values. The Conclave then broke for lunch and everyone was escorted to the school mess for some scrumptious local cuisine. The first session was kicked off by Malavika Rajkotia, Advocate, Supreme Court. She has been a practicing lawyer since 1985. An Honors graduate in Political Science from Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi University and graduate of Delhi Law faculty, she has been active in theatre and has about 30 Hindi and English productions to her name. She anchored her first talk show on Zee channel on women's rights called 'Shakti'. She works with NGO's like Sakshi and IFSHA on women's empowerment, civil liberties and human rights issues. She has a book 'Intimacy Undone' that is due to release in February 2017. She passionately addressed those present at the conference about child rights. “Institutions are because of children and you are incharge of the children and not the institution, rest is bureaucacy, each child is more important than the institution”, she also went on to say “ Our

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Hospitality at its best

Sonam Wangchuk (R) sharing his thoughts on alternative education

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Theme for the 77th IPSC Principals’ Conclave was “Strengthening Roots Spreading Wings”

IPSC Chairman Cdr. V.K. Banga

Padmani Sambasivam, Principal, Welham Girls School, Dehradun

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EVENT WRAP UP traditional education system is rooted in the guru shishya parampara, where the greatest guru imparts knowledge and the students learnt�. CBSE Circ 9.03.2015 says that guidelines on bullying and ragging have to be made a part of the prospectus or admission forms. When asked what stand should the school take emotionally or legally, she explained that the issue on transgenders by the Supreme Court is very important. If a child born as a boy later decides he's gay, the school has no right to shun him away. These are issues that can't be wished away. Dr. Nirav Khambhati CEO, Tata Class Edge an engineer and MBA (gold medalist). He was recognised as a young Indian Leader by the British High Commission. The Jagran Lakecity University in 2016 conferred upon him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts (Management). He is a member of the CII's Council for primary education. The Foreign Commonwealth Office of the U.K chose him for the first batch of the Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Leadership Programme at the University of Oxford. A man with impressive credentials made the appearance at the conference and spoke about the importance of selfleadership. The next session was by Dr. Rajeev Mohta a Post Graduate in Adolescent Pediatrics and Dr. G. Sampath, a Preventive Medicine Expert spoke about adolescent health. This was followed by a talk from Mr. Jorge de La Calle Martin from Spain, a high school teacher, an MBA executive and director of Gredos Sans Diego College who introduced the audience to ' A world class Cooperative Educational Experience�

IPSC Chairman Cdr. V.K. Banga paid his tributes to Late Ms Ramandeep Kaur Samra by compiling a collage

After a power packed day of talks and discussions on various subjects, the day ended with a performance of the Telangana State Folk Dance. The second day of the conclave started bright and early with none other than Sonam Wangchuk the man who inspired the character 'Phunsukh Wangdu' in the bollywood blockbuster movie 3 idiots. He started off by saying that he wasn't qualified to be an educationist and when people asked him for his credentials he said he was a victim of education. The 50-year-old humble innovative teacher feels that kids have to be engaged to find solutions to real life problems and this needs to be inculcated into the education system. He

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Dr. Nirav Khambhati, CEO, TATA Class Edge


Suniti Sharma, Principal, MGD School, Jaipur

Vidyavantha Acharya, Principal, Sharada Residential School, Udupi

Executive Committe Members of IPSC

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EVENT WRAP UP stressed on working and learning, giving examples of the schools in Japan where students and teachers came in early to clean their schools before the school started its daily sessions for the day. He felt that children shouldn't be treated as prince/ princesses and must be encouraged and supported to help them learn in any way they want. He said learning should be playful, handson, active and play nurtures an effective way of learning. Sonam Wangchuk feels that learning should be adapted from the process of how a baby learns. They don't use books to learn but use the environment to observe and get a grasp of things. This is the best way to learn, by using nature. He compared teenagers who were considered to be 'problems' in big cities but not in Ladakh, his hometown. Teenagers from Ladakh are way ahead than those from the cities. This is because they are prepared by nature to face big challenges and when put into environments can compete well enough or even better than teenagers from big cities. A profusion of knowledgeable speakers coming together on a platform to share their views on different subject matters and bringing in their expertise, proved to be a rich field of opportunities and resources that encouraged new ideas keeping in mind one united goal “The Students”. The conclave enabled educators to equip students to face challenges head on with a backing of strong education steeped in values. This concluded the very successful 2017 Indian Public School Conference.

Networking during the coffee breaks!

Happy Faces!

The IPSC is known for its glorious traditions and was founded in 1939. The Indian Public Schools have a distinct identity and should not be confused with other schools that have conveniently attached 'Public School' with their names. These schools are private, independent and secular institutions of secondary education. Technically, an Indian Public School is one that is a member of the IPSC. The IPSC now has a strength of over 79 schools including Sainik schools and military schools. The IPSC confer every year to deliberate on educational problems of residential schools and to improve the efficiency of these schools keeping in mind the changing trends and educational technology. The primary aim of Public Schools as started in the IPSC Articles of Association is “to prepare students of ability for positions of service and responsibilities in all walks of National Life”.

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Dr. Jagpreet Singh of The Punjab Public School, Nabha sharing his views on ‘Importance of Sports’ with HPS students

Students of HPS, Begumpet performing Telangana State Folk Dance

The Majestic HPS Building

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Volume 1

Issue 7 February 2017 IGNITING MINDS

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think Margaret Mead

STRAIGHT PRINTED AND PUBLISHED by Ravi Santlani on behalf of EduPulse Media Pvt. Ltd

Editor Dr. Sanjay Parva Assistant Editor Anjana Deepak Reporter Ashima Sharma, Anuj Kr. Website Team Vaibhav Ramchandani, Pranav Sharma, Ojas Godatwar, Gaurang Mandhana Art Direction Rexsu Cherry Design CP Sharma Editorial Advisor Shobhita Rajgopal, Meenakshi Uberoi, Neeta Bali Pics Pressfoto - Freepik.com

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EDITORIAL OFFICE EduPulse Media Pvt Ltd, J-3, Jhalana Institutional Area, Second Floor, Jaipur 302004 India Email: editor@scoonews.com FOR ALL SALES QUERIES Virendra Kashyap +91-9953219439 Abhishek Tomar +91-9811756705 sales@scoonews.com FOR SUBSCRIPTION +91-9784447860 subscribe@scoonews.com PRINTED AT Navpack & Print, Dainik Navajyoti Building, Amrapali Circle, Vaishali Nagar, Jaipur 302021 India, www.navpacknprint.com and PUBLISHED AT EduPulse Media Pvt Ltd, J-3, Jhalana Institutional Area, Second Floor, Jaipur 302004 India Published for the month of February 2017 Total number of pages 132, including Covers

TALK

Dr. Sanjay Parva

Making failures work for you

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any years back when Arnold Schwarzenegger approached a Hollywood agent for a movie, the agent is reported to have stood up and said: “Your looks are weird, and your voice the weirdest. Do you think someone will risk his money on you?” Today, the agent – with a name not as tongue-twisting as that of Schwarzenegger’s – is nowhere and Arnold is everywhere. Despite the tongue twister, that is! Johnny Rocco, in the popular Abundant Living magazine, has cited a similar incident of failure, but with an unimaginable twist in the tale. I reproduce: “In the Irish uprising of 1848, some men were captured, tried and convicted of treason against Her Majesty, Queen Victoria. All were sentenced to death. The death sentence triggered off a spate of protests across the nation, and passionate protest from all over the world persuaded the Queen to commute the death sentences. This moved the Queen, and death sentence was commuted, resulting in the men being banished to Australia, termed as remote and full of prisoners as Russian Siberia. Years passed. In 1874 Queen Victoria learned that a Sir Charles Duffy who had been elected Prime Minister of Australia was the same Charles Duffy who had been banished 26 years earlier. She asked what had become of the other eight convicts, and she learned that: 1. Patrick Donahue became a Brigadier General in the United States Army, 2. Morris Lyene became Attorney General for Australia, 3. Michael Ireland succeeded Lyene as Attorney General, 4. Thomas McGee became Minister of Agriculture for Canada, 5. Terrence McManus became a Brigadier General in the United States Army, 6. Thomas Meagher was elected Governor of Montana, 7. Richard O'Gorman became Governor of Newfoundland, 8. John Mitchell became a prominent New York politician and his son, John Purroy Mitchell, a famous Mayor of New York City.” Failures, apparently, have an immense potential to transform you, but only if you look at them squarely in the face. Then evaluate them. And then resolve them. When you dwell on your failures, they swell within you. But when you brush them aside, and start afresh, your actions attain a new meaning, a new purpose, and a new zest and zeal. Success cannot be as thought-provoking as failures are. Your second success probably rests on the foundation of the first one, but a failure can rest on the proverbial cornerstone which the builders rejected. Failure is a duality. What may be a failure for you could be a success for the other. For a moment, you have to be the other to understand that failure is merely a stepping stone towards success. All men and women – whom we call successful now – have met the very harsh failures of their lives. Sonam Wangchuk, from Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, who is an engineer, innovator, and an education reformist did precisely that – he, for a moment, ‘became the other’ and opened a school the only criteria for admission into which was that you needed to have failed elsewhere. Rest is history, which you will find in a story elsewhere in the issue.

FIND US ON

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CONTENTS

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34 COVER Sonam Wangchuk “An inspiration”

ENTERTAINMENT : Sitcoms “through the decades”

54 Honour : PM presents National Bravery Awards

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16 Guidance : Vocational and Polytechnic Courses as a Career Option

MUSINGS : akshar Taking education to the slums

TECH IT OUT : With live streaming, a camera records something

42 FEATURE Childhoods are the biggest casualty in the Syrian War

PRINCIPALS ON BOARD Dear principals, your views matter to us. Do write in. Is holiday homework necessary for students? In what ways can children be engaged during the summer vacation? How do you think children should spend their holidays? Principals can send 150-200 word responses to editor@scoonews.com, along with their photographs. They should also mention their name, school, address and contact details.

February 2017

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TRENDING

Meet the 11 year old coders from Bangalore building a Siri like assistant Harshwardhan Zala, 14, signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, to facilitate production of the drones that help detect and defuse land mines on war fields. Incidentally, the class 10 student has been working on his business plan and made three prototypes of the drone while most children of his age are fretting over the upcoming board exams. Zala said he started work on the prototype of the landmine-detecting drone in 2016 and created a business plan too. "The inspiration struck when I was watching television and learned that a large number of soldiers succumb to injuries sustained due to landmine blasts while defusing them manually," said the 14-year-old, who spent not less than Rs 5 lakh on the three prototypes of the drone.

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Out of 2248 applications, team CoderDragons caught everyone’s attention at Go Hack 2017; a hackathon conducted by Indonesian based transport and payments startup GO JEK at their Bangalore office. The team comprised of 11 year old Mrinal Jain and 12 year old Shreyas Katuri, the youngest coders amongst a group whose average age was around 30 years. Both of them are 6th graders from the National Public school, HSR layout, Bangalore.

While the teen's parents shelled out approximately Rs 2 lakh for the first two prototypes, he was granted Rs 3 lakh from the state for the third prototype. Wired to locate and destroy, "the drone has been equipped with infrared, RGB sensor and thermal meter along with a 21-megapixel camera with a mechanical shutter that can take high resolution pictures as well," explained the class 10 student. The drone is designed to send out waves that cover eight sq mt area while flying two feet above the surface; the waves detect land mines and communicate their location with a base station. "The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine ," explained Zala, who is looking at manufacturing the drone and getting it tested by security agencies.

February 2017

Mrinal and Shreyas are building a platform called Erica which will work as a virtual voice assistant and can gather information from across the web on the mobile phone and will function irrespective of the local language barriers. “I wanted to build something which can interact and help even a blind person who cannot use the phone,” says Shreyas. Erica was built using Google API’s and is a console application as of now. CoderDragons is planning to put it into the Google engine and later on the iOS store.

Gujarat teen signs Rs 5-crore MoU for drones


Teachers cannot refuse exam duty, says education board

Panaji: Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, in a new circular, has warned heads of institutions against teachers refusing to perform duties allotted to them during the board's class X and XII public exams. The board has also said that teachers will not be allowed to pick and choose duties to be allotted to them during the examinations. "It is essential that all teachers should work in any capacity during the board examination as there is no seniority maintained. It has been observed that deputy conductors/chief moderators etc refuse to work as invigilators and hence it is the duty of the heads of the institutions to instruct their staff accordingly to co-operate," the circular states. The circular also states that secondary school teachers will not be allowed to supervise for higher secondary examinations and viceversa. The board utilizes nearly all teachers teaching from Class IX to Class XII for supervision and assessment related responsibilities during the public exams.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai to IIT-KGP students: Education needs to go beyond books Twenty three years later, Sundar Pichai, now one of the most noted of IITians, addressed a gathering of students spanning different departments, who had queued up to listen to him since the morning, all wearing black Google baseball caps which they had earlier been given. “One of the great things about India is the tremendous interest in education – both among the students as well as their parents. But I come across cases of children in the eighth grade who start preparing for IIT. I am shocked by this. Our education is still very bookish whereas we need a more allround development and exposure. There is still a lot of pressure to follow set lanes through our colleges and our careers.” “In the US the emphasis is on creativity, and we need to push more for this. It is very hard to get in to IIT and quite an achievement. But an IIT or any other premier institute is not a guarantee for success. At Google we have many people from IIT. But we also have people from other institutions across the globe and India – and these are remarkable people with remarkable talent as well,” said Pichai when asked about Indian education.

Portal launched on education in Germany for Indian students Berlin: The Indian Embassy in Berlin has launched a portal for Indian students to ease their transition here and to keep them abreast of opportunities and events back home. The portal--www.indianstudentsgermany.org. (ISG) -- provides information to Indian students studying, or aspiring to study, in Germany by disseminating information on job

opportunities, internships, scholarships, accommodation, visa and student related issues. According to a release by the Indian Embassy, it serves as an extended arm of the mission to reach out to the Indian students. The ISG platform now has 16 student associations and over 2,600 students registered on the database.

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TRENDING J&K students to receive exam results via SMS Soon the students in Jammu and Kashmir would be receiving their examination results on their mobile phones through SMS. The government is mulling the idea with Education Minister Naeem Akhtar directing the Board of School Education (BOSE) to start text services for examination results so that every student gets information about his/her result on the mobile phone. He asked the BOSE officials to expedite the upgradation of its infrastructure to emerge as one of the best institutes in the country in terms of the quality of services, an official spokesman said.

Anagh Agarwal Is The First Indian To Score A 100% In The SAT Exams and Aims To Be The Finance Minister Someday

Have more than two kids? Delhi school says no admission In a quirky move, a prominent Delhi school has barred parents having more than two kids from seeking admission for their wards, saying it wants to motivate people to have less children. Salwan School in West Delhi’s Rajendra Nagar has mentioned this condition in the registration forms issued by its two branches- Salwan Montessori and GD Salwan. “Parents having more than two children, including whose admission is sought, need not apply,” the form reads. The clause is also applicable for teaching positions at the schools

and candidates with more than two children cannot apply for job there. According to Sushil Salwan, Chairman of the Salwan Group, “The regulation has been put keeping in mind the increasing population in the country. This is our way of contributing to the issue by motivating people to have less children.” Delhi government had last year issued guidelines abolishing arbitrary criteria such as parent’s education, their profession, age, oral test and interview. However, the rider imposed by Salwan school is not mentioned in the list.

Anagh Agarwal has gone ahead and done something that is making the entire country take notice. He has become the first Indian to score a full 100% in his SAT exams and has a plethora of opportunities waiting him. A student of the Dhirubhai International School, Anagh was aiming to make it to the prestigious Harvard University to study economics. He even aced the AMT exam with a full score and scored a 1600/1600 in SAT and a 36/36 in AMT, a rare achievement by anyone, actually. "I took it up as a personal challenge. I always wanted to appear for SAT, and I started preparation about five months ago. To appear for ACT was a last-minute decision," said Agarwal. Anagh has his eyes set on the final goal. "I want to get into investment banking for a short period in the US after completing my studies. Then I intend to return to India and join politics and become the Finance Minister someday”. That is a long shot but he has the determination to achieve anything now. We wish him all the best.

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MUSINGS

What started as a reading club with six women who decided to make a change, achieved a milestone on 11th February 1996, as a school for children of Kathputli Nagar Basti, Jaipur.

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February 2017


akshar TAKING

Education TO THE

Vanya Bhandari vanya@scoonews.com

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iving back to the society was something we discussed over drinks and chicken tikkas. Well what did it really mean? We see a lot of women’s clubs meeting in posh hotels and talking about eradicating polio, educating slum children, giving the poor footwear etc., followed by selfies and covered by a newspaper, fodder for page 3. No i am not slamming their intentions at all, with NGOs

SLUMS

mushrooming like fashion designers...one does think which are the ones really doing something. For our Musings Section I had to write about an individual or an organization working for the under privileged without any financial gain involved. Because of my personal interest and a desire to be associated with one such organization, which i keep procrastinating, postponing to be more accurate. Eventually I did follow some such organisations over the years. Here is an

inspiring story from one such place. What started as a reading club with six women who decided to make a change , achieved a milestone on 11th February 1996, as a school for children of Kathputli Nagar Basti, Jaipur. Today Akshar is a registered voluntary organization committed to providing formal education to the under-privileged children from the slums of Jaipur. Education in Akshar is completely free except for the Rs 100/- per year per

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MUSINGS Akshar is also the recipient of the Dulhe Raja award for the year 2013 for exemplary contribution to social work

child collected as Registration fee . Until one year back, Akshar used to run from the premises of four elite schools in their after hours. Proximity of slums to their foster schools, ensured the neighborhood school concept and reduced transport cost. The school admitted slum children only on a “First come First serve “ basis. The founder members of Akshar are very grateful to the 4 schools, St Xaviers, Subodh school, Vidya Asharm and Childrens Academy. 900 children benefitted from this arrangement. But in due course of time, it became difficult to monitor different schools due to limited staff. A government land was identified and with laborious paper work and a gruelling procedure to secure necessary approvals, the permission was finally secured and the MOU finally signed with the Government to run Akshar. Because of several constraints, Akshar school runs classes from the pre-primary to grade 8 only. The target and aim of Akshar is to make each child proficient in English and computer education, other than that the emphasis is on curricular and co-curricular

activities. Morals, character building and hygiene lessons are integrated in the system. The school follows a multi graded and multi level approach. After clearing the standard eighth Rajasthan Board Exams Akshar children find admission into main stream schools like Subodh, Sanganeri Gate school with 100% freeship besides other Government , Private and National open schools. Today, Akshar children are working in I.T corporate houses, holding desk jobs in the airlines industry, working as teachers and as peer educators. They are positive role models for their communities .. The ex-students of Akshar have made a mark in their respective lives. Rishabh Berwa and Santosh are back in Akshar, this time as teachers. Deepika RaiBrands academy pvt-ltd- business development executive, Sajnu Kanwar

Shekhawat-beauty head at VLCC Jaipur, Manendra Khatri- General Manager at Century Inframmaterial, Pvt Ltd, Jaipur are just a few examples of students who have made Akshar proud. One very important outcome of this movement was, Teacher training. As many as 60 women have been trained and have gone on to work in better positions as educators. Akshar is also the recipient of the Dulhe Raja award for the year 2013 for exemplary contribution to social work which was held at the City Palace, Jaipur. In it’s long and fruitful journey there have been a few trusts associated with Akshar. The exemplary partners have been Kuhad trust, Sarla Grover trust, R.K. Marbles, Families and friends of all management members and Shubham Sewa.

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GUIDANCE

VOCATIONAL and POLYTECHNIC Courses as a CAREER OPTION

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GUIDANCE

By choosing vocational courses over traditional academic ones, students acquire job specific skills. The ongoing trend in the global market has shown increased preference for such specialised and trained people over those adept in only traditional knowledge.

dance to their passion is of prime importance. Simply following the herd would make them land in a dead field.

Dr Sanjay Parva editor@scoonews.com

T

he major dilemma in high school students is related to their careers. Each student aspires to have a rewarding career in terms of earning and professional contentment. The National Employability Report published in Economic Times indicates that 80% of the engineers in India are jobless. With more than 50 lakh students graduating each year, nearly 47% are unable to find a job. The reason is the conventional belief system of the Indian citizens who fail to break away from the obsessive chains of engineering, MBA or other professional degrees .. Every student aspiring to be an engineer, doctor, MBA or a lawyer is encountered with a high level of competition. Possibilities of acquiring a good job are bleak despite graduating from the best institute, due to lack of job opportunities. Moreover, the Indian education system lays emphasis on theoretical knowledge rather than training in job-specific skills. It is imperative for students and their parents to realise that choosing a career or a graduation degree in accor-

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Highlighting the importance of higher education, Rabindranath Tagore said: “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” Moreover, every student doesn’t have those business or engineering skills. Each student is unique and gifted with a particular skill and talent that needs to be nurtured through education. Realising this, the young generation is streaming through the traditional career options and paving the way for new opportunities; inspiring the forthcoming generation for a new thought process. By choosing vocational courses over traditional academic ones, students acquire job specific skills. The ongoing trend in the global market has shown increased preference for such specialised and trained people over those adept in only traditional knowledge. Shrutidhar Paliwal, VP, Aptech says: Programs are available that enable students to develop a complete understanding of the latest technologies, as also to train students in industry rele-

February 2017

vant knowledge and in-depth professional skills. These programs are designed to meet the requirements of students at various juncture in their career trajectory, thus resulting in programs that are customized to meet the skill-set requirement of 10+2 students, graduates as well as working professionals”. “An array of new courses have been tailored keeping in view the students’ aptitude and inclination, like selfie eCourses, animation eCourses, architectural visualisation with unity game engine and so on”, Palwal adds. Additionally, these courses help in filling the gap between required and available skilled manpower; training more people in skills required for specific jobs. Let’s take a glimpse of the current offbeat courses inspiring the youth:

GRAPHIC DESIGNING The need to communicate any piece of information is critical to every sector. Graphics offer a visual, appealing, yet easy to understand mode of communication. Brochures, magazines, corporate reports, advertisements and other applications require graphic designers to portray information that informs, inspires, and captivates a consumer.


With the increasing use of the internet, companies are in a quest to enhance their digital presence giving a boost to the career opportunities in graphic designing. The need for graphic designers is bound to grow by 21% in the coming years, reports reveal. “Design is one of the few disciplines that is both a science as well as an art. Effective, meaningful design requires intellectual, rational rigor along with the ability to elicit emotions and beliefs. Thus, designers must balance both the logic and lyricism of humanity every time they design something, a task that requires a singularly mysterious skill�, quotes Debbie Millman, a reputed designer based in New York.

There is no shortage of engineers in India with every second person wanting to pursue a career in computer software. Yet, there is a paucity of great graphic designers. Marketing through blogs, media, and advertising are the mainstay for every start-up looking forward to gaining hold in the Indian economy; and a graphic designer is the person who provides the required platform. National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Instrument Design and Development Centre, Delhi are amongst the top institutes offering graduate courses in Graphic Designing. The course can be completed within a span of 6 months and offer

a monetary gain of 2-3 lakh in a job. The salary of a graphic designer escalates with the rising experience and proficiency in skills like Illustration, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash, and Design.

ANIMATION Following its birth, the animation was thought to be limited to drawings and cartoon images. Thanks to the advent of technology that has shifted the role of animation beyond movies and games to a medium of communication. Animation is now being utilised in the field of medicine to prepare surgical and medical tutorials for the medical

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GUIDANCE

fraternity, in architecture, in mechanics, to prepare audio- visual aids for forensic experts, and in the field of education as an effective learning tool. Imagine the difference when information is conveyed via blackboard or written texts and through animated images. Images tend to arouse and maintain the audience interest longer as compared to the written content, which tends to become boring and uninteresting to the reader. Moreover, you tend to remember the character in an animated movie better than a lecture attended in a social science class. Then why not ditch that conventional mode of teaching and cater to the class in this different and interesting mode. Utilised for education, entertainment, and advertising, animation plays its part in every sector. The well-known Disney films, Christopher Danielson explaining a mathematics problem, onflight safety instructions by Virgin America, and e-mail marketing explained by Convertable are established examples on the utility of animation. Dhimant Vyas, popularly known as “king of clay” has the credit of bringing the art of clay animation to the

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Indian animation industry. He has made his contribution to films like “Taare Zameen Par” and commercials for BBC, UNICEF, Zee TV, MTV, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and many more. Arena Multi-media and Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematic (MAAC) are the popular institutes for pursuing graduation in Animation. The VFX pro and VFX compositing courses offered by the institutes’ trains you for a reward able career in TV and films in just 6 months to a year.

SPA MANAGEMENT Each one of us experiences stress at some point of our life and the masseurs and therapists at a spa are magicians, relaxing our mind and body through their treatments. So, where do these therapists acquire this knowledge, the art of imparting peace and relaxation to the other person? A spa training institute helps in learning each and every aspect of a healthy spa and makes you adept in starting your own business; that too in a span of a few months. Orient Spa Academy and Ananda Spa

February 2017

Institute offer several courses in spa therapies that can be completed within a duration of eight months. All the more, Orient Spa Academy has a tie up with a spa institute in Bangkok providing a chance to pursue the course in Thailand for few weeks. Starting with a monthly salary of Rs.10, 000, spa management offers a rewarding career in the long term and contentment as professionals.

EVENT MANAGEMENT Be it on a small scale or large, every party, marriage or a business event requires proper management at its disposal. Here comes the event manager who plays myriad roles in planning and executing an event, brand building, marketing and communication strategy for a business. Can event planning skills be acquired through the practical management of events or a professional training is compulsory? Though working in events gives you a practical experience, acquiring a professional degree makes you stand out from your competitors. An event manager needs to be a person with transferable business skills; creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills are enhanced through pro-


grammes offered by event management institutes. Besides academic knowledge, their well-planned training programmes provide an incredible experience in planning and executing events.

PHOTONICS

Plus, it’s a degree that can be utilised in various sectors like tourism, corporate, hospitality and others. Amity University of Event Management, National Institute of Event Management and The International Centre for Event Marketing Management are some of the institutes training students in event management. A diploma course can be completed within a year and Masters Qualification requires two years for completion. The monetary benefits and skills acquired after training far outweigh the cost of graduation or post graduation with salary starting from 34 lakh per annum. Viraf Sarkari is the name behind the popular Wizcraft, one of the country’s leading Event Management Company. Events like Twitter’s 10-year celebration, Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan’s launch of beauty product, and ASEANIndia commemorative summit are some of the feathers in Wizcraft’s hat.

HAIR DESIGNING If you are an ardent fan of Jawed Habib and love to cut, design and style hair, then Hair designing is the right career for you. Jawed Habib, a well- known persona in the beauty industry has made hair cutting trendy and barber a noble and acceptable profession. Being a hair stylist is more acceptable now than it was 40 years back and Jawed has played an important role in bringing this change in the Indian society. According to him, this impact was possible as hair and beauty have begun to be considered as a science and not as a skill. This is what the course intends to do by providing you with an in-depth knowledge of the tools, products, and equipments required to enhance the person’s style. You will be adept in techniques for dyeing, cutting, and styling of hair, and how to take care of them. The course focuses on concepts like hair cleansing and scalp massage techniques, working with hair dyes, principles of hair cutting, and safety and hygiene measures in cosmetology. The training programmes are so designed

Photonics is a branch of science and technology that deals with the generation, control, and detection of photons, the particles of light. The domain explores a wide spectrum of wavelengths ranging from gamma rays to UV and X-rays. It is a part of our daily life, utilised in applications like DVD players, smartphones, laptops, medical instruments, laser machinery, infrared camera and others. The course is an alliance of optical technology and electronics. The study helps you master the techniques of emission, control, transmission and modulation of light; the various properties of light particles, photons. Science enthusiasts who aspire to be an engineer, a scientist or a researcher, photonics provide the right platform. International School of Photonics, Cochin; University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Cochin; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi and Chennai; Manipal Institute of Technology, ; Periyar EVR College, Tiruchirappalli; Department of Photonics, Rajarshi Shahu Mahavidyalaya, Latur, Maharashtra; and Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Pilani are few institutes offering graduate courses in the field of photonics. The duration of a basic course is that of two years and provides you with an opportunity to work as a scientist or researcher in government and private firms. You can design your own photonic equipment and sell it for a reasonable price. The Global Positioning System (GPS) in our smartphones, sensors for detecting and forecasting natural calamities, high-resolution cameras in the phone, and laser lights used on a DJ floor exemplify the use and scope of photonics.

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GUIDANCE to give you a hands-on experience in styling the client’s hair in a salon setting. VLCC Training Institute and Jawed Habib Academy offer professional courses in Hair designing and train you in 4 months for placements in the Beauty, Hotels, and cosmetic industries.

ETHICAL HACKING Cracking those passwords and hacking your friend’s social media account might be a favourite pastime for few. However, you can turn this pastime into a profitable career through ethical hacking. Hacking a security password or unlocking a locked system always bears a question of morality on the hacker. But, ethical hacking is the legal counterpart that allows you to crack passwords and earn money in return.

Crime Consultant is the top talented ethical hacker in India. He has not only assisted in solving complex cyber crime cases but has also been instrumental in creating awareness about information security and cyber crimes. He developed projects like SMS Based Control System and Voice Recognition Based Control System during his graduation. At the age of 18, Sunny exposed loopholes like SMS and Call Forging in Mobile Networks. Currently, he is serving as the Director and Chief Technical Officer at Tech Defence Consulting Pvt Ltd, a growing security services and investigation consulting organisation.

GERONTOLOGY Gerontology is a branch of science that deals with physical, mental, social, and biological aspects of ageing. As we know ageing is a natural and inevitable process, taking care of the aged and improving their quality of life is a huge social responsibility.

Ethical hackers work for companies who want to secure their computer systems and accounts from being hacked like CBI, Information and Technology companies and others. By finding the loopholes in their security and advising on ways to fix them, they can utilise their knowledge of computer coding for good.

Ruia College, Mumbai is a pioneer in establishing an academic course in gerontology in collaboration with the Silver Inning Foundation. The purpose was to create a section of professionals who are well versed with the technicalities associated with taking care of the elderly.

Indian School of Ethical hacking and Institute of Information Security are the institutes offering courses in ethical hacking. Arizona Infotech, Pune offers a short term course in ethical hacking lasting for 15 days.

India is home to over 90 million senior citizens as stated by 2011 data. Taking care and improving their quality of life is an important social responsibility that created the need for such a professional course.

Starting with 2-5 lakh per year as a fresher, ethical hacking is a career that offers long-term gains in a short period of time. With adding experience, you can earn 10-12 lakh annually or more depending upon your coding skills.

Post graduation, you can volunteer for job opportunities with NGOs, community homes, healthcare centres and nursing homes who are in search for well- trained professionals in the field.

Sunny Vaghela, one of the country’s pioneers Information Security & Cyber

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Besides Ruia College, TISS; Institute of Home Economics, Delhi; and Calcutta Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology offer a one year course in Gerontology

February 2017

and Age management. The starting salary post graduation may not be high but with evolving experience, you can earn a lot more.

TEA TASTING It may sound weird, but, tea tasting can be taken up as a career by people who are fascinated by different types of tea. Ashima Madan, a tea taster with the leading tea company shifted from a satisfactory job in Biotech Company, only to pursue her passion, a passion for that cup of tea. She believes that it takes just a moment to make that big shift in your life and her moment was when she visited the famous tea gardens in Assam. The course is offered by institutes like Birla Institute of


Futuristic Studies; Dipras Institue of Professional Studies; Assam Agricultural University; Indian Institute of Plantation Management; The Tea Research Association; The Tea Tasters Academy; and Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bengaluru. Lasting for 3-9 months the course makes you proficient in understanding the quality, taste and aroma of various types of tea. Moreover, you are supposed to advise on improvement of quality, brand marketing, cultivation and manufacturing of tea. The common man gets to encounter a tea bag when he buys it from the market, but as a professional tea sommelier, you get an opportunity to taste and advise on improvements

in its taste and flavour. As a fresher, you can get a handsome salary of 50,000 INR per month for just tasting a cup of tea and it pays higher with your advancing experience and knowledge in the cultivation of tea.

RJS, VJS AND DJS All these are exciting career options. They are promising and challenging too but at the same time providing you with a scope of reaching millions of your fans. These are, sort of, adventurous career options. Says Nikhil Chinapa, the popular VJ: the world has so many different opportunities and it isn’t just one thing that’s right for you and more often they’re not, you’re not gonna figure out that one thing when you’re 8 years old, 9 years old or 10 years old". He adds that the worst thing a parent does is pigeon-hold a child into one career choice. He adds: "Don’t force them to become an engineer, a lawyer and a doctor unless they want to; basic idea is to not force them to do anything. Open the world up to them with all the possibilities that the world has, and let them discover who they are for themselves. I think you’ll be proud of them and how they turn out”. It’s not that courses in engineering, medical, MBA, and law will not fetch you a rewarding career. However, as said before if each student aspires to make a career in these spheres, the level of competition would rise further. Plus, the job opportunities do not grow at the same pace as the number of students graduating each year. Success is not measured by your earnings and job titles, rather by your contentment and passion in the job. If you chose a career according to your passion, the chances of your success are high because you do the activity with love and interest, and not under any pressure.

Head, says," It’s not unconventional to live with your passion”. The happiest people will always be those who do what they love regardless of what it is. He left a highly paid job in banking to become a copywriter earning onetwentieth of what he was in the banking job, but he is satisfied with it. The reason being he loves what he does and at present is the owner of a large digital content portal. There’s nothing wrong with thinking out of the box and choosing a career that suits your passion, gives wings to your creativity and paves way for the new opportunities in life.

CARPET TECHNOLOGY Unusual as it sounds, carpet technology is a course many people haven’t heard of. The need for skilled professionals who understand the technicalities in the manufacture of textile fabrics, the process of dyeing, and carpet washing led to the establishment of the course by Indian Ministry of Textiles. The Indian Institute of Carpet Technology, Allahabad is one of its kind offering diploma and degree courses in carpet technology, ranging from 4 months for a certificate course to 4 years for a B.Tech degree in carpet and textile technology. A carpet technologist can expect to begin with a remuneration of 1 lac per annum and go up with experience. Post graduation you can expect to get hired in the fashion and textile industry as QA managers, textile technologists, product developers etc. You can also

Cyrus Oshidar, MTV's ex- Creative

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GUIDANCE work as process engineer, development engineer and medical textiles engineer. The major corporates hiring carpet technologists are Siyaram, Raymond Fabric, Delux carpet, Birla Trans Asia Carpets Ltd, Welspun India, and Carpets International.

ADVANCED PAINTING This one year diploma course offered by International Institute of Fine Arts strives to introduce advanced painting techniques to the students with special emphasis on theme development. For those who love to experiment with different forms of painting, this course offers the right career choice. Students are taught to create visual images in a way that they look like real images, a two-dimensional work of art. After completing the course, students can find job placements with newspaper, magazines and periodicals, book publishers, video industry, and computer system design; earning are about 15,000-20,000 per month as a fresher. A successful artist is one, who understands the needs of his audience, is ready to take risks, is not afraid to make mistakes, is open to criticism, has an eye for creativity, and is ambitious and self-motivated. Only if you possess these skills plus a passion for art, should you opt for making a career in this path. Highlighting the significance of art in human life, Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. Advertising, Sales Promotion and Sales Management and Digital Marketing A 3-year-degree course in advertising, sales promotion and sales management makes you proficient in handling sales and marketing of various products. You get to learn about various tactics utilised in marketing of a product/ service and how to form a network of clients interested in buying the product. This is especially important in today’s time when sales and marketing is shifting its paradigm from traditional methods to digital marketing and social media. Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Punjab University, and Chatrapatti Shahu Ji Maharaj University are amongst the top institutes offering a

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degree and post-graduation courses in advertising, sales promotion and sales management.

CATERING MANAGEMENT If you love being a host to people, have a passion for food, and want to make a career by utilising your culinary skills, catering management is the right career choice for you. A 3-year-degree course offered by Benson College of Hotel management and culinary arts, Karpagam University, Monarch International college of Hotel management, and SRM University provides an opportunity to refine your culinary skills and make a career where you are in a position of control.

can choose to have a diploma course of 4 months as well. After the completion of the course, you can start your own chain of Beauty parlours or be hired in Beauty and fitness centres. If you are looking forward to get associated with the popular beautician Shahnaz Husain, you must acquire the necessary degree in the industry.

FOOD PROCESSING The 3 year vocational course in food processing offered by Arunachal University of Studies trains you in processing, preservation, manufacture, packaging, and canning of various food items.

As a catering manager, you will be recruited to handle the day-to-day running of food services within a hotel/restaurant. You might be hired to look after the food catering in parties and wedding ceremonies.

Since India is the second largest food producer after China, the demand for experienced professionals in the food industry is bound to grow. Food processing is amongst the leading industry providing employment to the highest number of people.

Your job profile is to ensure the quality of food and ensure that it meets the required standards and timely service.. The job demands to be patient, able to work well under stressful situations, and have a keen eye for logistics and problem solving.

Completing the course can land you jobs in sectors like milk and dairy products, beverages, fruits and vegetables etc. as research scientists, engineers, biochemists and others. As a fresher you can earn up to 3-4 lacs per annum in the food processing industry.

BEAUTY AND WELLNESS

HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM

Beauty and wellness is one industry that remains lucrative even in the times of recession. Women and men love to spend on their skin and hair care alike. Currently, beauty and wellness industry has a share of Rs. 15,000 crore in the Indian economy and is about to grow at a rate of 3540% per year.

Though Hospitality is a growing industry in the country, yet, it suffers from a dearth of skilled professionals. You can help fill the void by undertaking a vocational course of 3 years in Hospitality and Tourism.

With people showing increasing awareness and consciousness about their skin and personal care in big cities and small towns, the industry seeks to hire 6, 00,000 professionals in the coming years. The vocational course in Beauty and Wellness offered by Arunachal University of Studies trains you to be proficient as a beautician within a duration of 3 years. However, you

Moreover, if you are a travel buff, you get an opportunity to travel round the world; during graduation as well as when you get hired in jobs in hotels, restaurants, events etc. The course helps you to develop management and entrepreneurship skills necessary to work in establishments related to the field. It provides knowledge and ability to develop marketing strategies based on a practical business plan. Completing the course from institu-

tions like Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai and SRM Institute of Hotel Management provides you opportunities to get placements in Airlines, Hotels and Restaurants, Event management companies or as a travel counsellor.

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE With the rising awareness of the harmful effects of food products grown on conventional farms using chemical fertilisers and pesticides, organic food products are in high demand. This also signifies the trend of increasing production of organic crops in the coming years. Seeing the gravity of the situation, institutes like IGNOU and Arunachal University of Studies have come up with diploma and graduate courses in organic agriculture. The objective of such courses is to provide knowledge and proficiency in Organic production practices, and marketing of organically raised agricultural produces; to promote self-employment is an added benefit. The diploma course can be completed in 6 months and the degree course in 2 years. Agricultural managers dealing in organic production can expect a remuneration of 4- 5 lakh per annum and a gradual rise with increasing experience.

RETAIL MANAGEMENT Retail Management is a sub-division of management that handles the distribution of products directly to the consumers at vending points like shops, malls, markets etc. Retail Market of India is the most attractive and emerging market in the world requiring more number of trained professionals in this field. It strives to create a new generation of smart retail professionals by making them proficient in the best practices followed across the globe. The students opting for the course are trained in the upcoming trends in retail market, pricing and merchandising, segmentation, relationship marketing and the use of infor-

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GUIDANCE ENGLISH COMMUNICATION AND PRESENTATION SKILLS

mation technology in retail market. Such training is available through certificate, diploma, and graduate courses ranging from 6 months to 3 years at institutes like SSU, Maharishi Dayanand University, and Guru Nanak Dev University.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT With the rising expanse of IT in various sectors, the demand of skilled professionals is never going to see a decline. Be it health industry, finance and stock exchange, accounts, media and entertainment, every sector utilises the benefits of software to make things easy and fast. Vocational courses in software development offered by Universities like St.Xavier’s College, Mumbai and Guru Nanak Dev Institute of Technology provide training in the concepts related to development of any software. You can expect to get hired as computer assistants or technical managers in various sectors after the course.

PHOTOGRAPHY Every student today is excited to take a selfie with friends and family and share it on social media. So, why not consider this creative field of photography as a career. Opting for a training program in photography, the students get accustomed with basics of a camera, lighting, image design, digital and video photography and much more in a span of few months. The skills and knowledge acquired during training in institutes like IIP, Delhi gives a great start to your career in photography.

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One year diploma course in English Communication and presentation skills serves to enhance your communication skills in spoken English, a must in today’s corporate world. Besides management and entrepreneurship skills, effective communication is the key to success in corporate sectors.

ANCHORING Diploma courses offered in Anchoring/Jockeying by IGNOU, CRAFT and other institutes lays a solid foundation to step into the industry of media and entertainment. However, you need to refine your communication skills and be versatile, vibrant, dynamic, and have a good command over pronunciation to land a good job. Vocational courses in anchoring/ jockeying can help you find jobs with TV shows, radio stations or hosting award functions and reality shows. “An anchor is like the driver of the show who creates a perfect balance among the audience, judges and contestants” says Karan Wahi, the popular actor and current anchor of the show ‘Indian Idol’.

PROFESSIONAL COOKERY If you love spending time in the kitchen and experimenting with various dishes, cooking is the right career choice that provides you the desired job satisfaction. Institute of Hotel Management, Indian Institute of Management Studies, and Indus Institute of Hospitality and culinary arts offer one year diploma course in professional cooking to make you adept at preparing various cuisines like Thai, Italian, Continental and much more.

BLOGGING If you have a passion for writing and want to create your own blogs, blogging is the apt career for you to choose. However, simply the passion for writing won’t pay you much. You need to master the skills required in writing engaging content for the audience, know how to promote your blogs on social media and much more. This knowledge and skills can be acquired through online blogging courses like the one offered by

The course offered by Meerut University, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Symbiosis strives to instil oral and written communication skills for effective presentations, conflict resolution, preparing reports, instruction manuals, and official management.

ShoutMeLoud University. Besides offering training in blogging, the site is a community of like-minded bloggers to hang out and share their journey and experiences as a blogger. The CEO of the site, Mr.Harsh Aggarwal started with blogging nearly 8 years ago earning about 500$ from blogging. Currently, his income from blogging has extended to $30,000 per month.

NAIL ART Another sub-section of the beauty and cosmetic industry, nail art offers an opportunity for artists to hone their skill in yet another form. Nail Art Academy, Mumbai is amongst the top institutes offering training programs to make you a professional nail technician. Their training program deals with aspects like nail extensions, creative nail designs and many more. Posttraining you can expect to be recruited with the leading salons, spa, and wellness centres across the country.

GRAFFITI Graffiti is a form of art that involves writings and pictures painted on a wall or other surfaces, often in a public view. The art form that transcended from ancient times in Egypt, Greece, and Rome is gaining increasing popularity in modern times. Graffiti Institute of Fashion Technology is amongst the top institute offering a one-year course and training in this art form. After acquiring a professional degree, you can be hired by builders and corporate people to display your artistic skills in designing mural buildings or you can work in your own studio.

PET GROOMING If you are passionate about animals and can’t stop yourself from falling in love with them, becoming a pet groomer is a wise career choice. A pet groomer basically takes care of the hygiene and appearance of pets commonly dogs, cats, and horses. He

bathes, styles, and brushes them and is responsible for taking care of their health. No, he is not a pet doctor, but he knows how to identify any health issue in a pet and notify the veterinary doctor on time. A relatively new concept in India, its significance and career opportunities are gradually picking up. Whiskers & Tails Franchise and Pet Grooming Academy, Mumbai and Fuzzy Wuzzy Professional Pet Grooming School provide certificate course and training in pet grooming. The training programme is completed within few months under the supervision of a highly experienced groomer and provides an opportunity to work in grooming salons, pet retail stores, kennels, or animal health clinics. Pet groomers are expected to safely handle and transport animals, provide appearance care, and successfully communicate with animal owners. They must possess strong communication and clerical skills in order to answer phones, schedule appointments, and relay important animal health information to their clients; which is acquired during professional training. Yashodhara, who runs Yashbans Kennels and Fuzzy Wuzzy Pet Styling Studio and Spa with daughters Rishya and Radhiya in Bangalore, got the idea of a pet parlour when she saw the difficulties faced by the families (especially working couples) in maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of pets. Sanjeev Kumar, a banker by profession left his 19 years job for the love of these furry animals and opened a pet grooming parlour in Delhi. These are the cases of people leaving their well- settled jobs for their love of pets. However, pet grooming can be adopted as a profession right after your high school by obtaining a certified degree from recognised institutes.

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ENTERTAINMENT

SITCOMS

“through the

decades”

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There are shows out there that are experimental and might not suit kids at all. An example for a completely inappropriate show for kids is the Game of Thrones (GOT) Scoonews Correspondent writeback@scoonews.com

H

ey, psssttt....let me tell you a secret. I was a kid of the 80's, yeah!!! That’s right the 1980's. I know what you'll are thinking “that's old”, well let me tell you and believe me those were simpler times. We weren't house bound too much since we didn't have all the gadgets and technology lying around. We did have a TV and a VCR, with video tapes to watch from, no CD's. We didn't even know those round holographic discs were, coz they didn't exist. When we had the time to watch TV we had one channel Doordarshan. One channel, that's it. What's that you’re asking? “Oh! How did you survive with just the one channel?” Well we did and it was awesome. We had a variety of shows to watch from. Let me take you back to our time and tell you about a few of them… AlifLalia: A show with a green genie in it. This was way before we knew the Hulk. Byomkesh Bakshi: Holmes of India

The

Sherlock

Chandrakanta: hahahaha... what can i say....we had a villian named Kroor Singh who probably should have had his eye-

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ENTERTAINMENT brows tweezed. Chitrahaar: Our dose of those filmy songs. Fauji: aaahhhh!!! Those glorious days when we got to see the now superstar Shahrukh Khan in his army avataar. Mahabharat: who can forget those Sundays when the entire household would come to a standstill to watch the show sharp 10:00am. Jungle Book, Haddi Raja, Surabhi, Malgudi days (my favourite show), Shaktimaan, the list goes on… Then came the age of cable TV. Now this was a stage where things started taking a turn. Cable TV gave us the option of more than one channel. Families fought for the remote. Decisions couldn't be taken as to which channel should be watched. We had shows like The Wonder Years - the story about a young boy, his friends and his relationship with his family. Small Wonder was about a girl named Vicky, who actually was a robot that was created by the father and posed as the daughter in the family. Bizarre, but it looked so real that all of us were enthralled. Indian shows came up bigger and better. We had Antakshari on the Zee channel that became very popular, they took a simple household game and gave it a glamorous makeover. Aahat: you guys might laugh but it gave us the chills those days. The show haunted the audience across the country and we would talk about how we had goosebumps the next day to all our friends.

to monitor the content that was being aired because all the shows were there for the viewership of the general public, kids and adults alike. Some series that are now being aired are so mature and explicit that there is little or nothing left to the imagination. I am guessing it’s every parent’s nightmare to allow kids to be around television, laptops or iPads without their supervision. But then again this generation is so different; kids minds develop more quickly than any of us did at their age. They are also exposed to a lot more things. This is due to the easy access to information., thanks to the net. Having said all that, I must say that most of the shows that are being aired are just about brilliant. So many genres, comedy, thrillers, romance, sci-fi and drama. With so much to choose from I’m sure all of you must have watched some or maybe all of these different shows.

…to the new generation. Not only are there hundreds of channels to choose from on television but also they are streamed on the internet. Sites like Youtube are hugely popular as any missed episode can be watched there with the click of a button and finally there is an option of downloading TV series even before the shows are officially released in India.

How about the series F.R.I.E.N.D.S.? Most of us are guilty of watching this series over and over again. The story revolves around 6 friends so very different from each other. When the show came out with its pilot everyone was hooked. Monica the obsessive one and Chandler's wife. Ross a paleontologist, Monica's brother and the intellect of the group. Rachel with her sense of style and Ross's love interest. Chandler, Monica's husband who has a job whose name no one could remember. Phoebe, the quirky one with the weird dressing sense and an even weirder collection of art. A masseuse by profession. And lastly Joey; who doesn't love him? The popular one with the ladies and his “How you doin?” was loved by one and all.

The 80's and 90's era really had no need

Such was the impact of the show that

And the most super and successful show Kaun Banega Crorepati. The phrase “computerji lock kiya jai” entered the Indian lexicon and gave a new life to Amitabh Bachan's career.

FAST FORWARD…

almost everyone could either relate to one of the 6 characters or wanted to have a group of friends just like them. The entire cast stole our hearts and left us feeling empty when the show finally ended after their 10th season, a show that had a perfect balance of humor, sarcasm, romance and emotions. The Big Bang Theory created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Parady was another series that has a clear hold on the audience for the 10th year running. The light hearted series features an endearing cast of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj and Penny. They fully embraced their genius and social shortcomings. Even though the world thought differently about them, they stayed true to themselves and understood the value of friendship and loyalty. More characters were added to the series as the years went by and they merged into one happy family. For the fans of The Big Bang Theory I bring to you some facts that you knew or didn't know… Did you know that Kunnal Nayyar who plays Raj Koothrappali was hired coz he was 'charming'? The show had 2 pilots before the show was picked up to become a series. A new jelly fish was discovered and was named 'Bazinga' Mayem Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon's girlfriend in the series has a ph.D in neuroscience in real life (it's true, I’m not kidding). Jim Parsons(Sheldon Cooper) has never watched Star Trek, like ever. Surprising really.

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ENTERTAINMENT

The phrase 'BAZINGA' caught on like wildfire. It was used by Sheldon many a times on the show to denote that whatever he said before it was meant to be a joke. The origin of the phrase was coined by Stephen Engle a writer for the series who would use it whenever he'd play a prank on a fellow writer. Some kids felt that they needed parental guidance for the first few episodes of the series as it contained mild sexual content which raised a lot of questions. The show was generally watched by kids at an age of 10+ years and was considered inappropriate for the younger ones. The series helped many kids to embrace their nerdiness and social awkwardness. It helped them feel better and other kids accepted them to be a special lot. Thanks to the show. Other shows that were wildly watched were Modern Family, FamilyGuy, Suits, Sherlock Holmes, Breaking Bad, The 70's show and so many others that have gone on to be super successful with a large audience . Asking a kid whether it was appropriate to watch these shows which had sexual innuendoes or foul language, he told us it was not anything he hadn’t heard before. He says he's given permission by his parents to watch these shows. And if he doesn't “get it” what was being said, he says that he can approach his parents and have an open discussion with them. I guess parents are being more vocal with their kids as they feel they can be better teachers in explaining than wanting their kids to

get the explanation from elsewhere. Closer home, TV content in India is censored to a 'T'. Foul language beeped out and certain scenes don't even make the cut. But Indian audiences from the teens to the adults are no more considered “Innocent”. , they are open to watching shows with all the gore. Since there can be no censorship on the web, series that have bold content and those that address issues that the country faces and could be a complete no-no otherwise for television make their presence felt online. Soap operas like BalikaVadhu and Sasural Simar Ka on Indian TV are not only what's gaining viewership. TVF Play, almost everyone has heard of it, if not it’s worth it if you could look it up. They have come up with various series that have been brought out on the web. Watch the first season of TVF Pitchers, about the trials and tribulations of 4 young entrepreneurs who quit their day job to pursue their startup venture. Permanent Roommates is another show by the TVF team about a couple in a long distance relationship for years and face the prospect of marriage. Humorously yours, follows the life of standup comedian Vipul Goyal and the tagline of the show is “The drama behind the comedy” Scoopwhoop's Baked Chronicles explores the misadventures of three university flat mates who decide to start a midnight food service. Bang Baaja Baraat, Not Fit, a Dice

Media and TVF collaboration bringing India a mockumentary. All these shows bring about some life lesson to take away, but yet again for what age is it appropriate? There are shows out there that are experimental and might not suit kids at all. An example for a completely inappropriate show for kids is the Game of Thrones (GOT). It showcases violence. But it’s all left up to the parents isn't it. Some parents feel that it is ok for kids to be exposed early to the things happening around them and to have a very open take on various things coz sooner or later it’s all going to come out in the open. Schools, friends, the net, TV are all places for kids to pick up on things that might not be fitting. Others are more conservative in their approach in bringing up kids. They follow the policy of everything has a right time and place to learn. They would like to shield their children from what's out there. There is no right or wrong here, but when the time comes hope that you understand that your parents are the first teachers you've ever had and they can give you the best possible guidance. Yeah, sure we know you've done and watched things on the sly (haven't we all). Well parents have been there and done that way before you, though they will completely deny it. Signing out with one last thought, though there are a never ending number of series out there to watch, do keep in mind they are make believe and reality is a completely different ball game.

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COVER STORY

Sonam Wangchuk “AN INSPIRATION” A year after his graduation, he worked on making his dream a reality by wanting to start a school that used alternative methods of teaching

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Anjana Deepak anjana@scoonews.com

P

hunsukh Wangdu (Amir Khan’s character in the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots) is a name and character we have come to know and love. Some characters portrayed are fictitious and others an inspiration on which a character of a story/ movie is based on. These people have such a huge influence that we have to weave them into a story. We are here to talk about one such person who is not only well known for his inventions but also his way of thinking and his life is so mind blowing that it gets us to question our motives in life. I am talking about none other than Sonam Wangchuk the man and inspiration behind the character of Phunsukh Wangdu.

THE BEGINNING Where do we start about Sonam Wangchuk? A boy born on Sept 1st 1966 at Uley Tokpo near Alchi, the Trans Himalayan region of Ladakh, India. Little boys and girls join school at the age of 4 years, but this was not to be the case with Sonam. He was homeschooled and taught by his dear mother in his native tongue. This continued till he was 8-and-a-half years. His uncle Abdul Hamid who was a Muslim by faith took Sonam to a remote region of Nubra where he was enrolled in two schools in a span of 6 months. Due to his quick grasp of what was being taught he was promoted to the next class by his teachers.

Through his patience and methods, he slowly brought up the pass percentage from a mere 5% in 1996 to a 75% in 2015. The school now has over 7,200 students including an alumni network field back in his home town. Unable to come to an understanding between father and son, Wangchuk had to fund for his own education since his father refused to financially support him. In 1983, he got into the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar and was awarded his bachelor’s degree in 1987. During the course of his engineering he took up coaching students back in his home town during his summer and

winter vacations. The pass percentage of students due to the lack of a proper education system was a meager 5%. Wangchuk took it upon himself to change this by wanting to change the education system. Through the coaching classes he funded his engineering and used the surplus funds to rent a place and buy study materials for his students back home.

THE BIRTH OF SECMOL A year after his graduation, he worked on making his dream a reality by wanting to start a school that used alternative methods of teaching. He reached out to the people of Ladakh, his relatives and banks to help him raise funds to build the school to teach the kids from the valley. With the funds now in hand he hosted a cultural program called the “Pride of Ladakh” to tell the tourists all about the history and culture of the place. With this he raised even more funds and returned the money that he had borrowed and went on to build The Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL).

SELF- SUSTENANCE AND ALTERNATIVE TEACHING SECMOL was built to be self-sustainable. It completely relies on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating. The building itself was built in such a way that it trapped the sun’s heat within its walls during

Sonam returned to Leh after 6 months and joined class 3 with his peers at the age of 9 years. His father Sonam Wangyal a politician then who later went on to become a minister in the state government was stationed in Srinagar. Wangchuk was put into a school there, but due to his looks he was addressed in Urdu and English a language which was not familiar to him. His lack of responsiveness due to this was mistaken for stupidity. He lost his self- confidence and ran away alone to Delhi in 1977 where he went to the principal at Vishesh Kendriya Vidyala and pleaded his case. It was a free government school for children coming from the border areas of India. The teachers here encourage him and soon he began to blossom. The next hurdle Sonam faced was when he wanted to pursue Mechanical Engineering, he found it difficult to convince his father who wanted him to take up Civil Engineering as there were more opportunities in the construction

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COVER STORY FUTURE PLANS With his cash prize in hand he is working on opening the doors of his university soon, which he hopes will be affiliated with the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). At this university he says “Students will be taught to use the 3H’s- their heads, hands and heart.

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the day and the school remained warm even during the nights even when the temperature dipped to a -25 degrees. He used the Pragmatic approach to explain things. All things to be learnt were based on practicals and were then applied in theory. The criteria for admission in the school was for those who failed regular school. He taught his students that learning extended beyond textbooks. Science theories were taught through application, geography through travel, economics through trade and he also got the kids to make their own jam to teach them about producing and preservation. He made his brighter students help the weaker and shy students who hesitated to approach a teacher making sure that not one student was left behind. He got the boys and girls involved in sports. He even made a skating rink right outside the girls hostel so they could prac-

February 2017

tice and not travel through the difficult terrains. They got so good that he formed the first National Women’s ice hockey team. Through his patience and methods, he slowly brought up the pass percentage from a mere 5% in 1996 to a 75% in 2015. The school now has over 7,200 students including an alumni network. Students who passed out created a niche with one becoming an entrepreneur who started India’s first all women travel company, another a renowned film maker and even a young education minister. SECMOL’s motto was to rebuild the lost pride and self-confidence of students of Ladakh through its educational reforms program.

THE ICE- STUPA The ice-Stupa is a project that was started in January 2014 to try and resolve the


water woes of the farmers during the planting months of April and May. The idea was to form an artificial glacier that could store the water from streams that ran during the winter months when it was not needed and was being wasted. He built his two storey prototype in February 2014. The water was frozen and stored in the form of a Stupa which helped reduce the melting due to its shape. The ice Stupa could roughly store 150,000 liters of water during winter. This water was then let out through channels as it melted during the planting months to the farms. In 2016 Sonam’s ice Stupa project came into the limelight and was invited by the President of Pontresina, a municipality in the Engadine valley near the winter sports resort town of St. Mortiz, Switzerland. They wanted the Stupa built as a tourist attraction. Once it was built and tested the Swiss wanted more

such ice Stupas to be built mainly to counter the phenomenon of fast melting glaciers in the upper regions of the Swiss mountains. This invention also helped by averting floods in the mountains by creating glaciers.

RECOGNITION AND REWARDS For his work on the ice Stupa project he won the prestigious Rolex Award making him the second Indian to win. He was chosen amongst 2,322 applications from people across 144 nationalities. The gala event was held in Los Angeles at the Dolby theatre with the likes of Hollywood celebrities James Cameron and Don Cheadle making their attendance. He was presented with the world famous Rolex watch with his name inscribed on it by actress Michelle Monaghan. He won a

cash prize of 100,000 Swiss Francs (67 lakhs). On asking what he was going to do with the money, he said “This is seed money. You don’t eat seeds, you use them to grow. I’m pledging this money as a corpus for building a university to attract more funds. The university will have a multiplier effect to create many more ice Stupa- like solutions to problems that mountain people face. It’ll offer courses in farming, tourism, businesses suited to mountains”. He recently attended the 77th Indian Public Schools Conference (IPSC) hosted by the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet where he shared his views with principals of top schools in the country. Our very own CEO of Scoonews, Ravi Santlani was fortunate to meet him and was able to interview him.

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COVER STORY Here, in today’s schools there are counsellors for students who can’t match up to the level of performance, so do you think that counsellors are really important or the way you teach is important? Well, first of all the teaching itself should be very holistic, with a lot of attention. It needn’t be only from teachers. I feel it can be from your peers or your seniors. There are lots of people, we can even give attention to each other, and it’s not twenty teachers against 2000 students. A lot of students can give a helping hand to the younger ones and it should be organic, it should be holistic; not like a factory. And if there are issues, special needs, then counsellors can play a role, but at the beginning, the school itself should be a healthy, holistic family. In your imagination, what would the students from your school be when they’re forty or forty five? They can be anything. They can be journalists, they can be farmers, and they can be with the smallest occupation, but with good understanding and integrity. We don’t necessarily want them to be famous or big, just that they be happy.

It is what it is, being a good human being and a happy person. That is what is harder to achieve. Some of those big names may not be the happiest people, it is much better to live a happy life as a small person than a big unhappy one. When you founded SECMOL, you said that a group of students who were with you were victims of an alien education system forced in Ladakh, can you explain how? Well, Ladakh is very different from the rest of the world, I would say, not just India. So we should have had something that made sense to us, right? So at 11 thousand feet where it is minus 30, if you say F for Fan, it doesn’t make sense. If you say, T for Train, how does it help a child understand T? With an example of a train in the mountains, S for ship doesn’t make sense. You make them memorize, we grow rice with the monsoon rain; nobody has ever heard of rice in the mountains, but you have to memorize that for your exams, so school becomes a breaking force rather than a building force for the children’s personality, that’s what I meant, it made no sense. Not that everything is wrong, just that

they have to be adapted and corrected and then it can be good. For this proposed university, you said you needed $20 million, so is there a crowd funding for it? We are starting with crowd funding, because we want it to be a people’s university; needed by the people and initiated by the people, so we started with crowd funding so that ordinary people and students, victims of the system can start it. Then we go to the corporate and government, but that will be later. The Government doesn’t understand radical reforms in the early stages; when it has taken roots, maybe tomorrow we hand over the university to the government, we’ll be most happy. But in the beginning, when it is so different from anything else, it’ll be difficult for big organizations like the government. If you hand it over to the private investors or the government, don’t you believe they would change the system? Well, that’s what I’m saying after it has taken roots. The early stage is very impor-

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COVER STORY tant. Once it has proven itself for what it is, there are less chances of changes from what it is known for. If anyone wants to contribute to this, how would that happen? So, on MILAP, which I think is India’s largest crowd funding source so we have launched a campaign called HIAL (Himalayan Institute of Alternatives Ladakh) where ordinary people could contribute. Their 100 rupees is as valuable as somebody’s 100 crores, because it has the spirit of the people contributing brick by brick to a university that the world needs. It is said that your education initiative became a victim of bureaucracy and resentment. Can we know what went wrong and why? I generally say that success can be a big problem, so when we started it was all nice and easy, everybody supported it but when we were very successful in the villages, bureaucrats and politicians became insecure, the people were all talking about it, what would happen to our positions and all that, so that caused a lot of problems in some stages. How would you define, in one paragraph, your vision of education in both Ladakh and outside? Prepare people for the world they’ll face and to contribute in a positive way, adding to the world and making it better than we have, and if our products are able to do that by spreading happiness, positivity, then yeah we are successful. What has been your takeaway from this event? Well, I am yet to observe as it is my first morning, but I like the idea that schools interact with each other, learn from each other, share with each other, that’s a value I hold close and that’s why I wanted to come and meet educators from different parts of the country . Tell us about your collaboration with Switzerland?

We’re collaborating with Switzerland to give the ice Stupa technology to them and take their tourism experience of 150 years, winter tourism, ice tourism and snow tourism. So we’re taking that experience and were giving our experience. That’s the sharing. Your message to youngsters? I’d say believe in yourself no matter what the grown-ups say and follow your dreams and not your neighbor’s dreams which your parents are more concerned, find your own dreams. Have you ever discovered that a student has deliberately failed to get into your school? No, I haven’t but I have met many people who said, why didn’t I fail? Do you take children from other regions too? No, we don’t because it says that it’s a special school, students are very weak, rejected and broken when they come, so we keep it very local and converse in their mother tongue at that stage. We want them to be like a close knit family, but the university would be open to all, it will be global, international. But suppose we want other children to go to your school? Well, you should open one here and many others will benefit.

Sonam Wangchuk a brilliant man who has worked tirelessly to bring about remarkable changes to the mountainous regions of Ladakh. Not only in education but for the farmers with his ice Stupa project which has added another pin for India on the world map. A man who pursued his dreams by helping and providing nothing less than the best for the people. We only can wait and watch in anticipation to see what this man can do and what changes he can bring to the nation and the world.

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FEATURE

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February 2017


Childhoods are the BIGGEST CASUALTY in the

SYRIAN WAR

Last week, as the war in Syria completed almost 6 years let’s take stock of what this journalist feels is the biggest casualty of the conflict – childhoods.

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FEATURE unfortunate ones find themselves enlisted at a tender age of 15.

Varun Bodhwani writeback@scoonews.com

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assan was playing hide-andseek when the top floor of his house was attacked. Hassan’s mother took her 3 sons and fled. “My mother was carrying my baby brother and we were walking between bodies in the street.” They haven’t heard from Hassan’s father since and don’t know if he’s alive. The family are now refugees in Lebanon and Hassan is desperate to go to school. His brother is teaching him to read and write. “Now I know the alphabet and numbers. I only wish for 2 things: to find my father and go to school.” Hassan is almost 6 years old, the same age as the war in Syria and is among the 3.7 million ‘Children of War’ – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children born in the shadow of war. This figure includes 306,000 children born as refugees since 2011, according to a UNICEF report. Last week, as the war in Syria completed almost 6 years let’s take stock of what this journalist feels is the biggest casualty of the conflict – childhoods. At an age when children should be in school, learning new things, satisfying their curiosities about life, playing innocent games and looking up to their parents for love and guidance; they are fighting an adult war, continuing to drop out of school and many are forced into labour while girls are marrying early. Nearly 7 million children live in poverty, making their childhood one of loss and deprivation. In total, UNICEF estimates that some 8.4 million children - more than 80 % of Syria’s child population - are now affected by the conflict, either inside the country or as refugees in neighbouring countries. “6 years into the war, millions of children have grown up too fast and way ahead of their time,” said Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Most of the ‘Children of War’ have lost a minimum of 1 family member while some of them have been maimed themselves. While it leaves unimaginable psychological scars to lose someone from your family at a tender age, many children are forced to shed their childhoods and take up the responsibility for their family. To many it means not going to school but scavenging broken furniture and other wooden items that could fuel fire for warmth and cooking, to some others it means working at stalls while the

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One of the most significant challenges to the conflict has been providing children with learning. School attendance rates inside Syria have hit rock bottom. UNICEF estimates that more than 2.1 million children inside Syria and 700,000 in neighbouring countries, are out-of-school. In response, UNICEF and partners launched the “No Lost Generation Initiative”, which is committed to restoring learning and providing opportunities to young people. A special mention needs to be made of Syrian artist Diala Brisly, who having escaped to Beirut continues to bring hope to children in Syria through her magazine ‘Zayton and Zaytonah’ - like Olive and Oliver, a boy and a girl. “The main purpose is to remind kids about being a human being and keep them away from being a fighter”, says Diala. The magazine carries illustrations by Diala which speak of hope and optimism in the face of the odds. The magazine is surprisingly still printed and circulated among children in Syria. The Syria conflict began in March 2011 as a popular uprising against President Assad that quickly escalated into civil war. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed. Almost half the pre-war population of 23 million has been displaced, including more than 4.8 million who fled their homeland. If not for UNICEF and other humanitarian organisations from across the globe who have been helping mobilize the largest humanitarian operation in history and working closely to provide education, physical protection, psychological support and clothing to Syrian refugee children in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and other countries; these children will lose whatever little hope that they are clinging to. For these children of war, what's at stake isn't politics. It's their future. Having already lost their homes, schools and communities, their chances of building a future may also soon be lost.

February 2017


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TAKE2 READ Looking for Alaska by John Green (Goodreads Author) Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anythingbut-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Eleanor Roosevelt (Introduction), B.M. MooyartDoubleday (Translator) Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic— a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking With more than nine million copies in forty languages sold worldwide, Stephen Hawking's classic work has become a landmark volume in scientific writing. The original edition was on the cutting edge of what was then known about the origins and nature of the universe. But the intervening years have seen extraordinary advances in the technology of observing both the micro and the macrocosmic worlds. Eager to bring to his original text the new knowledge revealed by these observations, as well as his own recent research, Professor Hawking has prepared a new introduction to the book, written an entirely new chapter on wormholes and time travel, and updated the chapters throughout.

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February 2017

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic. A magnificent twentieth-century classic, a story of an old Cuban fisherman


Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw Twenty-something Burcaw lives with spinal muscular atrophy, a progressive condition that has put him into a wheelchair and made even the most mundane activities difficult or impossible without assistance. First through his Tumblr and now through this book, Burcaw brings his Teflon-coated sense of humor to bear on discussions of how his condition shapes his life, from sex to schooling to using the bathroom. His story stands as an incredible testament to the power of learning to laugh it off.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

Believe in Yourself by Joseph Murphy In Believe in Yourself, Dr. Murphy shows you how the power of believing in yourself will help you achieve your dreams. He illustrates his points with wonderful stories about how inventors, writers, artists, and entrepreneurs have used this power to reach the highest of heights. By the end of the book you will have the tools for success. There are many men who quietly use the abstract term success, over and over many times a day until they reach a conviction that success is theirs. As a man repeats the word success to himself with faith and conviction, his subconscious mind will accept it as true of himself, and he will be under subjective compulsion to succeed.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and, unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

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TAKE2 WATCH

Hidden Figures (2016) HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monรกe)-brilliant AfricanAmerican women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

La La Land (2016) Winner of seven academy awards, written and directed by Academy Award nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

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TAKE2 The venom of the deathstalker, one of the most dangerous scorpions in the world, has an ironic side effect. While a sting is incredibly painful and is potentially life-threatening to children and the elderly, deathstalker venom also has the potential to help treat brain tumors and diabetes.

You can play with this puzzle forever, but you will never complete it. The Infinite Galaxy puzzle has pieces that are printed front and back, contains no straight edges, and could theoretically be assembled in every possible way.

In the Philippines, there are caves full of mummified corpses that are curled up inside nutshell-shaped coffins. The process for making ‘Fire Mummies’ began before death, when a dying person had to ingest a very salty drink. After death, the bodies were smoked above a fire, molded into the fetal position, and had tobacco smoke blown into their mouths to shrink their insides.

Despite being 400 years old and enduring a nuclear explosion, this little bonsai tree just keeps on growing. Planted in 1625, it lived only 2 miles from the drop site of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. It was given as a gift to the United States in 1976 and is now housed at the National Arboretum, where it still continues to thrive.

You can swim and play with otters at the Nurtured by Nature community organization in Valley Center, CA. If the otters like you, they’ll shove a rock into your bathing suit. This ‘sign of friendliness’ is so common that the staff made a game out of it: whoever has the most rocks in their suit when they leave the pool, wins.

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February 2017


TAKE2 Bats spend a lot of their time arguing. A device programmed to recognize 15,000 noises from 7 different bats found that the majority of their vocalizations were disagreements, which mostly consisted of them bickering about things like crowded sleeping spaces and sharing food.

A group of pugs is called a grumble.

Ancient Egyptians were using 20-sided die as early as 200 BCE.

Scottish sculptor Rob Mulholland creates creepy mirrored sculptures out of acrylic glass that makes them blend into their surroundings until your perspective shifts and they suddenly catch your eye.

The International Space Station is larger than a football field and can be seen from earth with the naked eye? Did you also know that the International Space Station is the second brightest object in the night sky?

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TECH IT OUT Turbo Riders

Story Wars Free, iPhone

From the award winning creators of Milk Hunt & Hop Star, —comes Turbo Riders, a game which tests kids’ reflexes and concentration skills to the limit. And of course there is a lot of fun math to solve. The game is extremely challenging. Can your kid be the one with ninja reflexes to beat every level?

Story Wars is a collaborative fiction app that introduces an element of competition into the process of strangers writing stories together. It is a unique way of both reading and writing collaborative stories. You write the first chapter. Anyone can submit a draft for the second chapter. You can vote for the best next chapter. The next chapter will be the one with the most votes and the next chapter after that will be based on the voted-in chapter.

Periscope

Once they enter into the different wacky worlds, they will collect precious coins while stopping the alien enemies to advance. Then test and develop their math skills to unlock new characters and power-ups. Each correct answer increases their chance of beating the ridiculously hard levels. Turbo Riders makes counting fun to do, multiplication satisfying and even geometry fun by turning classroom lessons in to fun math challenges which kids love taking on. Whether your child is in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade, Turbo Riders challenging math problems will help them develop in leaps and bounds, while taking them on an adventurous riding journey!

With live streaming, a camera records something —a conversation, a demonstration, a performance, a meeting—and that event is broadcast live online, in real time. Until recently, if a school or teacher wanted to live stream something, the process required expensive equipment or subscriptions. But now live streaming is available free to anyone with a smartphone. As the current front-runner in live-streaming apps, Periscope has gotten a lot of attention this past year. Like Meerkat, its primary competitor, Periscope allows users to broadcast live from their smartphones or tablets, take written comments from viewers, and share broadcasts on Twitter. Here’s a basic overview of how Periscope works: You open an account using your Twitter profile. Then, just like on Twitter, you “follow” other users. Any time someone you follow does a broadcast (or “Scope,” as it is called by users), you are notified in your app, and you can jump in and watch right then and there, and if you do happen to catch the broadcast live, you can send written comments to the broadcaster when the scope is live. For up to 24 hours after its broadcast, that person’s Scope is available for you to watch. If you are the broadcaster, you can opt to do a public broadcast or keep the broadcast closed to everyone but people who follow you. Because followers can be blocked, this gives the user better control over who watches a Scope.

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February 2017

Pocket Collect the best of the web to read later. Found an article you like but want to read it later, when you may not have an internet connection? Pocket is the solution to your problem. Allowing you to save articles and videos to read and watch later across any Pocket-enabled device, you’ll never be short of something to read or share again. It’s the perfect distraction for Tube journeys, flights and those long train trips in signal black holes.


Google Translate

ISSUU

Google Translate isn’t strictly an AR app, but it does have one AR feature that’s incredibly useful for translating text. That particular feature is part of the app’s camera mode. Simply snap a photo of the text you don’t understand, and the app will translate the text in your photo in real time. When connected to Wi-Fi, the app supports a vast number of languages — 13 of which were added in a recent update — but users can also download a number of language packs if they want to continue using the instant translation feature while offline or without a cellular connection. Next time you take a trip to a country with a language you don’t fluently speak, Google Translate could be your best friend and the very thing that will keep you from getting lost in a strange land.

Issuu is a digital newsstand with over 30 million publications and 100 million active readers. Read gorgeous, fascinating, and unique content from around the globe on any topic imaginable, like photography, design, food & drink, business, fashion, gaming, technology, science, movies, travel, real estate and more. The selection is incredible. It's like browsing the world's largest newsstand, except everything is free. Looking for a high-design magazine all about Star Trek? It has it. A magazine about science experiments at home ? It's here, too. The app includes an offline reading list function that allows users to read from the Issuu app without being online. The app can also stack publications back to back so that they can be read in succession.

Star Chart Star Chart may be an educational app, but it’s a really cool one that’s sure to appeal to people of all ages. When Star Chart is opened on your Android or iOS device and pointed at the sky, the app will inform you of what stars or planets you’re currently facing, even during the day when the stars are at their hardest to see. It does it all in realtime, too, without you having to press a button to initiate it. Functions don’t stop there, either, because the app can even let you know what the night sky looks like on the other side of Earth, as well as show you where in the sky your star sign is located. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a feature called Time Shift, which allows you to move up to 10,000 years forward or backward in time to see where the stars once were or will be located.

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HONOUR

PM Presents NATIONAL BRAVERY AWARDS

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Reminding the children about the significance of the day – 23rd January, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary – the Prime Minister urged the children to read as much as possible, and especially read biographies of leaders, sportspersons and other people who have done great deeds in their lives.

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he Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, presented the National Bravery Awards to 25 children. Interacting with the awardees, the Prime Minister said their deeds of bravery show their decisiveness as much as their courage. He encouraged the children to ensure that this award does not become the end of their life’s purpose, and added that this award should only mark the beginning for them. Reminding the children about the significance of the day – 23rd January, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary – the Prime Minister urged the children to read as much as possible, and especially read biographies of leaders, sportspersons and other people who have done great deeds in their lives. He said that bravery is a state of mind; a healthy body helps, but the prime moving force is the mind. Therefore, he added, we need to make the mind strong. He urged the children to ensure that the adulation and fame that they are getting, should not become an obstacle to their future progress. The Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Gandhi, was present on the occasion. The National Bravery Award Scheme was initiated by the ICCW – Indian Council for Child Welfare – to give due recognition to the children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds of bravery and meritorious service and to inspire other children to emulate their examples.

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Scoonews February 2017  

Scoonews is India's largest circulated & the most read Education Magazine

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