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How to choose the best ed-tech platform for your children

Vipul Sobti

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Online vedic courses
Online vedic courses

Right technology in the hands of great teachers can be a life-changing experience for students. The experience and learning of students purely depend on two factors: Great educators and right technology. Hence, educators and education institutions need to ensure adoption of best education delivery platforms. Given the time and circumstances, it is evident that online learning is the way forward post-Covid as well. But parents are now facing the dilemma of how to choose the best ed-tech platform for their kid. What parents seek from ed-tech is information on how their children are faring in their learning process. Here are some key points that can be kept in mind while exploring the myriad options:

 Must be compatible 

It is very important for edtech platforms to be compatible with the systems that the kids are going to use. While choosing a platform, one should keep in mind that it should be comprehensive enough and should entitle one to completely integrate the best visual, audio and data streaming services. In addition to this, one should be mindful of creating a high-quality learning experience among teachers and students. To achieve this, one needs to adopt a platform which has a high resolution video quality and which will not require the installation of new plugins. 

Uniform theme is a necessity

 No matter the electronic device, the theme of appearance and look of the online education platform must be even. The students will perceive better if they will be able to acquire more than just pages of the text. The learning will become even more dynamic when homework assignments, study guides, concept summaries, reading quizzes, video tutorials, etc. are on hand within the opted platform. 

Format of the classroom 

There is an abundance of new classroom formats that are different from traditional formats. One of them is known as ‘flipped classroom’. In this classroom format, in place of going over a lesson in class and doing homework at home, it enables the child to watch a lecture before class begins and complete homework or exercise assignments during the time with the professor. However, this format works the best only if there is a superior video system integrated into the education technology. If the students can smoothly watch the lecture beforehand in high quality, then only a platform could favourably replicate a traditional classroom in a virtual world.

Customisation

 There is a vital need for technology to have the scope of being customised according to the preference or needs of the user or the instructor. Given the condition, this way the professor could utilize the online education platform to maximum potential and fulfil the requirements of the students provided the specifics of their own classes are well taken care of. Instructors need to have the freedom to execute decision making. There are certain specific demands of each different class or section which needs to be addressed by the teacher. For example, which chapters of the textbook are needed to be covered in detail and which amongst them necessitate a quick run through? What shall be the punishment for late comers? Should points be deducted across the board for the submission of overdue assignments? Therefore, being able to customise according to the demands of the classroom and students is highly required. Easy-to-use

 Whilst exploring an edtech platform for a child, one must choose a platform which is easy to handle or use. Once the student has logged in, the dashboard of the ed-tech platform should appear innate to them. The child must seamlessly be able to move between text books, available courses, assignments and also tests or exercises. If the student finds the dashboard of the online platform cluttered or difficult to surf, chances are that he/she will become discouraged, get frustrated, and log off. In order to develop students’ interest in an online platform there are some things that need to be determined. They need to be informative, and less complicated assignment details should appear wherever a homework, quiz, or reading assignment is provided to students. 

Should offer data feedback

 Feedback of data admits us to adjust in real time. If you want a successful learning experience for the students then it’s essential to keep the feedback loop open whether inside or outside of the classroom. This can be attained through a proper course management platform. The instructor is competent to manipulate settings such as multiple attempts on problems, hints, links to the text, and right/wrong etc. In addition to this, the amount of time spent by the student on homework the number of tries attempted, and access or due date for the assignment are all valuable measures. A teacher needs to pay attention to these metrics for their students and especially the struggling ones, in order to attain arbitration and remediation. 

The author is the business head, Unthinkable Solutions LLP.

Educationally Speaking

NEET COUNSELLING POSTPONED DUE TO TECHNICAL GLITCH

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 NEET counselling 2020 has been postponed till 28 October. The Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) has postponed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET 2020) counselling process due to some technical reasons. “The NEET UG Counselling 2020 has been postponed till tomorrow i.e. 28th October 2020 due to some technical reasons. All candidates are advised to stay in touch with the MCC website for the latest updates,” said the official website on Tuesday. 

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Educationally Speaking

LAUREL FOR SHIV NADAR UNIVERSITY FACULTY MEMBER

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Shiv Nadar University Associate Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry, Parthapratim Munshi, has joined the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK, as a Fellow. Munshi was invited by the world’s leading chemistry community through its ‘Leaders in the Field’ scheme—which identifies outstanding individuals in the chemical sciences—for his significant contributions in the field, particularly in the area of Organic multifunctional materials and several other notable research. Shiv Nadar University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh, said: “Parthapratim is the first member of SNU’s Chemistry Department to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. It is truly a special recognition of his outstanding work, of which all of us at SNU are extremely proud.”

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JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA OBSERVES VIGILANCE AWARENESS WEEK

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With corruption being one of the major obstacles to economic, political and social progress of our country, employees of Jamia Millia Islamia took pledge to build a corruption-free India, while following the social distancing norms due to Covid-19. The pledge was administered by the Registrar A.P. Siddiqui. The pledge was administered as part of Vigilance Awareness Week being observed from 27 October to 2 November 2020, to emphasise the importance of integrity in public life and show its commitment to implement the policy of ‘Zero Tolerance against Corruption’. The theme of the vigilance awareness week is ‘Vigilant India, Prosperous India.

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Educationally Speaking

IIT GUWAHATI DEVELOPS LOW-COST ANTI-AGING COMPOUNDS

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 IIT Guwahati researchers have developed a low-cost membrane technology to produce psychoactive drugs and anti-aging compounds from wide range of agricultural resources like camellia sinensis, citrus fruits and peels especially orange peels, berries, ginkgo biloba, parsley, pulses, tea, sea buckthorn and onions. The technology was patented and developed by Prof Mihir Kumar Purkait, Head, Centre for the Environment, and Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering along with his MTech student V.L. Dhadge. This process doesn’t require any organic solvents as used commercially in the industry and so, can cut down the production cost and price drastically. Because of medicinal applications, anti-aging compounds have gained popularity as ingredients in pharmaceutical industry. These are also found in smaller amount in bamboo leaves, grapes, apples, and other natural sources.

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KEJRIWAL, SISODIA INTERACT WITH NEET-JEE STUDENTS

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia interacted with students of the Delhi government schools, who have performed outstandingly well in the NEET-JEE. Lauding students for their commendable performance, Kejriwal said that the students who have gotten into IITs and have secured top ranks in NEET-JEE must become a role model for the entire government education system. Sisodia said that ‘Shikshit Rashtra, Samarth Rashtra’ is the dream of the Delhi government, and said that all passing students must take the responsibility of guiding their juniors about NEET-JEE. This week, the Chief Minister had announced that around 569 students from schools run by the Delhi government qualified for the exam, out of which 379 are girls. “Around 443 students from government schools cleared JEE Mains and 53 have qualified for JEE Advanced and have secured a seat in IITs,” according to a release from Chief Minister’s Office.

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DEFYING ALL ODDS, A WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR SCRIPTS SUCCESS STORY

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A large number of women entrepreneurs in India are writing their success stories with full warmth, passion, and zeal. One such story is that of Sonu Bala from Haryana’s Rewari district.

Lecturer by profession, it was not easy for her to start her own centre, as her husband was against the idea. Luckily, she was shortlisted to open a Common Service Centre (CSC) and that changed everything. After getting shortlisted, her husband also agreed and now he is her backbone.

Sonu Bala runs a CSC centre in Gurawara village in Haryana’s Rewari district. The centre caters to almost five to six neighbouring villages.

“Starting from a small lab in Gram Sachivalaya, I have come a long way and now I have constructed my own CSC building. I purchased the land and built a multi-story building worth Rs 25 lakh for our CSC centre. Rural BPO centre has been opened up in my CSC which was inaugurated by Union Minister of Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad last year, said Sonu.

She started her career as a Computer Science lecturer in a government college in Rewari which was 25 km away from her village. She left the job after five years for her new venture. Sonu says her elder brother encouraged her when she said that she wanted to study.

Sonu Bala is popularly known as the ‘CSC Role Model’. Sonu Bala said that she could achieve this because of her family’s support. “As I did not want to do a private job, I thought I should start a business of my own and the idea of CSC came to me. A woman should not be dependent on her father or husband. She should be given a chance to work according to her talent and interest,” Sonu said.

Her mother wanted Sonu to work in the government sector but destiny has written something else for her.

Sonu is the most educated Village Level Entrepreneur having degrees of MCA, M.Phil (Computer Science), and M.Ed. Her aim was to provide ICT-enabled solutions to the people in the village so that they don’t have to travel far to the cities. She started her CSC centre in 2015 by providing Aadhaar cards only, but gradually her centre started providing all the services to the people of the villages.

“For people in rural areas, it is not easy to travel to the city and wait for long hours in the queue to get their certificates done. Now with the CSCs, they don’t have to go to the city,” adds Sonu.

In 2018, she distributed pension enrollments worth Rs 1.17 lakh through DigiPay to senior citizens, widows, and persons with disabilities.

“In 2015, when I started my CSC, I had only 3 personal computers and now I own more than 20 computers.”, says Sonu Bala. With CSC, her financial condition has improved a lot and her income has increased four-folds.

Sonu says that everyone calls her ‘Aadhaar wali Madam Ji’ and ‘Pension wali Madam Ji’ in the village. “Through CSC, I have earned huge respect and trust from the villagers and nothing matters above this, not even money. Serving the people and society gives me inner satisfaction,” she says.

According to Sonu, when she opened her CSC centre she faced a lot of problems initially and she had even given a bribe to get her electricity meter fixed and now she is in a position that she can easily help people in getting all their problems fixed. She says Dr Dinesh Tyagi, CEO of CSC SPV Pvt Ltd, is my guru and also a source of inspiration for all the VLEs. India is now a digital literate country, she says.

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