National Education & Destiny

What is National Education? Following a session of the Indian National Congress, H V Dugvekar, in 1917, came out with a compilation of essays by prominent freedom movement leaders including Bipin Chandra Pal, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, Annie Besant and Lala Lajpat Rai. A speech from Bipin Chandra Pal, founder of the Brahmo Samaj and part... Continue Reading →

What openness means for Indian education

I believe we have to seriously think about what open-ness means for Indian education. There are many dimensions to being open that extend beyond merely making data available for public accountability and transparency. For example, if we do not provide appropriate redressal of grievances that emerge from an analysis of the data, we are not... Continue Reading →

Is the classroom a machine?

In a Big Think article, Why Technology Won't Save an Inefficient Education System, with Dr. Madhav Chavan, and in several other similarly argued contributions, particularly like the ones from Sir Ken Robinson (read a critique here) or Sugata Mitra. Education over that past 200 years has been fashioned like an assembly line. Children get placed... Continue Reading →

On Teacher’s Day

There is a teacher in everyone of us. It is useful to acknowledge that a whole lot of things are learnt without someone actually teaching us, and that perhaps someone is right now learning from us without our even knowing it. On the Internet, this is possible at a very large scale. We learn from... Continue Reading →

The Learning Revolution is Here

I didn't know it at that time, having been born just a few months later, that the revolutionary Open University, UK was born in January, 1971 with 25000 students. Of course, my parents didn't know that either when they named me Viplav (my Sanskrit origin name literally means "revolution"). It's just one of those weird... Continue Reading →

The Outcomes of our Educational Systems

Does a particular type of education system tend to produce the same outcome irrespective of the underlying environment? Or is it that the underlying social, economic and political environment will cause pretty much any educational system to tend to produce the same outcomes? Or is it that the outcomes emerge as a result of the... Continue Reading →

MOOCs as instruments of democratic politics

Democracy requires intellectually armed political activism to succeed. MOOCs (cMOOCs) provide an unprecedented occasion to demonstrate the power of connective learning for democracy, just as much as they demonstrate the democracy of connective learning. The four letters that make up the MOOC abbreviation are as apt as a stage for political protest as for our... Continue Reading →

MOOCology

The discussion on what is a MOOC or how do we classify MOOCs is gaining momentum. First we had George explaining the difference by saying that there are xMOOCs and cMOOCs. Now Lisa Lane has come with a different taxonomy (network/task/content based) with some interesting distinctions. Dominic came up his own understanding of the "features" of a MOOC.... Continue Reading →

Unflipping the flip

I have been really curious and a little wary of the "flip" (flipped classroom, flipping the classroom) kind of frenzy recently. Basically, it seems to mean that we flip: Students into teachers Homework into Classwork Classwork into learning by self or network, guided or unguided Hallways and Social spaces into Classrooms Closed curriculum to open... Continue Reading →

Distributed Educational Systems

(Following is a paper I wrote a few months ago. The conference where I submitted it perhaps did not think much of it, but I hope you will!) Introduction Worldwide, there is immense concern on how we will meet the educational needs of a rapidly growing young population. The challenge is compounded by many other... Continue Reading →

Scaling the MOOC

I read with interest Audrey Watters' commentary on Scaling College Composition. Some of the work I did in this area (I call it Connectivist Metrics) and the recent discussions I had with Stephen Downes in New Delhi during the EDGEX conference around intelligent environments for assessment, as well as all the great work that is happening... Continue Reading →

The tensions at EDGEX2012

Speakers at the EDGEX Conference debated many tensions and challenges apparent in education today. George Siemens evocatively questioned the use of the word “disruptive” and asserted that we should call for transformation instead. Given the broad societal transitions to a networked and complex ecology, he talked about how initiatives like Coursera, Udacity and the Khan Academy provided... Continue Reading →

EDGEX2012 – Nearly There

Less than two weeks to go for EDGEX2012! EDGEX is conceived as a platform that would connect people with different passions for education to come together. There are plenty of disruptive things happening in education around the world and EDGEX aims to kindle some conversations within and across learning communities - whether they be organized in some way... Continue Reading →

The EDGEX2012 Primer

Over the next few weeks, as the countdown to the EDGEX Disruptive Educational Research conference to be held in New Delhi from March 12-14 begins, I hope to bring to you all news and updates about the conference and its themes. The EDGEX 2012 Conference has been carefully and collaboratively constructed to bring cutting edge educational research... Continue Reading →

The Travails of Teacher Education

Particularly in Higher Education in India, I have long been bothered by a systemic gap in Teacher Education. The gap lies in the preparation of teachers for HE. Today the minimum entry criteria for an Assistant Professor in HE is the National Eligibility Test (NET) or the State Level Eligibility Test (SET/SLET) [UGC Regulations 2009, and the most... Continue Reading →

Learning Histories

What happens to learning histories? Traditionally, in the school or college system, we treat textbooks and references built by experts as the starting point of our education. Students are encouraged to discover through the texts and teacher led activities. However, from one group of students to the other, from one year to the other, it... Continue Reading →

The Importance of Being Anna

Oh! What a tangled web we weave! Anna Hazare, after today, can never underestimate his own importance to India. A repeat of the 1990 Mandal Commission days greeted Delhi today and promises not to die a silent death. The government, not unlike the British colonial government of the past India, is being felicitated with wild... Continue Reading →

Learning Styles and Learning

When I was building up the story for LearnOS, in my mind I had a mathematical model for how a complex of factors, assessed through various instruments (psychometric, inventories, observable analytics), could result in heuristics not only for content presentation, but also for collaboration, tools usage and learning process design. A Learning Weights Matrix mapped... Continue Reading →

The Service of Democratic Education

In case you haven't read it yet, please do read Linda Darling-Hammond's speech at the Teacher's College at Columbia University. It is a profound lament while at the same time a sliver of hope that we may have a real shot at democratizing education through teachers education. Linda paints a grim picture: The United States now... Continue Reading →

Financing Indian Higher Education – Parthenon

The Parthenon group, whose  mission is to be the strategic advisor of choice for CEOs and business leaders worldwide (Case Studies) came out with a report titled Financing Indian Higher Education during the EDGE2011 conference. So did Ernst & Young, with a report called 40 million by 2020: Preparing for a new paradigm in Indian Higher Education, building... Continue Reading →

At TEDxSPSU – Part Six

TEDxSPSU was held on March 12, 2011 at Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, India, with the theme Order from Chaos. This series of posts are what my TEDx presentation was based on. This is the last part - Part Six. Meeting scale with scale means leveraging the diversity, passion and insights of a very large number... Continue Reading →

Higher Education Survey – India

Another news item provokes a sense of deja vu. As part of the EDGE2011 report, I had pointed out the dismal state of affairs in collecting and analyzing educational data in India. In Higher-Ed specifically, the HRD ministry is undertaking a unique, first of its kind survey to collate data and to update it on... Continue Reading →

Order from Chaos – Syllabii Revisions

Another example of how we want more order. Apparently, there are 47 different Boards of Education in India and COBSE (Council of Boards of Education, India) is a body that: ...provides academic support to its member Boards on: 1.     Setting and maintenance of educational standards. 2.     Curriculum planning 3.     Preparation of Curriculum materials and transaction... Continue Reading →

At TEDxSPSU – Part Five

TEDxSPSU was held on March 12, 2011 at Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, India, with the theme Order from Chaos. This series of posts are what my TEDx presentation was based on. There are six parts that shall be published sequentially over the next few days. This is Part Five. We all like order. We... Continue Reading →

At TEDxSPSU – Part Four

TEDxSPSU was held on March 12, 2011 at Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, India, with the theme Order from Chaos. This series of posts are what my TEDx presentation was based on. There are six parts that shall be published sequentially over the next few days. This is Part Four. What doesn’t help is that we... Continue Reading →

At TEDxSPSU – Part Three

TEDxSPSU was held on March 12, 2011 at Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, India, with the theme Order from Chaos. This series of posts are what my TEDx presentation was based on. There are six parts that shall be published sequentially over the next few days. This is Part Three. On the other side, in teacher... Continue Reading →

At TEDxSPSU – Part Two

TEDxSPSU was held on March 12, 2011 at Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, India, with theme Order from Chaos. This series of posts are what my TEDx presentation was based on. There are six parts that shall be published sequentially over the next few days. This is Part Two. Why is it that our children are... Continue Reading →

At TEDxSPSU – Part One

TEDxSPSU was held on March 12, 2011 at Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur, India, with the theme Order from Chaos. This series of posts are what my TEDx presentation was based on. There are six parts that shall be published sequentially across the next few days. This is Part One. I would like to begin with a... Continue Reading →

The Kahani of Learning

For those who are not aware, Kahani is the Hindi word for Story. And this gentleman tells a story like no one else I know. His use of metaphors is wondrous. The Torrent of Words, by the way, thunders down from the Sea of Stories into the Lake of Wisdom, who waters are illuminated by... Continue Reading →

The informal learning debate

The debate at Oxford Union this Wednesday on informal learning was very interesting, more so because some wonderful people on Twitter were actually relaying it blow-by-blow and also because I was testing my multi-tasking skills by juggling between the Twitter conversation and the PLENK session! The motion was: The House believes that technology based informal learning is... Continue Reading →

PLEs and Connective Environments

With a little help from Jatinder, a kindred soul in the making of simulators that happen to attract Brandon Hall Awards, I tried to visualize a model of PLEs operating in a connective environment. It started with a reply I made to Janet and Carmen on what I think should be: ...let us contrast the... Continue Reading →

We don’t need no education

I was reading with interest Will Richardson's Motivating DIY Learners and his links to Alan Levine's The Gaping M Shaped Void for DY Education and then following up on Anya Kamenetz who has written a new book called DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education which I have to read, and I... Continue Reading →

Learning and Chaos

Found an interesting article after talking with an expert in Chaos theory. JoAnn discusses possible impacts of Chaos theory on classroom learning using systems, initial effects, bifurcations and fractals. She also explores existing theory in relation to chaotic systems for learning. Essentially, the point that needs to be explored is whether learning is linear, deterministic and predictable... Continue Reading →

Chaos

The learning process appears to be inherently chaotic. Let us look at the different dimensions. The course content, instructional strategy, quality of instruction, cultural-historical variations, our own personalities, technology experience, accessibility and a host of other dimensions impact the learning process. It is a small wonder that we manage to teach and learn in the... Continue Reading →

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