Rough Book and 3 Idiots

Here is a story you shouldn't miss. Rough Book is a movie built somewhat parallel to the theme of the movie 3 Idiots and has some common reflections on commercialization with the Nana Patekar movie, Paathshaala. Rough Book is a muted drama focused on the teacher and her friends in a K12 setting - preparation... Continue Reading →

Crying Woolf

A group of academics hailing from top universities have decided to create the world's first ever blockchain university called the Woolf University. They have released a rather illuminating whitepaper on the concept. Essentially, the University will disintermediate the traditional university structure and leverage 'trust' through an alternate federated structure powered by a non-profit trust and... Continue Reading →

India’s syllabus haircut

The HRD Minister is advocating a syllabus haircut for India. Following on the heels of the initiative by the Delhi AAP government in 2015 ("Delhi's Syllabus Haircut"), which apparently went nowhere, the BJP government has tried to give it a populist national character by inciting NCERT to trim the syllabus by 50%. Subsequently NCERT, the... Continue Reading →

Educracy

Recently at a conference, someone asked me about the future of publishing. Remarking that it was a interesting question the answer to which I really did not know, which evoked much mirth, I ventured further to assert that the publishing and edTech are both a product and a function of the underlying system of education... Continue Reading →

The Demonetization of Indian Education

Very recently, the Indian government announced a demonetization measure by removing 500 and 1000 rupee notes as legal tender, ostensibly to combat cash hoarding (black money) and counterfeiting (which was helping fund terror). Of course, we have seen the impact of fiscal demonetization on the economy in the short term, though the long term prognosis... Continue Reading →

An open letter to CABE

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meets on October 25, 2016 to discuss many important issues. The apex education advisory organization features education ministers, HRD officials, key institutional heads and key influencers from outside government. The CABE takes the important decisions about education in our country. This time around, on the tentative agenda are... Continue Reading →

Courage, Craft and Character

There are three things I believe are necessary for success in product development, and perhaps in other endeavors in Life as well. Courage. You need the courage to dream on a very wide canvas, the courage to fail and make mistakes, the courage to acknowledge what can defeat you and persist in your efforts to... Continue Reading →

The corruption of the SWAYAM RFP

It seems the SWAYAM RFP dated 21st November, 2015 is actually inspired from previous RFPs made for other contexts. You have to only compare the SWAYAM RFP with two earlier RFPs: National Career Services Portal RFP dated  13th August 2014 A JNU RFP on eLearning Development dated 5th February 2015   To give a sense... Continue Reading →

Draft New Education Policy – India 2016

The recommendations to the NEP 2016 had come out earlier. Now a draft of the NEP 2016 has been made available - Draft NEP-2016. There is a crowdsourcing Wiki that has been set up as well. Here are a few comments. Vision The National Education Policy (NEP), 2016 envisions a credible and high-performing education system... Continue Reading →

2015-Slow year for edTech

This past year has been very eventful. Here are some of my impressions of 2015. xMOOCs have strengthened this year. The major players have received lots of new funding, added 1800 new courses, 100 new credentials, doubled enrollments to 35 mn students and co-opted many new partners from academia (over 550 universities in all) and... Continue Reading →

The de-amplification of Amplify

Nearly five years ago, Newscorp's Rupert Murdoch bought over Wireless Generation (90% for USD 360 mn, such a hit) with the belief that “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach... Continue Reading →

The Myth of Learning in India

Update (Aug 6): IIT Roorkee has decided to re-admit the expelled students, on certain conditions.They have taken a lenient view, considered the situation again and accounted for the impact of the expulsion on the students' future. #inanity-of-it-all IIT Roorkee, a premier engineering institute of India, recently expelled several first year students for not meeting the... 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 →

India MOOCs and eLibrary

Massive Open Online Courses  (MOOCs) and OERs have captured the imagination of our polity. The new Government's election manifesto clearly specifies MOOCs, although not under school or higher education, but under Vocational Training as a means for "working class people and housewives to further their knowledge and qualifications". Further, there is a firm push, although... Continue Reading →

Blended Learning in India

There are many positives happening in EdTech in India. A government led mission called the National Mission on Education using ICT (NMEICT) has created massive amounts of content for engineering, arts and humanities, social sciences and natural science. It has also delivered the under 50 USD tablet, Aakash and a slew of innovations including Virtual... 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 subversion by MOOCs

Stephen Downes puts it succinctly when he says: MOOCs were not designed to serve the missions of the elite colleges and universities. They were designed to undermine them, and make those missions obsolete. Yes there has been a great rebranding and co-option of the concept of the MOOC over the last couple of years. The... Continue Reading →

Business and MOOCs

Jay Cross anchored a fascinating conversation on Google Hangouts recently. Thinkers and practitioners on both sides of the MOOC divide (x-MOOC and c-MOOC) such as George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, Lal Jones-Bey, Jerry Michalski and Terri Griffiths came together. The purpose was to discuss how MOOCs could possibly be used by businesses. Dave (at around... Continue Reading →

W(h)ither Indian Education

Much of the discussion I am involved in (I am lurking here) with some senior education leaders from industry, government, academics and NGOs here is revolving around issues such as: The Regulatory aspect: In India, with its regulatory restrictions, is it possible to find a parliamentary/administrative way to foster a marketplace (euphemistically called an exchange)... Continue Reading →

Educational Analytics Conference Session

Recently (Nov 6), I had the opportunity to convene a session at the FICCI Higher Education Summit 2012 titled Powering the Higher Education System through Information and Analytics. Please also see the pre-session page on this blog. A summary presentation is provided below. I had a really interesting panel reflecting government and corporate interests with... Continue Reading →

A billion dollars for teacher education

The Indian government has allocated USD 1.15 bn or INR 6,308 crores for teacher education in the 12th Five Year Plan under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Teacher Education. Approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in March, 2012, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) formally approved it this... Continue Reading →

NCERT Review of Teacher Education in India

I have no words to describe the contents of this report, Comprehensive Evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Restructuring and Reorganization of Teacher Education, NCERT, 2009. It is a must read for those involved in Teacher Education in India. The Scheme was initiated in the 8th 5-year Plan for India (1992-97). It was from this... 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 →

Small Scale Education

Education has always been considered by planners as being for the people. Consequently, a lot of effort by private and public entities have placed great effort and emphasis on just one aspect - how do we educate people? This is not entirely democratic. A democratic view of education also considers education to be by and... Continue Reading →

De-committee-ifying Education

There is lots of talk about de-commodifying education. I would like to talk about de-committifiying education. Or at least, giving a new terms of reference to committees. Perhaps the standard Yes Ministeresque response to this post, would be to set up a committee to study the proposal to de-committify, but I am hoping someone will listen. With all... Continue Reading →

Educating Educators

One of my favorite rants is that "you cannot educate teachers using the same methods you use to educate your students". Teachers are going through no different a process than their students. The National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education document states (quoting the National Curriculum Framework 2005 document): Experiences in the practice of teacher education... Continue Reading →

Report on Open Distance Learning in India

The following is a brief summary of the Madhava Menon report on ODL in India titled "Report of the Committee to Suggest Measures to Regulate the Standards of Education Being Imparted through Distance Mode". The report was released in 2010 it seems. The report defines Open Distance Learning (ODL) as a term that encompasses the "open"... 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 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 →

Assocham Conference, New Delhi

The Associated Chambers of Commerce held a one day conference called the Assocham National Conference on E-Education & Distance Education - Innovative & Creative models in Higher Education on Dec 8, 2011. This conference was a small gathering of people from different parts of the education sector. I tweeted some of the proceedings with the hashtag... Continue Reading →

EDGEX 2012 Conference New Delhi

It gives me great pleasure to announce a unique conference on educational research and innovation called EDGEX, to be held at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi from March 12-14, 2012. The two main themes of the conference are: Learning X.O - marking the significant and ongoing developments in learning and teaching, particularly in informal learning, connectivism... Continue Reading →

The tyranny of content

I have had the opportunity to interact with some school textbooks and instructional designers in my lifetime (and I am rediscovering some now). I have also had occasion to browse through India's National Curricular Framework, 2005. The puzzle that has confronted me has been that although there seems to be no dearth of good thinking... Continue Reading →

Consumer Choice in Education

A chance conversation prompted me to think - why and how does a consumer student/learner decide on taking a course? The answers are many depending upon the stage in the student lifecycle, context and many other factors. So it is interesting to see how marketing and sales functions view the problem of student acquisition, how... Continue Reading →

Scaling the teacher qualifications challenge

Yet another example of a one size fits all approach has manifested itself recently. An excerpt from an article in the Indian Express on June 29, 2011 titled B.Ed. must, alternative schools weigh options reads: At Rishi Valley School and Doon School, many teachers have been working for a long time without a Bachelor’s degree... 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 →

Parallel Universe of Education

Thanks to Aradhana Sharma's article by the same name in the Times of India, I got some more information on the informal/formal coaching/tuitions marketspace in India. I have always believed that this marketplace place is under-represented, specially the informal side of it. First, some background. Coaching is an inclusive term defining academic interaction on commercial... Continue Reading →

3Cs of Education

At the risk of sounding over-simplistic, I think there are 3 cores or 3Cs of education - Capability, Capacity and Conscience. I think that these three encapsulate all that I feel or understand about our educational systems. Capability For educational systems, this is the ability to, systemically, foster a society where educational needs of its... Continue Reading →

EY Reports – Higher Education in India

During the EDGE2011 conference, Ernst & Young, came out with a report called 40 million by 2020: Preparing for a new paradigm in Indian Higher Education, building on its earlier report with FICCI (Making Indian Higher Education Future Ready, 2009). This post deals with the salient analysis of and in the report. At the outset, overall... 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 →

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