E learning, learning anytime- Competent Communicator- Project 7

How was your day, asks the mother to her little one coming home from the kinder garten ..guess what , says the boy. .IT WAS A DRAG .. They…. don’t even have a WIFI!!!

Welcome toastmasters to the world in which we stay disconnected to those nearby   in order  to stay connected to those  far away.

Welcome to the world where you can only think of using a PPT to drive home the point The Powerpoint is  dead and gone!!!

Welcome to a world where your kid will know about the Indian independence struggle, greek mythology, the Mahabharatha .. thanks to the game  he plays all day.

We have come a long way .. very long way indeed

From the gurukul system to the modern guru koool system!!!

Where the gurus and sishyas are literally  cooling off their heels in the cozy confines of their rooms

Whether you are scatter brained, a slow learner or a smart student, there is  E- learning for you…

So What is E-Learning?

Learning conducted via electronic media typically on the internet. Successful e learning they say depends on the self -motivation of  the individual to study effectively.

Perhaps that explains why having registered for 3 courses on the E- learning platform Edx , I could not complete a single one and also why my good friend Neelima sailed through her course in Data Analytics  on Coursera.

It also explains why the average e learner is 34 years of age

Here are some more e learning facts:

82% of e learners are under graduates

81% of them are already employed

Over 40% of  fortune 500 companies use some form of educational technology today

Companies which use E-Learning have 50% chances of boosting their revenue.

Kavita Bose of the University of Botswana writes in her paper  on E Learning  that it offers flexible- time and location approach. It helps learning to take place anywhere physical or  virtual .

It is a boon to those who are hard pressed for time , are disabled or for some reason cannot attend regular classes at a specific time  and location. And in many cases its absolutely free .  All you need is a data card!!!

The catch  however is that the  learner  needs to be self – motivated and independent.

What it overlooks obviously is the fact that learning is also a social experience… .serious learning happens for many not by way of  texts but through  the informal learning experiences ,shared spaces  and experiences.

I spent a long time teaching students to appreciate for instance, the bravado of Lochinvar who whisks away his lady love, while at the same time cautioning them to keep their eyes off their  friends in the classroom.

One of those  fun- in-retrospect  moments for me  was  when I discovered  a mobile and this was in 2009 in grade X, in the classroom in a pair of  socks worn by  a student of mine  and triumphantly handed it over to the Vice Principal . Two days later the boy asked, so  mam, you kept it for yourself .. don’t bother .. mein naya le loonga.. koi baat nahi..Really!!!

In spite of the lack of all this excitement in an E- learning classroom, it is catching up across the globe and how???

India leads the chart of the   growth of self-paced  E-Learning by 55% ,China at a close 52% Malaysia at 41%  and so on

The Learning Management system market which was 2.55 billion in 2013 is worth 4 billion in 2015 and is estimated to be over 7 billion in 2018.

If you are looking for opportunities to learn, here are some e learning institutions   to look up:

EDX  founded in the year 2002 is run by MIT and Harvard – has  many useful  certifications and recently IIMB  has also started to provide courses on this platform.

Courses are available in many languages including Hindi and Urdu.

Other  E–institutions include Udacity ,Open Learning Initiative  University of Phoenix ,  The Open University etc .

If you truly enjoy learning , there’s E-Learning for you!!!

Let’s relearn , let’s E-Learn!!!

Over to you toastmaster.

Anu opens her pandora’s box

Anuradha is a pandora’s box,bristling with stories to be told, to be heard and in my lonely hours, she is my solace. So when she walks in authoritatively and takes her place in my front room, pushing a cushion here and a magazine there, I smile indulgently. It’s our soul space, mine and Anu’s. We know it and somehow the universe is willing to let us conspire and connives to bring us these moments of togetherness…

Anu is in a mood to reflect, she is agitated at her inability to react, to respond. Why is it that I am unable to give it as good as I get ? She asks me. I try to answer when she continues, its because , I have never voiced my opinion openly. I am always afraid of hurting, of using words carelessly.I tell Anu,it’s ok to speak up and cause hurt at times. But she nods saying , some where I picked up this idea of weighing words, of not causing hurt. That’s so good, I chip in. She says its not.

She tells me of how she got married, of how her parents in a frenzied moment, fancied a grand old man and decided to hand her over to the grandson. She tells me how her brother said she was being fuzzy when she objected and how she gave in.Has she always been so helpless,I ask concerned at her inability to exert her will. Perhaps,she looks down, until maybe recently…

Anu tells me that inspite of her misgivings, she gave her love,care and respect voluntarily. Then when her brother fell sick, she somehow felt small, it didn’t help that her parents considered themselves so too. It broke her heart to see them look after her brother in those 10 years of his suffering, on their own, without rest,with out care for themselves, anguished, worried ,perturbed. Even more so,it was difficult to see the boy lose his control of his limbs one by one, yet continue to dream of a normal life, of marriage, of having kids of his own, of going to work and  then feeling frustrated at his inability. She told me she hoped to set up a comfortable life for her parents and her brother and how his death was such a shock for her.

Anu looks at me and smiles when she says how she was reading aloud a matrimonial ad in the newspaper. Well-placed nurse,willing to marry anyone, age, caste, colour no bar..and how her brother chirped, I am ready.. write to her .. didi now..

That was one cheerful fellow,she said.

Anu looks at her mobile,gosh, my son is back from college.Catch you later!!! Off she goes,the busybody!

I sit thinking of Anu. Where is she heading?Good luck in sorting out your life,Anu.

One thing I know, Anu is not alone. Its a rare soul that is not perturbed by life’s surprises!!!