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Short Stories

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BORI – Bharat Vidya – Review

Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute has launched I have subscribed and completed the 1st 7 sessions of the Sanskrit Course. 

Pros – 

  1. Good Production Quality of the Videos – Typically, lots of content creators do this in low-budget Green Screen-type videos. Videos are professionally shot. Instructors are appropriately dressed. 
  2. Starts with absolute basics. Many Sanskrit courses start with an emphasis on spoken Sanskrit. This is targeted toward a more global audience. The course starts with vowels and consonants. It’s pronunciation and writing.
  3. Self-study is imbibed within the sessions and not left to the student. 
  4. Revision is also within the video. Trust me, you need to watch it to understand.
  5. Hosted on Teachable. Good long-term decision. BORI chose to focus on content, delivery and outcomes (and NOT technology)

Cons – 

  1. Paid Programmes need to have 1 or 2 free lectures. This will have people purchase the products more. 
  2. Lecture duration has lots of variance. You have lectures from 17 mins to 83 mins. BORI should make a conscious decision to adopt a range of duration. Will lead to higher completion rates. 


Suggestions – 

  1. Open up the Course Comments feature on teachable. You can keep very relaxed SLAs for your TA/ RAs to reply.


Overall, This is a superb initiative. I wish BORI tons of success for this initiative. 

Jigsaw technique of cooperative learning

Jigsaw technique of cooperative learning

Let’s look at the Jigsaw technique.

Jigsaw is a technique for cooperative learning, where each student in a school assumes responsibility for one piece of material and then teaches it to the other members of the group. Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, to shape a full body of information, students match their individual chunks together.

The steps of Jigsaw-I, are here:

  1. Divide students into four to six-person classes per school. When you have the same number of students in each team, Jigsaw works better.

  2. It is necessary to split the content into the same number of chunks as the number of students in each group, splitting the content into four to six chunks. Suppose you’re an instructor of Data Science, and you’re doing a summary of many algorithms. We could split your material into these chunks: supervised, unsupervised, regression, sorting, neural networks, and NLP. A portion of your e-learning module maybe a chunk of content.

  3. Assign each individual in the Jigsaw group to one chunk of text. – group has one individual responsible for one piece of material, and that individual is required to teach the piece to the rest of the group. Students don’t really communicate with other members of their group, they only individually read and research their own chunk of material, so the next step enhances their individual study.

  4. Make students meet in groups of experts. When each student has individually researched their chunk, they gather with all the other students assigned to the same chunk. We name them groups of experts. Students compare their concepts within each expert group and work together to plan a sort of presentation to send to their Jigsaw group. During this period, holes in the understanding of particular students can be filled, misconceptions can be addressed, and we can reinforce major principles.

  5. Students returned to Jigsaw Group. They return to their original Jigsaw groups now that students have learned their chunks and their expert groups, where each student takes a turn sharing their chunk of knowledge. The other teachers, meanwhile, listen attentively. Take notes and ask questions a lot. The rest take their turns until all are done. The others in the group are studying it, while each specialist teaches their chunk of material.

  6. Test all learners on all the materials. The test should be a quick questionnaire to ensure that all learners have a basic grasp of all the content. Include in the quiz all the content chunks.

Jigsaw-II gives the Jigsaw-I a major tweak. The distinction is in the way they handle the test. In Jigsaw I, students are independently tested and earn just one grade. We give two quiz scores to individual students in the Jigsaw II, then each group score is combined to produce a group score. This builds competition between classes and allows learners to work harder to help each other understand the content.

Photo by Ann H from Pexels

Why ‘iteration’ matters_

Why ‘iteration’ matters?

In 1959, the industrialist Henry Kremer…created a series of challenges and rewards…centered on human-powered flight. It was basically the XPRIZE of its day.

The first Kremer prize offered 50,000 pounds for the first human-powered plane to fly a figure eight around two markers one half mile apart.

The challenge was formidable. Dozens of teams tried and failed for more than 17 years, each spending months designing and building their planes just to have them crash minutes after a test flight.

Enter the aeronautical engineer Paul MacCready. MacCready knew that the BIG Problem…was not making a human-powered plane…but speeding up the design-build-test cycle…to learn how to make a human-powered plane,…replacing theory and conjecture…with real-world testing.…

By focusing on designing a plane…that could be rebuilt in hours versus months,…MacCready enabled his team…to dramatically speed up iteration,…

Paul MacCready won both 1st and 2nd Kremer Prize – Read the wikipedia to learn more about his remarkable journey where he overcame struggles (personal and professional)


71 hours of Webinar in Lockdown

71 hours of Webinar in Lockdown

Ever since the Lockdown has started – I have clocked 71 hours of webinar time. Delivered 71 hours. This absolutely excludes daily meetings/ catch-ups etc. This is pure “customer learner time”.

Discipline in School

Discipline in School

My daughter is in Sr. KG. Just like many kids, she is attending online. She sits in the same room as me (I am WFH right now). The disciplining needs these days are unique. BTW – they use Google Stack. Classroom, Meet, Jamboard etc.

  • Switch ON the Camera
  • Sit at your place. No moving around
  • Please unmute
  • Adjust your Camera – I can’t see your face.
  • Don’t use Chat
  • No Recording
  • Break is OVER. Get Back.
  • Call your parents.

The teacher has immense patience to deal with all 30 students. Back in the time – my teachers used to shout, throw chalks, bang dusters and more.

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

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