The art of leading life.


“Time, not money, is the most valuable commodity of all”

We have proven track record of achieving extraordinary success in things, projects or big goals that we never imagine we can do it. Belief in attempting things that are beyond our imagination and achieving them enriches our lives with fulfilment and many times makes us famous and rich. “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible”.--Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

We are living in a very competitive era and we all have onus of making some impact with our way of living life on ourselves and the community around us. We should develop the habit of liking to be challenged, stay self-motivated in spite of negative pressures on us; take big challenges and try our best to accomplish them and people will start noticing you. There is a need for every one of us to make a difference in whatever we attempt to do.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self”. –Aldous Huxley Novelist

We are known from what we achieve.  But our achievements have a shelf life. That means we cannot just stop improving ourselves and impacting others as role models.  World moves dynamically and age, values, knowledge, experiences are constantly progressing and where we stand is what matters. Taking risks and learning from setbacks and moving forward are the only way to stay relevant in this world. There are problems small to complex that needs to be solved and we have the capability of solving many of them.

Some examples are “Genetic sequencing of human genes that help in target medication for individuals instead of generalized prescriptions”.  Similarly we have global warming challenges to solve. We have challenges to reach Mars, Venus and colonize Moon. Our imagination is what matters the most.

There are people who are able to achieve some extraordinary feats such as  mimic human behaviors, experiences and creativity by using some complex machine learning techniques, Mathematical algorithms such as K-nearest neighbor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbors_algorithm ) to analyze music ( http://vfacstaff.ltu.edu/lshamir/) , predict Hollywood movies whether they will be hits or flops even before starting on the projects ( http://www.epagogix.com/ ) and finally computers creating music (we don’t need music directors anymore)  http://geb.uma.es/melomics/melomics.html

But for a beginner in life like young students there is ample opportunity for you to start building your life and leading on the edge of achieving some extra ordinary things. Here are some basic principles of achieving some extra ordinary things.

  1. Ignore the Noise. Once you firm up your mind and motivate yourselves to start working for great achievements you will find naysayers around you all the time. They will try to pull you down. Just ignore them and slowly and steadily start building knowledge and experiences in what you really want to achieve that is beyond your imagination.

           Do remember “It is not who is Right but what is Right” matters.

  1. Have clear objective. Start reading/learning diversified information. Today world needs people who are deep in one knowledge area but also very good in every subject matter that is not related to their fields. I wrote a blog on this http://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

    3. Stay focused: As you continue your journey of achieving great goals you may be distracted         by many events, circumstances, constraints, family pressures and many unknown   factors.            Coming back on track is very important. Doing regular Yoga and Meditation will help you to             regain focus.

                          “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.”

  1. Develop patience. Today digitally connected and instant gratification world is making young students to be restless and expecting instant results. But in order to achieve great things you have to be patient enough and continue your journey until you reach your goals.

                “There is no limitations except those we create for ourselves” ―Lolly Daskal, Thoughts Spoken From The Heart

  1. Watch your progress: we all make judgmental mistakes and sometimes it may be that we may choose a wrong direction. So occasionally checking where we stand in our achievements should be monitored and measured. Otherwise all our efforts may be ultimately futile .

               “Opportunities for us to make a difference are everywhere, and usually they’re found in                   the little things. Everything we do matter. If we keep our eyes open we’ll see that the                      little things – the ‘inches’ we need – are everywhere around us. It’s the 1,001 of                             these little things, or inches, that add up to be the ‘Diff.’

                       Source –      http://www.quickenloans.com/press-room/fast-facts/our-isms/

  1. Not able to accept failure: We should never become possessive of our tasks, work or people we work with. Sometimes if things won’t work out we should be able to ignore our failures and continue on a new path. Possessiveness makes us Sad and creates mental distress and other health problems. I wrote a blog on this subject here http://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/failure-is-not-final/

            “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail”                   .– Ralph Waldo Emerson Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

         7. Question your acts: You should constantly ask why you are doing something in a                        particular fashion. By questioning your way of doing you will get a chance to do it much                better.  I wrote a blog on this

              http://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/where-there-is-a-why-there-is-a-way/

                  “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,                                 something to love, and something to hope for”.–Joseph Addison English                               Essayist, Poet, Playwright And Politician.

Good luck to you.

“Change yourselves and the world is a better place with You” –RK  This is my quote for you.

Now or never. You decide your fate


If you’re young and ambitious and driven, don’t run from the challenge, run towards it. If you’re terrified of learning something new, go find a way to learn and master it. When you are a student and young you have loads of energy and enough time for learning as much as possible. You won’t stay young for ever and student life won’t stay with you for ever. You spend so much time having fun during college that you miss this vital point, that once you are out of college you are on your own to find a job and succeed in career. Campus interviews may give a job for some but that is the worst job with low pay and high pressure to handle.Those students who are smart enough realize the value of time and work towards their goals early on and once they are ready they also look for jobs they like to do in LinkedIn , twitter and Facebook other than campus interviews.

Life is full of temptations and distractions. When you are young you will have more opportunities to waste time, money and your youthfulness.

Start using your mind on what matters most for your life and for your family.Fate is not decided by anyone. It is you who can decide what is best for you and your family.  Time is precious and need to be spend wisely.  One of the best practice you need to develop is to check how you spent your day and what value you derived from all the activities you did during the day. Spending time on  Facebook, twitter or games or chatting or going to movies should be restricted otherwise it will  only add more junk in to your precious mind.  Networking with professionals , spending time to know yourselves , your strengths, your weaknesses and becoming mindful of all your activities will give you enough mental strength, knowledge and courage to find what you love to do for your career. Positive habits help you with clarity of thoughts when you need direction and guidance to succeed in life. Think of your parents, teachers and friends who you should trust for guidance and work hard to learn skills needed for you to succeed.  You may not love it while you’re going through the learning phase, but you’ll carry that learning and success with you  for ever. Once you achieve what you are aspiring for then you will have wonderful life. May be you will be  visiting exotic places and working on some wonderful and challenging assignments.

In order to have quality life, good food and good life you need to work for  it and  prove that you are eligible for good life.

I worked for that and I succeeded and i want you to succeed too.

You can start with small positive actions such as reading for a hour a day something new, doing yoga /meditation for a while etc and as days pass by they become your habits and you will be in a position to control your life and lead a life rather than living a life.

Similarly for getting rid of bad habits you should start with small attempts and then slowly  get rid of that bad habit  completely after some time.

Please do comment your feedback and suggestions.

Tips for great presentations


Most of us are not new to the most boring to the most entertaining , educational and motivational presentations we attend.  What we need to learn is not just what is told in the presentation but we should also watch how presenter /speaker is performing his act. That includes Body language of the presenter , the way the topic is covered, what tools and software is used, how they modulate their voices/moods and gestures  and how much they are interacting with the audience.  There are many online resources to tell us how a great presentation should be. Here are some sample of what is good practices of presentations. Search for some outstanding live presentations after you read this blog

1. Your Face.

While presenting you should attempt to connect to the audience in the room by briefly having a eye contact with each of them.  Audience should feel that you are presenting to them. You should also have smile on your face while presenting. Your facial expression are very important. If you look at the roof, or away from audience , that shows your lack of interest or purpose of your presentation and they will loose interest in what you are saying  and they stop listening to you.

2. Your body

Standing like a statue and reciting your presentation will not entice the audience towards your speech. Having appropriate body gestures adds some excitement to your presentation and keeps audience engaged. Moving around the space you have on the podium should be considered along with your body gestures in order to show your enthusiasm for the subject you are speaking.

3.Your Voice

Your voice is most important part of presentation.How you say what you say is most important for any good presentation. Adjust your volume and tone according the size of the room and the number of audience you have. Silence and space between words allows for emphasis and lets your audience catch up with your ideas. Variation in the volume, tone along with body gestures can bring life to your presentations. Avoid words like “Nothing but””, Like ,  ümmm”, Ähhhaa” Érrrr” etc.

4.Your presentation.

Your presentation should be a mixture of your talk, slides, audio and video and what and how you present on the stage. Engaging Audience for long time needs an outstanding mixture of all the above.  Audience will not have eternal focus on what you are saying until unless what you say matters so much for them. You are presenting for the audience’s benefit not to fulfill your desire to be in the limelight.

5.Practice a lot.

Practice helps you to avoid mistakes and  fine tune your language and other skills of presentations. Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers says that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Practice is the mantra for an outstanding presentations.

6.Develop great opening.

The first 15 seconds are enough for audience to make a impression on you. You should use your opening statements wisely to catch the attention of the audience and  to listen to rest of the presentation. Start your speech by talking about something interesting: Give a staggering statistic, ask a question, make a declaration, or use a quote to draw people in.

7.Organize your presentation.

Your presentation should be a smooth flow of speech  as if you are saying a great story to your audience. Your presentation should have an obvious opening, a body, and a conclusion. Your presentation should also have a mixture of pictures, video and limited text. It is you, who is presenting not the power point. Power point slides allow you to stick to a certain flow and end your presentation on time.

8.Connect with your audience

You need to establish a connection with audience. Use a personal story that reveals something about you or your experience to create a connection. If you are a professional then  highlight your background and expertise to make audience feel comfortable that you are going to add value to their time by listening to you.

9.Check the facility.

Make sure before hand that all the hardware, software, mike setting, Lighting and good ventilation is there in the hall. You should avoid adjusting all the above when audience have already arrived. It is better you check the facility and practice on stage to get rid of stage fear before the audience take their seat.

10.Ask for honest feedback.

No one can claim to be the best presenter and there is always plenty of room to improve your skills. So make sure to ask for honest feedback from your trusted friends in the audience and work in fixing the issues.

11. Change the content for next presentation : If you have to present again the same subject matter make sure it is still relevant otherwise update your presentation topics to match what is latest and the greatest .

Hope you will follow the above guidelines and next time if  i happen to hear you present , i expect you remember the above and show that.  Good luck with your presentation skills. As always I’m there to help you to improve.

Health Care Industry landscape and opportunities


Health care is the most promising field for innovations. This is the most happening field in today’s business landscape. Top technology companies such as Google (with its Glass and Diabetic testing Google Lens and many more), Apple corps with HealthKit are some examples of how technology and health care are evolving.

A wide array of health innovations are coming to the market. That includes Body wearable’s, Software apps, Smart gadgets to monitor vitals of the body and Data analytics to move towards personalized health services and drug delivery by patient.

I spent time in finding the trends and in my view the following are the present trends in Health care.

  1. Self-tracking of your body vitals 2. Gaming solutions to educate about health and wellbeing, 3. Do it yourselves Gadgets   4. Online and mobile patient services 5. Data driven treatments, 6. Physician to Physician connect 7. Cloud based Medical records 8. Remote support 9. Body implants and their monitoring. 10. Patients to Patients online forums 11. Global Standardizing of Health care records, treatment methods and finally constant improvements of Medical gadgets and personalized health care deliveries.

The future looks promising for all the stakeholders in health care and technology companies who are developing some cutting edge gadgets and solutions. There are several school level competitions (Intel science fair, google Science fair) that are promoting out of the box solutions in developing some fantastic solutions to cancer, diabetic treatments.

I categorized the health care industry solutions, players and provided some sample companies information just as a head start. This is the most dynamic field presently and attracting everyone to pitch in. Check the websites and see if some of them are useful to you.

I wrote a blog on finding alternative medicines for a branded drug here for those who cannot afford expensive medicine http://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/sugar-soda-medicines-money-heart-and-your-health/

Medical trainings

http://www.touchsurgery.com/Touch Surgery as a game changing mobile surgical simulator enabling users to practise surgical procedures on their smartphones

http://www.thevisualmd.com/index.php  A rich source of videos and other health care information

http://www.anatomy.tv/tour.aspx another training website for Medical students

https://www.healthtap.com/ A comprehensive health care related website.

Medical devices

http://www.biosense.in/  This company devices that check anaemia and other deficiency of the body.

http://www.janacare.com/ It’s a diagnostic hardware sensor to analyse any fluid — blood, urine, sweat or saliva

https://cue.me/#influenza The device processes biofluid samples in real time, enabling a form of self-diagnosis of diseases.

http://www.withings.com/us/ A smart watch company from France which tracks Body vitals

http://www.artefactgroup.com/content/work/A set of health care devices for various purposes in health care delivery

https://www.scanadu.com/  A product to measure your body vitals and share the information with you and your doctor instantly. (temperature, BP, HeartRate, Oximetry, ECG, HRV, Stress and Urine Analysis)

https://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/health/ Apple’s new Health app gives you an easy-to-read dashboard of your health and fitness data. And we’ve created a new tool for developers called HealthKit, which allows all the incredible health and fitness apps to work together, and work harder, for you. It just might be the beginning of a health revolution.

http://ubiome.com/ A gadget to identify the millions of microbes present in our body and provide details about them

http://mysugr.com/ The app provides immediate feedback on diabetics  and helps you stay motivated.

http://www.remedyonglass.com/ wearable technology to enable doctors to record their conversations with patients

http://www.odondevice.org/  The Odon device is a new low cost instrument to deliver the foetus when complications occur during the second stage of labor.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/quitbit/quitbit-the-first-smart-lighter-and-app-to-track-s?ref=discovery Quitbit to track smoking using software app.

http://googleblog.blogspot.in/2014/01/introducing-our-smart-contact-lens.html a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.

http://www.smartmci.com/ Products for disaster related triage and mass casualty equipment.

http://www.medicaldevice-network.com/contractors/wireless/gallery.html a news web on wireless medical devices technologies.

Medical advice

http://nppaindia.nic.in/index1eng.html NPPA is an organization of the Government of India which was established, inter alia, to fix/ revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995.

http://senstore.com/  Virtual Nurse to advice on whether a doctor visit is necessary. It is a Andriod app developed using sensors, wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence to enable DIY healthcare for anyone, from anywhere.

http://www.patientslikeme.com/ Compare treatments, symptoms and experiences with people like you and take control of your health

http://www.healthcentral.com/ Provides comprehensive information about all health related topics.

Data analytics

http://ginger.io/ Cutting-edge predictive models developed by MIT scientists and engineers. Their data-driven approach helps unlock patterns in the massive amounts of health data we all generate today

http://www.binatechnologies.com/ Bina is the big data science platform accelerating personalized medicine for researchers and clinicians requiring fast, accurate and scalable genomic analysis.

Medical and drug research

http://dudleylab.org/ A research unit to solve critical challenges in systems Medicine and biomedical informatics by identifying and developing novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for human disease through integration and analysis of molecular and clinical data, and also perform research to develop and evaluate methods to incorporate genomic sequencing data into clinical practice.

http://www.cureangelman.org/ A foundations that is working to cure Angelman Syndrome.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-06/aiop-hct052814.php A new way of delivering drugs by designing them as sperms. This tiny sperm-shaped robots could in fact help with in vitro fertilization (IVF) one day, when they’re not delivering your drugs, sorting your cells, cleaning your clogged arteries, or performing other surgical procedures.

Health services

http://www.mydentist.co.in/  Mydentist is India’s largest chain of dental clinics providing high quality & hi-tech dental care services at affordable prices. Prices are transparent and that makes it very attractive for everyone to try this out

http://www.thyrocare.com/ It is the World’s largest thyroid testing laboratory from India.

http://www.credihealth.com/ to provide our clients (domestic & international patients) with information on Indian healthcare providers.

http://www.narayanahealth.org/ A top healthcare provider from India

Medical Philanthropy:

https://watsi.org/ Watsi is a global crowdfunding platform for healthcare that enables anyone to donate as little as $5 to directly fund life-changing medical care for people in need.

Health Talks

http://www.tedmed.com/videos TEDMED convenes and curates extraordinary people and ideas from all disciplines inside and outside of medicine. The result: unexpected connections that accelerate innovation in health and medicine.

Healthcare Competitions

http://www.qualcommtricorderxprize.org/ The XPRIZE developed the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE to spur radical innovation in personal health care technology.

http://www.hultprizesix.com/ The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities

Health care news

http://www.who.int/topics/en/World health organization health news from across the world

http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2010/itw-ventilator-0715 MIT’s innovations of Health care devices and other news

http://www.medgadget.com/   News on Health care and medical gadgets

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/news/industry/?vnsId=31250 Business wire health news

http://top-topics.thefullwiki.org/Top_open_source_healthcare_software:_All a complete information on healthcare software

http://www.medscape.com/  Health care learning

Health care software

http://openboxes.com/ is a supply chain management system designed to manage drugs and supplies for healthcare facilities in developing countries.

Health care Social activities

http://www.doctorshangout.com/ Promoted by Dr. Subrahmanyam Karuturi  of http://www.karuturi.org/ and our family doctor, it is  online community for Doctors and others to connect and use the platform for learning.

http://www.patient.co.in/ helps you to connect with similar patients like you to share disease experiences, treatment options, and knowledge and give support to each other.

http://www.ghdonline.org/ Improving health care delivery through global collaborations. I registered on this site and contribute my experiences in dealing health technology solutions

 

Some good Job related apps and websites


Those who are on the look out for jobs here are some good IOS/Andriod Apps.

1.  Job Talent  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jobandtalent.android&& 

2. Job Campus :  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.jobcompass.market

3.Jobr : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jobr-swipe-chat-discover-your/id870221491?ls=1&mt=8

4.Job Interview questions : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.divyu.HrInterviewQuestions.free

5. Visual Resume : http://re.vu/

6. Job Search Engine : http://www.linkup.com/

7. A Better Interview : http://www.abetterinterview.com/

8. Career attraction : http://www.careerattraction.com/

9. Career Bliss : http://www.careerbliss.com/

10. JOb Interview questions : http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_question_database/interview_questions_3.html

11. Tweet my jobs : http://www.tweetmyjobs.com/

 

Classroom learning with Concert of Technology


While we are learning courses online at Udacity (https://www.udacity.com/  ) and Coursera (http://www.coursera.org/ ),  we are supposed to be actively communicating with fellow students and the course  teams under the discussion forums. During the recent course I took this March 2014, I found out in one of the discussion forum that 10 to 13 year old students are also participating in learning management courses. Technology is allowing individuals of any age, to learn what they want and when they want. It is now possible to individualize instructions in the same way as teachers do to their pupil.

I felt that there is an opportunity to bring my corporate best practices and technology knowledge to schools where the foundation for future behavior of the students gets established.  Smart use of software can help to a large extent to transform school’s methods of teaching but this movement of redesigning classrooms to modern learning experiences needs commitment and a change in mind set  of the  authorities, teachers, parents and students of various schools.  It is a transformation for the school’s management, teachers and all the stake holders.

Education is transforming. But the way education is viewed by our younger generation is troubling. Students stay uninspired and less motivated to learn. Students prefer studies only for getting good marks.Teachers are less motivated to go beyond their comfort zones to experiment new ways of teachings.

STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math)   are necessary for students to help make their countries competitive and them to be employable.  The attitude of just studying for exams/marks is affecting the quality of students’ knowledge and job readiness. Students should move away from subject memorization to training focusing on skills in order to match what modern companies and society is looking for.

Since I worked and lived in the US for several years, I started checking the happenings in the US where STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math)   are given top priority. I found that their national science foundation is pretty serious about reforming education and even private companies are pumping millions of dollars into reforming education.  Their schools are equipped with modern technology tools and software for teaching and by 2019, industry analysts predicts that high school students will take half of their courses online.

Companies like Intel Corporation, Facebook, IBM have given Billions of dollars for reforming education sector.

Companies like Microsoft in collaboration with others are bringing learning experience to millions of children across the globe. More on this here http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/reporting/serving-communities/education/

Many schools in the US are adopting technology practices as their way of teaching. Some examples of schools which are forefront in using   technology to their benefit are as below

https://www.altschool.com/

http://www.minervaproject.com/

Even schools in my place (India , Rajahmundry) are pretty enthusiastic in adopting technologies, games, yoga, field trips etc  for students. But what I felt is that they are doing it more for marketing purposes  and more ad hoc  than a continues improvement process to transform the schools best practices, to be  sustainable and result oriented.

Here is what I think should be adopted by schools in shaping our students’ learning experiences, all round growth and the progress of the country’s youth to a sophisticated living with best practices for a better life in this digital century. Remember Technology is not the solution but it is a powerful tool in transforming the nation’s kids to be smart. 

First let’s separate school (Teachers, class rooms, labs and other infrastructure) and learning.

School: Children are the goal of any school.

There is a strong need for bringing some standards of how teaching is delivered irrespective of who the teacher is.  Every teacher is having his/her own style of teaching but there is a need for some guidelines of best practices so that students don’t feel uncomfortable with every new teacher that replaces earlier teacher.

Schools need to teach a new set of skills that go beyond the classroom syllabus. Modern work practices , daily life and cultural transformation of societies makes it mandatory that kids are taught spirituality, leadership skills, Reasoning capabilities, healthy lifestyles, scientific analysis, presentation skills,  yoga and meditation.

School should focus more on creating lab experiences for children (learning by doing) and based on the syllabus (state or CBSE) they should entertain students to make things in the lab. Syllabus should not be taught chapter after chapter but a holistic look at the content should be considered and  school should plan teaching subjects with all connected content so that students will get to know the big picture of the subject matter.

By teaching for many years teachers become comfortable and good at what they are teaching. But they should realize that world is moving at rapid pace and technology is changing how we live and work. There is a need to demystify technology to help them get to know how their subject knowledge is used by corporate and society and guide them to learn from fellow teachers from across the globe.

“We should not just teach what we know. we should always learn something new to teach our younger generation”.

Examples:    http://betterlesson.com/    http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/     http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/    http://peeragogy.org/

http://www.mathalicious.com/lessons   http://www.kickboardforteachers.com/  http://voxy.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/hardest-languages-infographic/

Management of schools should have innovative mind set and should be ready to experiment and invite industry experts for advice in changing how they function. They should not maintain the status Quo.

Students should be encouraged to participate in global challenges to solve some of the world’s problems , that makes them realize the opportunities that exist later in their career planning. http://www.minervaproject.com/

http://www.wecanchange.com/

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/education/competitions/international-science-and-engineering-fair.html

http://www.coursolve.org/

Students should be encouraged to look around for problems in their own  town/city/villages are facing and should be encouraged to solve them.

Example : http://www.notimpossiblelabs.com/#!about/c15vq

Teachers should help children the ability to find the information/knowledge kids need by cultivating analytic skills, curiosity and research skills.

Teachers should encourage kids to ask many questions. Their curiosity leads them to stay creative but many teachers quickly usher kids to stop asking. It’s an unfortunate habit and it’s one that threatens  creativity and innovation skills of the kid.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children’s_use_of_information

School management should not become complacent with their best practices because we are in a state of constant change across all fields of knowledge, practices and lifestyles. Today’s best practices become redundant within few months so it is better to stay agile and review their position.

Learning:  We live in a very dynamic world where information is rapidly changing. It is unrealistic to rely solely on text book for teaching kids. The text book can best serve as direction for planning syllabus completion for the academic year

Modern technology resources are available to reach out to what we want to learn and when we want to learn due to ubiquitous presence of internet facilities across all tech gadgets we use. School management should review what resources can be deployed for better learning experiences for teachers and students.

Some examples of resources available for Schools that won’t cost lot’s of money but keep them on the cutting edge teaching methods are as follows

https://www.remind101.com/  A safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. Free.

http://www.google.com/edu/apps/#how-it-works  Helps in assignments and other teaching resources.

Moodle : https://moodle.org/  A Complete education portel for teaching, assignments, quizzes and other cool stuff.

http://www.vincigenius.com/

There is a seismic changes happening in education sector. Companies like Google , IBM, Facebook are investing millions of dollars in reforming schools and developing cool technology tools and educational resources. Bill and Melinda gates foundation, governments, NGO’s and many enterprising individuals are reshaping school education. Schools should continuously monitor the trends and  adjust , align to modern best practices.

Example: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/05/06/google-developing-free-lms-as-part-of-apps-for-education.aspx

https://www.khanacademy.org/

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/US-Program/College-Ready-Education

Students should be made aware of what’s happening in other parts of the country and globally and they should be encouraged to connect with fellow students from across the globe for exchanging best practices of learning not just subject matter but also cultural differences and lifestyles of that country.

Example : http://www.newschools.org/venture/school-of-one

Schools should develop a framework of higher order thinking and skills enhancements while teaching kids.

Example of higher order thinking while a subject is taught by the teacher is as follows.

Type of thinking Encouraged Questions Posed
Memory Who invented Mobile Phone ? (Martin cooper)
Convergent thinking How has Mobile phones affected our daily lives?
Divergent thinking If there are no Mobile phones how would history have been changed?
Evaluative thinking What would you do when no mobile phone on earth works?

School assignments should help kids to discover and should be inquiry based drawing upon higher order thinking skills. Example Social studies. Ask students to play a role of a political leader and ask him/her  suggest some good policy matters that benefits millions of people.. Maths :  Using internet find 10 most innovative companies of the world, their products, their best practices and make a bar graph of the same.  Science: Design a useful product to a local merchant and demo it to them. Language: Read a book or analyse this article I wrote and put it as a comment.

Students should be taught time management skills. They should be able to allocate time for learning, yoga, meditation, sports and subject contents.

Parents should be made part of this whole process and should be engaged in all the efforts that schools is attempting,  to prepare their children for a digitally connected  world.

Ultimately I would say to school managements that “If you are not living on the edge you are  living in a crowded space of too many me too type schools”

You are all welcome to reach me thru your comments.

Thanks to kids from “Tennis Couching Centre” Rajahmundry for valuable feed back of their experiences and to the coach Laxman for the support.

Uncommon Sense and Common Nonsense


“What the human being is best at doing, is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”

The above statement reminded me the struggle I’m going thru to convince that there is a greater need of modernizing education to prepare our young  students to the fast changing corporate needs. All that I see with students and the college managements are that they make sure the old “Status Quo” remains in spite of knowing how technology is shaping our daily lives and how influential it is in learning new skills.  I tried to categorize the problems in to the following segments to go deeper into the main problem and understand the core issues rather than come to conclusions/answers to the problem.

Economic: Colleges divert scarce money to activities such as functions, worthless seminars, meetings and other unproductive activities just to garner media attention with an intention of getting more admissions for the college or making sure their photos and news about them is printed. There is no mechanism in place to check the return on Investments of Seminars, meetings and press releases etc.

If this money is used in building laboratory’s students can make something useful to society. The quality of the outcome from the practicals in the Labs will bring repute to the college and that will make the college the most sought after for student admissions. The path to reputation of quality education/college is hard and most of the college managements take the easy routes of popular unproductive mechanism to sustain.  .

Students on their part should make sure they are getting skills and education they deserve for what they pay the colleges. After all they are the customers of the college. Instead most of them are influenced by cinema, media and other factors that divert their efforts, creativity, and energy to wrong issues that won’t help them to acquire skills, education, and knowledge to succeed and have good life for long time. They struggle after college to get into jobs they love.  Most depend on luck to get jobs but later repent the life of working on something that they do not like.

Functional: The class room teachings, planning of syllabus are most unscientific and still continue traditional way. Today’s awareness levels of students , their interests, their attitudes towards life, their learning abilities and the students attentions should be considered while planning the syllabus and the way a professor teaches their students. Universities and Colleges should make it mandatory for students to learn from “Massive Online Open Course ware (MOOC’s) taught by top professors from elite  universities of the world. University and colleges should grade on practical projects that students work on to  solve the problems faced by society.

Students on their part should allocate proper time to learning vital skills required for their career;  not for tests and marks. They should realize that there is vast difference between reel life (cinema type life) and real life and without putting some efforts they cannot get the skills they need to succeed. For their projects they should look at the challenges the nation faces and provide solutions in the form of their project submissions.

Students should be encouraged to take challenges posed by global philanthropic organizations such as Bill and Melinda gates foundation http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ , Hult prize (http://www.hultprizesix.com/)   and http://www.xprize.org/

I wrote an article “chance favours the connected Mind” to elaborate on how technology is reshaping what we learn and how we learn.click here to know more http://skillsnest.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/chance-favors-the-connected-mind/

Access: Colleges lack modern class rooms with fast internet connections, practical labs and other teaching aids. This is again due to the wrong priorities of the colleges to divert funds to other areas which won’t help in bringing quality education and skills to students. Even traditional libraries are not attracting enough students to reading because they are not treating that as priority and just act as record keepers of books.

Today the need of the hour is more practical labs and less class rooms. Traditional Class rooms should be replaced with Online teaching and online lecture videos. 

Colleges also bring some eminent scholars for seminars or meetings but it just concludes within that day and follow up on the seminars outcomes are rarely followed subsequently by staff and students. Most of the managements are more interested in media news of the activities on the next day. That is the only follow up I keep seeing.

Students on their part seriously lack interest in reading and attending Seminars. They should develop reading and listening habits to learn new skills. They should realize that reading good books, listening to a professional  is time well spent.

Students should network with the professionals that come to college for subsequent relationship buildings and getting to know what industry is expecting from them.

Social:  Parents and society is influencing colleges/school to a large extent in shaping how these colleges/schools function. In schooling parents are expecting their kids to get the best marks rather than worrying what their siblings are learning. Most of the parents don’t care whether their siblings are having physical exercises, knowing the importance of yoga and meditation and getting the right knowledge and skills to succeed in life and career.

At college levels most of the parents are forcing their kids to join what they think is right for the students instead of knowing the interests of their kids.

There is a dire need of constructive role for parents and society to play in shaping how we educate our youth.

First Parents, tutors should learn the trends that are happening in Industry and in particular how education is changing due to MOOC. Parents and all concerned authorities, business leaders should  closely work with colleges and help/force colleges to deliver what they are supposed to. Colleges on their part should work closely with Industry and constantly upgrade the syllabus to meet the modern corporate requirements.

Equal importance should be given for sports, Yoga and Meditation because this are more important in today’s corporate lifestyle for a balanced, healthy life.

Students on their part should realize that they should give equal importance to learning and acquiring new skills to take on the challenges of modern industries. They should realize that they are not only shaping their destiny but the overall destiny of the country and the quality of living standards of society.

The whole world is becoming competitive and many are looking at India because we the only nation with maximum young population with average age of 26 years.  Here are some links related to our state of education in India.

http://forbesindia.com/article/briefing/primary-education-in-india-needs-a-fix/35287/1

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/world/asia/indian-universities-still-lag-behind-in-world-rankings.html?_r=0

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/11/india-education-state-private-school

http://www.asercentre.org/Keywords/p/205.html

http://mhrd.gov.in/

http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/education/higher-education-in-india-how-it-looks-and-where-does-it-stand.html

http://www.norrag.org/es/publications/boletin-norrag/online-version/a-world-of-reports-a-critical-review-of-global-development-reports-with-an-angle-on-education-and-training/detail/india-ranked-at-105-in-the-education-for-all-development-index.html

So my pursuit of bringing this kind of awareness will continue  to convince the college/school management and parents about the seismic shifts in imparting education to meet the modern society’s challenges. The most uncommon Sense of changing dynamics of education and skills enhancement to meet modern industry requirements, needs lot of attention but the challenge to eliminate  Common Nonsense of today’s educational institutes and students attitudes towards learning is a big challenge and i’m hoping to hear from you what we can do together. Comments are  much appreciated. Thanks