Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !

Why we need to empower the tech ecosystem in India

With almost every vertical market being transformed by digital technologies, the nature of businesses is changing. To enable the delivery of innovative new services as well as to optimise internal working processes, every sector has to evolve in line with the changing landscape.

Why is this happening, and why now? At the very heart of digital transformation, is data. With the swift and rampant adoption of automation and technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), the world is producing more data than ever before in history. To deal with the data deluge in a way that it can be harnessed to a business outcome is the need of the hour.

For example, reskilling the entire tech workforces with competencies in complex subjects such as Data Science and Machine Learning is easier said than done. However, it is undeniably the need of the hour.

Indian firms must make top priorities of adopting analytics and improving the skills of employees across the organisation, something that has been reinforced by the 2017 Forbes Insights-EY report on analytics. How can we empower the tech ecosystem, whether it is students, entrepreneurs or organisations, to prepare themselves for the era of digital transformation?

Holistic training

The Indian Government’s Smart Cities initiative created a buzz around the country with IoT being touted as the torchbearer for this tech revolution that is set to change lives in India. But even with several companies looking to ‘Make in India’ and creating home-grown solutions, how many tech workers actually have the necessary IoT skills to be able to tackle the challenges that are bound to occur? One of the ways to enable this could be to reduce the gap between technical education and technical skills needed in the job market. Increasingly, some of the world’s leading technology companies are focusing on creating industry-ready workforce through joint Industry-Academia partnerships.

The idea is to provide holistic training to students, in consultation with highly accomplished professors from premier science and technology institutes of the country. To create technology professionals who are market-ready, these programmes evaluate the current academia curriculum required to produce specific skillsets which are relevant in the dynamic technology environment. It is also equally important to ensure the faculty evolves with time and reskills themselves. This is something that NetApp accomplishes through its Academic Alliance and University Research partnerships programmes.

Enabling tech innovators

India has a dynamic and thriving startup ecosystem. In 2015, there were over 4,200 startups, behind only the United States and neck-to-neck with the United Kingdom, according to Zinnov and NASSCOM.

India also ranks third in the world for the number of incubators and accelerators and is seeing a trend of sector-specific incubators and accelerators. To some though, it may look like the heyday of India’s startups seems to have passed, with funding becoming increasingly tight and the competition having increased by leaps and bounds.

In fact, a recently-released entrepreneurial study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value based on a survey done in collaboration with Oxford Economics found that more than 90% of the startups in India fail in their first 5 years. The topmost reason for the failure of most Indian startups is the lack of pioneering innovation. However, all is not lost, what with well-established technology companies aligning themselves with specific technology-led startups whose pioneering innovations have the potential to enable their businesses. Such accelerator programmes can be extremely beneficial for startups, giving them access to business and technology mentoring, networking opportunities, infrastructure such as co-working spaces and tools along with market/customer access.

In turn, the advantage for tech companies is that they can partner with and even learn from the startups to create symbiotic relationships. By actively supporting startups, larger tech giants are enabling the development and advancement of the entire ecosystem where innovation is necessary to survive.

Technology is an enabler, be it for business, the economy, healthcare or education. So, it’s time for the industry to come together to strengthen the tech ecosystem at all levels.

With old technical skills falling behind the fast pace of technology, the only way to truly equip our country with the right set of technical and business skills is by encouraging more collaboration at every level. With tech industry stalwarts, educators and innovators working together, India will be truly prepared for the challenges and joys of digital transformation.

By Deepak Visweswaraiah who is Senior Vice-president & Managing Director at NetApp India.)

Courtesy: The Hindu

Filed under: Article of the Week, Snippets

The 10 facts you need to know about ISRO’s GSLV-Mk III

The GSLV-Mk III-D1 launcher would carry GSAT-19 satellite which has a mass of 3,200 kg.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), the heaviest rocket ever made by India and capable of carrying large payloads, is set for launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on June 5, 2017.

Here are a few facts you need to know about the rocket.

1. GSKV-Mk III  is capable of launching four-tonne satellites in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

2. The rocket is also capable of placing up to eight tonnes in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), enough to carry a manned module.

3. GSLV-Mk III’s first developmental flight, D1, will carry on June 5  the GSAT-19 satellite — developed to help improve telecommunication and broadcasting areas.

4. This is India’s first fully functional rocket to be tested with a cryogenic engine that uses liquid propellants — liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

5. It took about 25 years, 11 flights and over 200 tests on different components of the rocket for it to be fully realised.

6. The 640-tonne rocket, equal to the weight of 200 fully-grown Asian elephants, is the country’s heaviest but shortest rocket with a height of 43 metre.

7. GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C-25).

8. ISRO successfully conducted the static test of its largest solid booster S200 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota on January 24, 2010. The successful test of S200, which forms the strap-on stage for the GSLV, makes it the third largest solid booster in the world. The static test of liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle was done at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre test facility as early as March 2010.

9. C-25, the large cryogenic upper stage of the GSLV, is the most difficult component of the launch vehicle to be developed. ISRO successfully ground-tested the indigenously developed C-25 on February 18, 2017.

10. If successful, the GSLV-Mk III — earlier named as Launch Vehicle Mark-3 or LVM-3 — could be India’s vehicle of choice to launch people into space.

BY The Hindu Net Desk

Courtesy: The Hindu

Filed under: Article of the Week, Snippets

Zika outbreak: What you need to know

The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency.

The infection has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

Some areas have declared a state of emergency, doctors have described it as “a pandemic in progress” and some are even advising women in affected countries to delay getting pregnant.

But there is much we do not know.

What are the symptoms of Zika?

Deaths are rare and only one-in-five people infected is thought to develop symptoms.

These include:

  • mild fever
  • conjunctivitis (red, sore eyes)
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • a rash

A rare nervous system disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome, that can cause temporary paralysis has been linked to the infection.

There is no vaccine or drug treatment so patients are advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

But the biggest concern is the impact it could have on babies developing in the womb and the surge in microcephaly.

What is microcephaly?

Graphic showing babies' head size

It is when a baby is born with an abnormally small head, as their brain has not developed properly.

The severity varies, but it can be deadly if the brain is so underdeveloped that it cannot regulate the functions vital to life.

Children that do survive face intellectual disability and development delays.

It can be caused by infections such as rubella, substance abuse during pregnancy or genetic abnormalities.

Case study: ‘It’s not the end of the world’

The WHO says there is “scientific consensus” that Zika causes microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Some babies who died had the virus in their brain and it has been detected in placenta and amniotic fluid too.

Is it safe to try for a baby?

Some governments have advised women to delay getting pregnant until more is known.

Experts now believe Zika is linked to a broader set of complications in pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and eye problems.

The US Centres for Disease Control says Zika lingers in the blood for about a week and can be spread by sexual intercourse.

“The virus will not cause infections in a baby that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood,” it says.

“There is currently no evidence that Zika-virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.”

The WHO advises couples practice safer sex or abstain for at least eight weeks if they are returning from Zika-affected areas. If the man in the couple planning a pregnancy develops Zika symptoms, then this period of abstinence or safe sex should be extended to six months.

Why is it a public health emergency?

The WHO is worried that Zika is spreading far and fast, with devastating consequences.

Declaring Zika as a “public health emergency of international concern” singles the disease out as a serious global threat. It puts it in the same category of importance as Ebola.

Unlike Ebola, where the focus was on boots on the ground, with Zika the attention will be on understanding the link with microcephaly.

The WHO will co-ordinate countries’ health agencies to conduct trials to determine the risk.

It will also encourage efforts to stop the mosquito that spreads the disease as well as finding a treatment or a vaccine to stop the virus.

The work will depend on money donated by countries.

World map showing past and present cases of Zika virus

Where did Zika come from?

It was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947.

The first human case was detected in Nigeria in 1954 and there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Zika spread map

Most were small and Zika has not previously been considered a major threat to human health.

But in May 2015 it was reported in Brazil and has since spread rapidly.

“Its current explosive pandemic re-emergence is, therefore, truly remarkable,” the US National Institutes of Health said.

How does it spread?

Map of the global distribution of Aedes mosquitoes

It is spread by Aedes mosquitoes. They are the same insects that spread dengue and chikungunya virus.

They are found throughout the Americas except for Canada and Chile where it is too cold for them to survive, and across Asia.

And, unlike the mosquitoes that spread malaria, they are mostly active during the day, so bed nets offer limited protection.

If they drink the blood of an infected person they can then infect subsequent people they bite.

The WHO says sexual transmission is also possible.

How long are people infectious?

The best evidence so far suggests that people can spread the virus via mosquitoes for a week after being infected.

In semen it may persist for two weeks.

Countries have advised safe sex and a ban on blood donations for a month after just visiting such countries and for longer if they developed symptoms.

What can people do?

As there is no treatment, the only option is to reduce the risk of being bitten.

Health officials advise people to:

  • use insect repellents
  • cover up with long-sleeved clothes
  • keep windows and doors closed

The mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so people are also being told to empty buckets and flower pots.

The US Centers for Disease Control has advised pregnant women not to travel to affected areas.

What is being done?

Image copyright Getty Images

Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Castro has said a new testing kit is being developed to identify infections quickly.

He also said more money was being put into the development of a vaccine.

Some scientists are also trialling the use of genetically modified sterile mosquitoes that appear to reduce mosquito populations by 90%.

Meanwhile, efforts are under way to kill the mosquitoes with insecticide.

Zika vaccine

US experts from the National Institutes of Health say trials of a Zika vaccine will likely start in September this year. Depending on the results, larger trials could begin at the start of 2017.

“The very, very best scenario” would be a vaccine ready for the general public by the beginning of 2018, they say.

Courtesy: http://www.bbc.com

 

Filed under: Article of the Week

Board exam countdown: how to keep the blues away

Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi

Study tips, lifestyle tips, checklist and more to handle the challenge.

As March 1 fast approaches, thousands of students who are appearing for the Board exams are likely to become increasingly anxious and get stressed out. “Have I prepared enough? Is there something I have missed? Should I focus more on that particular topic?” Your mind would be abuzz with several such thoughts. No matter how much you study and revise the subjects, the feeling of contentment is difficult to achieve. What can you do to steady your nerves and keep your cool? “The Board exams are like any other exam. The only difference is that they are held in another school. So there is no need for students to panic and they should stick to the normal routine they follow everyday,” says CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma.

Study Tips

Having a preparation strategy is crucial. With merely half a month left for the exams, how can you utilise the time effectively? “Students should divide their time for each subject. They should prepare for the first paper last and for the last paper first,” says Surabhi Gautam, HOD of English, Mother’s Global School, Delhi, who teaches Class X and XI students. “Early morning hours are the best time for revision as retention is better and the body and mind are fresh,” she advises. Note-making is an effective method that can come to your rescue. “Students should prepare notes of the main points because at the last minute, revising the whole syllabus from the scratch is not possible. Notes make it easy for them to recall from memory quickly.”

Another tested method is solving previous years’ question papers and sample papers. “Students can simulate the exam at home. This will give them an idea of how much time they are taking to solve the paper. Based on the result, they can improve their speed and accuracy. The more sample papers they solve, the more confident they will become,” says Rama.

Parents have an important role in play in their child’s success as well. They should be supportive and encouraging and help students develop self-discipline, self-confidence and a sense of achievement. This will go a long way in boosting his/her morale.

Group study is a popular mode of studying. But is it always effective? “Though it can help in getting the doubts and concepts cleared, it does not help in retention. For the final revision, self-study is the best,” says Surabhi.

Lifestyle Tips

During exams, the stress levels of students generally go through the roof. This leads to excessive eating, sleeping difficulties and so on. How can one deal with it? “Students should keep a light diet. This will keep them fresh and not feel sleepy while studying. Breakfast can consist of light food such as porridge or cereals. Fruits and dry fruits are rich in essential vitamins and proteins and their intake should be increased. Whenever students feel hungry or a little bit lethargic, they should go for a diet of fruit such as guava, apple, banana and so on. Also, in case you get an urge to munch something, dry fruits can be kept handy,” says Surabhi.

Several students take the support of coffee or tea to stay fresh. However, this might not be conducive in the long run. “We do not recommend coffee or tea to students as caffeine should be avoided. However, green tea or lemon tea can be taken,” says Surabhi.

Counselling

To help students relieve their stress, the CBSE has started a helpline where school principals, teachers and trained counsellors have volunteered to guide the students. Students from any Board can connect with them and seek counselling. The toll-free helpline number is 1800118004 and is operational from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This year 76 principals, trained counsellors from CBSE-affiliated government and private schools and a few psychologists will address exam-related psychological problems of the students. For online counselling, students can drop a mail at counselling.cecbse@gmail.com and sugandh.cbse@gmail.com.

Checklist

On the day of the exam, it is essential that you stay calm and focused. It is natural to get butterflies in the stomach. To ensure that you don’t miss anything, prepare a checklist. Before leaving your house, ensure that you have the following items: Water bottle, extra pens, ruler, pencil, eraser, sharpener, watch and the hall ticket. Here’s a checklist of things you should do while writing the exam:

  • There is a cool off period of 15 minutes in the beginning which excludes the time you get for writing the exam. Utilise this time for reading the question paper carefully.
  • Although advisable, it is not necessary to answer the questions in same sequence/order. Attempt the ones you know first, but number them correctly.
  • If you’re running out of time, write the answer in points rather than leaving the question.
  • Label the diagrams properly.

Resource box

  • For updates: cbse.nic.in
  • For academic resources: http://cbseacademic.in
  • Online counselling: counselling.cecbse@gmail.com and sugandh.cbse@gmail.com
  • Toll free helpline (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.): 1800 11 8004

In the end, remember that though scoring well in this exam is important, it’s not the end of the world if you are not able to achieve the marks you expected. There are endless opportunities waiting for you.

Keywords: board exam tips, exam preparation tips, board exam counselling, state board exams, CBSE board exams, exam checklist

Courtesy: http://www.thehindu.com/

Filed under: Article of the Week,

Classroom Management Tricks: Timers and a tool to control noise

Classroom Management Tricks: Timers and a tool to control noise | Cool Tools

via Classroom Management Tricks: Timers and a tool to control noise | Cool Tools – The Digital Shift.

 

Filed under: Article of the Week,

S L Faizal’s Experiments with Reading Innovations in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom

Posted on April 14, 2014 by hippocampusschoolservices

DSC06001

It’s not every day that you come across someone like S L Faizal, a librarian who thrives on reading innovations in the school library. From launching the first library blog in India, to promoting information literacy through fun campaigns such as Face-a-book, this librarian’s initiatives deserve to be in the spotlight. Find out more about his experiments with promoting reading in Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, Trivandrum.

The tagline of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom library where S L Faizal works is: Where minds meet and ideas pop up. Clearly, Faizal doesn’t take this tagline lightly. Enthusiastic about discovering new possibilities to help the library evolve, Faizal’s always looking for effective ways to motivate children to read more. Although Faizal has plenty of pet projects, we have decided to highlight three of his most promising library initiatives.

Face-a-book

The concept was developed from the realization that almost all students between the ages of 11 and 17 are connected on social networks like Facebook, and spend less time reading physical books. So they were told this: If you are bored with Facebook, come to your Library and face a book, a real one. Face-a-book – an encounter with a real book – was started in 2012 as a collaborative project between the library staff and students. Thus emerged www.faceabook.info where children could post their thoughts after reading books borrowed from the library. Born out of this initiative was another reading program called Book Ambassadors. As a part of this, 50 students were selected to closely read a book each. Each of them then became the ambassador for the book that they had read (e.g., Ambassador of Harry Potter). These ambassadors were expected to face all queries specific to the book that they were representing. They were also honoured with badges and certificates.

Library Junction

Library Junction (www.libraryjunction.net) was launched in 2010 as an online Academic Social Network with all the features of a popular social network. The targeted users were the net-generation students. Designed as an online collaborative learning platform, members could ask questions, express views, hold discussions, share information, work on projects together, communicate with others and get to know the world better. The project team consisted of more than 1000 students (between the ages of 6 and 17) and 10 teachers from different subject backgrounds. The project won NCERT’s Best Innovative Project for Schools Award in 2011 and KVS Innovations and Experiments Award in 2010.

The prime objectives of this project were:

  • to create an easily accessible and user-friendly online learning platform which connects the library, teachers and students
  • to support student-teacher collaborative learning practices
  • to facilitate information sharing and knowledge creation
  • to cultivate reading habit and inspire love towards books, reading and libraries
  • to develop information and media literacy skills
  • to encourage critical thinking, innovation and creativity
  • to reach out to new-generation library users at their own space and time
  • to make learning more enjoyable

Library-Social Connect (LSC)

LSC is a social responsibility initiative by Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom to connect students to society through books and reading. The project was kick-started in 2013 through a campaign called ‘Gift a Book and Get a Friend’.This was aimed at providing students with better opportunities to find out more about their community – other learning systems in particular – and to make friends through books. Students of the school’s Readers’ Club collected more than 550 books and gifted it to children from underprivileged backgrounds studying in Govt.U.P.S.,Palkulangara. In the spirit of friendship, students from both schools presented cultural programs together, participated in fun activities, told stories, and shared their food. The support and response from students was overwhelming. Visit http://librarysocialconnect.wordpress.com for more details.

Courtesy: http://hippocampusschoolservices.com/2014/04/14/s-l-faizals-experiments-with-reading-innovations-in-kendriya-vidyalaya-pattom/:

Filed under: Article of the Week, In conversation, Library in the News

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day 2014

WBD-web-467x300-en

The history of the written word is the history of humanity.

The power of books to advance individual fulfillment and to create social change is unequaled. Intimate and yet deeply social, books provide far-reaching forms of dialogue between individuals, within communities and across time.

As Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, said in her speech at the United Nations:

Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons.

On World Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO invites all women and men to rally around books and all those who write and produce books. This is a day to celebrate books as the embodiment of human creativity and the desire to share ideas and knowledge, to inspire understanding and tolerance.

Books are not immune from a world of change, embodied in the advent of digital formats and the transition to open licensing for knowledge-sharing.

This means more uncertainty but also new opportunity — including for innovative business models in the world of publishing. Change is raising sharp questions about the definition of the book and the meaning of authorship in the digital era. UNESCO is leading from the front in the new debates about the dematerialization of books and the rights of authors.

By championing copyright and open access, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. We work across the board – from the Creative Cities of Literature network to promoting literacy and mobile learning and advancing Open Access to scientific knowledge and educational resources. For instance, in partnership with Nokia and Worldreader, UNESCO is striving to harness mobile technology to support literacy. To this end, on 23 April, we will release a new publication: Reading in the Mobile Era.

In the same spirit, Port Harcourt in Nigeria has been named as the 2014 World Book Capital, on account of the quality of its programme, in particular its focus on youth and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing to improve literacy rates. Taking effect on World Book and Copyright Day, this initiative is supported by UNESCO, along with the International Publishers Association, the International Booksellers Federation and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

In all of this, our goal is clear – to encourage authors and artists and to ensure that more women and men benefit from literacy and accessible formats, because books are our most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building.

 Courtesy: http://www.unesco.org/new/wbcd

 

Filed under: Article of the Week,

KVS Golden Jubilee celebrations begins

new kvs logo

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today inaugurated the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the present government has invested heavily to promote access and quality in education. He said the Right to Education enacted by his government ensures that every child has the Right to eight years of education. The Mid Day Meal programme has assured over 10 crore children are provided meals which has helped in retention on the kids in schools. Focusing on some of the shortcomings in the present education system, the prime Minister said that the standard of teaching needs to be improved and the problems of high drop out among the school children needs to be tackled. Lauding the role of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Dr. Manmohan Singh said these institutions can help in setting standards in school education in the country. He said about 11 lakh students are studying in about eleven thousand Kendriya Vidyalayas which are providing quality education by using latest information technology and teaching of foreign languages as a subject. He also appreciated the role of KVs in catering to the need of Armed forces whose members were frequently transferred.
Speaking on the occasion the HRD Dr. M.M.Pallam Raju said KVS has adopted technology in a big way in order to bring substantial changes in the class-rooms through ICT enabled facilities. Most of the KVs have their own website, have internet facilities and computer labs, the computer-pupil ratio is one teacher for twenty one students. With the introduction of ICT enabled class-rooms, use of ICT is being made in the class-room which is expected to lead to significant improvement in the teaching-learning process.
Dr. Raju said Ministry has nominated KVS as the Model School Organization for the 2500 Model Schools to be set up under the PPP mode.

Courtesy: Press Information Bureau, Govt of India
RNM/RS
(Release ID :92057)

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The 33 Digital Skills Every 21st Century Teacher should Have

Every single teacher is concerned about his/ her teaching practices and the skills involved in this process. How many times have you wondered about a better way to teach the same lesson you have delivered to an eariler class? How often have you used technology to engage your students and improve their learning ? These are some recurring questions we keep regurgitating each time our teaching skills are put to the test.

It is amazing how technology has changed the whole world giving rise to new forms of education we never thought of. Our students are more digitally focused than any time before. They spend more time interacting with their mobile devices than they do with their parents or close relatives. Admittedly, this digital boom has both  positive and negative impact on our students. Lack of concentration, short attention span, distraction, visual  stimulus overload, identity theft, lack of real world socializing, privacy issues, depression, and many more are but a direct result of the growing exposure to this technology. Studies have even proved that multitasking, which some educational technology experts brag about in relation to the use of today’s technology, reduces the power of our concentration to the half.  We should not, However, only look at the empty side of the cup, the other side is way bigger.
There are  actually several pluses for the use of technology in education and to try and list them  all here is way beyond the scope of this short post. Generally speaking,  no two argue over the fact that technology advantages in education ( and in our life at large ) way  outnumber  its downsides. It is thanks to technology that you are now reading this post and will probably share it with your colleagues.

digital skills for 21st century teachers

There is no blinking the fact  that the type of students we teach today are completely different from last century’s. We , definitely, need to look at some of the skills we, as teachers, need to equip ourselves with to better live up to the challenge. Among all the challenges we would have in education, there is not as daunting a challenge as catching students focus and getting them engaged in the learning process. For this particular reason, and in addition to the skills I initially mentioned in 21st Century Teaching Skills article, I would like to provide you  with another list of  some equally important digital skills that you, as a teacher, need to seriously consider if you want to pave the way for the 21st century teaching. I have added a list of web tools under each skill for teachers to better exploit it.
Please, remember that I have spent many laborious hours working on  this post and all I ask is a credit back to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning when re-using this content somewhere else.

digital skills for 21st century teachers

The 21st century teacher should be able to :
1- Create and edit  digital audio
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Audio Tools for Teachers

2- Use Social bookmarking to share resources with and between learners
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Best Bookmarking Websites for Teachers

3- Use blogs and wikis to create online platforms for students
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Great Tools to Create Protected Blogs and Webpages for your Class

4- Exploit digital images for classroom use
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

5- Use video content to engage students
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

6- Use infographics to visually stimulate students
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

7- Use Social networking sites to connect with colleagues and grow professionally
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

8- Create and deliver asynchronous presentations and training sessions
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of The Best Presentation Tools for Teachers

9- Compile a digital e-portfolio for their own development
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Tools to Create Digital Portfolios

10- Have a knowledge about online security
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

11- be able to detect plagiarized works in students assignments
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Plagiarism Detector Tools fr Teachers and Educators

12- Create screen capture videos and tutorials
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Five Great Screen Capture Tools for Teachers

13- Curate web content for classroom learning
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
10 Must have Bookmarklets for Teachers

14- Use and provide students with task management tools to organize their work and plan their learning
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Great Task Management Tools for Educators

15- Use polling software to create a real-time survey in class

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
15 Free and Easy Poll/ Survey Tools for Teachers
16- Understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

17- Exploit  computer games for pedagogical purposes
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

18- Use digital assessment tools to create quizzes
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Tools to Create and Administer Quizzes

19- Use of collaborative tools for text construction and editing
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Great Free Collaborative Tools for Educators

20- Find and evaluate authentic web based content
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
The Three Effective Ways Teachers Should Know about

21- Use of mobile devices like tablets
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

22- Identify online resources that are safe for students browsing
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Awesome Kids-safe Websites

23- Use digital tools for time management purposes
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

24- Learn about the different ways to use YouTube in your classroom
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

25- Use note taking tools to share interesting content with your students
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

26- Annotate web pages and highlight parts of text to share with your class
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
13 Free Web Annotation Tools for Teachers to Draw, Add notes, and highlight interesting parts in webpages

27- Use of online graphic organizers and printables
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Free Graphic Organizers for Educators

28- Use of online sticky notes to capture interesting ideas
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
13 Free Sticky Notes Tools for Teachers and Students

29- Use of screen casting tools to create and share tutorials
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of The Best Free Screen Casting Tools for Teachers to Record and Share Tutorials

30- Exploit group text messaging tools for collaborative project work
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
9 Free Group Text Messaging for Educators

31- Conduct an effective search query with the minimum time possible
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
The Entire Google Search Guide for Teachers

32- Conduct A Research Paper Using Digital Tools
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

33- Use file sharing tools to share docs and files with students online
A List of The Best File Sharing Tools for Teachers

 

Courtesy: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/06/33-digital-skills-every-21st-century.html?m=0

Filed under: Article of the Week,

Teach the Books, Touch the Heart

imageDomitille Collardey

FRANZ KAFKA wrote that “a book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us.” I once shared this quotation with a class of seventh graders, and it didn’t seem to require any explanation.

We’d just finished John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” When we read the end together out loud in class, my toughest boy, a star basketball player, wept a little, and so did I. “Are you crying?” one girl asked, as she crept out of her chair to get a closer look. “I am,” I told her, “and the funny thing is I’ve read it many times.”

But they understood. When George shoots Lennie, the tragedy is that we realize it was always going to happen. In my 14 years of teaching in a New York City public middle school, I’ve taught kids with incarcerated parents, abusive parents, neglectful parents; kids who are parents themselves; kids who are homeless or who live in crowded apartments in violent neighborhoods; kids who grew up in developing countries. They understand, more than I ever will, the novel’s terrible logic — the giving way of dreams to fate.

For the last seven years, I have worked as a reading enrichment teacher, reading classic works of literature with small groups of students from grades six to eight. I originally proposed this idea to my principal after learning that a former stellar student of mine had transferred out of a selective high school — one that often attracts the literary-minded offspring of Manhattan’s elite — into a less competitive setting. The daughter of immigrants, with a father in jail, she perhaps felt uncomfortable with her new classmates. I thought additional “cultural capital” could help students like her fare better in high school, where they would inevitably encounter, perhaps for the first time, peers who came from homes lined with bookshelves, whose parents had earned not G.E.D.’s but Ph.D.’s.

Along with “Of Mice and Men,” my groups read: “Sounder,” “The Red Pony,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Lord of the Flies,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Macbeth.” The students didn’t always read from the expected perspective. Holden Caulfield was a punk, unfairly dismissive of parents who had given him every advantage. About “The Red Pony,” one student said, “it’s about being a dude, it’s about dudeness.” I had never before seen the parallels between Scarface and Macbeth, nor had I heard Lady Macbeth’s soliloquies read as raps, but both made sense; the interpretations were playful, but serious. Once introduced to Steinbeck’s writing, one boy went on to read “The Grapes of Wrath” and told me repeatedly how amazing it was that “all these people hate each other, and they’re all white.” His historical perspective was broadening, his sense of his own country deepening. Year after year, ex-students visited and told me how prepared they had felt in their freshman year as a result of the classes.

And yet I do not know how to measure those results. As student test scores have become the dominant means of evaluating schools, I have been asked to calculate my reading enrichment program’s impact on those scores. I found that some students made gains of over 100 points on the statewide English Language Arts test, while other students in the same group had flat or negative results. In other words, my students’ test scores did not reliably indicate that reading classic literature added value.

Until recently, given the students’ enthusiasm for the reading groups, I was able to play down that data. But last year, for the first time since I can remember, our test scores declined in relation to comparable schools in the city. Because I play a leadership role in the English department, I felt increased pressure to bring this year’s scores up. All the teachers are increasing their number of test-preparation sessions and practice tests, so I have done the same, cutting two of my three classic book groups and replacing them with a test-preparation tutorial program. Only the highest-performing eighth graders were able to keep taking the reading classes.

Since beginning this new program in September, I have answered over 600 multiple-choice questions. In doing so, I encountered exactly one piece of literature: Frost’s “Road Not Taken.” The rest of the reading-comprehension materials included passages from watered-down news articles or biographies, bastardized novels, memos or brochures — passages chosen not for emotional punch but for textual complexity.

I MAY not be able to prove that my literature class makes a difference in my students’ test results, but there is a positive correlation between how much time students spend reading and higher scores. The problem is that low-income students, who begin school with a less-developed vocabulary and are less able to comprehend complex sentences than their more privileged peers, are also less likely to read at home. Many will read only during class time, with a teacher supporting their effort. But those are the same students who are more likely to lose out on literary reading in class in favor of extra test prep. By “using data to inform instruction,” as the Department of Education insists we do, we are sorting lower-achieving students into classes that provide less cultural capital than their already more successful peers receive in their more literary classes and depriving students who viscerally understand the violence and despair in Steinbeck’s novels of the opportunity to read them.

It is ironic, then, that English Language Arts exams are designed for “cultural neutrality.” This is supposed to give students a level playing field on the exams, but what it does is bleed our English classes dry. We are trying to teach students to read increasingly complex texts, but they are complex only on the sentence level — not because the ideas they present are complex, not because they are symbolic, allusive or ambiguous. These are literary qualities, and they are more or less absent from testing materials.

Of course no teacher disputes the necessity of being able to read for information. But if literature has no place in these tests, and if preparation for the tests becomes the sole goal of education, then the reading of literature will go out of fashion in our schools. I don’t have any illusions that adding literary passages to multiple-choice tests would instill a love of reading among students by itself. But it would keep those books on the syllabus, in the classrooms and in the hands of young readers — which is what really matters.

Better yet, we should abandon altogether the multiple-choice tests, which are in vogue not because they are an effective tool for judging teachers or students but because they are an efficient means of producing data. Instead, we should move toward extensive written exams, in which students could grapple with literary passages and books they have read in class, along with assessments of students’ reports and projects from throughout the year. This kind of system would be less objective and probably more time-consuming for administrators, but it would also free teachers from endless test preparation and let students focus on real learning.

We cannot enrich the minds of our students by testing them on texts that purposely ignore their hearts. By doing so, we are withholding from our neediest students any reason to read at all. We are teaching them that words do not dazzle but confound. We may succeed in raising test scores by relying on these methods, but we will fail to teach them that reading can be transformative and that it belongs to them.

By

By CLAIRE NEEDELL HOLLANDER
Published: April 20, 2012

Courtesy: New York Times, Sunday Review

Filed under: Article of the Week,

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