10 Ways to Enhance Memory for Children!

By Crystal Maria Andrade,

You may wonder how you manage to remember information for a test. Parents often worry how well their children are learning and whether schools are meeting educational standards. Parents and teachers have big dreams that their children and students should become successful in their life. But, whether you succeed or not, all depends on this one aspect: your mind.  Your mind matters and what matters more is your memory. Memory has three stages which include sensory information (replica of what you see and hear/ also called encoding), short-term memory (active/working memory also called storage) and long-term memory (permanent memory/retrieval). Learning is the outcome of memory and learning depends on how well you have processed the information. As ability to recall information is needed for students, the information they learn should be passed on from the short term memory to long term memory in order to retain information during exams, tests or whenever required.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1056131

Here are some tips for learning that will enhance your ability to recall information and achieve excellent results:

How much is too much:  There’s a need to understand the span of attention of students and their capacity to store information in their working memory. It is not educationally sound to impose on the students huge amount of information for long period of time, this will leave them confused and clueless. Instead, giving them limited information for study and helping them to learn with vigour will aid in retaining the information for a longer period of time.

1. Adding Emotion: Anything taught with the element of emotion will be easily retained in our memory. This means students are likely to recall information that induces an emotional response. Teachers can use this tactic in English, History and Science classes. For example: if the lesson is on galaxy, the teacher can induce emotions in the students by showing them videos or pictures of the galaxy and stars.

2. Reading, writing and recollecting: Anything which is read out loudly will enhance your retention than just reading it. Writing down the important points or facts will help in retention and will be useful while studying for exams. Recollecting is the ability to retain the information after reading and writing. If you have encoded the information efficiently then you will be able to retrieve the information.

4. Rehearsal: It is said ‘Practice makes a man perfect’, therefore, rehearsing information till you master any concept is very important. Rehearsal improves your memory and gets etched onto your long-term memory. Also, rehearsing the right information is essential because unlearning the inaccurate information which is passed on to the long-term memory will be a challenging task. Hence, practice over time and ace your exams without cramming all information in one night.

5. Give meaning: If there is any subject which has many names, dates and figures; then it is always better to associate these facts with something. Giving meaning to meaningless concepts or information through ways such as poems, mnemonics, music and rhythm will improve retention of this information for future use. Nevertheless, you can use an aid such as chunking which plays a significant role in enhancing the short term memory transfer to long term memory. Chunking numbers, colours or aspects in groups helps in remembering and learning the concepts faster.

6. Make connections: It is vital to make connections or associations between the new information and the previously learnt information. The higher the number of associations made, the more chances of retaining that information easily and this in turn induces your memory power through which you can retrace the information easily.

7. Avoid distractions: While studying, choose a quiet and peaceful environment, comfortable seating and table, bright light, proper ventilation and avoid distracting things around you. Here, distracting elements include anything that diverts your attention, for instance: video games, T.V., music player, phones, and the like. While studying, if distraction persists then encoding the information suffers leading to forgetting. Hence, for encoding to be efficient you shouldn’t give ways to distraction instead concentrate and give maximum attention to avoid the inability to retrieve information.

8. Get some rest: Take a break between learnings. You have heard that ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, so take breaks after few hours of studying and relax your mind. Not only breaks but physical exercise and sound sleep strengthens your ability to retain the information. Sleep is very crucial to boost your memory. Sleep helps us learn new information and pass the information to the long-term memory. However, for most of the problems including imbalance of mind and body, stress, preparing for exams- the best prescription commonly given is get some sleep! So, say goodbye to cramming all night.

9. Teach others to help you revise better: Whatever you have learnt will be useful when you share that knowledge to another person. So, one of the best ways to learn is to teach what you’ve learnt to another person. This is the reason why teachers have mastered the concepts they teach because they have to teach the same lessons and concepts to many batches in school. Adding to this, if the concepts are thought using real life stories and examples or experiments, then the students are likely to remember them for life because anything visual stimulates our attention and learning takes place faster.

10. Questioning enhances learning: Asking questions like why, how, what helps in learning concepts well because here the reasoning, thinking and analysis is involved. Anything which triggers our mental processors helps in learning the concepts faster and better. Finding answers to these questions makes memory work out as all the mental processors are involved making the memory charged and active. Besides, another way to ask question is by taking the quizzes or tests which will help in reasoning and in a way enhance your memory power. Here, the end process will be getting feedback from the tests which plays a vital role in knowing what is right and what is wrong. All this collectively heightens your memory power because your brain is at its maximum functionality.

These are the 10 ways which will help you learn efficiently and remember information so that they can be retrieved whenever in need. If these procedures are followed anyone can learn anything quickly and retrace the information efficiently. However, all these procedures have to be followed in a systematic way and one shouldn’t end up multi-tasking. The reason is because our brain processes and stores the information systematically. This is not practiced then certain glitches can occur in the process of learning which will lead to forgetting. Now, you know that the old myths of rote learning don’t work. These guidelines will help students as it will help them reason and learn using the above methods which will have a great impact on the way they can retrieve information whenever asked for. Therefore, retention depends on how well you make use of these sure-fire ways to become more effective learner by simply enhancing your memory power for excellent results. Ultimately, don’t forget that remembering is a skill that takes lot of practice and learning is a life-long process and has to go on for our existence on earth. So, happy learning as memory is like a computer, you need to press Ctrl + S (Save) for all important information, press Backspace for all irrelevant information and press Delete for unused/useless information. Now F5 (Refresh) your mind and practice these useful methods.

About the Author:

Crystal Maria Andrade is a Content Developer at Learnhive. Nature, travelling, music, movies and fun interests her. She has a profound passion for writing. She believes making the most out of every opportunity. Her hobbies include collecting quotes, learning new words and playing crosswords and puzzles. She’s a fun-lover and is surrounded by fun-loving people. Spreading happiness is her mantra.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K-12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

 

Are you giving enough blended learning for your child?

By Jenna Murdoch,

Most of the parents feel that in spite of sending their child to tuition and school, the classroom learning has not made much of an impact on the child. The reason could be that the child has not understood the concepts or that they maybe exceptionally talented that they are bored of learning the concepts. This is due to being exposed to only classroom learning and not practical knowledge. Find out what blending learning is all about and how it will have a positive impact on your child’s learning.

Within the modern school system, students are arranged primarily by age rather than by ability. This originated with the industrial model of schools, where students were all trained in the same way to prepare them to take the place of another on the assembly line and are moved through the school years in lock step. Of course, we are no longer in the industrial age – we live in a knowledge economy where not everyone is expected to be on the same path, yet still, students are put in classrooms without full regard to where they stand on the learning spectrum.

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1109761

Pitfalls in levelled classrooms

In order to adapt to the new economy, many schools have attempted to address students of differing abilities by creating leveled classes and introducing opportunities for more advanced students such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Further, teachers have attempted to design more “modern” curricula that deviate from the traditional industrial model by using new in-class methods that encourage collaboration and project-based learning. However, even within these leveled classrooms, there is considerable variance in students’ level of comfort with coursework – instructors still have to appeal to the most common denominator in order to address the largest audience possible. As a result, students who have trouble keeping up may give up on understanding the material while students who are exceptionally talented in a certain subject may become bored or even discouraged.

Online education aids practice and preparation

In many subjects, online education may be a way for students who don’t fit into the common denominator to complement in-class instruction. Online education is a particularly effective complement to work in mathematics, since mathematical reasoning involves practice and objective problem solving. Students who are having a hard time keeping up with their classmates can do online practice problems until they have a better handle on the material or watch tutorials that take them step-by-step through the process of solving certain types of problems. Learners who are ahead of most of their peers can use online education as a way to solve more challenging problems that can give them a leg up in preparing for future coursework and can even help get them prepared for the level of mathematical reasoning that is expected of students applying to top universities.

Optimizing online learning platform

Though online instruction can be an excellent complement for classroom materials, many parents and students have a hard time deciding what features to look for when attempting to choose an online learning platform. Many online education providers have extremely limited materials or demonstrate the same generalized approach that drives students to online resources in the first place. In order to maximize the benefits of complementary online education, parents and students should look for platforms that have broad content and have adaptive resources that track a learner’s progress and generate additional materials based on the user’s demonstrated performance.

Blending in-class and online instruction

Blending in-class instruction with adaptive online complementary resources can allow students to move at their own pace and can empower them in the classroom.

About the Author:

Jenna Murdoch is a student at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She is an instructional technologist who is interested in evolving learning models.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K-12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

10 activities to engage with your kids in

By Tajinder Singh

I want to share how parents can get passionately involved and engaged in various sports and activities that their kids enjoy doing. This is a follow-up to my previous blog on ‘How involved are you in your kid’s education’

Here are some edutainment activities you can do with your kids – some we have enjoyed doing at home with our 2 kids, and there are others that I know, are avidly done by some of my friends and families. And often some friendly competition with your kids, in some of these activities, can spice up the excitement.

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/299893

  1. Picture puzzle boards – you can get various difficulty levels for various age groups, plus there is a collective sense of achievement (and sometimes relief)
  2. Treasure hunt – good one to organize inside (or outside) your home. Sometimes include your neighbour’s kids and their house too!
  3. Building blocks – works well with kids in the 3-7 years age group.
  4. Plant an indoor house-plant – for the nature-inclined kids. A moneyplant is easy to grow and maintain.
  5. Wash your car or motorbike together on summer day – Usually anything with water is fun, and you have a shining car/bike at the end.
  6. Bead-work – Girls more inclined towards this and you can get the GrandMa involved too.
  7. Go on a bicycle ride with your kid(s) – Make sure there is enough open space or the side roads are not busy.
  8. Dance at home – find songs that you both like and the tune is easy to dance with. Exercise and have fun at the same time.
  9. Play tag – never goes out in style with younger kids.
  10. Do you have something that you enjoy doing the most with your kids? Please post here.

About the Author:

Tajinder Singh Sidhu is a Founder and Director at Learnhive. He has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles designing and managing complex technology solutions. Prior to Learnhive, he worked for over 14 years at Goldman Sachs in New York. He holds a BTech degree in Computer Science & Engg from IIT, Delhi, and a Master’s in Computer Science from College of William & Mary, Virginia. He has taught students as part of the NSS scheme in India, and currently is a teacher with the Literacy Volunteers of America.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

3 ways to help your children learn better and 5 tips to make home work effective

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder, Learnhive

Reinforcing learning in our child is something all of us are very keen about.  By virtue of my few years as an educationist and as a parent of a growing boy, I experienced and noted a few interesting ways to help the process of learning including completing school homework which I found quite successful and thought would share.

Tips to help your child learn

1. Teach reading of maps

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/193524

Reading a map is a skill that is of great help and can be made very interesting. Along with your child, try and create a small map of the house and your immediate locality and mark the places the child visits every day. Create interesting signs to depict information and then make a legend of the same. You can mark as much information as possible on the map so that it is used during discussions at home. Now when you get a real map the child will find following the map much easy.

2. Discuss recent purchases

In the next step, take up discussions based on things that are bought and then relate them to their place of origin. For example if you buy a new mobile phone, discuss about the country where it was made, the capital of that country, the language spoken in that country, cities that you know of in that country and so on. These discussions are a wealth of information for the child and will remain with them.

3. Ask requests in writing

Writing is again something which all of us find the new generation to be reluctant about – to improve this, try to get them to write a request for what they want.  Instead of shouting/ punishing them, ask them to write an explanation about why they made the mistake. An apology letter is also a constructive punishment

Tips on making home work effective

  1. Have a regular schedule i.e. Fixed time and place for doing homework.
  2. No TV or radio during home work time.
  3. Try and be with your child during home work time and preferably read/ catch up with your work – it is a great motivation for the child.
  4. Try and get your child to teach you what was done as home work – ‘you learn better when you teach’.
  5. Prioritize difficult homework over easy ones, as the child wouldn’t be stressed while doing easy homework if it gets late.

Appreciation, Attention, Affection and Acceptance are key factors in developing a learning culture among children and parents play a key role in this.

Different children respond differently and even same child responds differently at different times, I am sure parents would have successfully tried a number of methods to help their children, please feel free to share your tips as it will help others as well.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

How involved are you in your kid’s education?

By Tajinder Singh

Do you know which subjects your kid is taking at school? Do you know which of them your kid loves the most? Do you know the name of your kid’s best friend in school?

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/495427

School going kids spend 60-70% of their waking hours, including the weekends and holidays, outside of their school. Time and again it has been seen, the more the parents gets involved with their kid’s education and school, the better their school results have been. The parent’s active involvement helps in emphasizing in the kid’s mind, that the home and school are inter-connected.

There are several ways you can get involved. As my wife and I go about parenting our 2 kids, who are in the 10th and 7th class, here are few tips (that we got from others) that are working for us.

Show consistent interest in what they are doing in school. We continue to learn a thing or two from our kids or sometimes have a good laugh, when they come home excited to tell what happened in school today. This conveys to them that you value what is happening in school.

Get passionate and learn up about any sport, activity, hobby that your kid is crazy about, and participate whole heartedly in it. Yes, it can be an online/video game too! The enthusiasm and camaraderie that you will build here will help you have better conversations around their learning and education.

Sometimes, have conversations with them on what they don’t like about their school education or what worries them. It will identify issues that you might be in a position to help and fix. However, be mindful that there will be some lame excuses here!

And of course, visit their school regularly, especially when they are participating in any school activity or sport. That goes a long way in boosting their confidence.

So how are you involved? Do share your thoughts, and we would love to learn from your tips.

About the Author:

Tajinder Singh Sidhu is a Founder and Director at Learnhive. He has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles designing and managing complex technology solutions. Prior to Learnhive, he worked for over 14 years at Goldman Sachs in New York. He holds a BTech degree in Computer Science & Engg from IIT, Delhi, and a Master’s in Computer Science from College of William & Mary, Virginia. He has taught students as part of the NSS scheme in India, and currently is a volunteer teacher with the Literacy Volunteers of America.

About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

 

Having fun with simple interest

By Arindam Nag, Founder, Learnhive

One of the best ways to make learning fun is for parents to engage children in activities
from our day-to-day lives, tying the activities to concepts that they learn in school.

save money

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/815274

Take for example the concept of simple interest that is usually introduced around the 5th  grade in Indian schools. I have twins, a boy and a girl, who are currently in 6th grade. My son was probably a financier or accountant in his previous life. He has kept a keen interest in money matters from a young age. He seems to remember all of his (pocket) money earnings and promises of monetary benefits made by us. However, my daughter on the other hand is more than happy to let her brother handle her accounting and easily parts with her share. So naturally when they were being taught simple interest, one showed more interest than the other.

My wife and I decided to use this opportunity to give them some real world experience of managing money and explain how banks function. We opened up accounts for both of them and asked them to put a portion of their pocket monies in their respective accounts. We explained that the money in the bank would earn them interest as they had learnt in school. Once they had sufficient money, they could even opt for a fixed deposit that would earn them higher interest. This was followed by some quick calculations to show how many additional scoobi strings / novels and other goodies they could buy by keeping the money in the bank rather than at home. This led to further conversation on how banks could afford to give interest. Both of them then got into finding their perfect signature. This entire episode seems to not only have piqued more interest in my son to read financial news articles (he now regularly looks at the currency rates in the morning newspaper), but seems to have also kindled more awareness on money matters for my daughter. They will be learning compound interest in school later this year, which they are looking forward to.

Masterchef Australia is also one of their favorite TV programs. The twins have started using terms like “adding acidity to the sauce” when they help their mom in the kitchen. Examples for chapter on Acids and Bases…here we come…

What were your experiences in explaining concepts to your children? What examples did you use?

About the Author:

Arindam Nag is a  Founder and Director at Learnhive; he has over 15 years experience in information technology. He worked for over 13 years at one of the world’s leading investment banks, Goldman Sachs in various engineering and technology leadership roles. He has a Masters in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a recipient of National Talent Search Scholarship. He is a staunch believer in using technology to bridge the gap in the educational divide that exists not just in India but the world over.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Make learning effective – address the misconceptions

By Shiv Shankar, Founder and CEO, LearnHive

Did you know that kids have strong misconceptions? Watching lecture based video lessons will not help the kids to learn the concepts. This was explained in an recent  article. An example of misconception is that kids believe that the earth is flat. When the (video) teacher explains that the earth is round, the kids imagine that it is like a pancake, round and flat. So, how do we solve this problem and make learning more effective?

It is very important to bring out the child’s misconceptions and replace it with the correct concepts. Following the above example, asking the question whether the earth is like a pancake and explaining that the earth is like a ball will remove the misconception. Derek Muller in his Ph.D. thesis explains the best ways to teach Physics by addressing the common misconceptions.

It is now time to abolish monologue lecture videos as a means to teach concepts. A concept can be taught very effectively if a student is included in the video and there is a dialogue with a student. The student in the video should actively ask questions to clarify the misconceptions. This will help the child who is watching the video to assume the role of the student in the video and activate mirror neurons leading to better learning. Arindam Nag, one of our co-founders has applied this principle and did an excellent job of explaining the concept of infinity to his daughter. You can watch this awesome infinity concept YouTube video .

What common misconceptions do your children have? Share the misconceptions with us and we will help you to  teach the correct concepts.

I have given some references below if you are interested in exploring further.

References:

  1. “Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information that are taught, or they may learn them for purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside the classroom.”- Book: How people learn?
  2. Mental Models of the Earth:  A Study of Conceptual Change in Childhood
  3. Expert gently asks whether Khan’s Academy videos promote meaningful learning
  4. Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education
  5. Mirror Neuron – wiki
  6. Learnhive video – Concept of Infinity

About the Author:

Shiv Shankar (shiv@learnhive.net) is the co-founder and CEO of LearnHive. He cofounded Learnhive committed to creating a unique knowledge ecosystem which will make it easy to create, organize, share and obtain learning materials for K-12 education.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Are Children Learning or Studying?

By Captain Unni Krishnan, Founder and Director, LearnHive

Children are most precious to parents and their future the top most priority for them. It is with the purpose of helping their child achieve great heights that parents seek the best possible education for them.

Having been educated in the post independence but pre economic autonomy era, I have experienced a system of education that is skewed towards marks rather than towards knowledge. Every opportunity of employment was governed by “What degree do you have?  What marks did you get?”. The questions “What is it that you know”? or “What is it that you can do”? had no relevance. This led to a single point of focus in education which clearly conveyed that “marks are not everything but they are the only thing”.

Admission to a good college ensures a good placement and in turn admission to a good college is based on the marks that you achieve in the Board Examination or the Entrance Examination.

In this age, when success is measured by remuneration, getting qualifying marks becomes all important. What this has done to the education system is that it has taken away the aspects of learning like  application, analysis, creativity and innovation and got students oriented to just studying for examination with the sole aim of getting marks. This has resulted in a rat race where education related discussions revolve only on cut-off marks. The effect of the percentage phenomenon has been such that it has engulfed even the education boards resulting in a cut–off at 100% this year. What next?

Let us ask ourselves, does a 100% mean the student has mastered that complete subject and is a pundit at it?

Childhood comes once in a life time and sadly the pressure of contesting at every step has taken away the social aspect of growing up with friends and appreciating others. All that matters is ‘I’ ‘me’ and ‘myself’. All assessments create a student represented just by numbers.

Sadly, in this whole journey, what we have left behind is the need for real education. Education was meant to help a child learn and then apply that learning to life in different situations that they would come across. Today, education has got limited to studying for marks and learning is of no consequence.

As per our philosophy parents and teachers are potters and are trying to give shape to their children. There is a Chinese saying “Give a potter a seed and you will get a Bonsai”. If you give a seed to a Gardner, you can have a tree that will give you flowers, fruits and even shade.

The same philosophy applies to business as well where it is essential to emphasize on creating a work ecosystem that provides every individual an opportunity to optimise their potential, work on their strengths and avoid areas of weakness; profits are bound to come in.

To prepare our children for the new era, let us try to get their focus on learning to experiment rather than just study for marks because this will help them be creative, innovative and in turn successful in life.

About the Author:

Captain Unni Krishnan is a Founder and Director of LearnHive; he is also the Founder and Managing Trustee of Primus Public School, Bangalore. Prior to that he was the Founder and Trustee of Indus International School. At Primus, he has been instrumental in implementation of new teaching pedagogies. He has seamlessly integrated the International and Indian syllabi to help prepare students for higher studies both in India and Overseas. Capt. is a ‘Sword of Honor’ from the prestigious Officers Training Academy of the Indian Army.

 About Learnhive: 

Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).

Wings of Success!

sampada.bidikar@learnhive.net

You may have heard about this story of a man and a cocoon that goes as follows:

A man once found a cocoon. He observed a small opening and was curious. He sat and watched the caterpillar for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. It was trying hard to emerge from the cocoon, going back and forth, stopping at times, and trying to find its way out. The man felt bad for the caterpillar, seeing it struggle.

The man decided to help the butterfly and with a pair of scissors he cut open the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man watched the butterfly, expecting it to take on its correct proportions. But nothing changed.

The butterfly stayed the same. It was never able to fly. In his kindness and haste the man did not realize that the butterfly’s struggle to get through the small opening of the cocoon is nature’s way of forcing fluids from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight. [1]

He did not understand that every step in the process is important. And if you skip one step, though you might seem to have reached your destination, the result might not really be the best.

To reach any goal, there are no shortcuts. Everyone has to go through the rigorous process and follow the path to reach their destination. Struggle is nature’s way of bringing out the best in us. That’s the law of nature.

We too should take our time, find our path, celebrate and enjoy every milestone along the way till we reach our destination.

Most of us know this philosophy, but how many of us really follow it? Unlike the man in the story, do we let our caterpillars come out of their cocoon on their own, by letting them go back and forth, have their own pace, making sure they accomplish every milestone, so that finally they can emerge as beautiful butterflies? Even if we want to, do our children have the leverage to do things their own way and at their own pace?

All children are naturally curious about things and passionate about learning. But somewhere down the line, in this bizarre game of learning, they get lost. During the game, they might stumble at a step or need more time than others to complete a step. Unfortunately, we do not always give them the opportunity to pause and think, or revisit a previous step, since we hurry them to catch up with others. So they tend to skip some important steps. They may reach the finish line but more often than not, the learning is incomplete or is lost. And that’s a heavy price to pay. Because as Albert Einstein rightly said “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”

Education today is operating on a factory model, where children are pushed through the system for a period of 12 years. The expected outcome is for them to be “educated” citizens, graduating with the exact same skill sets, so that they are eligible for higher education or for getting jobs [2] . But that is not how it really works, does it?

Through this system we might be able to achieve the quantitative goal of literate citizens, but what about the qualitative goal?

Today’s classrooms do not give our children the opportunity to study at their own pace, or in their own way with their preferable learning style. Nor is there enough time to revisit a concept which is either not understood or misunderstood. Willard R. Daggett (Ed.D, CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education.) has accurately stated the reason for this as – “We have organized schools not by how kids learn; they have been organized by an easy way to teach.” [2]

There is a lot of research happening in the Learning Sciences to bridge this gap. Different sciences like psychology, computational sciencesociology, anthropology, child psychology and cognitive science contribute to the “Science of Learning”. There are many papers published on the best practices of teaching, different models and styles of learning, and much more.

And with the aid of technology, there is lot of scope for progress and an excellent opportunity to offer our children the right resources to learn and grow.

References:

[1] http://www.forwardsteps.com.au/docs/Struggling-Butterfly-Story.pdf

[2] http://dreamsofeducation.wordpress.com/

About the Author:

Sampada Bidikar (sampada.bidikar@learnhive.net) is the Team Lead – Content Development at Learnhive.

 About Learnhive: 

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