August 2011Volume 5, Issue 8 Inspiring Teachers Driving educational change through excellence in teaching News and more…. The festive season is here we are bidding for bigger This month we will launch again after the dry months of projects. In this issue, some new programs and summer. At Teacher’s Dr Divya shares her initiatives…watch out. And Academy too, the campaign experiences of the long while we are on the topic ofThis month: for the third edition of term academic initiatives news, you can read the newsAcademic Initiatives Inspiring Teacher Awards has at NMREC in a multi-part coverage of June-JulyDr Divya Nalla.….2 begun. This year the event will article. An appeal by months on the site underFaculty of the Month- be on 8th Oct at Hyderabad. Fiona Vaz, a book review blog.Dr Vasu Varma ….3 See box for details. Our ‘Three cups of Tea’ and Send in your feedback andPicture caption ….4 Academy is now registered as some humour complete articles. a private limited company and this issue. Uma GarimellaInteresting links …4 July-August 2011 Inspiring Teacher AwardsUpdates on site...4 • Sessions at CVR College of This is a unique platform for appreciating yourThree Cups of Tea-Book Review …..5 Engineering, KG Reddy college of school and college teachers. This year we Engineering and Prakasam provide a broad framework for yourTwo inspiring storiesand an appeal- Engineering College, Kandukur nominations by defining four areasFiona Vaz……..6 • Launched Interview/Industry 1. Clarity and expertise in subject, organization orientation of OS concepts – a 12 and presentation in class, motivation and session program for BTech IV students interaction in class (exam success) at NMREC 2. Interpersonal rapport with you as a student, • Two parallel workshops on 7th August concern and counseling outside class (support at ACE Engineering Academy, in your personal challenges, believing in you) Hyderabad as below 3. Intellectual stimulation and motivation to go o BEST – Building Essential beyond syllabus (projects, applications, Skills for Teaching for innovation) beginners 4. Good nature and behavior towards a large o ITEL – Innovative Teaching section of students (role model) for Effective Learning for A new form is online with these details on our experienced teachers site
Inspiring Teachers Page 2 of 6 Case Study: Academic Initiatives at an Engineering College – Part I More and more Engineering Colleges year after year and more and more unskilled engineers produced by the nation! We are happy being a nation producing huge technical manpower for the world but at the same time being criticized for not being quality conscious in this activity. Students who secure distinctions in their qualifying exams enter engineering colleges and expect to become ENGINEERS of tomorrow. They finally become engineers – but are they really equipped with the required knowledge? Only a few. Who is responsible for this: the college or the students or both? Nowadays, reading of textbooks by students has become a rarity. They depend on ‘model question paper solutions’ to prepare for the exams. And they pass with flying colors.The technical depth andhuman dynamics in thiswhole exercise getcompounded withshortage of time and thecompliance withuniversity schedules andnorms. It is like jugglingand balancing manyconflicting requirements.I will share with you theinitiatives andexperiences in all theseareas in the second partof this article.Dr Divya Nalla,(NMREC) Nalla MallaReddy Engineering They even lost the habit of preparing notes by referring a few books. Assignments are done by fewCollege, Hyderabad students and copied by most. Classes are attended only to fulfill the mandatory attendance requirement. Whatever pain the teacher takes in teaching the subject is not refreshed or referred to after reaching home. All this is resulting in engineers with just a degree but no knowledge or skills. Teachers need to know how to impart their teaching in an engaging and interesting way and also how to make their teaching more application oriented. They also need to employ mechanisms to check if students are really learning what they are teaching. Keeping in view the current situation, engineering colleges must incorporate regular faculty training initiatives. But these will fall short of expectations and will not even be deployable if students are also not simultaneously motivated to learn. Hence many academic reforms have to be made to make the students not just pass in the exams but LEARN the subject.
Page 3 of 6 Inspiring TeachersFaculty of the month – Dr Vasudeva Varma, IIIT-Hyderabad India Pvt. Ltd and Chief a portable and personalized Architect at MediaCognition device which facilitates Inc. (Cupertino, CA). Earlier smart learning. he was the director of It is a cost effective device Engineering and research at with content and tools that InfoDream Corporation, can be employed by all age- Santa Clara, CA. He also groups. Vasudeva Varma is an associate worked for Citicorp and Using tools developed by professor at IIIT Hyderabad, Muze Inc. in New York as a their research lab, the device India since 2002. His primary senior consultant. can be pre-loaded with research and teaching interests . content across all subjects, are Information Retrieval, Humour He published a book on all standards, all syllabi, and Extraction and Access, Cloud Software Architecture also out of syllabus. Student: I dont think I Computing, Software deserved zero on this test! (Pearson Education) and With a media player filled Teacher: I agree, but thats Engineering and Reuse in over seventy technical with video & audio lectures the lowest mark I could give Software Architecture. you! papers in journals and delivered by people who He heads Search and conferences. In 2004, he CAN, it helps to learn and Information Extraction Lab obtained young scientist revise at the student’s own Teacher: How can you make (SIEL) and Software so many mistakes in just one award and grant from pace. Engineering Lab (SERL). He is day? Department of Science and It doesn’t require a Student: I get up early! currently the chair of Post Technology, Government of computer or internet and is Graduate Programs. He has co- India, for his proposal on lightweight but sturdy. founded SETU Software History Teacher: Can you personalized search engines. It can be used even by adults tell me something important Systems Pvt Ltd, incubated at that didnt exist 100 years In 2007, he was given who want to write any IIIT Hyderabad’s Center for ago? Research Faculty Award by Competitive Exam like Student: Me! Innovation and AOL Labs. TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, IELTS Entrepreneurship and which He was visiting professor at or want to learn things like released a new product UPV, Valencia, Spain Cooking, Photography, myDrona that won a special (Summer 2007), UBO, Musical Instruments, Dance jury mention at recent ITsAP Bretagne, France (Summer Tutorials, Languages and so product awards. 2009) and Language on. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Technologies Institute, Department of Computer and CMU, Pittsburgh, USA Information Sciences, (Summer 2010) University of Hyderabad in Incidentally, the product 1996. Prior to joining IIIT MyDrona is related to Hyderabad, he was the education and training. It is president of MediaCognition
Inspiring Teachers Page 4 of 6 Updates on website ♦ Most of the archives of newsletter (2007, 2008 and some 2009) have been uploaded on the blog http://www.theprofessor.in/blog/ ♦ Newspaper clippings are added at http://www.theprofessor.in/blog/media-coverage/newspapers-june-july-2011/ ♦ The announcement for workshops is at http://www.theprofessor.in/blog/teachers/workshops-on-7th-august-2011/ ♦ A guest column has been started. Read articles at Picture Caption Contest http://www.theprofessor.in/blog/category/guest-column/Dolly Sandhu "Audio- Interesting LinksVisual learning" 1. Students and teachers can benefit from these brain teasersNeelu Vig "Audio-intensive Learning......" http://www.syvum.com/teasers/Lalitha Karthik "When http://www.braingle.com/brainteasers/index.phpyour ears do the talking; http://www.funandgames.org/index.htmyour brain does nohearing!!" http://www.billsgames.com/brain-teasers/Atul Negi " Go ahead http://www.pedagonet.com/brain/brainers.htmland give the dictation, I 2. Please support this young man with a missionam all ears!" http://ngopost.org/story/funds-room-rent-and-musical-poor-kids-puneSushma Sapphire "all 3. Online vs. face-to-face teaching – some findingsears and no talk makesSushma a dull girl!!" http://chronicle.com/article/Community-College-Students/128281/Venkat "Hear just with 4. Dr Uma Garimella’s interview on FM-Rainbow, AIR, Hyderabad (2009)your ears, because you http://chirb.it/Pxt1Cbcan not write withoutPencil and Paper" 5. Excellent site for teaching science and mathsArun Shetty "No, it’s not http://www.teachengineering.org/index.phpelephantiasis..." 6. Some thought provoking articles on technical education in India by ProfUma Garimella Dheeraj Sanghi, IIT-KanpurNews in 3050: http://dsanghi.blogspot.com/Scientists solve themystery of huge ears: 7. A global community of professors, with the ability to organize their individualeducation and coaching experiences and expertise into a greater effort wherever there is a recognizedsystem of the 19th to21st century to blame. need and workable problem set http://www.professorsbeyondborders.org/
Page 5 of 6 Inspiring TeachersMaking a difference- one school at a time Book ReviewThree Cups of Tea” is a Here, he discovers that the build schools in ruralNew York Times bestseller village had no school and Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hefirst published in 2006. The children were learning in believed that educating thebooks title comes from a open air – exposed to the girls would reform theBalti proverb: "The first cruel weather. As a villages, because boys gotime you share tea with a gesture of compassion and away in search of greenerBalti, you are a stranger. gratitude for saving his pastures. CAI has built overThe second time you take life, he promises to build a 78 schools in the most remotetea, you are an honoured school for them. areas of the countries.guest. The third time you Back home in the US, after The first fifty pages wereshare a cup of tea, you a frustrating time difficult to read – thebecome family." Baltis are (sleeping in his car and language and territory where By Greg Mortenson andMuslims of living out of a storage it is set were so difficult to David Oliver RelinLadakhi/Tibetan origin locker while working as a understand – I almost gavefrom Baltistan, Pakistan. nurse in America) trying up. But when I crossed thisThe book describes to raise money, hurdle, I fell in love with theMortensons transition from Mortenson was book and the characters.a mountain-climber to a introduced by chance to Credit goes to co-author andhumanitarian committed to Jean Hoerni, a Silicon award winning journalistreducing poverty and Valley pioneer who Relin who recountseducating girls in Pakistan donated the money Greg Mortensons efforts inand Afghanistan. In 1993, needed for his school, fascinating detail, presentingafter more than 70 days on insisting that he show him gripping portraits of thethe mountain, on one of his the picture after village elders, con men,expeditions to scale K2, his completing the project. philanthropists, mujahideen,group’s ascent is Almost half the book is Taliban officials, ambitiousinterrupted by the rescue devoted to the Herculean schoolgirls and uprightmission of a fellow climber. task of building the first Muslims. Reading the book, I(Un)fortunately he gets lost school and showing its felt if one man can do soon the way down, and is picture to Jean, now much what am I doing to make a difference? A must- Greg Mortenson is the co-almost given up for dead. By terminally ill with cancer. founder and executivea chance encounter, he gets Greg, by now is so bitten read for anyone who is director of the non-profita second life and by the bug of social reform interested in social change Central Asia Institute asconvalesces in Korphe, a through education, went and responsibility. well as the founder of thesmall and unremarkable on to co-found the Central http://www.threecupsoftea.com/ educational charity Penniesvillage, and is cared for by Asia Institute with Jean, ---Editor for Peace.the chief of Korphe, Haji Ali. who endowed the CAI to
Two inspiring stories and an appeal – Fiona Vaz Do you remember how you of his most difficult kids that he is doing from next Teacher’s Academy helped me when I wanted to began to blossom, even year on I find it hard to ask set up a library for my academically because of the you to help him- what if I kids? Do you remember drama sessions. He need your help next year? Hyderabad how you emptied your conducted a drama class for What if you write me off as shelves and gave me all your my kids- praised them someone who is always books? And how you generously and bolstered asking? PHONE: arranged workshops for my their self confidence. I But after speaking to 97011 41118 kids and offered some of witnessed his magic. someone who decided to them scholarships? And At the end of the fellowship, change his life’s decisions how you came to see them he had to decide what to do out of compassion for 200 E-MAIL: and made partnerships next. 80 fellows chose 80 parents and children, firstname.lastname@example.org available, spoke to them and different things. Some went someone who did not shut conducted workshops for on to study further, some the door on 100 additional them? went back to the corporate, faces and someone who I hope you do. I hope you and some worked in public chose not to hang up despite remember seeing my face schools. But one decided to the clouds in his head- I how it radiated with stay back with the kids in realized I could not be so happiness when I received Wadgaon Sheri. He declined selfish. the books. I hope you not one but two job offers- You could send him books remember how I told you one of which was not only (but he won’t be able to pay that one of the reasons why lucrative but also for transport nor will I feel like going on is prestigious. I was filled with he be able to come to pick because you make it goose bumps when he told them up), anything that he possible for me with your me that he planned to stay might need or just some encouragement. And how I back because the parents money. He plans to have an was filled with so much of his kids want him to end of year musical for his pride when I told my kids continue imparting excellent kids which will cost him that we have 3000 books in education to their kids. He about 1 lakh (No we are not the library and that they will decided to give his kids an afraid to dream big- our See us at: never fall short of books and excellent education- kids see what is possible for www.theprofessor.com I actually doubted that UtkarShiksha is what he them through our eyes.) I www.teachersacademy.co when the kids read an calls it. want you to know that it is average of 171 books in one He charges them a fee, 200 not an organization that year. a month and runs the class does charity but it is a I hope I thanked you from his home. He had business venture. I also enough. I hope I did justice space for only 100 kids but assure you that the to your generosity. I hope did not know how to refuse education he is imparting is I lived up to your the additional 100, and so worth more than the 200 expectations and fulfilled he welcomed them all. He rupees that the kids areAditya’s email address the promise I made to my wants to rent a place but paying him. Please speak to adityaprasad.sadangi2009@ kids. I want to now tell you says he has no money. He him or write to him to knowteachforindia.org about Aditya. cannot hire teachers and how you can help him or Aditya Prasad Sadangi is a hence teaches 12 hours a just to say that you areMobile 09096554057 friend and was a Fellow day. It is tough he says, but proud of him.And to know more about his with Teach For India he is convinced that this is And if you are still reading,musical you could check this (2009) and taught in a what he wants to do. let me just thank you forhttp://www.ncamusical.wedsite. school in Pune. He not only I spoke to him today. I have putting your faithcom/ taught his kids the a dream too and have no in me. For giving me andPlease circulate this appeal curriculum, he trained them courage and no clarity. my appeal your time. I alsowidely. Post it on your blogs, in drama. His kids put up a I spoke to him to see if he want to tell you that Iyour social network pages or show at the end of 2 years, could help me. He is down am not entirely capable ofinternet groups that you are which was considered with viral fever but didn’t helping Aditya on my ownpart of. Do what you did to excellent. Everyone who ask me to call him back and it will mean a lothelp me. My inbox was flooded watched the musical some other day. He spoke to me if you help me helpwhen I wanted to help 50 concurred that he and his amidst the cough and him. And because I believechildren and because team had raised the bar for sniffles. that Aditya, you and Iof you we reached 6 schools! every fellow, every teacher I need you to help Aditya want only the best for ourLet’s recreate the magic. and every student. out. In whatever way you children, we are in this Throughout the year he can. together.Fiona Vaz documented how drama It is difficult to keep asking, And I find strength in our aided some of his most and because I see myself togetherness.Love, Gratitude and struggling kids. How some doing almost the same thing