From July 2009 to December 2015, my life was full of accomplishments that were learning gifts from my students at Amity University Noida. The tenure was designated as a faculty but the experience was of a different nature. It could not remain confined to the narrow walls of stereotyped instructions.
The students led the change in me and to the classroom as well. All that resulted in EduSoMedia 1.0 (Education through Social Media). The whole makeover story is a concept now. For me, that has become the way of existence. I am no more a teacher of English or Communication Skills. Rather I designate myself as an Innovative Educator and EdTech Evangelist. This title enforcement keeps me loyal to what I am made for. It started in those years when the volcano of the Internet was yet to become apparent. The strategy went well and the EduSoMedia Model of Innovative Learning came into existence. The Blogs, Twitter, Digital Presentations on Youtube, LinkedIn Profiles, Podcasts, Content Writing, Presentations on authorStream Internet Maturity and Social Media Smartness were the tools we conquered with ease. The comfort was a result of the collaboration and enterprising approach that we had among us.
My Students completed their B. Tech or BCA or degrees in sciences and economics had something more than the certificates with them. They had got introduced to a world that was waiting for them outside. It was just about being Ready to Face the Future. None was surprised to see the supremacy of Content and Internet Maturity and Smartness when they met the employers. We could see the future through the classroom walls and therefore conspired against the passivity prevalent around.
Amity memoirs are memorable and pleasant to recall. There was no official testimony to the learning mission. It wasn't understood by the in-charge people. there weren't supposed to, as it was not their present. It was the future of My Students. As a leader, I was required to equip them with something they would be encountering in the nearest future. It is true that when honest hearts instil their faith in someone, the person develops into a passionate being.
Training them in blogging and forcing them to make LinkedIn profiles with complex class presentations was something that occurred to me as my responsibility. I was paid to educate them and that's what education meant to me. There were hundreds who had shown the commitment towards EdTech. I was assured that they were to get benefitted from these things. They did. Many of them are getting back to me with the success stories they have now. They have excelled and I have excelled through them. The EduSoMedia 1.0 wasn’t expected to do wonders but was aimed at empowering the participants. It did so and did that most truthfully.
After getting back from Amity to Kurukshetra, I ventured into the most experimental three years of life. With and without regular jobs, entrepreneurship and the subsequent submission to disappointment, the feeling of dejection from educational institutions around gave a strange sense of fear. The gap that we see in skills and education is not a fault of the kids who remain in the school for 12 years. The ownership is missing about what to deliver and what to expect. I witnessed dilemma and confusion among the schools and college policymakers. The presence of 'profit making and dishonesty' was another factor.
After being a teacher from Kindergarten to XII, trainer of teachers and a consultant to policymakers, I found solace in the same shoes. I joined the HigherEd again and decided to remain in it. I always need an audience and I am bad at the marketing of something that I can deliver. I actually do not know what happens in the classes and between me and my students. That cannot be pre-assumed and therefore, cannot be sold. My teachers never did the promotions but ensured that the best learning of the world was imparted to us. I can do the same thing to a minimum extent as it won't be possible to match the Masters.
Now at MMDU Mullana since October 2018 and under serious instructions not to spread my 'rebel and hyper-active wings', I kept a check on myself. I did everything in the class and did not indulge in extra associations in the workplace. The truth, I realised later, that there was no scope or space either. There are masses who have their own controlled and conquered zones. They would not have allowed an intervention like me.
On the other hand, shifting from the Law Department of MMDU to Medical and Paramedical classes in the January 2019 semester, I woke up to a new dawn in my confidence. In those three years of 'out of job', I could fathom so much of life and people that the urge to do something for the students got strengthened with an acute sense of confidence. I could see there was a vacuum for all those experiential learnings. There was no exposure to the skills and creativity of the rebel kind. I introduced them to newness in words and treatment. I brought the 'free me' to them and uttered everything that could explain life. The curriculum of subjects, especially of English, is something which isn't considered of any worth. Unfortunately, English was taught as a subject, not as a language. This understanding was exactly what I gave them. The humour, jokes, anecdotes, observations, emotions and support were what came as a complete package.
'Children should be taught how to learn rather than what to learn' and 'Bring the Best You can to your class; Bring the Best You' - these have been the foundations of these six months with these classes that I have worked on. I laughed, shouted, explained and apologised as well. I chased them with the burden of work and tried to establish the subject's sanctity. It is always important to be possessive and proud of what you do. Hence, establishing the long-lost prestige and importance of Communication Skills and English led the whole mission.
The Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Diploma in Medical Lab Technology, MBBS, BDS, Pharmacy are the commandants who have joined the EduSoMedia 2.0 Model of Learning. The list of things introduced includes Google Classroom and the associated Google tools for learning like Docs, Slides, Drive and Forms. Twitter, Podcasts, LinkedIn, Photography, Use of Smartphone Apps are some other visible things integrated into the pedagogy. It is pleasantly surprising to see that animated presentations were made on Powtoon within three days of getting to see the platform.
As there are more such wonders to be done by them in the vacations. They shall have the option to join the MOOCs and Google Classroom Summer Camp of Learning.
More than 250 students are there in the PBL bandwagon to Life Long Learning. All of them got to see what the Google Classroom looks like. Even if most of them cease to use that in future, they have got introduced to this. That is what Education stands for- Introducing the Learners to Learning Things that are part of Life. There can be no discrimination based on what subject we take admission in. I belong to Humanities and Social Science where computer or technology has no direct preference or reference. But, I do deserve to expand my learning life as I want and I did. Teaching the Computer Science, Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, I could acquire the sense. My Students can Learn the Maximum and here I am to facilitate that.
This was a journey worth travelling without any wish to conclude the mission. My journey with EduSoMedia has been rewarding because the learners who were benefitted, have been successful in utilising innovative exposure at their workplaces and entrepreneurial ventures.
The #bptMMDu2019 Appreciation! Salute to the Students!
After those 3 years of hibernation and silence, this class of Physiotherapy Bachelor Degree (first year) gave me the same spark the hundreds of kids were carrying at Amity. this time it was new and there were new energies. The EduSoMedia 2.0 went so well with them that they did not even feel awkward. Perhaps, it went at the right time to the right people. They are not supposed to be good at technology and that is what makes them the most eligible to be with me on this weird journey to excellence. In these 6 months, they adopted me and adapted to my ways of No Ways. We all could share quotations, hundreds of them in a day and could shower assignments on Google Classroom. They had something that diverted them from the stereotyped classroom instruction. They know their teacher is weird. They have heard me suggest that "There is no need to think out of the box once you are aware of yourself being skilled. You see that 'there is no box at all'.
I experienced and experimented with them a quick antidote of stereotyping and it went perfectly the way I assumed it to be. I don't assume a failure at all. It is always learning. Either you learn that the formula can be used again or you get to know where the corrections are required. The same has happened here. They knew less of life. I had the opportunity to send life skills related lessons, without imposing my own opinions, at all.
Getting your students to learn the way you have learned is something fortunate. However, one has to keep a check that this wish does not get into an obsession. Rationality should be the driving force, not the urge to be a 'Big Brother'.
Life is not just beautiful, it is worth Learning About!