Congratulations: Padmashri Arvind Gupta

Extremely happy to know that Shri Arvind Gupta has been declared as a recipient of Padmashri for the year 2018! This is an apt recognition of this yogi  who has been an evangelist of science popularization among children, using the most unexpected commodity: trash! His ‘Toys from trash’, series has over 500 toys which can be made easily by learners (of all ages!), to ENJOY the science hidden in it. As he says always, ‘Don’t complicate the joy of playing with a toy by loading it with scientific principle, let the child discover it on their own’.

AG01

He is a living legend, and I was fortunate to spend time with him at his lab at IUCAA, in Pune University! We had gone there to video shoot the toy making process and releasing them for hand held devices. During the shoot, (using our high-end cameras), he was inquisitive in knowing the medium, and diligently wrote down the technical specifications of the equipment.

Later, when we were back, we completed the post production and uploaded the videos. After a while, I saw that those videos had a healthy number of viewers. Excited, I mailed him a screenshot of the website. He sent me a link for his website, where he had created videos of over 200 toys, during that period, and the video aggregation website was showing a viewership more than 6 digits! Moreover, he did not forget to give credit to his team (Dr. Vidula and Ashok). That was an important lesson to learn!

“The best thing a child can do with a toy is break it” – Arvind Gupta

I requested him to speak a few lines in the film, where we wanted to show the ICT application for his website. He agreed immediately, and we decided to start the shoot. Before any other plan came up, he sat on the ground in front of his office, and said, ‘You can start, I am comfortable!’. Similar experience was when he visited us at our IIT residence. He was visiting the campus to accompany his daughter, who appeared for some exam, and the KVIIT was the center. I requested him to come home, instead of spending the entire time in the hot sun, and he agreed. He entered the house, and saw my daughter (7 year old that time). He instantly told us that he is going to talk ONLY to my daughter now. Literally, next 2 hours, he was showing all sorts of toy making to her, and both had a gala time.

My daughter learnt the ‘ship-and-cap’ story, and presented it every possible gathering! After one such successful ‘performance’, she actually wrote back to him and thanked him for teaching such nice story! He promptly responded! He also sent a DVD containing best animated films, when he learnt about Kaumudi!

Recently, I contacted him when I was leading a project in science popularization among speech and hearing disabled. We planned to create videos using the ‘sign language’, and chose Arvind Gupta Toys as the content. The power of science toys was once again evident, when we were showing the video to the science teachers!

Wishing him a healthy life!!!

 

 

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Conference coming up: Appeal to researchers

icaltlogoThis post is an urgent announcement about an international conference coming up in July 2018. The 18th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies ICALT2018 is scheduled at IITBombay. This conference is an annual international conference on Advanced Learning Technologies Technology-enhanced Learning organized by the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology.

Since many teachers follow my blog, I take this opportunity to invite them to participate by submitting research papers on the exciting tracks of ICALT’18:

Track 1. Technologies for Open Learning and Education (i-OPENLearn)

Track 2. Adaptive and Personalized Technology-Enhanced Learning (APTeL)

Track 3. Wireless, Mobile, Pervasive and Ubiquitous Technologies for Learning (WMUTE)

Track 4. Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning (DIGITEL)

Track 5. Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)

Track 6. Big Data in Education and Learning Analytics (BDELA)

Track 7. Technology-Enhanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education (TeSTEM)

Track 8. Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL)

Track 9. Technology Enabled Learning of Thinking Skills (TELoTS)

Track 10. Technology Supported Education for People with Disabilities (TeDISABLE)

Track 11. Artificial Intelligence and Smart Learning Environments (AISLE)

Track 12. Augmented Reality and Virtual Worlds in Education and Training (ARVWET)

Track 13. Motivational and Affective Aspects in Technology-enhanced Learning (MA-TEL)

Track 14. Applications of Semantic Web technologies for Learning (SW-EL)

Please download the official call for papers here: ICALT2018_CFP