Salute Indian Girls

Women’s Day was full of messages, wishes, posts, political opportunism, which was quite melodramatic. There were lots of debates stating the pros and cons. I had almost decided of ignoring it however, while going through the data from my course on edX, I found something worth sharing.

We all are concerned about the current state of education in our country, however we should remember that the deprived lot always has fire in their belly to catch up. I witnessed this when I compared the data sets of my course offered on IITBombayX and edX. I have offered this course on IITBombayX five times so far and over 17000 learners have enrolled.

Data shows that 35% of female learners have enrolled in these courses. When I compare this with the edX course, it shows that 22% of female learners have enrolled in the course.

This data (see the screenshots below) may not be conclusive enough however it shows a positive of our country where more girls are striving for knowledge upgrade to modern avenues such as MOOCs. This also triggered my interest to see the completion rates of male and female learners in the courses. will come back on this in a new post later. For now, all I can do is salute the Indian women for their vijigishu (विजीगिषु) approach!

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Lifelong Learner!

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Maria Athaide left us on the 3rd March 2018. A news that rekindled many memories of hers, during the span of interaction last few years. I met her first time when she was an academic consultant with the Azim Premji Foundation. I went to meet her at her office, and the moment she came to know that I had come to Bangalore for a conference to present a paper on educational animations, she immediately set up my interactive session at her office, and called her colleagues over. It was a classic example of her pursuit for knowledge! During my interactions later, I got many such examples!

She then invited me to her house and cooked most wonderful roasted eggplant slices, and choicest of chocolates as dessert! This meeting was also a trigger to a series of events, and her son Noel who was (just) a friend, became my brother-in-law (as he married my cousin: Pallavi).

During that stay with them, I realised that she was a curious learner. She not only wanted to know about new things (be it a craft, poem, teaching method, or even a new software), but also know it thoroughly! Every meeting always started with her question: What’s new?

After many years, when I shared the news of my first MOOC being launched on IITBombayX, she not only congratulated me, but also floored me when she said,

“I am going to enroll in your course. I have been thinking of learning animation for a long time now. It is a good time to start!”

She was 65+ that time, and an accomplished teacher already. She did not stop at mere verbal assurance, but surprised me one night, by asking about the installation process of the software I was using in the course. “I saw your first lecture”, she said, and added, “but I am unable to install the software”. I explained her the process, and she was up and going! I later reminded her to give feedback on my teaching, which she shared with some very pertinent comments!

Although technically, she was a ‘student’ in one of my online courses, Maria has taught me one of the most fundamental principles: Learning is a life-long process!

Rest in peace, You will always remain my inspiration to learn!

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

ABC of Ph D

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Few years back, I was invited to speak to masters students at a college of Mumbai University. The college administration had communicated to me that the students were anxious to know the process, pitfalls, advantages, disadvantages, and many other aspects of PhD. Based on this user requirement, I designed a talk by curating few well known concepts. The talk went well (according to me), and the students were quite interactive during the talk. I was bombarded with many questions during and in the end, which was a good sign!

Unfortunately, this talk wasn’t recorded, however the slide presentation for the same is available for you to download. Please go through it, and let me know your views about it.

Slides can be downloaded from here: ABCofPhD