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Archive for the ‘Musings & personal’ Category

Is e-learning disrupting the traditional education setup?

The World is going digital. Renowned universities and educational organizations all over the world offer various courses in digital format or what is known as e-learning. Generally speaking, e-learning simply means learning educational curriculum with the help of electronic technologies. E-learning cuts out the traditional setup of classrooms. This way, education is not confined to the walls of the organization, but available and accessible to anyone who has enrolled for that course. One would think, what could be better than that?

However, numerous traditional publishers that deal with print, teachers and educationists are against the concept of e-learning. They strongly believe that the traditional way of learning in classrooms leaves a much deeper impact and a much stronger effect in the minds of students, as compared to learning remotely through a computer. Many educationists also argue that by giving the option of e-learning, the university or institute loses its value and authority. There is also the effect of learning alone, without having peers to discuss, compete and encourage and seniors to look up to, which somewhere down the line impacts on the overall moral and ethical development.

While all these are valid points, the fact that digitization increases efficiency and performance rate, along with the benefit of being accessible to all, cannot be ignored. This may be the reason why e-learning is growing exponentially in many countries, especially in the higher education and corporate sectors. Recent studies show that e-learning not only provides learners the freedom and flexibility to choose what they want to learn, but also the pace at which they’d like to learn, which is great for professionals who are time-bound for other things. E-learning also proves to be cost-friendly to its users. The concise, crisp and precise way of e-learning saves a lot of time and energy both for the teachers as well as the learners.

In these times when technology reins all segments of our society, it only makes sense to embrace the concept of e-learning, bearing in mind that it must contain clear schedules, good content, sufficient number of assessments like online quizzes, forums for discussions among peers and that it follows open university model.

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Shut Up & Read: Books & Beyond— Literature and Arts Festival, 2018

A one-of-a-kind Literature and Arts Festival was held in Viman Nagar, Pune, on the 24th and 25th March 2018. The event was a real book-lovers’ paradise, where all things related to books and art were celebrated.

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Several budding authors (Abhimanyu Jamwal, Nuzhat Khan, Writa B, Ashwini Gawde) also participated in this festival in order to promote and showcase their respective projects. The ever-encouraging Pune audience gave a whole-hearted cheering to these writers and applauded their efforts.

The festival was also a wonderful platform for panel discussions between many renowned authors. One such thought-provoking discussion was between Scharada Dubey and Prachi Garg.

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The discussion was rightly termed as, ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling’, as both the ladies have been truly phenomenon in carving their own paths in the literary world. The audience loved Scharada Dubey immensely for her pleasing personality, her confident yet humble tone and her speaking about the lifelong literary journey that she had taken. She shared with the audience how and what thought process she underwent while writing at various stages of her life. She gave a golden tip to aspiring writers. She said, “the best kind of writing is one which acts as a witness to the plot and story. The writing that does not interfere much and paints one person as good and another person as bad, because that is not real! All personalities have grey connotations, and the writer should keep that in mind.”

Prachi Garg, similarly, was quite impressive in the discussion. Being an entrepreneur and traveller (she is the founder of travel website- www.ghoomophiro.com, which is pioneer in organizing corporate travels and has recently extended to women solo travels as well). Her books also reflect the experiences and journeys of various entrepreneurs. In conversation with Scharada Dubey, she talked about the need to empower women, to make them realize that they are indeed capable of attaining great heights in life if they believe in themselves. She said that her book, ‘Superwomen’ is an attempt at this. The book is a collection of journeys from 20 women entrepreneurs.

Apart from the panel discussions, Books & Beyond festival also organized something called, ‘The Crazy Book Sale’, where books were auctioned, starting from Rs 10 to Rs 100! Children’s story time session, a comedy stand-up about publishing, Haiku recitations by famous poets—these were all mesmerizing parts of this spectacular festival. At the end of it all, everyone had one question to ask to the organizers—when are you coming back?!

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Be Yourself

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I believe I am the sort of person who rebels furiously when cornered, pressurized, underestimated, unacknowledged. I am not among those who succumb well. I did succumb at one point of my life. That was when I stopped being myself and tried so hard, so damn hard to be what everyone around me wanted me to be. And let me tell you – it is very disheartening. How can I be not ME? How is that done? What worth is it- not being ME? I am sure we are born to be ourselves and not exactly like each other?! Isn’t it natural that we be different, unique in our own ways? That’s what makes life on this planet so interesting- because everyone is different. Of course, we are from same species, we are all children of Mother Nature, but yet so wonderfully different! That is a good thing!! It’s good!! Then why sometimes, you feel that people around you are hell bent on seeing a “supposedly better version” of YOU? Why do they want to mold you , break you down, tear you apart until they have a little piece of YOU designed to suit their needs? They do not care about the whole YOU. You, as a unique, wonderful human being can go to hell, just mend the part they need from you. YIKES!! Can you imagine what it would be like to physically give away your body parts for their convenience! It is impossible! So why do it mentally?

OK, you’ll say life would be doubly hard if we do not do that at all. To some level, everyone does that, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Like, you are supposed to give your brains and skills to the company you work for. You can’t cheat there. But hey, they at least pay you for sucking out your blood! haha! Its like a necessary evil. (And those who absolutely love their jobs…count your blessings!) And its a completely different topic which I am not going to go into. I am talking about things at personal level- like in relationships.

Research shows that social relationships- both quality and quantity- affect mental health, health behavior, physical health and mortality risk (Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy, written by Umberson and Montez, 2010). Undoubtedly, relationships are hard. Sometimes you feel blessed and lucky to have all your loved ones around you. Yet there are times when you feel you have hit rock bottom and just can’t wait to get away from them as far as possible.

What I am stressing here is definitely not that you should shrug all responsibilities out of sheer laziness and falsely term it as ‘being independent’ or ‘living life my style..rest all can go to hell.’ NO. Being an adult also constitutes being able to handle things, to take charge, to learn what life teaches you and evolve as human beings. But what often happens is, you get too engrossed or too eager or even too pressurized in managing the responsibility part that you tend to forget to hold on to your own distinct identity.  Situations do not arise in our lives so that we completely forget who we are and become someone else. This is life, after all. There is no set formula that we can use to solve the problem. We all have our own unique formulas in our heads to help solve all kinds of situations.

That is why I strongly recommend a commonly used phrase- BE YOURSELF. It can be incredibly tricky to be yourself, but it is ALWAYS worth fighting for. Take out time to do things you love- read a book, listen to music, dance, go out with friends, pursue a hobby- just anything that helps you unwind. When confronted in a situation, stand up for yourself if you know you haven’t done anything wrong. Establish a meaningful communication to eliminate misunderstandings. Get help in managing your time better. Make a schedule. Stop killing yourself by trying to be what others want you to be.

Chances are..you may live longer by BEING YOURSELF.

 

First ever attempt

Joining the bloggers’ world with the hope that writing here would lighten up my restless mind. All kinds of thoughts will be posted – light-hearted, funny, entertaining, to dark, unhappy, to even just plain twisted ones – depends on my mood.

Here we go…