Things that will disappear from Classroom in Next 10 Years

Do you remember how you used to get excited when as a kid you use to enter a computer lab? 10 years back, we used to get curious by seeing new technology in the classroom. But, now it has become our necessity. Technology has entered the classroom and in future there are chances that because of the technology we will have to say good bye to a few things in the classroom. Here is the list of a few things which are likely to disappear from classroom in next 10 years.

Textbooks:

Textbooks are the first things that will disappear from classroom in next 10 years. Textbooks are the set of content that a students use to understand the basic knowledge of perspective. As modern techniques of teaching are being introduced in the classroom textbooks will become less popular. Textbooks will be replaced by e-Books as they are cheaper, updated and quickly accessible and more interactive.

Classroom instruction:

Classroom instructions means a traditional way of teaching were a teacher stands in front of the classroom and teach the lesson to the students. In the next 10 years, students will research, listen to the online information, and take online tests as per their convenience. The teacher will play the role of a facilitator. The teacher will functions as a “go-to” person when the help is needed in managing experiments or providing directions for the lesson.

Teachers Desk:

Technology helps the students by allowing them to access internet and interact with journals, books and web pages online. Students also have their own social networks and groups where they can connect with the experts. The teacher only needs to be present as a reference point in order to reduce distraction and help students with their relevant topics.

Student’s desks:

Change in the technology has personalized learning. Personalized learning will keep the students engaged in their studies. In the flexible classroom the student’s desk will be replaced by comfortable furniture that might include bean bags, swings, sofas or double-deck beds.

Computer labs:

With the devices like laptops and iPads students are no longer confined to the computer lab. They can work on any assignment from home, in the classroom, or while standing at the bus stop etc. The computer labs will disappear and classroom will look like a computer lab.

Educational system on our planet is being changed. But, I don’t think change is the thing that we need. A traditional teaching method involving students and teachers in the classroom is not at all terrible. Teacher needs to find new ways of teaching so that these things won’t disappear from the classroom and the traditional concept of teaching doesn’t change.

Make Children Aware About Child Sexual Abuse

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Child sexual abuse is a topic, which is rarely discussed in the public domain, until a major controversy breaks through. Often, we find it morally difficult to talk about cases of child sexual abuse, even though, India witnesses a case every 10 minutes. It is ever so difficult for parents to acknowledge the travesty affecting their children. The fact is, each day, parents worry for their child’s safety, however, eight out of ten find it difficult or frivolous to talk to their children about this great travesty.

Many find it unnecessary to discuss the menace with their child or to make them aware about the “good touches” and the ‘bad ones’. Besides that, a parent cannot be present physically with their child 24*7, therefore, it is hugely important that the child is made aware about their body parts and how to deal with the unforeseen circumstances. Ever since I started writing professionally, Child sexual abuse is a topic that I really wanted to express my views upon. However, what I realised with time is that most parents found this topic unnecessary and lame. But the recent events of sexual offences against the three and four year olds, have changed the overall scenario and the time is ripe to talk about the growing ‘pest’. Hence, I realized it’s time that parents should realise the importance of educating their child about the Do’s and Don’ts. Also, schools should play a prominent role in making children aware about themselves. (Click here to read why it is important to include sex education in schools.)

Easy said than done…

child sexual abuse

Yes, it will be foolish and unpractical to talk straight about it with children. Also, there are chances that your child may choose to ignore it or may find it incredibly difficult to deal with it. Therefore, going indirect is the right way to make your child aware about the child sexual abuse.

1) Make Children aware about their Body parts

A child, who is in the age group of 3-4, more often than not, is aware about their body parts like hands, legs, face, etc. However, what they aren’t familiar with are the genital organs, which should not be touched by people other than their parents. Now, there are two ways of educating them about this.

  1. Talk straight: You can teach your child that they shouldn’t allow anyone except mom and dad to touch these parts.
  2. Indirect approach: Tell them a story relating to their favourite cartoon and how the protagonist never allowed anyone except the mom or the dad to touch these private body parts.

The most important point, however, is to repeat this process with your child, at least once in a week. Children, at a tender age, lack the long lasting memory of adults and tend to forget things. Therefore, it is important that these facets are taught to them regularly so as to inculcate these as a life long habit.

2)Difference between “Good touch” and “bad touch”

The second part of the child sexual abuse prevention is to make children understand the difference between a friendly touch (good touch) and a bad touch. This has to be taught with a lot of caution as this could also backfire, as a child may regard a friendly poke as a bad touch, therefore necessitating a lot of thoughtfulness. In our ‘friendly’ society, it is very common for people to touch and kiss children, and rarely would a parent discourage such an approach towards their child. Some examples of a bad touch can be a long rub on the back or a pinch anywhere or even a prolonged cheek pulling followed by a lot of touches.

Parents could play a game where each bad touch could be marked with a sad sticker, and a good touch be marked as a laughing smiley. This would, in a friendly way, educate a child the difference between a good and a bad touch.


It is imperative to keep children motivated and focused enough to play this game often. Again, we have to repeat and talk about it again and again for them to remember it.

It may take some time for the kids to understand and comprehend any of this at all.

I wish all parents realize the prominence of talking about child sexual abuse at an early age (I wish we didn’t have to but we need to) and continue talking about it for many more years till they are old enough to clearly understand it.

Things to Look For in a Preschool

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To say that the preschool years of a child are crucial and the most formative, would be an understatement. It is their first interaction with the world outside their family. Children, for the first time, experience a classroom, interact with their peers, play kindergarten games, and, most importantly, learn to stay away from their home. To summarise, it will be fair to say that for a child, it is a crunch decision. Their parents, being the guardians, have to put in a lot of research and hard work to find that school where their child could study as well as experience the new environment.

Many studies have validated the fact that whatever a child experiences in his/her initial years goes a long way in shaping their future course of lifestyle. So parents have to be super sure and aware of all the factors which might or might not affect their child’s health and development. A study report by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) indicates that a good-quality preschool education can position the children for academic success in the future. Picking a good preschool is what every parent wants but many of them don’t know what to look for while selecting a preschool for their child.

Here are five points that every parent must keep in mind when on a lookout for the best preschool for their child’s education:

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Cleanliness: Parents must ensure that the preschool has an inviting atmosphere. It should be neat and clean. It should be big enough for children to move around, explore, eat snacks, and even take naps! The toilets and sinks should be kid-sized. The preschool should also pass the smell test – no spoiled food or dirty toilets. If the parents aren’t comfortable, then their children certainly wouldn’t be.

 

 

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Toys and playthings: A preschool must have plenty of kindergarten games and books for children. While kindergarten games promote open-ended creativity and play, books can picked up and read anytime. It is very important to encourage children to participate in creative exercises and to read books. The sooner that happens, the better it is.

 

 

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Comprehensive curriculum: The daily schedule of a good preschool includes physical and group activities, story reading time, arts and crafts, socializing, and meal time. The curriculum should be updated and must provide creative freedom to the children. The daily schedule shouldn’t be too structured.

 

 

 

middleton-classroom-4Friendly staff: A preschool staff should be able to instill a strong philosophy of sharing, discipline, sleep and other issues in children. The staff should be caring and considerate. A good preschool is full of happy children playing games, talking (in their own way) and taking part in fun activities. Too much discipline limits their social activities and thinking capabilities. It’s the responsibility of the staff to ensure that the children are comfortable in their surroundings.

Good reputation: Even if everything about a preschool is great, hearing good things about it, does make a difference. When on a school visit, the parents should observe the children’s behaviour and how the teachers are handling them. Getting a positive feedback from other parents whose children are already in that preschool would help in making the right decision.

Eventually, the importance of preschool years has to be realised by parents and thus every effort has to be made to find the best preschool where their child can flourish. Under the guidance of a trained preschool teacher, a child’s emotional control, basic instincts, and inhibitions and fears can be controlled.

Finally, good luck!

Indian education system

Post result stress management for parents

Stress management tips for parents

Parenting can be very stressful and the stress management can become elusively horrendous for many. I do not say this from a personal experience, rather by observing. It is said that the months of March and May are stressful for children. However, the stress level amongst parents during this period cannot be fathomed. It doesn’t matter if you are a single parent or whether you have one child or many; also the stress levels aren’t directly proportional to your child’s ability. In a world with ever changing performance parameters and increasing competition, children face an uphill task of outscoring their peers.

The annual CBSE class 12 exam, this year, witnessed a surge in the number of registrations with almost 11 lakh students appearing for the exam. Now compare it to the mediocre state of many of our higher education institutes and you could easily understand the emotions through which many parents go through. That said, what many parents forget is the fact that children should not be bound by their urgency to see their child become engineers or doctors. There are many different fields available for them to forge their careers in. If parents cannot effectively deal with their personal stress levels, it will be doubly more difficult for their children to look for positivity.

Stress management tips for Parents:

Find the right information

The first piece of advice for parents is not to panic – there are ample resources available to consult. For instance, our own portal – Global Educates – offers a plethora of information, like the courses offered to students, faculties, institutes, and much more. Also, parents can consult specialized CBSE helplines. Often, parents neglect the importance of consulting a career counsellor to discuss their child’s shortcomings and seek advice on future course of action. Parents can do a great deal when it comes to encouragement and sustenance. Always remember, stress management is the primary way of dealing with the various challenges posed by your child’s poor display at the annual class 12 results.

Think through your decisions

The other common mistake which parents make while dealing with their child’s poor results is rushing into making decisions. It is obvious for a parent to get annoyed at an apparent lack of effort or preparation. That said, don’t undermine the hard work put in by your child; appreciate it and encourage them to achieve more. No child studies to score low marks, however, certain situations make it horribly difficult for children to overcome. Instead, focus on encouraging your child to look at the positives and work to better their weaknesses. It is one of the most important components of stress management for parents.

A gap year

A gap year spent travelling or pursuing a field of interest can add a great deal to your child’s CV. Sometimes your child’s inability to seek admission after class 12 is more about the competition than their ability. Work experience, especially if it shows that your child can work in a team, is always appreciated and will tackle anything. Click here to read about how a gap year might be the ‘next’ stress management tool for you.


The key to stress management is to build a never say die attitude in your child. Don’t robotically assume that college is your child’s first choice, and remember if they are unsuccessful in getting admission this time, they might find that a year at college has been more beneficial, especially since that can offer more hand-holding than university, which is what some students need. Remember, rather than negativity and constant bickering, what your child needs the most is support during such testing times.

Stress management isn’t difficult, especially dealing with stress of your child’s poor score in class 12 results, however, inactions of parents and their reluctance to deal with the stress is worrisome.

Summer Vacations

It is the time of the year, to which every child looks up to. No more early morning wake up calls, no more classroom deadlines, no more walking up to the bus stop; all these can be replaced with two words – summer vacations. Every family is travelling – or planning to travel and go ‘somewhere’; the annual rejuvenation. For children, summer vacation is a period, for which they meticulously plan for. As soon as they are done with the annual exams in March, all they look up to is the “summer vacations”. Though summer vacations aren’t just for children, but recommended for adults too.

So have you planned your vacations?

Well if you haven’t, then you should.

The summer vacations, because of the fact that how long window they offer, are the best time for you to head out with family and friends and be part of some gorgeous commemorations. They offer the perfect opportunity to relax, revitalize, and bond – that meal shared over a fine bone-fire night or that dip in the gorgeous beaches of Goa can create a long lasting dent of positivity and togetherness. Summer vacations sound like dreams, and just like dreams, they are easy to foresee, however, awfully difficult to materialize; especially when you are planning to travel with kids.

Many exasperated parents complain that there is “something” erroneous in their child’s behaviour, ever since they got back from holidays. In most cases, parents observe that their children are grouchy and fatigued; refusing to get back to routine. The stress levels, in many parents, are alarmingly high, and many rue why in first place they planned the vacation. Can anything be sadder than the fact that something that is meant to be fun and forge strong bonds turns sour like this, just because of one reason – poor planning. A getaway with kids is completely different than the one with adults and therefore both have to be planned considering this. Children enjoy the most when they are allowed to be themselves, in the company of their parents and loved ones. All they demand is undivided attention for a few hours in a day. They have fun when they are allowed to take on challenges that they think they can handle and given time to experiment new tricks. For instance, children will feel lethargic on hectic vacations, carted from one place to the other and forced to do things that do not appeal to them. Also, the other thing which a child hates most are – rushed mornings; this is the reason most children hate going to schools. They do not have fun when they have to travel during unearthly hours, on crammed itineraries.

Some tips while travelling with children during summer vacations:

  • Plan Meticulously

Those off season discounts can be tempting, however, it could also mean that, in the scorching heat, you are in a place where you shouldn’t be with a child. Also, choosing a place, for instance, a hill station, during the summers could mean that you will end up in a crowded place, bustling for peace and calm. This could be more exhaustive and catastrophic. Therefore, choose a place that is off the beaten track and bask in the company of your family.

  • Take Precautions

While indulging in various activities, always keep an eye on your kids, ensure they take every precaution before indulging in any activity. For instance, don’t allow them to dip in the pool unchecked and without proper supervision or play on slides and swings without proper safety gears. However, remember too many rules can also spoil the party, a right amount of liberty coupled with some precautions is the suggestion. For children, unlimited time to play, is all that they want.

  • Hydrate Properly

To ensure that kids drink water frequently, carry enough drinking water – it is summer after all.

  • Eat Properly

During summer vacations, ensure that kids eat healthy food so as to keep their energy levels up. For instance, carry some cereals which can be consumed during travel is all that a child needs. As summer vacations can be very exhaustive for kids, therefore ensure that their diet includes the desired amount to vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

  • Relax

Relaxing time is equally important once you get back from your trip. If you are planning to come back on the last day of the vacation, then beware – it is the most common mistake which many make. Always keep a day or two for yourself and plan accordingly. Your body needs to be distressed and rejuvenated after an exhaustive summer vacation.

Relax – let go of the stress – ramp up the fun – don’t aim at accomplishing anything.

Have fun!

Dealing with Adolescents

There is a famous saying, which goes like this, “A lot of parents will do anything for their kids, except letting them be themselves”. Parents, on a whole, cannot resist themselves from instructing kids the difference between right and wrong, however, they forget the meek fact that life can only be understood when it is experienced. Letting kids experience and understand the simple truths of life themselves is always good; yet, some words of caution are always helpful to avoid them from messing up things.

Dealing with Adolescents, in general, and teenagers, in particular, is definitely a challenge and parents have to prepare their own set of tactics to handle them. When it comes to the lessons that need to be taught during the childhood, the list goes long. Some of the tips of dealing with adolescents are as below.

  1. Importance of Education: Right education is a person’s key to success, it instils confidence in a child to lead their own life, at their own terms, notwithstanding challenges they are faced with. A desired amount of attention to education will always lead to great morals and correct ethical values in a child. These values are the key to the holistic growth of the child. Teenagers should be taught the importance of studying because education, more than attaining a degree; is about achieving the desired arrogance towards life – an important fact which parents ignore while dealing with adolescents.
  1. Importance of Friends: Teach your children to be cautious and vigilant while making friends, as a person’s character is defined by the company they keep. Adolescences are subtle and it takes time for them to realise this fact. Help them choose the right kind of friends – those who offer unbiased and truthful advice. Normally, friendships forged during teenage eventually grow and may place a great level of emotional influence on the kids.
  1. Social media should be a no go: In the present scenario, film stars and models are the most striking and obvious role models for any adolescent. Parents need to help children choose their ambitions in life and realize the hard reality behind it. They need to be made aware about the absurdity of external looks and physical features, as ultimately it is their character which defines them through thick and thin. Another important step while dealing with adolescents.
  1. Sex Education: The digital media, in today’s context, rules the thought process of adolescents. The adrenaline rush, common in adolescents, poses a great hurdle in front of the children; many face difficulty in dealing with mid age blues and make hazardous decisions. This is the time when parents play a greater role in their child’s life and befriend them; for instance, spending more time with children is a perfect example of how to have an effective relationship with adolescents. When it comes to girl-child, a mother is the right person to teach them the importance of dealing the bodily changes, menstruation, and the risks behind teen pregnancies and unsafe sex. The correct approach to dealing with adolescents during puberty is to teach them what not to become, before you teach them what to achieve.
  1. Show Faith: Foremost, a child needs to understand the importance of responsibility before you can demand discipline from them. Involve them in small household chores like purchasing grocery or paying bills. When they are given an opportunity to spend money on their own, only then a child would realise the value of it. This helps indoctrinate an intelligent habit of taking up responsibility and understanding finances as two different things.

Adolescence is the time when teenagers cultivate opinions and stick to them; thus, you need to develop an intelligent strategy whereby you effectively communicate with them without impacting their sensitive feelings. The most important lesson is to stay flexible and committed to principles in life; to negotiate and compromise sometimes, on certain things so as to keep up the relationships in life. Eventually, life is better understood only when it is experienced. And dealing with adolescents can be easy if parents take a positive approach.

montessori system of education

Exam stress – A growing Concern

There has been a significant increase in the number of young people seeking counselling over exam stress, and as per some of the recent studies conducted on the same, the increase could be as high as 200%. For child rights protection campaigners and parents it could be more worrisome than their child’s overall education status.

As I am no expert in this, so allow me the liberty of quoting a CBSE helpline figure, where the national board announced that its exam helpline service received record number of approaches from students and their parents, who are apprehensive about exams. Also, the queries about counselling over exam stress have tripled in last two years. In 2014-15 alone, the board received more than 34,000 approaches from students over school concerns such as problems with teachers, revision, workloads, and other issues, placing education in the top 10 of most recurrent trepidations among users for the first time. More than half of subsequent counselling sessions organized by the board dealt with young person’s main concern related to school and exams; a 200% increase compared with 2013-14. And the number of hits on the online website and through social media channels is even higher.

Talking to some of the experts, I realized that the major concern amongst children was the worry whether they will be able to score well in their exams and live up to the aspirations of their parents. Under the pressure to score well and surpass the overall competition children end up putting unnecessary pressure on themselves, which leads to stress and in some severe cases depression too. Psychologists have also reported that each year, especially during the exam session, children and their parents feel more stressed. A common mistake, which almost every parent makes, is the fact that many bar their children from participating in any other activity, citing the aspersions of the exam season. These figures came when hundreds of thousands of pupils were preparing to sit for CBSE as well as entrance exams in India. Even in primary schools, the scenario is no different, parents are scrambling to get their children registered while dealing with last moment blues.

As these figures reveal, the exam period can be a very stressful and anxious time for young people; add to it the pressure to do well and one would have perfect recipe to stress and depression. In no terms I am agitating against the tests, which are conducted as part of an effort to judge how well the pupil has understood the concepts of the process, however, the fault lies in the lack of support system for children. If we talk in ethical terms, schools have a moral obligation to support their pupils during times of pressure, and ideally schools should have strong setups in place to do so. We have, however, failed to take steps to ensure pupils are not on a constant treadmill of revision and testing.

Family relationships, as per many experts, were cited as the most common concerns by young people using the service in 2012-13. Another reason for the rise in exam stress could be nervousness on the part of teachers to deal with such cases in their classrooms. It is possible to draw a link between increased stress and exam reform and the accountability framework under which schools are ranked and measured. India’s children are some of the most tested in the world – and doctors, teachers and parents want change.

Schools are also testing pupils more frequently to prepare for exams. A survey last year – by a company that sells security seals used for exam papers – found that many secondary schools made pupils sit mock exams within a month of the summer holiday’s ending.

Click here to get tips to success.

Getting Bullied in College?

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Journey from school to college is one worth looking forward to. At the end of school, one thing which excites a youngster most is the beginning of college. Many of us look forward to college with great aspirations and high optimism. But for some, the journey becomes scary and undeserved. There is a misapprehension that bullying is a phenomenon of middle school, where children are young and passing through their adolescence. Though bullying in colleges has been noticeable, however, in recent years, with advent of technology and social tools, the level of bullying has suddenly multiplied. Easy and unimpeded access to online resources, new attained freedom of living away from home, and less direct authority are some of the many reasons which have led to a sudden surge in the number of bullying cases in colleges. A recent study provides more detailed report – 15% of college students are bullied every year and of those 22% reported cyberbullying through social networks and other forms of online communication[i]. Moreover, psychiatrists have attributed “the urge to bully” to a mental condition, where some people, highly obsessed to prove their superiority over others often end up choosing this path. Till a few years back, bullying was limited to mostly ragging in hostels or colleges. However, with more stringent anti-ragging laws and policies, students have moved to a more convenient and perhaps the easiest tool of bullying – cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying

Many studies have validated the fact that cyberbullying is on the rise. With more attention given to curb the menace of physical bullying, many have moved towards cyberbullying, which provides easier access to internet – a medium widely used all over the world and where audience available is wider than any physical medium. Cyberbullying can be anything from a gossip or rumor about someone to slut shaming, sexual comments, or graphic abuse. In many cases cyberbullying spreads like a fire and eventually it becomes almost impossible to find the actual source of such rumors. Though many factors contribute to such a misuse of internet, however, amongst them the prominent reason for this is the freedom given to an adult as soon as they enter college. This sudden freedom encourages and permits many to indulge in such mischievous activities. Cyberbullying prevention has become equally more important with rise in number of cases.

If looked deeper, the case of bullying has many causes from bad parenting to desire of becoming the center of attraction. Let us look at some of these in more detail:

Lack of bullying policy in schools

Though many colleges have strict anti-bullying policies, however, schools are still lagging behind in implementing such laws. Especially in India, where children are often told to deal with bullying on their own, and complaining about such conditions is considered a sign of their weakness. A misconception amongst many that bullying is just a childhood ‘fun-activity’ and not a serious mental condition is the root cause of this.

Peer Pressure

Pressure to become classroom heroes also pushes many to choose bullying tactics. Many believe that bullying weaker students will make them look cool and improve their reputation in college. Sudden unchecked behaviors may also result in urge to undertake these activities. Such students look for easy targets who can be attacked easily, therefore leading to increase in cases of bullying. Another major reason for sudden outpour of cases is the fact that students in college are under tremendous pressure to perform and many are not able to deal with this sudden spotlight.

Freedom

During middle-school or high school years, many of us live under the guidance of our parents. However, moving to a college is often a period where many move away from home, and hence find new freedom. Suddenly students feel liberated and their activities are mostly unchecked. This sudden change, for many, is hard to deal with and often leads students towards bullying. Though teachers do check discipline in their classes, however, in colleges many do not interfere in activities outside classrooms hence such activities go unchecked.

Remedy

Contacting a counselor or a student is a good start. Many choose not to report such cases out of fear of embarrassment or pressure from other students. Always remember, reporting such cases at the initial stages can go a long way in curbing the menace. College leaders can also play an important role in curbing the menace by organizing events, for instance, “Freshman Orientation” where new students can interact with their seniors and make the atmosphere friendlier.

Moreover, college students may feel more pressure than school students to respond to bullying on their own. The mind-set is “You are adults, therefore you need to learn to handle issues on your own”. Although, it is true to a point, however, bullying is a complex issue that often requires a support system. Teachers and parents can provide assistance and insight especially if the bullying they are suffering involves activities that are against the law.


[i] Report of Health Day News Study (2012)