Teachers Transcending Traditional Teaching :

This is a two month program beginning on the first Monday of every month.

It is designed for those who may be Practioners in fields other than traditional teaching who want to participate in the new Knowledge economy by sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise in innovative non-traditional ways. Of course enterprising teachers would benefit from this program, especially teachers ( whether at School or higher education) who are RBNT ( Retired but not tired).

The course is run as mobile phone WhatsApp delivered posts from Monday to Friday. There are 7 course modules, each of about a week duration that are listed below. These are followed by a one week mentoring stint, during which each participant would be able to create one course in the format that has been adopted.

MMP01: Become a lifelong learner

MMP20: Disruptive Educational Innovation

MMP21: : WhatsApp for Educators

MMP22: Flipped learning

MMP23: Flourishing as a TeacherPreneur in the Gig Economy

MMP24: Business Matters

MMP25: Developing a ‘product’ as a TeacherPreneur

MMP26: Humour in the Teaching-Learning Process

Detailed structure of the courses :

MMP01: Become a lifelong learner

No. and description of modules :
Module 1: The importance of becoming a lifelong learner
1.1: Why lifelong learning is so important now?
1.2: Well known and successful lifelong learners
1.3: Lifelong learning for career success
Module 2: Attributes of a lifelong learner
2.1: Knowing what to learn?
2.2: Expansion of the definition of learning
2.3: The characteristics of a lifelong learner
Module 3: Steps to becoming a lifelong learner
3.1: Become a more curious person. Ask questions.
3.2: The do’s and don’ts for lifelong learning
3.3: PRACTICED: the journey to lifelong learning
Module 4: Improving your lifelong learning abilities
4.1: What is worth Learning?
4.2: Learning at different stages of life
4.3: Applying and teaching what you learn
Module 5: How to learn anything?

5.1: Strategy and Plan for learning anything new

5.2: Learning resources on the Internet

5.3: Using  YouTube for Learning

MMP02: Educational Innovation

No. And description of modules

Module 1: Innovation Essentials

1.1: What is innovation ?
1.2: Barriers to Educational Innovation
1.3: Fostering a culture of innovation

Module 2: The Diffusion of Innovation
2.1: The ABCs of Diffusion
2.2: The S shaped curve for innovation adoption
2.3: Critical mass and tipping points

Module 3: Opportunities in Educational Innovation
3.1: Incremental Innovation
3.2: Blue Ocean Strategy
3.3: Technology Driven Innovation

Module 4: Disruptive Innovation
4.1: When is innovation disruptive?
4.2: The characteristics of Disruptive innovation
4.3: Personalisation as the disruption in education

Theme 5: Disruptive Innovations in Education
Topic 5.1: MOOCs
Topic 5.2: The Minerva Project
Topic 5.3: WhatsApp in education

Structure of course on

MMP21: WhatsApp for Educators

Module 1: WhatsApp facilitated learning
1.1: The features of WhatsApp
1.2: WhatsApp as a learning tool
1.3: Overcoming the limitations of WhatsApp

Module 2: Design considerations for WhatsApp Delivery
2.1: Choosing a course topic: considerations
2.2: Incorporating Instructional Design
2.3: Mapping to credit value

Module 3: Delivering a course with WhatsApp
3.1: The delivery team
3.2: The learner attributes
3.3: Protocol to be adopted in a whatsApp learning group

Module 4: A case study in WhatsApp for learning
4.1: WhatsApp for Continuing Professional Development
4.2: Pedagogies
4.3: Actionable Learning

Module 5: Wrap up:
5.1: Administrative uses of WhatsApp
5.2: Fostering active participation in a WhatsApp group
5.3: Identifying possibilities for WhatsApp based learning

Structure of course on

MMP 22: Flipped Learning

Module 1: What is Flipped Learning ?
1.1: The history and evolution of Flipped learning
1.2: The increasing adoption of Flipped learning
1.3: Why is Flipped learning effective?

Module 2: The Pedagogy of Flipped Learning
2.1: Active learning, student engagement and social learning
2.2: Personalisation in Flipped Learning
2.3: Mastery Learning
Module 3: Planning and designing for Flipped Teaching
3.1: Structuring content and activities into pre-class, during class and post-class
3.2: Ensuring that pre-class activities have been done
3.3: Re-designing in class-room activities for Flipped learning
Module 4: Assessment for the Flipped Classroom
4.1: New forms of assessment for Flipped teaching
4.2: Frequent and short assessment tasks
4.3: Creating assessments for the Flipped Classroom

Module 5: Success Factors for Flipped Classroom
5.1: Teacher Preparation
5.2: Learner Preparation
5.3: Content Preparation

MMP23: Flourishing as a TeacherPreneur in the Gig Economy

MMP24: Business Matters

MMP25: Developing a ‘product’ as a TeacherPreneur

MMP26: Humour in the Teaching-Learning Process

Why this is the best time to be an educator?

This year Teachers Day 2015, took place on Krishna Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, the greatest teacher of all times.
On this occasion, we organised an event which showcased some new and innovative aspects of teaching-learning.
To an observer whose sights are on the developing technological horizon of Big Data, the Internet of Things, Robotics, Drones and enhanced Machine Intelligence competing with humans, it is clear that as we enter the 2nd half of the 2nd decade of the 21st Century, the next 5 to 10 years are likely to emerge as a new Renaissance in education.
We now realise that the Teacher is far more important than the expert practitioner because an expert can demonstrate his or her skill in context, but it is the Teacher that creates an expert practitioner out of an initially ignorant or incompetent person. Education has to be learner centric and knowledge is mutually created by the teacher and learner. In fact, Science the most glorious of human endeavours flourishes because it is a community of Scientists that drives it, and not a hierarchy of bureaucrats and politicians.
We must prepare to move from the ‘art of teaching’ to ‘the Science of learning’, and just as the microscope, telescope and other instruments aided Scientific progress by providing data to be put into contexts, patterns and insights, it is the Computer, Internet and allied technologies that will drive this transition from a qualitative uncertain authority based model to a data driven one that allows every learner to learn.
The potential of mobile and handheld learning in education is now accepted by the UNESCO which is organising annual Mobile Learning weeks. And for the 2015 Mobile Learning week the focus was on ‘educating the girl child’. With the accessibility of Mobile phones and the MHRD initiatives through the CIET, NCERT of all their books in English, Hindi and Urdu being available for free on mobile devices, a new era in education is upon us.
Amazon is shortly launching $50 tablets, and Reliance plans to offer Smartphones with built in Apps at about Rs 2500/-, bringing these devices in the hands of almost every learner.
The pedagogy of mobile education and adoption of Heutagogy, managing the learning of self-directed life long learners will become one of the important competencies of the new age teacher.
Two important strands in this scheme are : ‘ Teaching-learning with Mobiles and Handhelds’ and ‘ Educational Innovation’, especially disruptive innovation.
We had a number of presentations describing models and experiences of a very diverse nature.
One video presentation was a complete replacement of the traditional lecture, and was presented as a narrative sharing a range of experiments and experiences. In another one, the presenter gave an introduction to the video that he would play, and asked the audience to think of experiences that they could relate to while watching the video. This was followed up by a discussion on the comments raiding from the audience.
There were several presentations with PowerPoint slides to support the talk, and there were interventions which were entirely speaker thoughts.


QAI, a private awarding body registered in the UK shared the following innovative ideas that were being developed by them:


A very important outcome of the deliberations was the demonstration of a new model of blended teaching-learning of which the traditional classroom or distance learning are special cases.

We call this emergent model ‘ The Augmented Classroom Lecture’ which performs a space shift, device shift and time-shift of the traditional classroom lecture.

It incorporates the ideas of ‘flipped learning’, mastery learning and personalisation of the learning experience. Attention was drawn to the significance and importance of ‘social learning ‘ a component that gets significantly enhanced with technology and the size of the learning cohort.
Teachers were at some point in history respected as much as Gods, and teaching was a ‘calling’. In the industrially dominated era, they were often treated as ‘machines’ to produce trained humans who could carry out those functions in factories that could not be carried out by machines. Thus ‘ learning outcomes ‘ assembly line production and quality control processes became dominant.

As we contemplated on the future and specifically of the role of educators and learning, a few insights emerged.
In the foreseeable future, both the human populations and its longevity will be increasing significantly.

“Millennials will have over 13 jobs in their lifetime and the median­ time they will spend in a job will be three years … when they switch from one job to the next, the skills they will need in that next job will usually be something they not only don’t know but in many cases didn’t even exist when they went to school,” Professor Koller, co-founder of Coursera said in Melbourne recently.
The formal education system, is no longer equipped to cope with the emerging challenges, and the big opportunity is for educators to emerge from the background and take centre stage in addressing the challenges.
It is constrained by a tradition of preparing clergy for the church or academics for the academia, and is not readily able to respond to other challenges of learning.
Even in the classical space of learning and research there are many examples of non-recognition of talent or brilliance. For instance John Gurdon was while at Eton considered completely unsuitable for learning Science ( in fact his report card said that this would be a ridiculous idea, and a waste of time of all concerned) would later win a Nobel Prize in Medicine.
The biggest anomaly is that while we teach a number of subjects, we still do not teach learning. Nor do we have a proper system of assessment, and no examination Board declares the error margins inherent in the design of their systems.
It is said that the Internet changes everything, and accessing the Internet through the mobile, even more so. There is a movement in the developed world that ‘ sitting is the new smoking’ which basically draws attention to the fact that sitting at desks ( whether at the office or at School or College) beyond brief periods for rest is significantly harmful, comparable to the harmful effects of smoking.
So we need of have new learning spaces outside the classroom where learners can move around and explore. With handheld devices for content flow, and assessment spending time in the real world rather than in the cloistered existence of academia may be the way.

It is often said that ‘Ignorantia juris non excusat (Latin for “ignoranceof the law excuses no one”). But in real life ” ignorance is no excuse”.
So learn, all that you can learn. You never know when not knowing something can be a problem.

The role of the educator is to remove ignorance. Sometimes the learner may know what he needs to learn. But more often in the mode of Socratic questioning, the educator takes the learner through the 4 stages of unknown incompetence,
known incompetence, known competence and finally unknown competence. And learning happens in several ways from multiple sources. There is a Buddhist saying that ‘when the learner is ready, the teacher will appear’.
And the role of the educator as subject matter expert is secondary to the role of creating conditions in which learning happens. For this the future educator has to blend nature, technology, data and human and machine intelligence to ensure that every learner is able to achieve his desired learning goals.

The main point is that education as a cure or remedy for ignorance is the new reality, and is equally applicable to health, justice, relationships and nation and world building.
With millions on screens on which educators can be viewed both synchronously and asynchronously, we should not be surprised if a decade from now ‘educators’ will become the new celebrities. Who can believe today that great actors at one time worked as salaried employees in theatre companies and film studios.
In a decade or so, salaried teachers at School or College will be a thing of the past and celebrity RockStar teachers and professors will have millions of learners from all over the world following them on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

A precursor to that is for example the Korean English Teacher Kim Ki-Hoon who earns around US$ 4 million a year, or Cha Kil-yong the Maths teacher who earns US$ 8 million a year.

Educators who shape minds ( not only young minds, but throughout the life-span as well) are therefore very important now, and it is indeed the best time to be an educator.

21st Century Gurus for the Fourth Industrial Age:

The very first para of the Summary of recommendations ( Chapter 9) of the draft new education policy 2016 begins with:
” From ancient times, Indian thinkers and society have recognised the value of education. The Guru-Shishya Parampara is one of the earliest examples of knowledge sharing between the teacher and the student “.
Another organ of the Government, the Department of Science and Technology through TIFAC released a report around March 2016 that was endorsed by the PM.
This report is called India Technology Vision 2035 and the section on education has the following prophecy, with full certainty and no qualifying if, but, maybe or perhaps.
‘ Schools, Colleges and Universities as currently constituted will be redundant in 2035.
Instead, we will have institutions that are virtual/meta/open in character’.
In January 2016, at the World Economic Forum Davos, Professor Klaus Schwab drew attention to the fact that we are now at the threshold of the 4th Industrial Revolution. According to the experts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this next stage in societal development will see artificial intelligence, and robots, take the place of humans at work.
Of course, the authors of our New Education Policy have turned a blind eye to the possibility of the 4th Industrial Revolution and Digital India impacting Indian education and youth employability.
While the MegaTrends and convergences in Computing, Genetics, Energy and allied technologies do warn and caution us that the status quo will not remain, it also encourages us to believe that we the educators will be the drivers of change this time around.
Our policy makers continue with their Ostrich policy or if you do prefer are like the Nawabs in Prem Chand’s ‘ Shatranj ke Khiladi’.
Earlier Industrial revolutions were driven by control or ownership of capital, land, labour or means of production, but the 4th Industrial Revolution will be led by innovative ideas and co-operation rather than by tight control of ownership or over-regulation of Education by the State.
Education and training to overcome ignorance of STEM and acquisition of new skills led by complex problem solving, cognitive flexibility, critical thinking and creative thinking for very large numbers over very short times is fundamental. Educators empowered with mobile phone technology of specific Apps and WhatsApp for learner cohort management will be the most powerful enabler for this. India could possibly become the world’s hub for educational Apps.
The reason why accomplished practicing educators are more important than the policy maker bureaucrats and fossilised experts in this situation is that while an expert can demonstrate his or her expertise, an inspiring technology empowered educator can transform every ignorant person to an expert by using techniques for successful learning.
The Economic value add by educators has been well researched by the Stanford Professor Eric Hanushek in his book ‘ The Knowledge Capital of Nations’.

Pour true hope is from the 21st Century Guru, who rather then seeking an employee status pursues learning and sharing of learning as an autonomous Independent Educator, a TeacherPreneur.

Let us expand on this concept a little further.
The Internet facilitates the disintermediation of all organisations , and it must do the same for educational intermediaries and this is what has also been stated in the TIFAC vision 2035 report.
The enormous recent success of the Government in implementing the Direct Benefit transfer schemes clearly demonstrates that as said in para 1 of the summary of recommendations of the draft new education policy, we can now eliminate all intermediaries between the educator and the learner.
These Independent Educators can be MOOC facilitators for not only college level qualifications but for life-long learning as well. All Schools/Colleges that offer education at +2 level can be MOOC Centres so that they can have the motto : ‘ College Ke Saath Bhi…..College Ke Baad bhi.