Preparing students for a future that they haven’t imagined.
Where will your experience take you today?
Digital learning is teaching that uses technology to improve a student’s learning experience. The emphasis is on high-quality instruction and provides challenging content. The student is assessed constantly and unobtrusively and feedback through formative assessment is almost instant.
With modern Digital Learning learning is anytime and anywhere. Students can be taught individually to ensure they achieve full potential. Through such choices the student is led to discovering her / his own interest.
Digital learning is personal learning. It increases access to quality education. It provides learning that places the student at the centre. Through repetition it increases the students response time. The student is only challenged by her / himself. The criteria are only set against him /herself.
The student creates a time and the opportunity to learn. When and what they learn and nurtures a lifetime of education through a journey of self-discovery. It opens a world of education unrestricted by the four walls of a conventional classroom.
After All, Man will be judged by his character
Thus, the focus on the importance of the values, which include respect, kindness, courtesy, consideration, confidence, humility and learning to be givers, not takers, must not be lost.
Each day students come to school bringing dreams hope seeking inspiration
Ideally a 21st Century Education should provide every learner with:
A personalized, student-centered learning environment
Research-based digital learning strategies implemented by caring and qualified teachers
A learning experiences that prepare students for an increasingly technology-driven workforce and world
Learning that taps into passions and interests for deeper engagement and agency
A clear pathway to post secondary success through which every child achieves his or her potential
Digital learning is replacing traditional educational methods more and more each day. In the rapidly changing classrooms, it is best to forget past practices and start thinking about newer teaching and learning techniques. Techniques that are based on digital learning tools and technologies.
The inclusion of digital learning in the classrooms can vary from simply using tablets instead of paper or using elaborate software programs that measures a learners progress and maps a way forward for the learners development.
LMS – Learning Management System – Online Learning Platform
A learning management system is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. The learning management system concept emerged directly from e-Learning. (Wikipedia)
Even social networks and communications platforms can be used to create and manage digital assignments and agendas.
Irrespective of how much technology is integrated into the classroom, digital learning has come to play a crucial role in education. It empowers students by getting them to be more interested in learning and expanding their horizons. Here is how digital learning is a step up from traditional education methods.
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses. Learning management systems were designed to identify training and learning gaps, utilizing analytical data and reporting. LMS’s are focused on online learning (Wikipedia)
Students using digital learning tools and technology become more engaged in the process and more interested in growing their knowledge base. They may not even realize that they are actively learning since they are learning through engaging methods such as:
role playing and
Reorienting Students for A World Where Technology Is Omnipresent
Digital learning is far more interactive and memorable than voluminous textbooks or one-sided lectures. They provide a greater viewpoints and more engaging activities. In this way students connect more actively with the learning material. Digital tools often offer a more interesting and involving way to digest information. This is reflected in retention rates and test scores. Further, by tracking their own scores and progress it can improve motivation and accountability.
Some benefits of digital learning
Learning tools and technologies like social learning platforms make it easy for teachers to create and manage groups.
The shift to digital learning can assess the benefits of tutoring while
The shift to digital learning can free up time for teachers to address individual and small group needs.
Learning now becomes customized for individual learners. The opportunity to customize learning for each student will make education more productive. Learners will progress at their own pace.
By closing the learning gaps in this way progress can accelerate. The chance for working together and peer-to-peer interaction increases, dynamic grouping, workshops, and project-based learning can add lots of collaborative learning to the already present education model.
For the Teacher
There are many online platforms like Panworld Education that provides lesson planning tools, worksheets, assessments etc. for educators. This makes their tasks easier. Educators can also join online professional learning communities to ask questions and share tips and stay connected with a global educators’ community. They can keep themselves updated with the most relevant content for their curriculum using such learning tools and technology.
These help teachers teach better and students learn better through engagement and enjoyment.
Parents can easily monitor their child’s progress which can serve as an extension to what they are learning in their classrooms. Digital learning tools and technology provide enjoyment for kids as well as numerous benefits in terms of developing a child’s well-being. Everyone benefits with the digitization of learning.
GAME BASED LEARNING
There is nothing as encouraging as instant gratification. A child’s interest in learning is enhanced since gamification makes the process much more enjoyable and interesting. This also provide instant results.
Digital Learning Tools and Technology Is Rapidly Increasing Information Sharing
Do not forget that this is not the first change in media. Six centuries ago, the printing press transformed formal education and increasing learning opportunities by providing books for all. The recent shift from print to digital has NOT only change the medium but has impacted how we learn. Digital learning allows students to access more and more information while ensuring that the information customizable and suited to their personal needs.
The opportunity to help every student learn at ‘the best pace and path’ is the most important benefit of digital learning.
Increasing Students’ Employability with Digital Learning Tools and Technology
Technology in the workplace.
Before technology reaches the classroom, they are first employed in commerce and the workplace. So, it is essential that learners are comfortable with this medium.
With the ongoing employment crisis, it is crucial that if young people are unable to find jobs, they should have the ability to create their own and ideally even generate jobs for others. For this purpose, newer methods of learning and education need to be incorporated into the school curriculums, starting right from elementary school. Digital learning tools and technology in elementary, secondary, and high schools prepares students for higher education and modern careers by helping them acquire skills including problem-solving, familiarity with emerging technologies, and self-motivation.
Traditional Education Methods Have to be Replaced – Some things change while others remain the same
Traditional lectures may still exist along with the new-age learning tools and technology, but the lecture materials should be provided as a supplement to classroom activities and moved online for students to reference outside of the classroom. Classroom time is better used for discussing the curriculum, engaging in activities with teams and completing class projects. Students often have the option to pace their learning and even study ahead with a digital learning tool if they wish to do so. By helping children think outside their typical learning modes, digital learning inspires creativity and lets children feel a sense of accomplishment that encourages further learning.
Digital learning tools and technology fill the gaps where traditional classroom teaching falls behind. In fact, some of the efficiencies such tools bring are simply unmatchable by traditional learning techniques. From
Then there is the environmental impact recognized by the need for less paper for handouts and books to
saving time with quick access to information and the ease of research,
digital learning provides an effective way to cut costs, maximize resources
and heighten both reach and impact for students and educators alike.
Traditional lectures may still exist along with the new-age learning tools and technology, but the lecture materials should be provided as a supplement to classroom activities
critical periods for a child’s development occurs around age 2. What children’s experiences in this phase have lasting effects on their development
Reading time: 7min30sec.
There is electricity in the brain
Children are born with almost a full quota of neurons – white spaces (blanks) – in the brain. Through experience these spaces are connected to increase mental development. From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. And early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. The quality of a child’s experiences in the first few years of life – positive or negative – helps shape how their brain develops.
This EXTRACT is taken from: “Benefits of reading to your child”
Children’s brains develop in spurts called critical periods. The first occurs around age2, with a second one occurring during adolescence.
At the start of this period (two-year-olds), the number of connections (synapses) between brain cells (neurons) doubles. The connections between brain cells are where learning occurs, twice as many synapses enable the brain to learn faster than at any other time of life. What children’s experiences in this phase have lasting effects on their development.
It also provides a prime opportunity to lay the foundation for a holistic education for children.
Here are four ways to maximize learning during this period:
encouraging a love of learning,
focusing on breadth instead of depth,
paying attention to emotional intelligence, and
do not treat a young child’s education as merely a precursor to “real” learning (play school).
ENCOURAGE A LOVE OF LEARNING
Instead of focusing on performance, Young children need to enjoy the process of learning. Educators and parents can emphasize the joys of trying new activities and learning something novel.
This period is also the time to establish a growth mindset. Talents and abilities are developed through effort instead of being naturally fixed.
Educators should avoid labeling children or making universal statements about their ability like “You’re so smart” these are counterproductive. Instead, emphasize perseverance. Children will learn to love learning if we show enthusiasm over the process. Do not fixate on results.[i]
FOCUS ON BREADTH, NOT DEPTH
Expose children to a wide variety of activities. It is a time to develop skills in a range of fields. Engage children in music, reading, sports, math, art, science, and languages.
Avoid focusing on results during this phase of development as to emphasize the breadth of skill development over depth.
People who thrive in our rapidly changing world are those who first learn how and then draw from multiple fields. They think creatively and abstractly – this forms well-rounded individuals.
Well-roundedness is especially important for children from ages 2 to 7. Their developing brains are ready to soak in a wide range of skill sets. DON’T OVERLOOK EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Yes, we want children to read well and learn the fundamentals of math. But we should not disregard emotional intelligence. The advantages of learning during this first critical period of brain development should extend to interpersonal skills such as kindness, empathy, and teamwork.
Empathy begins with acknowledging one’s feelings. Therefore help children label their emotions (“I feel sad”) and then tell the story about what made them feel that way (“I feel sad because I wanted ice cream and you said no”). Once children practice labeling emotions, educators can start asking questions that encourage them to consider others’ feelings.
One way to encourage care for others is to include children in what adults do for others. Even allowing young children to help with chores can make them more helpful and considerate people.
DON’T TREAT YOUNG CHILDREN’S EDUCATION AS MERELY A PRECURSOR TO “REAL” LEARNING
Children’s brains can uniquely absorb information during this critical phase.
Research shows that children in this age range are best suited to learn the patterns of language development, enabling them to master a second language to the same level as a native language. However, once children reach age 8, their language learning proficiency decreases, and second languages are not spoken as well as native ones. The same age effect is found when learning musical ability such as perfect pitch.
It is tempting to think of early childhood education as a precursor to “real” education. But these may be the years that matter most.
The way learners access and absorb information has changed significantly over the past decades. They want lessons that are interactive, engaging and fun. Technology allows educators to adopt eLearning as – a method and practice of teaching by using different apps, images, videos and other online resources to enhance the traditional ways of teaching and keep learners engaged. We also need to expose our learners to technology. ICT (Information and communications technology) skills are no longer optional, they’re basic skills for functioning in society. For today’s generation of learners to prosper in the world of tomorrow and become contributors to the 4th industrial revolution rather than just passive bystanders, they need to benefit from the opportunities that eLearning provides.
Resources for Online Learning
The concept of traditional education has changed radically within the last couple of years. Being physically present in a classroom isn’t the only learning option anymore — not with the rise of the internet and new technologies, at least. Nowadays, you have access to a quality education whenever and wherever you want, as long as you have access to a computer. We are now entering a new era — the revolution of online education.
In general, when taking an online course you might encounter resources like:
Live Q&A sessions; and
eLearning is different from the traditional classroom. Firstly, the time spent listening is shorter and the time spent on assignments and activities is flexible, but
It involves self-discipline. You learn naturally and at your own pace
“But in some other cases. … procrastinating, and not having that physical reminder, sitting in class and the teachers grilling one, can cause the learner to fall behind. That is the rough part.”
Online education enables the teacher and the student to set their own learning pace, this allows for greater interaction and more feedback between learner and your tutor.
There’s is access to very diverse material such as videos, photos, and eBooks online. Tutors can also integrate other formats like forums or discussions to improve their lessons.
And once you get the hang of it, you can dive into it and find your own material that can enrich your knowledge of any subject. You are definitely not restricted to a particular subject.
The final word
More than 6 million students are currently in online courses as part of their higher education program
Almost half of all students enrolled in online courses are educated exclusively through distance education
85% of students think that online learning is the same or better than the traditional classroom experience
Reading is a fundamental skill that gives access to knowledge and alternative points of view, and also provides the foundation for success in school.
Reading opens vocational opportunities. Every child has the right to learn to read well, but in many countries, especially developing regions, there are unacceptably low levels of literacy. An estimated 750 million (approximately 10%) of the world’s adults are illiterate; two-thirds are female (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, n.d.).
The most frequent causes of illiteracy and low literacy levels
in adults are the following:
Lack of reading instruction as a child (e.g., lack of, or denial of, access to schools; inadequate reading instruction)
Difficult living conditions, including poverty
Parents with low educational attainment
Dropping out of school early (intentionally or forced)
The development of basic reading skills is one of the primary goals of elementary education.
Several things need to happen for a child to learn to read and to comprehend
things need to happen for a child to learn to read and to comprehend what she
reads, says Nadine Gaab, PhD, an HMS associate professor of paediatrics who
heads a research unit in the Laboratories for Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston
Infants must learn to process sounds.
By early kindergarten or preschool, the child must learn phonologicalprocessing, which is the ability to manipulate the sounds of language, such as adding or deleting sounds to make words.
The child must then learn to read single words and develop the vocabulary necessary to read and understand sentences and paragraphs,
and, finally, master the ability to read fluently with reasonable speed.
To put it in another way:
The child has to decode words,
The child has to have the vocabulary once she decodes the words,
The child has to know meaning of the words and
she has to read fluently so that she can comprehend a whole paragraph,” says Prof. Gaab.
“These all have to come together for successful reading comprehension.”
READING AND THE BRAIN
Children are born
with almost a full quota of neurons – white spaces (blanks) – in the brain.
Through experience these spaces are connected to increase cognitive
Best years of Life
from 1/4 at birth to fully grown at age 5
At birth, the average baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, it doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% – nearly full grown – by age 5.
From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at
any other time in life. And early brain development has a lasting impact on a
child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. The quality of a
child’s experiences in the first few years of life – positive or negative –
helps shape how their brain develops.
‘the white matter pathways’
Structure of the brain – So how does this work?
Creating pathways to carry information
Neuron form part of the outer layer of the brain. The neuron consists of two parts the central body and the dendrils. The dendrils catch information, collect, scans and transfers information to the correct centres.
In this way pathways are created in the brain to pass on information and store in different regions
Storage Areas (memory)
A number of brain regions/centres are involved in reading
and comprehension. Among them are:
the temporal lobe, which is responsible for phonological awareness and for decoding and discriminating sounds;
Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which governs speech production and language comprehension; and
the angular and supramarginal gyrus, which link different parts of the brain so that letter shapes can be put together to form words.
In order to read and comprehend, this highway system must be wide enough for multiple pieces of information to travel at the same time. The highway must also be smooth, so that information can flow at a high rate of speed. Professor Gaab says, “You don’t want the information to stop. You don’t want a lot of stop lights.”
There are several important white-matter pathways involved in reading. Professor Gaab likens these tracts to a highway system that connects the back of the brain’s reading network to the front. In order to read and comprehend, this highway system must be wide enough for multiple pieces of information to travel. The highway must also be smooth, so that information can flow at a high rate of speed. And, she says, “You don’t want the information to stop. You don’t want a lot of stop lights.”
Reading ability in young children is related to the growth of the brain’s white matter tracts which links these language centres with parts of the brain that process visual information.
Stimulate the brain
“The brain is developing the most rapidly in the first five years, and kids who have more stimulating experiences are at a huge advantage when they get to school… And it’s really harder and harder for kids to catch up if they arrive behind.”
WHAT WORKS – STIMULATING EXPERIENCE
Recent studies done by the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital provide neurobiological evidence for the potential benefits of reading and the potential detriments of screen time on a preschool child’s brain development.
Dr. John Hutton, lead author, paediatrician and clinical
researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital says:
“Children are born with more neurons than they’ll ever have in their life, essentially a blank slate,” Hutton said.
“Depending on what type of stimulation the child has with caregivers
These stimuli reinforces connections between these neurons.”
Experience consolidates “hardwires” those connections in the brain, Hutton said. But any that aren’t well used are pruned by the brain and die off.
“And even though the brain can change and learn at all ages, it’s much more efficient in the first five years, and that’s why those early childhood experiences are so important,” he said.
WHAT IMPEDES LEARNING
Most people know that taking away screens and, reading to our children during the formative years of birth to age 5 boosts brain development. We all know that’s true, but now science can convince us with startling images.
A new study scanned the brains of children 3 to 5 years old
and found those who used screens more than the recommended one hour a day without
parental involvement had lower levels of development in the brain’s white
matter — an area key to the development of language, literacy and cognitive
The studies have also shown that excessive TV viewing is
the inability of children to pay attention
and think clearly, while
increasing poor eating habits and
Associations have also been shown between excessive screen
time and language delay, poor sleep, impaired executive
function, and a decrease in parent-child engagement.
So how do you
organize the child’s brain?
Taking away screens and – reading to our children during the
formative years of birth to age 5 boosts brain development.
The brain of a pre-schooler,
who is often read to by a caregiver, show a growth in organized white matter in
the language and literacy areas of the child’s brain. It is these areas that
will support learning in school. There is also the increase in organized white
matter in the language centres of the preschooler’s brain.
On the contrary the
brain of a preschooler who likely spends an average of two hours a day playing
on screens shows massive underdevelopment and disorganization of white matter
in the same areas needed to support learning in school.
In addition to brain
scans, the children were also given cognitive tests.
When it came to
screen time, kids who used screens more than one hour a day had
emerging literacy skills,
ability to use expressive language, and
lower on the ability to rapidly name objects.
contrast, children who frequently read books with their caregiver scored higher
on cognitive tests.
Screen time, on the other
hand, gets in the way of more than reading, “such as playing with toys,
using imagination and going outside,” Hutton said, “thus interfering
with all kinds of activities that would benefit different parts of the brain
that aren’t just related to reading.”
What type of reading was
“What really seemed
to drive the bus, at least based on this analysis, is just showing up and doing
it — reading to your child on a regular basis,” Hutton said. “And,
to me that takes a lot of pressure off parents to find the perfect book. Just
keep reading in a loving and consistent way.
How to read to
your preschool child
There’s no one
“best” way to read to your child, say experts. But research does
provide some tips on what may work best to engage and entice your child to love
books and reading.
Start from birth by talking to your child and
responding to their attempts to “baby talk”
Sing the ABC song
Have your child use their imagination and
make up stories — and ask lots of questions about those invented tales
Pick books with interesting characters — and
don’t be afraid to role play with different accents and voices for the
Have your child point to pictures and words
and repeat them
Most important — enjoy yourself!
This article is
informed by an article posted by CNN
This is your
child’s brain on books: Scans show benefit of reading vs. screen time by
Sandee LaMotte, CNN
Updated 1114 GMT
(1914 HKT) January 16, 2020
From preconception through the formative early years it is essential to safeguard and maximize children’s developmental outcomes
This introduction to reading will investigate:
innate nature and personality
Early Childhood Development (ECD)
فطرة – Fitra” or “fitrah”
(Arabic), is the state of purity and
innocence and a natural disposition
Many of these traits can be observed in young children.
Children are often referred to as innocent – meaning they are naive, harmless, guiltless or blameless etc. So how and when do any changes in their natural disposition occur? These changes occur after exposure.
Now we may ask: Are all children not the same?
A child is a composite human being, inheriting
characteristics from the mother, father and some features that are unique to
itself. Then these characteristics are manipulated through exposure. This
exposure occurs prenatal and after birth.
meaning “to do beautiful things”
It is a matter of
taking one’s inner faith and showing it in both deed and action, a sense of
social responsibility borne from religious convictions.
During the second month this
neural tube begins to differentiate into brain cells and nerve cells. The
brain cells transform into recognizable brain structures. The most notable is
the outer layer called the cerebral cortex.
By the third month the embryo
display reflexes and also reacts to its environment.
At the end of the first trimester,
hormones are released that will determine whether development will continue
to occur as male or female.
By the fifth month, the foetus is
learning to control its reactions to these sensory sensations and to control
By six months the brain becomes fully
developed. Even though the brain has not reached its full size, most of the
neurons (nerve cell) within the central nervous system are present. These
nerve cells conduct electrical impulses (i.e. send messages).Significantly it is during this period that
the foetus begins to prepare itself for the outside world. The foetus can
experience sensory sensations such as sound, taste, and smells. The ability to consciously react to sensory
sensations becomes even stronger during the sixth month. During the sixth month, another major mark of
brain development occurs; the cerebral cortex splits into two separate
hemispheres. Some researchers believe that, at this stage,
the foetus develops the ability to remember.
At birth 80 percent of the brain is developed and consist of 100 billion neurons or brain cells.
This means that during every minute of the pregnancy period at
least 250,000 brain cells are created!
Because of this rapid pace of development, proper prenatal care
is essential to the development of an unborn child’s brain.
During this process i.e. during the prenatal and postnatal,
the child is being prepared for the world around it and evidently the child
will be what the parent exposes it to.
Early Childhood Development
ECD is the net result of ongoing interactions between
biology of children and environments
The early years are critical, because this is the period in
life when the brain develops most rapidly and has a high capacity for change,
and the foundation is laid for health and wellbeing throughout life.
care is provided in a stable environment,
being sensitive to children’s health and
providing protection from threats,
providing opportunities for early learning, and
interactions that are responsive, emotionally supportive and developmentally stimulating.
stable, responsive, and nurturing caregiving;
safe, supportive, environments;
and protection from violence, neglect and abuse.
This is what is at the heart of children’s potential to develop
Why is there so much emphasis on ECD?
From preconception through the formative early years it is essential
to safeguard and maximize children’s developmental outcomes
recognize and work with the sounds of spoken language
Cognitive – relating to, being, or involving conscious
intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering
[i] In Islam, ihsan is the Muslim responsibility to obtain
perfection, or excellence, in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God as
if they see him, and although they cannot see him, they undoubtedly believe
that He is constantly watching over them. That definition comes from the Hadith
of Gabriel in which Muhammad states, “[Ihsan is] to worship God as though
you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, then indeed He sees you”.
(Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim)
Children learn best through play and through valuable relationships
I am going to school
Increasingly children are treated as commodities. We find ourselves “in danger of losing the child in childhood.” Instead of imposing adult expectations parents and teachers should try to “take their blinkers off” and see the world through the eyes of young children—a change in perspective that might allow us to better understand and cultivate and grow children’s unique abilities.
We talk about young children, increasingly, as commodities
to “invest” in for future payoffs. Parents express enormous anxiety about their
child’s future, and seem to be curating their children’s life experiences in a
way that would look quite unnatural and even rather joyless to previous
Go to school, get good grades, get into university and get a good job
There’s a weird contradiction that early childhood is both
safe and stressful. Yes in modern society the early years are safer than
they’ve been of late.
Children have fewer fatal accidents and debilitating
diseases. However there still is poverty, stress, and trauma—and some of these
problems affect very large numbers of children—but in general terms, many of
the big ‘killers’ of childhood have been vanquished.
On the other hand, 21st-century society poses many
challenges for young children too. We have an increasing numbers of kids with
mental health and behavioural challenges.
young children are not simply mini-adults
Children should be allowed to learn through play and through
In the first phase of a child’s life 0 – 6 Years Old, we
should give full love and play together–they will follow you as role model.
When their developing brains are given the chance to grow in
a nurturing, language-rich, and relatively unhurried environment. We will see
enthusiasm of mental and emotional development
Bu we often fail to see the world from a child’s perspective.
sometimes it is necessary to get down on our knees and see the world from
a four-year old’s level
Just reflect on the many ways that adults inflict adult
pacing, adult expectations, and adult schedules on young kids. And for what
Young children sleep less and have far more transitions
(scheduling) in their days than in previous generations—and most educators and
parents would agree that their developing brains aren’t really designed to cope
with adult schedules and pacing. We need to step back and see the world from a
child’s point of view and break the cycle.
We fail to see the value of digging in a container of mud
for an hour, so it must be time to whip out the math worksheet! And what about
the gross motor development? It boggles the mind how little outdoor time
and gross motor play many young children have in their days. Deny this and the
balance in their development is disturbed.
What do we look for when we place our child in an Early
Quality education is about relationships. Caring teachers
who understand a child’s development and who know and are attuned to the
children in their care. This is far more important than many of the measures of
quality we use today, such as class size, physical environments, or a specific
And what is the parent’s role in the education:
Listen to your child
Rich, open-ended conversation is critical, and children need
time in the day to experience warm, empathic oral language—to converse with
each other playfully, to tell a rambling story to an adult, to listen to
high-quality literature and ask meaningful questions. In short set the child on
your lap in a relaxed environment and read “with” your child. Can you imagine
this is not a very lengthy activity. It may just take 30 minutes and it is a
wonderful educational bonding experience. It is an in vestment in a child
emotional and educational development.
Let’s get back to the Educational Centre
Teaching is the opposite of a free-for-all where children are running the show. Quality preschool teachers are intentional about everything they do:
the classroom routines,
the physical environment,
the types of materials they make available for
children to explore and manipulate.
These teachers do an extraordinary amount of observation and
reflection—so that they can continually experiment with and modify their
learning environments to take advantage of children’s natural curiosity.
And this is my most important feel about children
that children are fully capable of learning, and we refuse
to let school or state mandates dictate how children learn.
A quality learning environment considers a child’s backgrounds,
sometimes backgrounds of trauma and adverse childhood experiences. If a child
walks in the door not having had anything to eat the night before—or maybe they
are processing something positive, like welcoming a new sibling or a grandparent—the
high-quality preschool classroom will have a mechanism to respond to those
experiences and to channel them into cognitive and social-emotional growth.
The value of Play
Play is hardwired into us and can’t be suppressed. However,
it’s crucial that we recognize that while the play impulse is one thing, the
play know-how—the nuts and bolts of playing—is not always so natural, and
requires careful cultivation. This means that that there are two types of play
free play and structured play activities. It is for the second reason that the
play school preschool is favoured but any with a genuine intention can guide a
child to make play a learning experience. It simply means get down and try to
think like a child.
Children should have time to mess around and make their own
rules. They need the time and space to learn how to play effectively, and they
require a culture that values play.
We can see that learning is not confined to a curriculum or
Anyone who has seen the wonder on a child’s face when they
see a butterfly landing on a flower understands that learning goes far beyond a
The good news is that children are wired with the capacity
for learning in almost any setting. With the loving support of responsive
adults, they can learn without the bells and whistles of what we call
So much learning comes about naturally
And the last word: Children are individuals and should be measured against their own progress and should not be compared with another child.
Whether you believe it or not or whether you like
it or not the future is going to disrupt your life. This means that we are
definitely going to do things differently. This revolution has already started,
and it is driven by AI – Artificial Intelligence. Through our smartphones and Apps
we have readily accepted these changes.
Remember these terms
Artificial Intelligence AI and Machine Learning ML and Algorithms
So what is AI?
AI is (a science of) Computers emulating humans and ML – Machine learning is the method behind how machines learn from data
What does artificial intelligence do?
Artificial intelligence – or AI for short – is technology that enables a computer to think
or act in a more ‘human’ way. It does this by taking in
information from its surroundings and deciding how to respond based on what it
learns or senses.
What can artificial intelligence be used for?
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is
the use of computer science programming to imitate human
thought and action by analyzing data and surroundings, solving or anticipating
problems and learning or self-teaching to adapt to a variety of tasks.
Artificial intelligence in business
of AI in business management include:
Throwing out the junk from your emails
smart email categorisation
voice to text features
smart personal assistants, such as Siri, Cortana and
automated responders and online customer support
sales and business forecasting
smart devices that adjust according to behaviour
automated insights, especially for data-driven industries
(eg financial services or e-commerce)
Artificial intelligence in e-commerce
in e-commerce can be evident in:
smart searches and relevance features
personalisation as a service – telling you what you can find in your area including where to buy those things that you like and what is the best prices
product recommendations and purchase predictions
fraud detection and prevention for online transactions
dynamic price optimisation
Here is a real Life example of the application of
Algorhithms in Artificial intelligence AI and the need for continues education.
It is taken from a book by Emily Guendelsberger, author of the new book, “On
Algorithms are Changing Low-Wage Work…
Big-name restaurant chains, like McDonalds and Chipotle, have started to offer free or subsidized college education options to their workers. The idea is that this can help those employers recruit and retain workers by offering educational benefits, and also offer them a path to more lucrative careers.
But there is a price to pay
and how well do these new benefits work in practice? What kinds of people do they best serve?
The author of the book spent at least a month working three different low-wage jobs—at a McDonalds restaurant, an Amazon warehouse, and at a customer-service call center. The culture she saw at these jobs was very different from what she remembers 20 years ago when she scooped ice cream for minimum wage as a teenager.
She describes what she experienced as “cyborg jobs,” meaning
they often treat employees more like robots than people. One example, she says
is that many service jobs now use algorithms to schedule when employees work,
and the machine often isn’t shy about handing out assignments that she sees as
Consider what workers call a “clopen,”
Clopens or computerized work schedules. It is one of the most challenging things for many low-wage workers these days. You don’t have a regular schedule anymore. Your schedule is set by an algorithm that sort of analyzes what they think the demand is going to be that day, They use data from the previous year and the previous month.
But if it’s a computer that tells you, “Oh yeah, this is the
schedule.” It just prints out and you’re really not sure how it came up
with that… then it sort of erases culpability.”
However, if you’re using the data from the previous week it means giving people are given a schedule the day before.There’s no predictability, which is incredibly hard if you’re trying to plan anything in your life whatsoever, especially having kids.”
The algorithms are used to try to keep staffing levels as low as possible, which means more hectic days for workers—and more stress.
In this series we try to focus on “new Jobs” of the 21st Century
Ricardo Hausmann, director of Harvard’s Centre for International Development and a Centre senior fellow, pointed out:
How mechanization has reduced the work force
The diminishing role of manufacturing in job creation means we must look to new pathways for moving people from poverty to prosperity.
As technological innovation transforms our economies, workers all
over the world are doing whatever it takes to change their conditions. Whether
crossing borders, changing jobs, or starting businesses – for a chance to
Yet workers in transition are often highly vulnerable. What will
it take to safeguard workers in the labour market of the future?
In the not-too-distant past, most workers were employed in the
same industry – often at the same company – for most of their careers.
But today, nearly 40% of employed people in the European Union are in atypical employment or self-employed. They are not working under a full-time, open-ended contract. On the other hand, the average worker in American today will hold 11 jobs over their lifetime, with many working multiple jobs at once.
HOW THE FUTURE CAN POSSIBLY PAN OUT?
As living conditions improve Life Expectancy will increase – people may live longer
With the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI),Internet of Things (IOT) and Robotics technological innovation will transform our economies
many people will be working multiple jobs at once
There will no longer be standard contracts
life-long learning will be the norm
‘Technology will continue to substitute workers‘
It is not clear to what extent technology will continue to substitute workers in both routine manual and cognitive tasks as ever more capable robotics and algorithms amplified by artificial intelligence develop. The impacts of this, on employment and income will be, uneven sectors, workers, communities and nations.
Laura Tyson, distinguished professor of the Hass Business School, University of California, Berkeley and a senior fellow with the Centre, said,
“The resultant dislocation and transition costs associated with technological changes have fallen unevenly on sectors, workers, communities and nations.”
In this context, advancing inclusive growth is a precondition for the future of work.
Manufacturing jobs have been particularly hard-hit by technology. In the United States, people employed in manufacturing have fallen by about two-thirds in the last 50 years. This was mostly caused by technological changes as opposed to trade and globalization.
Since 1999 the US lost a total of 5 million manufacturing job
Source: US Bureau of Labour Statistics
training – training and retraining
The Effect of Technology
Men without a college degree have also been unduly affected.
In 1964, 36.6 percent of U.S. men without a college
education were employed in manufacturing. By 2014, that share was down to 10.1
percent. For these men, manufacturing was their best chance of earning a
middle-class income and thus, its collapse was devastating.
New technologies typically increase demand for skilled
workers while substituting the unskilled. At the same time, new technologies
increase productivity. A more productive economy means higher income in the
aggregate, which generates more demand for goods and services in the economy,
leading to stronger job creation. In this context, even automation would create
more jobs for people.
Again the emphasis is on skills. This in turn points to upskilling of workers and life time learning. The 4IR is pointing to the rapid change in technology. The effect of 5G hasn’t been measured. All that we know for certain is that IoT is showing a upward growth trajectory.
Manufacturing has been the chief employment sector firstly in western countries secondly in East and Southeast Asia and most recently China. But it obvious from the graph above that jobs in manufacturing is not sustainable
Inclusive growth is imperative
The diminishing role of manufacturing in job creation in
developing countries means that their vast numbers of underemployed and
unemployed will have to struggle a lot harder for a job that pays a living
wage. This will make poverty alleviation more difficult. Thus, while the
current shock wave of technological changes has worsened inequality in many
developed countries, it is simultaneously making it harder to reduce inequality
in the developing world.
Inclusive growth has always been important, but it is now more important than ever. In a world where technological changes are rapidly and continuously reinventing how work is being done, workers need to reinvent themselves to stay productive and relevant. They cannot do so without inclusive growth.
Simply put reinventing means life time learning and training and re training
Ricardo Hausmann, director of Harvard’s Centre for International Development and a Centre senior fellow, pointed out,
“Over the course of history, it has always been easier to think about jobs that are disappearing than to imagine new jobs that will be created by the new technological possibilities.”
Advancing inclusive growth means focusing on the new possibilities. Whether in Johannesburg, Mumbai, or indeed, Janesville, it is nothing less than a precondition for the future of work for all, not just the lucky few.
A computer game is defined as such because the activity
is interactive and
rewarding (gives feedback).
The gaming activities must offer the user the options to
choose or define and then observe the newly created sequence.
We describe computer games as being interactive based on a
set of agreed rules[i]
and directed toward a clear goal that is often set by a challenge[iii].
In addition, games constantly provide feedback, either as a score or as changes
in the game world, to enable players to monitor their progress toward the goal[iv].
In speaking of a serious (computer) game, we mean that the objective of the
computer game is not to entertain the player, which would be an added value,
but to use the entertaining quality for training, education, health, public
policy, and strategic communication objectives[v].
Is Digital Game-Based Learning the Future of Learning?
Parents are confused when their child, who cannot multiply
improper fractions can explain how to defeat a video game Boss in one sitting.
The explanation here is very simple:
Digital game-based learning (DGBL), is a motivational,
challenging, and rewarding process that can be fun.
Next, we ask what is Game-Based Learning?
Game-based learning is an effective, interactive experience
that motivates active participate in the learning process.
How does it work?
Game-based learning involves the use of computer smart
device and video games to produce learning outcomes. It is designed to balance
subject matter and gameplay. It also assesses the learner. It checks the learner’s
ability to retain and apply acquired knowledge in a real-world scenarios.
An effective game-based learning environment helps learners
work toward a goal while choosing actions (pathways) and the learner experience
the consequences of those decisions first-hand.
Here is the interesting part: While players (learners) make
mistakes, the risk-free setting of a game environment allows failures to become
challenges, which then drives them to revise their actions until they arrive at
the correct way of doing things. There are hardly embarrassing moments in this
This makes the activity more engaging until the learning
objective is fulfilled.
Is Digital Game-Based Learning Effective?
Extensive research has been done on DGBL. Richard Van Eck of
the University of North Dakota said that several reviews of the literature on
gaming over the last 40 years find that digital game-based learning generally has positive effects.
Referring to the principle of situated cognition, Van Eck
states that games are effective partly because
the learning takes place within a meaningful
The subject matter is directly related to the
environment in which learners/players learn.
As such, the knowledge gained is not only
relevant but applied and practiced within that context.
DGBL is a primary mechanism of learning and socialization through
play. This is common to all human cultures and starts informally from a very
young age. Hence humans as well as a number of animal groups learn in this
manner. A lion learns to hunt through modelling and play, not through direct
instruction, which is the same principle employed in a game-based instructional
The following elements of digital game-based learning add to
its appeal as an effective educational tool:
The competitive elements of a game are generally not found
in traditional learning methods or during classroom lectures or discussions.
Competition provides motivation to learners/players to engage and finish an
activity. It doesn’t need to be against another participant. It could be an
attempt to bag get the highest score possible or outdoing one’s self every
Games that are fun to play significantly improve learning
performance. When learners have fun, the learning pressure dissipates, allowing
them to freely define and modify their strategies according to a specific goal.
Rewards aid in the learning process by keeping the
participant invested and coming back for more. This fosters a continuous
learning process for the learner/player, as each learning objective is tied to
a series of challenges. Goals and their corresponding rewards can be built in
stages and set according to difficulty.
Immediate Reinforcement and Feedback.
Research on learning and behaviour shows that learners learn
faster when there’s a shorter interval between behaviour and reinforcer.
It would be less discouraging for learners to learn their
mistakes right away than seeing a red mark on paper assessments a few days
later. Feedback in a game context is instantaneous and scoring can be
standardized to allow comparisons.
Criticisms of Digital Game-Based Learning
While positive claims have been made about using games as
educational tools, some question its viability as well. There are those who
argue that research has been slow to provide hard empirical evidence on its
Among the negatives that are associated with games and
technology in general is that
it promotes isolation and anti-social behaviour, and
it results in short attention span.
However, the anti-social behaviour element might not, as
more and more games are developed for social play. While some games do not
allow face-to-face interactions, they mirror real-world communication that
could prove useful in personal and business transactions.
Others argue that implementing either a fully digital
game-based curriculum or even one that relies heavily on games requires
additional equipment, software, and training of teachers, thus increasing
Some believe that playing games distract learners from
attaining other valuable skills.
Is Digital Game-Based Learning Here to Stay?
There are debates on whether or not digital game-based
learning will prevail in the next 10 years or so, but it cannot be denied that
it is thriving. Based on the figures released by Ambient Insight, the game-based
global market reached $1.5 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow to $2.3
billion in 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 8.3%.
Educators can take advantage of the multiple learning
scenarios it presents to engage their audience.