Summer Camp@Your Home!

Yeah!!! It is summer time again, but a very hot summer, this time, the temperature is already hitting 38°C and above already, at least here at our place.

Summer vacations always bring a smile on my face with all memories of my childhood. It used to be a great time of visiting grandma’s house, swimming sessions, family trips, circus shows, magic shows, movies, cricket, house parties and what not!

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Yes, this is how a summer vacation looked back in the 90’s and I am sure, most of my generation folks will connect with this.

Time has evolved over past few years and so are the options to spend summer vacations. academic camps and sports preseasons have become more popular and efficient way of spending summers nowadays.

Academic camps are great, as they prepare a child for upcoming classes. But personally, we feel, we should let kids take a rest from academia, at least during summers. They too deserve a break after all!! Sports preseasons is undoubtedly a great way to spend time and remain physically & mentally fit, but it may become very straining in this scorching sunlight for our kids.

Ahhh! So what to do during this Summer?  

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We believe, a summer camp must develop all the skill sets that a student needs to excel in upcoming classes and stand out in his/her group. While being a part of sports is a good option, students can also spend time into adding new skills in their skill sets.

This very thought of helping students to learn new skills apart from academia and sports made us at Vedantu to innovate a set of creative courses, which a student can learn without going out in the hot sun. Yes, when you are indoors during this hot season,  get connected with experts right from your personal computer or mobile and add new skills to your  kitty.

What’s better than to Improvising your calculation speed by learning Vedic maths; tackle mathematical word problems easily by visualizing via Singapore model method; mastering chess skills; learning problem-solving and stimulating logical thinking by taking up a course on logical thinking and puzzles; building an Android App and learn a programming language. There is so much more to explore, choose one of your favorite course and start learning from the comfort of your home. We wish you loads of luck!

 

 

This post is contributed by Sridhar R

Sridhar R is DGM – Academic operations and takes care of day-to-day academic functionalities at Vedantu. He likes to travel, read fictions and watch documentaries on ancient history and alien theories. In his free time, he also loves to hangout with friends and go on long trekking expeditions.

P.S – image source: Pixabay.com


New Academic Year Brings New Goals & Means to Achieve Them

The new academic year brings new hopes and a lot of new stationary (isn’t that the most exciting part of being promoted to the new class). Along with it, there comes a daunting task of searching for the best tutor who can help you achieve your learning goals for the new academic year. At Vedantu, we want to flip this daunting experience to an awesome one. We have some of the India’s best tutors on our platform who can help you be a better student and a better human being with their experience in teaching and mentoring young kids.

We like improvements and growing with the growing needs of our students and thus with the new academic year, we have made some changes to our website that would help students schedule the learning subscriptions more systematically and hassle free. Booking a subscription, whether a monthly subscription or subscribing to a teacher for specific academic needs, will be a simple 5-step process –

How to subscribe: A step-by-step guide

New Subscription

Step-By-Step Guide to Subscribe

1 – Click on ‘monthly tuitions’ tab under offerings or ‘view teachers’ to browse teacher list

2 – Choose the teacher you want to subscribe with

3 – Hit the ‘subscribe/book teacher’ button to see the teacher’s calendar

4 – Select the start date and duration (in months) for the subscription

5 – Choose from the available slot and fix the schedule on a weekly basis

6 – Pay and book the subscription, check your scheduled sessions under ‘My Subscriptions’ section and start taking sessions with the teacher of your choice at the time scheduled by you.

We have also made an explainer video that would help you understand the whole process of subscription seamlessly, have a look –

We are sure you are excited for the new academic year and resolved already to perform better than before. You can count on Vedantu to help you reach your academic goals quicker than ever with its handpicked teachers. Don’t wait anymore now, go ahead and book your subscription with the teacher of your choice and start with your personalized learning sessions.

 


5 Things Not to Miss This Summer Vacation

Summers have arrived and the best part about it is – summer holidays. You must have got your summer holiday calendars already and started with building the plans to enjoy it.  We have listed 5 things you must do this summer to make it unforgettable.

1 – Enjoy Watersports

The water looks no sweeter in any other season than summers. Make sure you plan a pool party or visit the nearest water park. Splash some water and cool off the summer heat. In case you are planning a beach holiday, do include boating, canoeing, waterskiing, snorkeling or diving on your list or simply add swimming, water aerobics, aqua jogging to your fitness regime.

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2- Read your Favorite Book

Summer break is the time of the year that gives you plenty of ‘me time’ for yourself. Use it wisely to pick up a relaxing spot and read all that you couldn’t because of the hectic school-home-tuition-school routine. Start with books from your favorite authors or indulge in reading the newspaper every day to better your vocab and reading skills. Also, summer reading would give you the calmness you were missing during all those busy days.

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3- Make a Fitness Regime

You always blamed the hectic schedule for not working out, didn’t you? Now is the time to take out some time and dedicate it to your fitness. Join a Yoga class, do some meditation or simply go for a brisk walk/jog early in the morning. You can also indulge in dancing, synchronized swimming, aerobics or gymnastics to enjoy while you work out to keep yourself fit.

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4- Go Crafty

Summers bring along a lot of creativity with itself. Also, you have a lot of time to explore your creative side during this time. Do plan on creating or recreating something by putting your creative cap on. Try upcycling some old and discarded stuff to give them a new look and make them decorative!

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5 – Enrich Your Skills

Summer is a good time to learn something extra. Enroll yourself at a hobby center to learn a new skill or just hone your skills a bit more. We understand summer makes you lazy of going out of your home, why to worry in this era of WWW. Take up an online summer course that would not only help you learn something new but would be a good utilization of lazy summer days. Vedantu is offering some interesting online summer courses that you can enroll for and get course completion certificate. Hundreds of students have already enrolled for these courses and are reaping the benefits.

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So, don’t let this time slip from your hands, use it wisely to enrich yourself and beat the heat. Don’t forget to comment your summer plans.


Is Skill More Important Than a Degree?

Education, whether it is traditional or modern, has the same objective i.e. of making a student ready to face the future with confidence. But what is the best medium to impart the education has always been a debatable question. With some saying the traditional ways have proven themselves for years and thus are undoubtedly the best, there are another group of people who believe that the education system needs to change, for it to be future-ready. What is the truth and is there a way both can be combined?

The gap between career and degree

Traditional education is all about concentrating on a single subject or field that you are passionate about and helps you earn the specialisation in the desired discipline. The primary objective of traditional education is to help you receive a degree. Career on the other hand, nowadays, is becoming more fast-paced and requires a complex skill set that would complement someone’s profile. So, the gap between career and degree has widened with increasing competition amongst job seekers.

Job opportunities have become limited as almost everyone holds a degree and you can see hundreds of applications for a single job opening on any job portal. But most of the applicants lack the requisite skills other than what they have been taught at schools/colleges. So, there is an immediate need for bridging the gap between degree and career.

The middle route: Career-oriented education

One should not confuse career-oriented education for vocational education as there is a huge difference between the two. Vocational education is specifically designed so that a student gets specialisation in a particular job while career-oriented education aims to make the students learn skills that will complement their degrees. Thus, career-oriented education provides the best of both traditional and modern education in a complete, fool-proof package.

We believe the amalgamation of traditional and modern education is not that complex. It just needs good planning to make a course such that it does not put the burden on the students. And not only makes it easier for students to pursue their passion but at the same time gather skills important for their future/career along with their regular studies.

IT Skills training and exposure to subject-specific technology

Information technology is playing an important role nowadays everywhere; how we communicate, collaborate and create is somewhere somehow touched by IT. So it is very important to have IT skills. Nowadays most companies want their employees to have the basic IT knowledge so they can do their work effectively. Starting these early on is going to help the students a lot and let them know how technology is shaping their field of study i.e. how the subject that they are seeking a degree in is specifically touched by the technology.

Leadership skills training

Today’s students are the leaders of tomorrow. We often hear this saying, but do the educational establishments prepare their students in this direction? A very few even look into this direction. Remember, here we aren’t talking about political leaderships that many higher-educational institutions have. The context of leadership here is entirely different and is about showing the students ‘how to take initiative,’ ‘how to make decisions, and’ ‘how to stand by the decision that will affect others.’

Communication skills with social and emotional learning

Communication is an important aspect of human existence, it is our ability to communicate well with each other that distinguishes us from the other beings on the planet. However, these days, people believe the importance of great communication is in most cases masked by someone’s grades and subject knowledge. People get so busy getting better grades that they do not feel the need for communication skills at all. Communication skills do not just include the ability to speak articulately, but also about making the social connection and being empathetic to others. It also includes interacting with the others clearly without any misinterpretation by them. It additionally includes emotional interaction – How another’s emotions are affected by having a conversation with you.

Fragmented course

By fragmenting a course syllabus, the students will be able to choose the subjects they are passionate about and will help them to concentrate on a specific career path. It also helps to ease the burden of learning everything even if it might not be of importance for the students in the career they are interested in. ICSE board, I personally believe, does it best for the school students – it gives them enough options to choose from and mould their learning in the right direction for the career they want to opt for.

In conclusion, we want to urge the educators nationwide to know the benefits of closing this huge gap between skill & degrees. And focus on delivering education via a flexible system that can easily accommodate the need of the hour. Education should no longer be thought as just the process of earning a degree, but should be seen as holistic skills development of an individual for a better tomorrow.

 

 


How To Be a Better Orator

It was a cold evening. An Indian young man stood before an audience that had pre-judged him to be an inferior. He said, in very simple language, “Sisters and Brothers of America,” and he had their attention. The man was Swami Vivekananda.

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The assembly in Chicago, to which Swami Vivekananda delivered his famous speech [Source – Wikipedia]

Being a good orator allows you to express what you want to convey effectively, it ensures your audience is listening to you, and only you. In our great freedom struggle, we have had stellar orators who have since been recognized as some of the greatest ever, in the world. Notable examples are Pherozeshah Mehta, Gokhale, Gandhi, Nehru, to name a few.

Oration, these days, is an art that can be learned, for example, Toastmasters are a group of people who practice oration regularly. The best-known orator in the world today used to stutter when he was a child! So, yes, even if you weren’t born a great orator, you can definitely become a great one, with practice and with skill.

The importance of being a good communicator

Anything that requires more than one person to work on it requires good communication between the people. Be it a football match, or a telephone conversation. If you’re not a good communicator, you’ll needlessly spend too much time trying to explain yourself. You might also miscommunicate.

Take for example, you need to tell your teacher that your parents cannot attend the parent-teacher meeting. If you tell her, “my parents won’t attend the meeting,” you will not only sound rude, but you will also be miscommunicating. The teacher might have built an opinion that your parents are refusing to attend the meeting! While in fact, they are unable to, even though they would like to.

Here, not only has the student failed to communicate, but even the teacher would be failing to communicate with the child, if he/she did not probe into the matter to understand why the parents won’t make it to the meeting. Communication is a two-way thing.

Components of effective communication are – a good hold on the language of communication, and more importantly, being a good listener!

How to communicate better

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” – George Bernard Shaw.

Never assume that communication has taken place, always ensure it. Even if the person you are talking to is nodding, you must repeat yourself to ensure the person is not just listening to you, but that he or she also heard you. Likewise, if you don’t understand something, you must ask the speaker what he or she means by what he or she said!

Communication, like we said above, is a two-way thing. It really takes two to tango. For effective communication, it is important to convey your message effectively. It is also equally important to listen and pay attention while being addressed.

If you’re a bad listener, people won’t listen to you either! Being a good listener is not only important for being a better communicator, but also for building and sustaining strong friendships & relations (all those secrets and fun are wonderful examples of good communication!).

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[Source – Peanuts Comics]

In conclusion, communication is not about words being spoken, it is simply about messages being relayed correctly and quickly. Be a good speaker, be a good listener, and you’ll automatically be a good communicator. The key to being an effective communicator is, of course, cliché: Practice.

Extra and fun resources, to be an effective communicator:

Here’s a wikiHow on how to communicate with a person with the hearing disability.

To get better at communication, specifically oration, you must participate in extempores, speeches, and the likes.

Also, since the summer vacation is about to begin, some popular games you can indulge into to improve communication skills are dumb-charades, Pictionary, and similar team activities or you can also enroll yourself for an English Vocab course at Vedantu and learn the skill from the comfort of your home.

 

 


One-to-Few: The Right Way Forward

“I need a teacher to provide personal attention to my child to ensure he learns well”

“My child needs to learn the following and I see that he is struggling a bit to do the same – Need your help on this”

We are sure while you read the above sentences, you were visualizing images of different parents who spoke the same words to you.

Now the real question is:

What does the student (or) a parent want from a teacher? Is it just personal attention to facilitate student learning?

(or)

Is it an achievement of the student’s learning outcome in an enjoyable learning environment? In simple words ‘Is the student learning and enjoying the way he/she learned things?’

I am sure there is no guidance required for anyone in picking the correct one from the above two questions.

It has been several years since the concept of ‘Individual Tutoring’ and ‘Group Tutoring’ gained popularity as extension avenues to everyday learning from the schools. But to us at vedantu, the questions are-

  1. Can One-on-One sessions provide an environment where students can collaborate?
  2. Can a group tuition ensure sufficient interaction time and attention span of the teacher with all students?

The solutions to these question lie in the fact that a great blend of offerings could enable a teacher handle both the above challenges effectively and make learning fun for the students.

One-to-Few – An offering where teacher handles just 3 to 7 students.

A blended model of teaching where the learning is personalized and gives enough room for each student to learn from his/her peers.

This calls for a detailed analysis of what this can do to the students and the teacher:

  • Bonding within students and between the teacher and students is very strong
  • This opens up room for the teacher to apply varied pedagogy
  • Students have the opportunity to support and learn from each other
  • Avenues for student interaction are more.
  • Opportunity to provide personalized feedback still remains intact for the teacher
  • Peer teaching and learning can be encouraged
  • Teacher has the option to conduct group-based learning activities
  • Content sharing/assessment evaluation happens in a controlled environment

Just awesome…Isn’t it? The new offering seamlessly handles a lot of learning and teaching challenges and yet offers interaction and blooming opportunities for students.

What do you think, don’t we see ANY challenges at all with this new offering to impart learning?

An honest answer would be – Yes, we do see some of them. The most common ones coming from teachers would be –

“As a teacher, I have varying levels of learners in the same batch”.

“I do not have enough time to interact with all students”

Though it seems that we should agree to the above challenges that teachers face, but with time and experience, we have understood that these challenges are only exclusive to unprepared teachers.

Now that we know the lacunae, let’s see how effectively we can handle them and explore a few ways to make the sessions awesome for both – the teacher and students

Do the Homework Right

Have a plan ready for each level of learner in your batch. Remember, these plans should ideally be the strategies that can be applied to learners in all your batches. These strategies can be broadly devised for three phases of your sessions- Pre-Session, In-Session & Post-Session. (These examples are just a few among the hundreds. It is just a question of exploring them)

For example, you can get to know the level of learners well before your session by asking them to fill a KWL chart

KWL

You can also get a hang of the student’s understanding of the concept taught by an Exit Ticket

Exit Ticket

You can additionally check the understanding of the entire group and individual students by asking them to create Concept cards/Theme Cards on the taught concept. The best part of this exercise is, students are allowed to create the listed parameters to cover the concept on their own, which they cannot do without going through the understanding of the concept and these tools can be used in all subjects as well.

Theme cards

Involve Multiple Intelligences

When a student can learn in different ways…Why teach them in one way?

Every student is different and unique are their learning abilities and adaptation to teaching styles. Some students grasp the concept well, just by verbal communication to them. Others understand well through images –Images & drawings. Whereas some are comfortable learning by doing various activities. Others may understand a concept well by practicing several worksheets. Also, it is a proven fact that students learn quickly and retain most concepts taught to them using multimedia.

Once a teacher makes sure that his/her session involves a blend of teaching tools and methodologies, catering to the aforesaid needs, the question of teaching effectiveness doesn’t even arises. The teaching is bound to be effective even for a set of students with varied learning levels.

Encourage Peer Learning through Collaborative Activities

It is a proven fact that students feel more comfortable to ask questions and express their lack of understanding on any concept with their peers. In a confined group with the same learning objectives, it is very easy to make students teach their fellow mates and learn from them as well. Remember, every student feels proud when given an opportunity to impart learning to his/her peers. They express well, collaborate and arrive at lateral outputs when given a chance to work as a team.

Customize Assessment Strategies

Work out a plan to customize your assignments and tests for students with the different pace of learning. Give a comprehension-level assignment for a slow learner, which would boost his/her confidence in learning the concept. Once the comprehension-level assignment is completed, the slow learner gains the confidence to go for the next level assignment and the teacher should encourage and ensure he/she completes the same as well.

Similarly, an application/synthesis-level assignment for a quick learner gives him/her opportunity to express the subject expertise and boosts creativity helping them move to the next level

Create Avenues for offline interaction

A WhatsApp group can do wonders to facilitate offline interaction between you and the students, as well as amongst the students of the batch. You can safely utilize the platform to introduce the peers, check their learning progress, and solve doubts or any other difficulties.

We are sure with slight modifications in your teaching style, your students can achieve oodles of confidence in the subject/topic taught and would add multi-fold to your teaching effectiveness.

Content and Pedagogy are directly proportional to the effectiveness if any One-to-Few session. It is your preparation, the plan and the genuine willingness to execute that creates all the difference.

Trust Us… at the End of the day… It is truly worth it…

 

This article is contributed by Dr. Sundar Rabindranathan

He is an educational consultant and trainer who has trained students & teachers in more than 300 schools throughout India. Sundar currently heads Teacher Management at Vedantu and likes to play badminton in his free time.

 

 

 

 


Prepare Right to Crack AIPMT This Year

The academic year 2015-16 is coming to an end and away from all the parties and enjoyment, the students are burning the midnight oil for the big exam. Students are appearing for boards’ examination, but the eyes of all devoted medical aspirants are on the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT).

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has released the date for the AIPMT. It has been scheduled to be conducted on May 1, 2016, as per official website of CBSE. The online application forms for AIPMT are already out since the month of December-2015. It is evident that a large number of aspirants will be appearing for both the exams simultaneously.

Shortage of time, relentless efforts to crack the exam in very first attempt and a sincere intention to serve the society creates a situation of crisis for a huge chunk of aspirants. In such situation, students should formulate a well-planned strategy and follow it religiously to enjoy the fruit of success.

To begin with, it is important to analyze the pattern of the paper and understand the importance of every section.

  • The overview of exam pattern & syllabus serves as a guidance to identify the strong and weak portions of the prescribed syllabus. Work hard on the weaker portion and maintain a steady practice in stronger areas.
  • The entire syllabus can be segregated into smaller portions and the main focus should be given on the important areas.

It is recommended to prepare notes from the most reliable books as it minimizes the probability of errors. We have prepared a list of such books for you.

  • NCERT books are the prime source for building clear concepts, but it is important to gather ample useful information from private publications.
  • Biology – Trueman’s elementary Vol-1 & Vol-II (Theory), Objective Biology by Dinesh.
  • Physics – Concepts of Physics by H.C. Verma Vol-I & Vol-II
  • Chemistry – O.P. Tandon
  • It is essential to practice fair number of objective questions from different book. Objective books from Arihant and MTG publications are the most recommended books.

Save these notes for a quick glance during revision. The notes should be tidy, concise yet informative. Make tables, charts and diagrams as it is easy to memorize pictorial representations.

Once you have selected the books to study, stick to them and read them thoroughly. Reading too many books can cause unnecessary disorientation and may lead to wastage of time.

Preparation is incomplete without self-evaluation.

  • To test your preparation, attempt mock tests, sample papers and analyze your performance.
  • You can also take online mock papers in order to work on your speed and accuracy. Solving sample papers gives you a fair idea of your preparation at a larger scale. Appearing for the mock tests is the half way to success. Discuss the doubts and mistake among your friends and teachers. Understand your faults and work on it.

The main battle is fought on the date of examination soon after the sight of question booklet.

  • Time management is the key to accomplishment in the examination hall. Give each section equal time.
  • Begin with the section that requires less or no calculation and consists short-length questions. Therefore, starting with biology is always a good strategy to save time.
  • Read each question carefully and make the right choice, you can also do so following the ‘elimination of wrong’ options trick.
  • Mark the answer only after you are 100% sure of the accuracy to avoid negative marking.
  • Do not stress up and put in a lot of your time on a single difficult question, you can leave them for the second round of reading.
  • During the second round of reading, attempt questions that were time-consuming and required deep understanding.
  • If you do not have any clue about the question asked, avoid attempting it and do not waste time.

We are sure, with a few strategic changes in your preparation for the bigger examination, you’ll be able to face the examinations with huge ounces of confidence and zeal.

Take the competition with an optimistic approach, do not strain yourself worrying about other candidates and their performance. You only need one seat, nail it with your preparation!

All the best for your examinations from the entire Vedantu family!

** Textbook recommendations are solely based on the opinion of the writer, Vedantu is nowhere associated with the authors/publishers of these textbooks.