Take up a sport and be a sport!

Sportsmanship is an expression of seeking to excel. We all have been through the phase in school when our Physical Education Teacher told us that we must also focus on sports, apart from studies. But how many of us took him seriously? By not paying attention to such advice, today our adults suffer illnesses that they could have summarily avoided otherwise. Not to worry. We can salvage the situation. Let us pledge to do so.

In this post, we will examine the benefits of taking up a sport more closely. We hope this encourages you to put on your shoes and pull up your socks. Like, literally.

 

Sports teaches you to strive to be excellent, and not just the best

When one plays a sport, the initial goal is to beat the opponent. But eventually, the only worthy desire is to improve upon one’s own game. For instance, an Olympic swimmer would have competed fiercely with his childhood nemesis in the swimming heats, but as an Olympian, his goal is to improve upon his swimming itself, to break records, etc. This yearning for being excellent is a direct manifestation of the hard work and positive frame of mind that sports inculcated in us.

Sports teaches you how to lose gracefully

Life is not a bed of roses. The ability to walk through the bed of painful thorns that life throws up is, in part, derived from the tenacity that sportsmanship gives you. To lose gracefully is something that we need to pick up early in our childhood. Everyone loses, but to sulk over it is not something that a sportsman will do. True sportsmen learn from their mistakes and work to correct it. True sportsmen become stronger every time they fall.

Sports makes you a better team player

When one is a good team player, one is a cog in the wheel, and that’s what gets the wheel rotating, and the momentum going. Being a good team-mate is quintessential to being a good participant in a sport. Sometimes, even very talented sportspeople have been benched (not allowed to play), in Favour of a mediocre player who is a better team player. Thus, being a good sportsperson also makes you a great teammate. It helps you build relationships better, be it with your fellow teammates or even people in general.

Sports helps you become a better leader

Some notable examples of exemplary leaders among sportsmen are Rahul Dravid, Prakash Padukone, Anil Kumble, Bjorn Borg, and many more, who have done well at and outside their sports too. This is an exemplary quality in sportspeople that cannot be understated. It comes with building a rapport with the people they lead and by being able to get the pulse of their fans, coaches, and teammates. Leadership is the ability to motivate people, and for motivating others, it is very important for the leaders to be self-motivated and to lead by example. The best sports people are the most motivated individuals. Since motivation is infectious, being a good sportsman also will make you a wonderful leader. In fact, many top business schools in the world explicitly state that being a sportsperson is an added advantage during their admission process.

Sports inculcates discipline

Discipline is the only elixir of sports. Taking up a sport lends you the virtue of being a more organized, more driven person. This, in turn, makes you a disciplined individual. As a sportsperson, one can never miss training. Excuses are anathema. Discipline is the only way, there is no other. Hard work and discipline go hand in hand, towards success.

The examples illustrated here are limited. There are infinite benefits of being a sportsperson. More importantly, it makes you physically and mentally very strong. To be a sport is to be fun. Who doesn’t want to be? Go on, now. Be a sport, and take up a sport!


Can Video Games Improve Learning?

When we talk about the video games, an image of couch potatoes, teenage quarrels, scolding and a lot of crazy activities come to our mind. For most of the people, the video gaming hampers the brain growth of the children and make them less attentive and lazy. Has anyone ever thought of the positive side of it? It can be a real trailblazing when taken up in moderation and with an optimistic approach. Video games can be used as a teaching tool to strengthen the learning. These games train the brain to think quick, build a few qualities and develop intellectual skills that improve the learning efficacy in the children.

 

 

Let’s take a look at the advantages of the video games in improving learning outcomes for kids.

  • Games like Cityville gives the aim to complete various targets in a defined time period.  At any given point of time, players have to build the city and maintain the welfare of the citizens. Player(s) need to manage the finances and upgrade the activities. Such tasks incorporate the accounting and strategic planning skills in the children. A child’s interest in such games shows his aspirations in economics, engineering, designing, etc.

  • Most multi-players games require a coordinated action to achieve the goal collectively or players have to compete against each other to finish the stage. It tests the social responsibility and team spirit of the child. Such games encourage harmonized communication among the peers and refine the child as a social person. While competing against another player, kids experience the virtual competition, which promotes the urge to excel and the spirit of winning.

  • NFS, car racing and other games that are based on speed and time, advance the integrity of the visual reflections and mental command. A child with such skills greatly reduces his/her reaction time and becomes a better performer with quick thinking and disciplined working.

  • Games encourage introspection and enhance self-worth in children. Away from the sight and instructions of parents, the child performs at an individual level. It makes them more responsible for the actions and the decisions they make.  They take up challenges and a victory in those activities boosts their confidence. On the other hand, losing the same challenge prepare them for critical thinking and re-evaluation of the previous actions. Altogether, a child becomes a good decision maker and a fine analyst.

  • Just as examinations, games also provides instructions in the beginning to direct the player about the working of the system. Gradually, it becomes a practice for the child to read the instructions and move forward accordingly. This help them increase the grasping and analyzing powers and makes them concentrate more on their studies.

  • Some virtual quizzes and tests give a detailed analysis of the child’s performance. The data helps in finding the weaker section, as well as the strengths of the child, which help identify the possible steps can be taken to work on the problem areas. It is an effective tool for both the parents and teachers to understand the difficulties faced by the children that retard his/her performance.

  • Games also have a calming effect on the mind. It keeps the child away from the stressful environment and inculcates the positivity. It boosts the concentration, sharpens the mental ability and also maintains the physical well-being. It is basically a bi-directional learning. It brings the play and work at balance.

  • Games also improve the reading, technical and problem-solving skills. Educational games also develop spatial thinking and enhances mental coordination. It makes the entire learning process easy and entertaining for the children.

we have only listed some very basic advantages of video games to help you clear your mental block. There are many others to explore.

We, as parents, should definitely encourage our children to occasionally spend some time on video games, but make sure that this doesn’t become an addiction for them. We need to make sure that a child is not spending too much of his/her playtime on a video game. Excess of anything has a deleterious effect, so as this. We need to make sure that we know the boundaries well and keep our kids healthy and safe.

Let your children learn in a playful mood and gain wisdom!

 

 


Importance of Holistic Education

Teachers have multiple roles. They teach, they inspire and they motivate children. Often, all these functions are concentrated towards achieving higher marks in exams. This often burdens those children who are capable of being creative and are skilled at pursuits that are not examined through report cards. There is a famous TED Talk by Ken Robinson about how schools kill creativity.

Among his musings is one that has stuck profoundly, which we paraphrase: “teachers try to create more teachers”, not dancers, not singers, or not even engineers! We were therefore inspired to create this post, to remind our teachers the importance of activities that fall outside the curriculum.

Schools typically have two classes for co-curricular activities. Even that is often cut short on, during exam days, citing the need to ‘completing portions’ and for ‘course revision’. This has a debilitating effect on the children’s perspective on education. When the fun in school is taken out, education systems stand as roadblocks to children’s creativity. We must work towards bringing down those barriers. Let’s examine why, and how.

Co-curricular activities make education delightful!

What is the point of reciting a poem, if children are unable to create some of their own? Co-curricular activity should invigorate and stir the creative conscious of children. What is the use of knowing different forms of speech, if children are unable to piece together their opinions in debates? Co-curricular activity should make use of the curriculum at hand. Introduce poetry in English class, encourage children to write stories, ignite debates in class, and watch as children pick up the art of speaking boldly, clearly and smartly.

Extracurricular activities are a window to the world out there.

What would school be without a science exhibition? A shell, that’s what! Science exhibitions, English plays, Olympiads are wonderful ways of exposing students to greater heights in fields of their interest. To this end, we must also consider scholarships, which not only are the result of extracurricular interests shown by the students but something that will also help them in their higher studies. For example, prestigious scholarships such as Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) are awarded to students who take the time out to pursue extracurricular studies in basic sciences.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Playing a sport, dancing to the tunes of classical and/or popular music, singing soulfully, drawing caricatures, enacting plays, and so much more are activities that jolt children into the wonderland of studying the world around them! The pursuing hobbies is a lifestyle choice for people, and it would best be realized when encouraged throughout childhood. Hobbies such as dancing, sometimes, can even lead to careers in dance! Such offbeat careers are very much possible today, with guaranteed success. Similarly, our classrooms are probably hosting little Tendulkars who are discouraged from taking up a hobby they love. It’s the duty of us, the teachers, therefore, to allow children space and time to explore their interests and to pursue it with all their heart.

The best kind of education for the children should be a holistic one. Every child has an all-rounder in him/her. It is up to the teacher to harness the talents hidden in the children, without rules or prejudices about what constitutes education and what doesn’t. We aren’t saying all-rounders are those who can extempore with flair, who can read fiction for hours together, who can enact Shakespeare with panache, and who can score a goal in a football match are rare to come by. All-rounders are those who can enjoy all these activities, without feeling in any way less smart than children who can score centum in exams!

Let’s celebrate ALL our children; the painters and debaters alike, the toppers and footballers alike. Let’s ensure our children grow into excellent adults, with the education that’s holistic and well rounded. Let’s always remember that every child is a shining star in his/her own right. Let’s celebrate that awesomeness!

 

 

 


Do Students Look up to Your Assignments?

Assignments are usually dreaded by students, be it at the primary school level or during postgraduation. Few teachers manage to make their assignments interesting enough for students. Such a trend has made plagiarism rampant in many submissions. It is also not uncommon for children to seek the help of older members in their family to submit the assignment on time.

 

The top complaint from most children is that assignments are akin to copying texts from reference books. Most students wish for assignments that are not time-consuming and do not require lots of expertise. They also fervently wish that assignments ultimately ‘mean’ something and are not just given for the heck of it. Perhaps it is time for us teachers who have trouble with late or incomplete assignments submissions to have our assignments relooked at.

Here’s a checklist to find out if the quality of assignments given is good, bad or otherwise:

Is the assignment personalized?

Children love to give a personal touch to assignments. Hence, assignments that ask for their point of view on topics, or assignments that ask them to write a poem or story tend to arouse interest in the students. The assignments that require students to conduct home experiments are considered some of the best, as these have a personalized touch and incite learning by doing.

Are the assignments the same for all students?

Students are smart. Often, they are smarter than the teachers expect. Common assignments are thus easily copied by everyone in the class, without any regrets. Such a habit must not be encouraged through assignments that are given en masse. Students should be given different topics as assignments. This may even prompt a discussion among them, on the given topics.

Do students learn from each other during assignments?

Two minds are better than one. Therefore, when more than one student works on a given problem statement, the solutions are noticeably better. Teachers must hence try to involve as many students as possible in the projects assigned to the class. Examples are science projects, plays, etc., which require a group effort. If this is not possible, teachers can also give marks to groups, according to the aggregate marks secured by the members of the group. This will encourage students to peer review their assignments and projects, something that’s very effective in the learning process.

Are assignments time consuming?

Assignments should not come in the way of daily studies and daily play. They should be a healthy part of the day, and should typically be around a half hour to one hour long. Beyond that, the tired minds of students will not work at their optimum capacity. But that’s not to be the case for secondary classes, where assignments are week-long. In such cases, time management is up to the children themselves. But even then, students must not be burdened, lest they grow a dislike to the subject itself!

 

 

 

Are they meant for students or experts?

Science experiments and projects are the usual suspects for an involvement of outside hands in the students’ assignments. This is simply because the expectations of the teachers from these projects are too high. Gone are the days when a student could bring lenses to class to explain phenomena of light, now the student has to come equipped with a PowerPoint presentation, a huge chart with explanations, and thankfully the lenses too. Such work requires expertise, which is expected of graduate students, not primary or secondary class goers.

 

 

To sum it up, assignments should be in the interest of students. They should not overburden them, and neither should they pressurize the children to stretch beyond their capacity. Also, assignments should be made more fun, so that the children respond to the demands of the class in a way that is encouraging to the teacher as well as fun for the children! Assignments are not meant to be dreary. They are a way to take back the fun and warmth of classrooms to home, in keeping with the fact that education is a never ending process.

 

 


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.

 


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.

Vivekananda

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!).

Calvin

[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.

 

 


Easy & Useful Tips to Revise the Syllabus in a Day

Examinations are approaching and nightmares have already started paying visits to many students at nights. You want to go through each subject before the outset of the examination days. You devoted all your time, but it seems almost impossible to review all the contents of the chapter in such a short time. If it is the same story with you, then we have come up to give you a hand.

Just bring the following changes in your way of preparation and you will enable yourself to take up examinations with high ounces of confidence.

Befriend Your Clock

Befriend Your Clock .gif

Start by making a timetable and follow it religiously. Divide the chapters according to the score value. Some topics may be too long, but stand rare chances of being asked in the exam, keep them for the last. As you have limited time, so it becomes utmost necessary to utilize each second of the hour wisely.

Make Space for Yourself

read in a library.gif

It is important to find a peaceful place to study. The place you choose should be away from all the distractions and the crowd. Places like a library or any other silent room work best. An appropriate environment connects the mind to work. A calm and relaxed mind works more efficiently and with greater concentration.

Make Quick Notes

qick notes.gif

You have countable hours and you should not kill time by writing down long and beautiful notes. Try keeping your notes short & clear yet informative. Make flowcharts, diagrams, tables and bullet points. You can also use mnemonics and slangs for the quick recapitulation.

Effective Time Utilization

Time is running

Be wise, and make your time plan effectively. It is not the time to touch new topics. New things take a lot more time to be understood and this hampers the entire plan. Instead, devote that time in re-revising the learned topics and cement them in your memory.

Take Breaks

Take some Break

Our brain also experiences fatigue as our body. If you overload it, it begins to lose the information stored. It is advisable not to sit and study for long hours constantly. You can take naps, listen to soothing music, go for a walk or take breaks to grab a bite. Monitor the time and keep it short.

Take up a Test

Take a Test.gif

Questions from previous years’ paper and classroom tests are of extreme use. You should try 4-5 papers for each subject. These papers provide a good collection of questions and you can also check your preparation while solving them. Fix the hours for completion and act honestly.

Say Bye to the Hi-Tech World

Say no to Hi-Tech

Limit your time spent on the social networks and web surfing.  Also, try to keep a minimal dependency on gadgets and the Internet. Although you can make a good use of the Internet by solving online papers or watching videos around question solution, avoid doing it at the last moment. Make sure you also reduce your dependency on the calculator with small calculation hacks.

Eat Healthy

 

Eat healthy

Food is the fuel for your brain. Do not compromise with meals. Avoid junk food as they release free radicals and leads to slow brain damage. Eat fresh and healthy food to energize your brain. Items like fruits, eggs, green vegetables, peas and pulses are full of nutrients and work best.

Meditation

Meditation

You have been working too hard, so take up activities to distress your body and mind. Sit upright, fold your hands and do breathing exercises. It will improve blood circulation to your brain. You will also get rid of impatience and uneasiness, which takes you long way in the examination hall.

Work with Art

sticky notes

Make stick-on and flashcards to memorize important dates, events, definitions and formulas. It is easy to carry them anywhere and revise. Revising multiple times assure building a great memory of it and this would definitely help you reduce retrieval time in the examination hall.

Don’t let examinations provoke panic, make a smart move. We are sure these tips from Vedantu will definitely help you in revising the syllabus quickly and maintaining the peace of mind. Excellence can only be achieved through confidence and determination.