Leveraging Artificial Intelligences and Allied Technologies to Augment Human Intelligence by Arun Kapur
In the past few years, I’ve been observing and commenting on what is now being referred to along the lines of ‘disruptive artificial intelligence technologies’. I have worried that we are looking at this trend and associated emerging technologies in a myopic sense – something that we outsource all of our work to. The current perception is that technology will do our job for us, to such an extent that they might replace us. For me, this is distressing because it leaves us less involved and engaged in how we are shaping our future. If this is our general perception, that these technologies are meant for us to continue living our lives as we currently are, albeit in an easier way, then we are not factoring in the long-term picture. I certainly feel that technology has made life easier in many aspects, but I firmly believe that it is only one facet of what it is meant to do. There are many other dimensions to the use of technology than merely making life easier for us. Considering this myopic view of technology one ends with scenarios where technology will replace human beings in jobs, and the much prophesied Artificial Intelligence dystopia will be upon us shortly. On the other hand, if we were to augment these new technologies to enhance our work, then what we would be able to achieve can only be limited by imagination. At its very basic, Augmented Intelligence stands for using existing and emerging technologies to advance human capabilities, skills and achievements. The Augmented Intelligence theory which I talk of believes that human beings have innate senses, skills and abilities which when actualised to their fullest potential can make for a much better world. I acknowledge that there are specific routine tasks that machines will be able to do better. Then again, this supports my worldview of Augmented Intelligence as we can leverage these to our advantage to enable us to work on matters that require the human touch. The only criterion I place in my Augmented Intelligence theory worldview is that we need to be lifelong learners, in constant learning mode.
Pallavan Learning Systems with Pallavan Jhalawar
Pallavan Learning Systems designed and organized a Professional Development Programme for the faculty of Pallavan School, Jhalawar. The programme was designed to be part of our training workshops for the beginning of the new academic session 2021-22. This programme was developed for all staff pursuit of the belief that learning is lifelong and that it is important for the school culture to be understood by all.
In this context, since education and learning are lifelong processes, it is particularly important for schools to encourage all teachers and staff to pursue professional development, not only to ensure the best learning outcomes for their students but also to be more effective and fulfilled in their respective roles.
Re-evaluating Assessment & Growth by Arun Kapur
It is human nature that different people find different things exciting. For some the ability to solve mathematical equations may excite them. For others, it may be composing a poem or song, while for others still it may be cooking. Often we can find many skills exciting. These skills or tasks have a natural pull, by the virtue of us wanting to do them. We recognize them as an area we want to grow in. How much we grow depends on many factors such as our starting point and prior acquisition of related skills. What we often fail to recognize is that in order to grow in the skills or tasks that we find exciting, we may also be required to grow in a number of other supporting skills or tasks that we find less exciting. For example, in order to bake a cake I need the skills of measuring, timing, patience, following instructions, creativity and tasting to name a few. The more I grow in these supporting skills the more I will grow in my overall skill of baking. Read more
Augmented Online Learning by Arun Kapur
In September, I had looked at how cross pollination can be a powerful driver for deep, meaningful learning that traverses domains and boundaries. In this article, I will discuss how cross pollination can augment online learning environments and how we can equip our teachers and learners to thrive in such an environment. To understand what online learning is we must first understand what the role of technology in education is. If technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes then online learning is partly powered by machines and equipment developed from that scientific knowledge. However, we should bear in mind that there have been similar forms of Technology-enabled learning environments in the past. The invention of writing, be it on a scroll or early forms of paper, would have been a technological revolution of the times. So would have been the printing press, the radio, the television and the projector. When textbooks first came into being, the prevalent thought process was that the newly minted textbooks would replace teachers. When television came, the inventors believed that television, for sure, would replace both textbooks and teachers. And in our times, some of us believe that the internet and robots could replace teachers and deliver the educational outcomes we desire. Read more
Cross Pollination by Arun Kapur
Take a moment to look at the world around you today. What do you see? Do the challenges, opportunities and pathways around you fit nicely into predefined packages or silos? Can we move forward as individuals, communities and societies by considering only one aspect of our life? If not, then why is it that we direct children to learn in silos? Why are we not encouraging cross pollination of ideas and processes in our schools? Being an expert in a particular field or area of study is important but to unfetter its potential, one needs to sow its principles in and borrow ideas from other areas as well. What triggers the initial insight varies from one person to the other. For example, the assembly line popularised by Ford Motors in 1913 manifested in the world after Henry Ford visited a food processing plant, saw lines of workers packaging the food, and decided to borrow that idea and implement it in his car factory. This process, a direct result of cross pollination, reduced time to make a car by over 70%, skyrocketing productivity. At its core, cross pollination can be identified as the heartbeat of Innovation. Read more
The Role of Technology in Bridging the Gap between Humans and Nature by Arun Kapur
Human beings have an innate sense of oneness with nature. It is in our DNA. The biologist Dr Edward Wilson termed it as Biophilia – the inborn affinity human beings have towards nature. It is evident in the way humankind has looked to nature as a source of sustenance, development and inspiration for generations. However, over the past decades, if not centuries, we have lost this sense of unity and identity. In today’s world, we seem to be under the impression that conquering nature is the best way forward rather than living in coherence with it and appreciating our interconnectedness. And so far we have been using technology primarily for the exploitation of nature, instead of using it as a means to reconnect with nature. Read more
Augmented Learning: the Convergence of Learner Motivation, Learning Spaces and Technology to Elevate the Learning Processes by Arun Kapur
Like each one of us, the process of learning is a work in progress and a continuous journey. This is one journey that has no end point, no destination and can carry on for as long as the learner wants to learn. This, I feel, is one of the main the purposes of education: embarking on a lifelong learning journey, equipped with all the necessary tools that will facilitate the process. Read more
The Future of Learning by Arun Kapur
The current pandemic has disrupted the process of learning in myriad ways. During this time, institutions and educators have come up with innovative ways to employ technology to impart learning. It would be unfortunate if things simply reverted to the way they were as soon as the pandemic subsided. It is imperative that we build on the learnings acquired and chart a new direction that learning can take. Read more
Transacting Digital Learning Effectively by Arun Kapur
As many countries enter their fifth or sixth week of lockdown it is imperative that we look at how learning has been happening and if there are any changes that need to be made. The closing of schools and initiation of online learning happened with little warning, and in many instances, overnight. Schools and educators have done their best to react to the situation to try and ensure the continuity of young people’s education. But after a few weeks of ‘schooling’ this way it is important for educators to step back and examine how they reacted and, now, take the time to respond in a thought out way. Read more
Learning, Seminar Magazine, 2020
Education should aid in the nurturing of your dreams. Without dreams, nothing works. You have to have some idea of where you want to go. It can change many times but the dream will guide you. Your dream is your best roadmap. However, rarely does this find mention in discussions on education. Read more
Five Areas of Development – A HundrEd innovation for 2017, 2018, 2019
A new school culture that refocuses the curriculum to address 5 key areas of development (Cerebral, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual and Social) and uses innovative methods to assess students, teachers and the school as a whole. Read about what the Innovator of the Five Areas of Development curriculum at HundrED, Finland has to say here
Looking Beyond the Curve:Education During a Pandemic
By Sangeeta Doraiswami
A crisis, it is said, is equal parts a challenge and an opportunity. The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought to humanity both aspects in equal measure. As the world examines the prospects of an uncertain period of calibrated lockdowns and reopening for the foreseeable future, education is one sector where the process of adapting to what may well be a ‘new normal’, of digital-based homeschooling as the default system rather than a considered option. …Read More
Making the Most of Remote Learning
By Hemant S.
Depending on where you are in the world you will probably be in some form of a lockdown. ‘Normal’ life as we have experienced it no longer exists and for some, it may never exist again. It makes us realise how much of life’s simple pleasures we have been taking for granted. For most of us, there will be a ‘new normal’ that we will need to adjust to overtime. For parents of school-aged children, this is especially true. …Read More
Basics of Assessment
by Choki Wangchuk
What should be the purpose of assessment?
Assessment is the engine that moves us forward. Assessment should be designed to help learners, which includes students and teachers move forward. Assessment should help us figure out what our next plan of action needs to be and what level of input is needed from us to progressively take our learning to greater heights and actualize our potential….Read More
A Brief Examination of the Education Systems and Processes in the UK and India
by Hemant S.
There are many educational theories and each try to push its own view forward. My focus of observation was the ‘hands-on learning’ approach used in the UK primary school that I visited. I called it hands-on approach but its philosophical and epistemological underpinnings can be traced as far back to John Dewey’s ‘Constructivism’ (Dewey, 1944). Constructivism underpins the philosophy that learners construct their own knowledge. It goes on to expound that there is no independent knowledge that lies beyond what has been constructed by the learner…Read More
Artificial Intelligence in Education – Challenges and Possibilities
by Hemant S.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a term that has been in use for over six decades now. The laypersons understanding of AI would probably stem from watching science fiction movies where machines are anthropomorphized. Following the coining of the term AI at the Dartmouth conference in 1956 by John McCarthy, ..Read More
The Artificial Intelligence Dystopia can be turned into an Augmented Intelligence Utopia
by Arun Kapur
It’s all about putting things in perspective and empowering individuals to actualise their potential
The brighter future certainly belongs to Augmented Intelligence.
In the past few years, I’ve been observing and commenting about what is now being called ‘disruptive technologies’. I have worried that we are looking at this and similar kinds of emerging technologies in a minimal sense – something that we outsource all of our work..Read More
The Perils of Automating Teaching
By Arun Kapur
While it might lead to better academic outcomes, it will probably hamper the (w)holistic development of a learner, especially in the areas of social, emotional and spiritual development. The future of learning is unpredictable and can best be described as a mirage. It is constantly changing and therefore the best we can do now is to look at what learning currently looks like…Read More
Publish or Perish: The Struggle to Write
By Saroj Thapa
I have beautiful thoughts and wonderful ideas going on in my head all the time. So when someone asks me to write something I feel that’s a breeze! A smart comment, a quick repartee, a keen observation or a deep thought – I have it all, or so I think. No worries, I can churn out an academic paper or a short essay – 1954 words if you wish – in no time at all. In reality nothing is on paper – like I said, it is all in my head..Read More
The Importance of Self-Motivated Learning
By Nikita Bhargava
Through school, the term ‘self-motivated learner’ was not a part of my vocabulary. In my school, the metric for success was simple- get good grades. To get good grades one only had to have a very finite amount of knowledge and often success depended on how much of that you were able to memorize and rewrite in an exam. Though what we learnt was of a lot of importance, how we were taught and how we learnt was not in preparation for real life…Read More
Education: Modern-day Technology and its effects
by Sangeeta Doraiswami
Resilience is defined as the “ability to bounce back from setbacks1”. The manner in which a person faces setbacks and adapts to them shapes their personality; it builds strength and character. Today, more than ever, young students face academic setbacks that are difficult to overcome…Read More
Reading : The Best Gift to Children
by Sangeeta Doraiswami
Starting the habit of reading to your children is one of the most important things you will ever do for your child. It is in fact so important that the purpose of this article is not just to advocate the benefits of reading to children but to motivate parents to read, read, read and read again to your children….Read More
Learning Multiple Languages
by Sunaina Narang
I grew up in a French medium school. While in kindergarten I learnt to speak French and Sanskrit for the first three years. It was a difficult time for my parents who spoke neither French nor Sanskrit and we had to rely on my mother tongue – which in my case was Hindi – in order for us to communicate…..Read More