Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world | Video on

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world | Video on


Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world | Video on

One of the best examples of an online course in recent times was Urgent Evoke funded by World Bank and designed by Jane McGonigal. Please listen to her ideas on serious gaming, game design and edutainment here.

Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world | Video on

Stuart Brown says play is more than fun | Video on

One never gets sick of this message: Learning can be through play alone and fun at any age.

Stuart Brown says play is more than fun | Video on

Nalini Nadkarni on conserving the canopy | Video on

A fascinating talk on natural design by a conservationist.

Nalini Nadkarni on conserving the canopy | Video on

Clifford Stoll on … everything | Video on

One of the most brilliant insights about the future comes in this talk where Stoll says if people want to know the shape of the future they should ask kindergarten teachers and not those in the higher echelons of education.

Clifford Stoll on … everything | Video on

Grades at the Beginning

For seven years now – we have had a particular way of doing assessment. Its called: “Grades at the Beginning” (GATB).

In this mode of assessment the students opt for a grade (or Mark) at the beginning of the course, then plan their course projects and submit a “Learning Contract”. They are given feedback on the match between the ‘aspiration grade’ and the ‘learning contract’ – and modify it to align the mark-work to be undertaken so its satisfactory. This may be both too much work being undertaken for a low grade or too little work being promised for a high grade.

In the “grades at the beginning” model – the teachers spell out goals/ outcomes of courses – but not the way to achieve the goals. The calendar of the semester is made by individual students.

Grades at the beginning has been transformative both for students and teachers – but has also change the spirit of the community.

I am happy to answer any questions about how ‘GATB’ works. Do post your question in the comments section below.

Crossing over to the dark side – 1

I agree with Saumitri Varadarajan that practitioners need to look at pedagogy, methods of teaching and learning etc’, so for all and sundry here are some helpful links to start you off with.

Howard Gardner’s work forms a good base to start thinking from.

I love the above stuff on differentiating instruction.

Bloom’s taxonomy –

While a bit outdated Bloom may be good for new teachers.

As may this next one on Maslow.

Old hat but may be interesting for new teachers – Bono’s six thinking hat exercise

For introducing me to this next guy I have to thank Geetha Narayanan profusely.

Some valid politics from Paulo Friere

And more from Ivan Illich. – is the last one for now.

Some great work Yashas Shetty is doing in the Art Science interface.

This is on the lines of Edward Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Ossian and Castaneda.

It refers to creativity, deconstructs the idea of origin, questions media as a vehicle for factuality, and asks the interesting question of whether genius has to be compulsorily derivative to be really effetcive; privileging altered repetition in Deleuzian and Guattarian terms, over the original.

Yashas Shetty is creative in the Art Science field in the same way those two thinkers are/were and Fitzgerald was too, perhaps

Yashas’s ability to take from anthropology and mythemes and technology and his love of and sensitivity to music in its different forms – and the media’s ability to deceive playfully and use it against itself – is thought-provoking and deserves a much greater study in detail. The futuristically mixed product here of the past and the more recent past which works as a banaustic music-scape that he re-creates for us then as a listening space in cybertime and cyberspace is deliciously pranksterish and a fascinating experiment that opens one’s mind to many different pathways in it, to say the least!!!

Listen and in “conversations” enjoy his insight into an extremely relevant issue of today that is connected to this and filtered through the works of people like Glenn Gould and Michele Certeau, in the related interview.

Most of all though, apart from all the theory and jargon I have just spouted, this strange and haunting work speaks for itself.

Read this note on the Jhonds before that.

Listen and enter its interstices.


I have been working on Maternal Health (Deaths) for a bit now. My focus is ‘how to improve service delivery’ in rural-remote areas. One part of the project dealt with menstruation – and led to this event. See more here:

Its being organized by a few former students of mine.

The interesting thing here is that Craft Victoria – is an organization of crafts people in Victoria (Australia). But Crafts people here are more like artists – and usually skilled and enjoy making things with their hands. Hence DIY – and the workshop asks: would you like to make your own cloth pads?

Q: Are these artists-craftspeople who make things with their own hands – to be considered the blue collar workforce?

Do wander about the craft vic site.

Post Professional Design

I got this message from Prof. Birgit Mager, KISD, Koln – yesterday. Which made me think that it would be useful to post the Koln Model here.

See here for site.

The Bachelor study programme »Integrated Design« at KISD takes 8 semester. The structure of the programme is modular – already a famous feature of the former diploma course. You can find further information for the B.A. »Integrated Design«, which integrates several design disciplines and classes ” border=”0″ height=”14″ width=”13″ /> here (PDF, ca. 1300 KB)

Q: Do you need specializations in Design? Like VC, PD, FD and so on?
The Koln Model says no and is now going to be 20 yeas old.

The six major thinkers on education in India.

1. B R Ambedkar
2. Rabindranath Tagore
3. J. Krishnamurthy
4. Geetha Narayanan
5. Sree Narayana Guru
6. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Ambedkar on Higher Education and OBCs
Posted on April 10, 2006 by readerswords
I ran into a very interesting quote by Dr. Ambedkar, specially in the context of the recent debates (generally opposing it though) on reservations in institutes of higher education IITs and IIMs (besides other institutes under the Central government):
Higher education, in my opinion, means that education, which can enable you to occupy the strategically important places in State administration. Brahmins had to face a lot of opposition and obstacles, but they are overcoming these and progressing ahead.”
“I can not forget, rather I am sad, that many people do not realize that the Caste system is existing in India for centuries because of inequality and a wide gulf of difference in education, and they have forgotten that it is likely to continue for some centuries to come. This gulf between the education of Brahmins and non-Brahmins will not end just by primary and secondary education. The difference in status between these can only be reduced by higher education. Some non-Brahmins must get highly educated and occupy the strategically important places, which has remained the monopoly of Brahmins since long. I think this is the duty of the State. If the Govt. can not do it, institutions like “Maratha Mandir” must undertake this task.”
The statement “I think it is the duty of the State” is very interesting and can be interpreted in different ways, including advocating reservations.
The moot point, however, that Dr. Ambedkar makes, a la Gramsci, is the importance of capturing places of strategic importance. In our times, this need not only be in the State Administration.
In the era of a globalized marketplace, it also means providing a foothold in that marketplace.






I should probably add Raja Ram Mohun Roy to this list to make the seventh.’s%20issues.htm

Code of Conduct

Victorian Teaching Professional Code of Conduct

“One of the hallmarks of a profession is adherence to publicly affirmed ethical standards. Over a period of four years the Victorian Institute of Teaching worked with teachers to fulfil one of its major legislative functions – ‘to develop, maintain and promote a Code of Conduct for the teaching profession’.”

I put this here – so a teacher can reflect upon questions they have had about whats the right way? In a design class room often there is a belief that ‘rules’ are to be violated – while there is a demand for innovation in the ‘way students look at problems’ – this does not apply to people relationships. The above site has links to documents and describes ‘inappropriate’ conduct.

Touching a student? Think about it.