Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chase Cars or Cats?

When life puts you in a situation that makes you feel like a Dog chasing Cars on the road but you'd rather be a Dog that chases Cats, here are some of the things you could do to bark off the blues (in no particular order). 

Chase Cats when life is not looking *chuckle*

Look for Cars with Cats inside them *wink*

Hang out with a community of Dogs that tells you how nice it is to chase cars *make sure you put on a sober expression all the time*

Study, analyze, dissect and write a report on Cars and the differences between chasing a Honda vs Toyota vs Benz vs Ferrari etc *distribute it as a PDF* 

Discuss the ethical issues related to the chasing of Cats, with philosophical Dogs *make notes* 

(Screech. Stop. Run)


If you are creative, highly obsessed with ideas, prefer drowning in solitude with your unconventional dreams and have less than average social intelligence and are clumsy with your relationships (highly correlated in my opinion) then be prepared to fail, be misunderstood, be neglected, be harassed, fight crazy battles, justify and explain, suffer, and, generally speaking, pay the price for being a misfit. Ironically, a small section of the society is likely to refer to you as a genius when you are alive and - posthumously - everyone may refer to you as a genius. :-/ 

Tag: Famous and infamous personalities 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why Companies Exist

From frivolous efforts at charity and CSR, to more serious all-round investment in support of social issues/challenges. Not always successful but fragmented and continuous focus on going green, customer delight and employee engagement. 

Jargons like diversity, no discrimination and ombudsman, commercially motivated but inclusive ideas like intrapreneurship and crowd sourcing, to independent and near altruistic operations for enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Some organizations seem to have come a full moral circle but we still have text books that claim companies exist in order to make a profit.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Trends in Collaborative Education/Learning

Thanks to Ferina Santos - @ferinasantos - for sharing this excellent article on trends in Education. I think it is a wonderful overview of what the future of education is going to be like. No prizes for guessing that the emphasis is on collective and collaborative learning techniques and mechanisms! 

Read the full article here: The author is: Miriam Clifford - @miriamoclifford on Twitter


Here are some excerpts that appealed to my mind:


Groups tend to learn through “discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of other’s ideas”.  Perhaps information that is discussed is retained in long term memory.  Research by Webb suggests that students who worked collaboratively on math computational problems earned significantly higher scores than those who worked alone.  Plus, students who demonstrated lower levels of achievement improved when working in diverse groups. 
Many studies such as those by Robert Slavin at Johns Hopkins have considered how cooperative learning helps children develop social and interpersonal skills.  Experts have argued that the social and psychological effect on self-esteem and personal development are just as important as the learning itself. 


The quality of discussions is a predictor of the achievement of the group.  Instructors should provide a model of how a successful group functions.  Shared leadership is best.  Students should work together on the task and maintenance functions of a group.  Roles are important in group development. Task functions include:

  • Initiating Discussions
  • Clarifying points
  • Summarizing
  • Challenging assumptions/devil’s advocate
  • Providing or researching information
  • Reaching a consensus.

Maintenance involves the harmony and emotional well-being of a group.  Maintenance includes roles such as:
  • Sensing group feelings
  • Harmonizing
  • Compromising and encouraging
  • Time-keeping
  • Relieving tension
  • Bringing people into discussion
Focus on enhancing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.  Design assignments that allow room for varied interpretations.  Different types of problems might focus on categorizing, planning, taking multiple perspectives, or forming solutions

The article winds up by reminding us about the criticisms of collaboration (it may not allow for individual thinking) and asks us to beware of group-think (groups may end up going by the views of a few confident and dominant people and may not really reach a consensus) 

I am passionate about how we can reinvent education and learning methods so children are more engaged, excited and enthusiastic to be life-long learners. Of course, the other dimension is that they must be able to apply what they learn in their lives and, furthermore, use it to determine what their lives must be like (find their passion and gift and share it with the world.) I hope we are on the verge of a revolution! :-)