Tanuj Shah, CEO & Co-Founder, ipassio

Noteworthy entrepreneur, Tanuj Shah is known for his current role as the CEO and co-founder of ipassio. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. He began his career at the Emerging Interactions Team of Oracle Headquarters in California. Over the years, under his dynamic leadership, ipassio has emerged as one of the industry leaders for effectively learning hobbies / extracurricular activities online. Tanuj is acclaimed for his contribution to the tech industry.

 

New normal – a phase in today’s time that has flipped the way the world works. The new normal at work, new normal in school, or the new normal at home – this phrase has the word ‘normal’ on paper. But it doesn’t signify normalcy in reality. Instead, it’s a reference to a post-pandemic phase that made people live in a new untold way. Adjusting to this phase, people have somehow struck a balance in the best way possible, within their homes.

The switch to virtual reality has inevitably become a part and parcel of everyday life. This is very applicable to students who are now learning both academics, as well as extracurricular activities, through online learning.

Based on UNESCO’s data in 2020, more than 1.6 billion students from across the world were learning from their homes, via virtual classes. Overcoming a few hiccups, most have quickly adapted to this way of learning. The pandemic has also brought in the need for a healthy blend of academics and extracurricular activities. Let’s talk about how and why these two educational aspects are blended and what are their advantages:

The importance of extracurricular activities in an academic life

Even before the pandemic, extracurricular activities were always focused on, in schools and colleges, in a certain ratio along with academics. The two learning aspects were blended into a detailed curriculum for students in educational institutions, for many reasons. These included maintaining mental growth and activity, strategic thinking, boosting energy levels, developing social skills and so much more.

Pursuing extracurricular activities in an academic setting helps the student achieve better at the latter. According to Texas A&M College of Education & Human Development, there is a deep correlation between academic and extracurricular education. The latter had a positive impact on academics because it develops a definite sense of determination in the student. The kind of extracurricular activity doesn’t matter, as long as it keeps the student happy and full of energy, which they can channel into their studies.

How are educational institutions bringing in the blend in the new normal

With most schools and colleges remaining closed since 2020, the medium of online learning has taken precedence. Even though it means restriction in terms of physical space, it is undoubtedly considered as the safer option.

So, how do educational institutions ensure that both academics and extracurricular activities remain blended? The initial days were difficult with the struggle to maintain the same level of energy. The temporary shutdown of these extracurriculars also affected the creative energy of students, making them restless due to continuous screen hours in the same place. But things turned out for the better when most of these activities were brought online.

Schools and colleges ensured that extra-curricular activities are targeted in between the weekdays, amounting to around 4 to 5 hours per week. Be it debate, games, artwork, singing, or dancing, students are required to virtually attend these classes – to avoid being burnt out by their academic curriculum. A minimum of an hour of recreation in between makes their day less hectic and stressful.

Parents should introduce their children to this healthy blend

The sudden change to remaining indoors at all times was something that students had to get used to. Parents did help in making their transition smooth, to an extent, and technology also played a major role in bridging the physical gap. While finding online alternatives to creative activities for their kids, many parents have opted for hobby platforms like ipassio.

Parents should resort to such recreational platforms, post detailed online research, to ensure that their child’s learning skills keep developing with a good faculty online. Here is where ipassio plays a major role in shaping the journey of a learner as it offers online live learning of extracurriculars from top-notch educators, who make time exclusively for the student. When the learner sees such acclaimed instructors focusing on them solely, it boosts their interests and inspires them to a great extent. Introducing children to activities that they love, ensures that their skills apply to core academics and personality development. It also keeps them happy and content.

For instance, activities and games like Chess or Rubik’s Cube ensure not only calculative strength and resistance but also strategic thinking and logical aptitude. Similarly, forms like Singing and Dancing not only ensure good vocals and body structure but also develop concentration, listening skills, and patience. Exercise forms and genres like Yoga ensure that the student is always level-headed and solution-oriented.

Blending academics with extracurricular activities maintain mental health and productivity

Having a balanced blend of academics and extracurricular activities is crucial as prolonged screen hours that demand continuous attention could be taxing and hectic for students. Just like the famous saying, all work, and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.

One must remember that the pandemic has also had quite a bogging down effect on students. The drastic switch from a classroom setting to remaining seated in front of the same screen for the whole day can be quite overwhelming. After all of this, expecting students to perform at the same level as they would earlier, will be quite demanding.

In such scenarios, the blending of academics and extracurricular activities helps. While the former ensures the student’s ambition and academic goal, the latter refreshes the energy levels and boosts confidence.

 

The advantages of pursuing extracurricular activities while studying

There are several advantages that extracurricular activities bring when they are blended into an academic curriculum. Some of these include:

Sharper, solution-based thinking – Students begin thinking of math problems, logical questions, and aptitude-related topics in a more strategic, clean-cut manner.

Teamwork spirit with better patience – Because of the activities they pursue, students develop a great deal of patience and this helps when they coordinate with others.

Developing a curious attitude – Because extracurriculars help the student in self- discovering and this leads to better logic application and peaked interest.

Time management and organizational skills – Extracurriculars are pursued during the student’s off-hours and so, the student knows how to make time for it as well as academics. It also teaches them how to organize their tasks in a day.

Even though the online medium of learning existed before the pandemic, the sudden flip from going to class to attending class online has been massive. Educators have the opportunity of carving out different curriculums that blend academics and extracurricular activities in a cohesive routine that could benefit students in various ways. This is achieved by ipassio as the instructors customize their style of teaching according to the student’s age, learning level, and needs. Supported by parents, the blended way of online learning is now acclaimed as the safest and best option.

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