Deepika Venkatesh, CAS Coordinator, Subject Lead & Senior School Educator

Deepika is currently working as a CAS Coordinator, subject lead and senior school educator at an International School in Bengaluru. She switched careers from being a Senior Risk and Regulatory Affairs Analyst at Deloitte to the field of education with an aim of magnifying sustainable education. She also holds hands-on experience in the field of Business valuation, Capital Markets Division under one of the professors at ISB, Hyderabad. Being a Digitally Certified educator by organizations like National Geographic, UNESCO MGIEP, PMI, Google, Apple and many more, she believes in encompassing progressive teaching and learning techniques in classrooms for sustainable education.

 

The world today has seen an immense change in terms of technology. The digital space has taken a new shape with increase in usage of smartphones, daily applications, social media and now ‘Metaverse’. I still remember my series of interviews for a few of the top companies at my campus placements. They were filled with rounds which mainly focused on change management, digital tests and many other skill based assessments. Well, that is it out there, not just the score grades but something to think beyond those text books and report cards. 

The field of profession has always been constantly challenged with the digitisation and rapid changes. Around 93% of recruiters look at social media profiles, 51% of hiring managers didn’t hire a candidate based on what they found online. Surprisingly true. Our digital footprint is becoming very important. Well, my question now is, how many of them out there are able to adapt to these changes and mold accordingly? Digging down a little deep, here comes our area, the area of education. Are we preparing and training our learners on future challenges? For the world outside? Something to give a serious thought right? 

I will keep this simple and short. All we have to do is build approaches to educate rather than just teach. These approaches to education should have the ability to contribute in every session, irrespective of the topic being covered from the syllabus. It is always a good practice for us educators to decipher the challenges around and train our learners. Let me take you through few examples of what I do in my classrooms to encourage skills like grit, determination, digital literacy, pragmatism, etc. and help enforce the right mindset in learners to become self-reliant resources for the society. 

– I typically begin the academic year by taking an interactive session, introducing them to a structured thought process through brain training exercises. I start off with a simulation based activity and then move forward by giving them facts about how our brain is ‘soft wired’ and contains the ability to expand irrespective of age. This will make them realize the importance of learning new things, moving out of comfort zones, creating new pathways in their brain and developing positive habits. 

– Conducting short sessions on digital literacy and building conversations on online etiquettes, safety and security, privacy, digital rights, equal access is helping learners to understand the role of technology in their career. Being tech-savvy is as important as learning the definition of photosynthesis from the book. 

– If it is, say, a 50 minute session, I don’t take the entire time-slot to teach a concept from the book. I curate sessions in such a way that they give a holistic learning experience. It either includes an open discussion on the current happenings or related to the topic being explained, showing them videos or sharing real time scenarios explaining why we are studying a particular concept, questioning them on new terms and encouraging them to answer even if it is completely wrong. This will ensure to build confidence, zeal to learn, acceptance and a critical-thinking mindset. 

– Observing every learner, understanding their interests and once in a while discussing topics where they feel excited, where they can provide insights and persuading them to present those topics even if they are out of syllabus, will make them communicate and build determination. After-all, not everyone is communicative right? 

In conclusion, change is everywhere. It is not something which happens only to one living being, but sometimes the change is huge. As of now, the need for being a digital citizen looks brighter in the field of education. Let us light this emphasis and create stalwarts of the society. Happy Teaching and Learning! 

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