Friday, October 25, 2019

Helping a child who is addicted to video games


Video games have come a long way, from being simple 8-bit arcade games to the elaborate, cinematic experiences they are today. They introduce us to a world of amazement, adventure and fantasy, turning us into heroes on make-believe journeys. They teach us to think strategically, solve complex puzzles, communicate well with peers, and pick up leadership skills. Games even teach us about cultures and civilizations. Games hold a special place in the lives of children. We must let the younger generations enjoy the specialties of its time like the ones before did. Maybe you love gaming too. As a parent, it is a great way to bond with your family.

To game or not to game

Gaming, like other great things, can be bad for us when consumed in excess. Gaming addiction, although very extreme cases are rare, seems to be on the rise. A debate is currently raging on over banning PUBG in India, due to displays of extreme behavior like suicide and threats of suicide by children and teens addicted to the game. We should ask ourselves if a ban is the solution to the problem, or a mere distraction from a deeper issue.

Signs of gaming addiction

        Signs of gaming addiction, like other forms of addictions, may not be evident initially. Being vigilant is key to finding a way out. Check if your child is:

-   1.Withdrawn and aloof

-   2. Filling up every bit of available time with games

-   3. Barely participating in outdoor sports and activities

-   4. Neglecting school work

-   5. Showing a lack of similar enthusiasm for other activities, including ones they used to enjoy

-   6. Responding with rage or defensiveness when confronted with the subject
 
-   7. Avoiding real world peer interaction.

-   8. Neglecting their personal hygiene

Handling the addiction in a positive way

         It is easy to fall into a cycle of self-blame or blame your child for gaming addiction. Devices have become very accessible to all of us. Video games too, are now designed specifically to target our need for achievement, belonging, competition and completion, by targeting the brain’s reward system. Gamification is, in fact, a field that grew out of the study of game mechanics. It is now being applied very successfully to business, and e-learning platforms.
          Concern for your child’s physical and mental health is paramount. When a child’s self-worth becomes tied to in-game performance, things take a turn for the worse. A gaming addiction can affect normal development. It can cause poor eating and sleeping habits, and lead to a lack of exercise. It can leave a deep psychological impact and might encourage violent behavior.
It can be scary to step in and intervene, if you believe that your child might be addicted. Here are some measures you can take:
-   Setting an example starts with examining our own behaviors. Can we set aside our own obsession to candy crush and try a healthier activity?
-                         Listen to your child’s view on why they want to play their favorite game(s). What exactly are they trying to feel or escape? Do they feel that they are getting the attention and support that they need from family and friends? Help them understand the long term consequences of their pastime, such as poor academic performance, lack of social skills, isolation, anxiety and other ill-effects. Show them that there is much more to life than video games.
-                        Create a reward system for games. Did they help you around the house? Did they do something thoughtful for another person? If the assignments get done, or study topics get covered within time, let them experience their favorite game.
-             Game time should be limited to certain days and specific times of the day.
-             Consequences of exceeding fixed gaming time could be loss of gaming privileges for a full day.
-   Planned outdoor activities like hiking, (real world) football, and old-fashioned picnics, are great alternatives to staying glued to a tablet or phone.
           Technology is a great tool that can be leveraged to our benefit. TRIO - an International School in Bangalore,incorporates the use of technology into our international school curriculum, in a smart and purposeful manner. Our iPad programme creates engaging learning experiences for our students, through audio, visual and tactile interactions, with rich educational content. It provides access to online assessments and delivers quick feedback. It also reduces the size of their school bags. We teach responsible and controlled usage of technology from a young age. To know more about our programmes, visit us at Best International School in Bangalore

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

How to know if a school is parent-friendly


As a parent, one is concerned about many aspects of a school, before choosing one for their child. Curriculum, cost, timings, proximity, student performance, scholarships etc. are all factors that one must consider before selecting a school. While a lot of emphasis has been made on how student-friendly a school is, it is equally important to understand how schools relate to the child’s family.
A great school understands the importance of parents and family in the education of a child, and keeps this front and centre, while making any policy. When the family is involved deeply in a child’s education, the child benefits in many ways.

How to know if a school is parent / family friendly?

  •  School’s first response to your visit / call: Were you met with politeness and helpfulness when you reached out to the school for the first time? A friendly school will have a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere. Staff will go out of their way to attend to visitors, new and returning.  They will make you feel at home, give you the attention you deserve and assist you with what you were looking for.
  • Tone of correspondence: Calls, emails, brochures, and handbooks received from the school use a polite and friendly tone, as opposed a harsh and cold one. Conflict is handled in a professional and fair manner.
  • Diversity and inclusivity: An international school caters to students and their families from different parts of the globe. Trio has the privilege of providing the best international education to students from more than 55+ countries till date. When cultures interact, and young minds are involved, good educators, will go to great lengths to inculcate healthy interactions between the students and their families. People who do not understand the local language(s) / English are treated respectfully and are given due assistance. A school that treats individuals from all walks of life, including those outside the school community, with respect, is a safe place to learn.
  • Communication: In a great school environment, communication happens both ways and you feel heard. If you or your child requires any additional assistance, the school staff of a parent-friendly school will listen to you, help you to the best extent they can and will be clear and polite about any limitations. PTAs and other interactions are handled professionally. The school will clearly communicate about the syllabus, board, assessments, performance and discuss about concerns unique to your child. The school will maintain adequate confidentiality of any personal information.

Parent – friendly initiatives at Trio

TRIO World Academy - an International School in Bangalore offers a highly inclusive curriculum and welcomes families from all backgrounds. Trio celebrates festivals and important days in the calendar, across cultural backgrounds, religions, caste and nationality. We make children aware of their importance, keeping cultural sensibilities in mind. Our security system comprises of 130 CCTV cameras, secure IDs, and constant monitoring by vigilance officers, to ensure complete safety of children, parents, visitors and staff alike. 


At Trio, every member of the school is responsible for building a relationship with the families. Parent teacher communication is open and parents can approach the school at any point for support. One of the unique characteristics of Trio, is it’s organic and closely knit community. We work hard to create and maintain a cheerful and safe atmosphere for our students. All the effort that goes into creating a parent-friendly school is worth it. 

Let us know parent friendly means to you in the comments. Share this post with those who may find it useful.



How to make a school more eco-friendly


Schools are under constant pressure to give their students the best standards of education, while making efficient use of their resources. Taking measures to save energy and reduce wastage of material resources is not only economically sound, but will also make a positive environmental impact. In the process, we can teach students healthy habits and sustainability practices, that can set them on the course for being a lifelong friend of the environment.

A school typically consumes a lot of energy: lighting systems, fans, air-conditioning, computers and servers demand electricity. Schools also tend to produce waste, from both indoors as well as outdoors, in the form of paper, plastic, organic waste, glass and e-waste.


Simple measures to save the environment


Schools can follow simple measures to keep their use of resources low, reducing the amount of energy consumed and minimising waste output:

  •         Encouraging students to report any wastage of water, or electricity. They can turn off taps, switch off lights, computers and devices that are not in use by anyone.
  •         Encouraging students to perform an audit of the waste produced by the school eg. A kitchen waste audit or classroom paper waste. They can even be asked to team up to come up with creative waste management solutions.
  •         Installing marked waste bins in all areas of the campus, and encouraging the correct use of these bins will discourage littering and enable proper disposal and processing of waste.
  •         Educating staff and students about wastage of food and ingredients in the kitchens and cafeteria. The ingredients for the menu could be sourced responsibly, by selecting seasonal produce from local farmers.
  •         Teaching for environment sustainability and creating awareness in the classroom from an early age.
  •         Checking if any of the school stationery can be done away with or replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives eg. Recycled notebooks and folders, eco-friendly art supplies and so on.
  •         Welcoming parents to join your mission. Encourage them to send children to school by the school transport or help carpool many students.

Sustainability initiatives at Trio
 

Trio continues to undertake measures, both small and large scale, to leave behind a cleaner, safer and healthier environment for the current and future generations. Trio has implemented rainwater harvesting in key areas of the campus. We have incorporated natural light and ventilation into the design of our buildings. We have a stringent waste segregation and management plan in place. This includes segregation of dry and wet waste, kitchen waste management, and responsible disposal of e-wastes. Trio also holds the Limca Book Award for the highest quantity of e-wastes collected. To know more about Trio, visit us at https://trioworldacademy.com, or drop into our international school campus at Sahakarnagar, Bangalore


Friday, March 1, 2019

10 reasons why Bengaluru is the perfect educational destination for Thai students



Moving to any new country to pursue your education can seem like a daunting task. If you are a Thai student who is planning to expand your horizons by studying in Bengaluru, India, there are plenty of reasons for you to choose that path.


Why study in India?

1. India is the world’s largest democracy. It has a booming economy among the developing nations, with the industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) forecasting that India will sustain a GDP growth of around 7.5 per cent in 2019. It also has a varied and fascinating culture, with innumerable languages, traditions, customs and festivals. The world has always turned towards India for its highly evolved political, spiritual, and philosophical treatises dating back several centuries.

Quality education at a reasonable cost

2.  The Indian education system is adapting to technological advancements and global educational trends like never before. A student’s development is approached holistically, with emphasis on their individual strengths, interests and challenges. Experiential learning, scientifically designed curricula, sports and meaningful extra-curricular activities are incorporated into the schooling process. It is well placed to provide for students coming in from Thailand.

3.  Existing colleges offer a very high quality of education in multiple streams including arts, commerce, law, medicine, engineering, pure sciences and more. These institutions are respected all over the world. There are several emerging institutions for higher education, which will further heighten the bar for quality. Premier Indian colleges offer degrees at a much more reasonable cost than popular educational destinations.

Advantage Bengaluru

4. Many daily direct flights from Bangalore to Bangkok. Travel time is just 4 hours.

5.   Bengaluru is one of the most cost effective cities for expats to live in. It has an existing and thriving expat community of people from over 80 countries. Bengaluru has been known as a welcoming and cosmopolitan city.

6.  English is spoken by a large part of the population and is the common language for business and trade. Many people speak multiple languages.

7.  Bengaluru has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with an overall average of 23.6-degree C, that is loved by many people.

8.  Bengaluru is very easily accessible from Bangkok via direct flights from Indigo, Air India and Thai airways, with a flight duration of 3 hours and 50 minutes approx. Bengaluru is extremely well connected through Bengaluru Metro rail and 24/7 cab services. International Airport connectivity is unparalleled. Railway stations and bus stands are centrally located. It is also a hub for the finest cuisine from all over the world.

9.  Bangalore has some of the best colleges in the country for science, commerce, law, engineering, arts and more: Indian Institute of Science, MS Ramaiah College of Arts, Science and Commerce, NLSIU, St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Indian Institute of Management, Mount Carmel College, CMRIT, RV College of Engineering, Christ University, Jain University, PES Institute of Technology, BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore Medical College, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, M.E.S College, UVCE, National Degree College, Dayananda Sagar University, and many more.

10. Bengaluru is a thriving hub of industry and IT. It is a preferred destination for job seekers and a great place to build your career. It is home to established companies as well as a hub for start-ups. Cisco, Oracle, IBM, Wipro, Microsoft, Accenture, Infosys, SAP, Samsung, Amazon, Dell, Robert Bosch, Intel, Adobe, Goldman Sachs, Huawei, Nokia, EY, AMD, VMWare, JP Morgan, Mercedes-Benz, NetApp, Target, GE, ABB, Philips and more.

11. Bangalore has few of the India's reputed International Schools like TRIO WORLD ACADEMY 

Education at TRIO

TRIO World School is an award-winning international school, highly ranked among the schools in Bengaluru and Karnataka. With more than 11 years of carefully cultivated expertise in international education, it has established a strong presence in the education sphere. TRIO is a harmonious community, that has served students from 55+ countries and teachers from all over the world! Trio welcomes every student, including those from Thailand, as one of its own, into its multicultural and inclusive family.

Internationally respected curricula International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), Cambridge Secondary 1, IGCSE and IB Diploma Programme (DP) are offered with university placement support. We provide flexibility and support for our students to ensure that they learn best.


Facilities provided to Thai students:


  1. English as a Second Language (ESL) Support provided by the expat teachers 
  2. Orientation on arrival
  3. iPad program
  4. Multiple cuisines, including Thai, Chinese, Continental, and Indian served daily.
  5. Comfortable Air Conditioned Boarding facilities with 2 to 3 sharing.
  6. Refrigerator with Ice cold water provided
  7. Daily mobile phone usage schedule (After Night Study only)
  8. Airport pick up and drop facility
  9. Sport and extra-curricular activities taught by highly trained professionals.
  10. Weekend outings 




INTEGRATED SUMMER CLASSROOM PROGRAM (ISCP)

The TRIO Integrated Summer Classroom Program (ISCP), is a summer only designed for students from outside India. It is a unique opportunity to undergo the full-fledged international school experience in a short period of time. It lets you experience the Indian culture, languages and lifestyle like never before. As a student, you will be a part of the regular schooling schedule, and cutting edge sporting programmes. You will also be provided with extra ESL support and local educational tours. Food and AC accommodation will be provided.



The programme is from 5th April 2019 to 30th April 2020. For more details, get in touch with us.

To know more about our programmes visit us at www.trioworldacademy.com

Sources:

http://cities-research.jll.com/cities-research/city-momentum

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-costs-expats-more-than-bengaluru-survey/articleshow/64754922.cms

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/india-robust-economic-growth-to-continue-in-2019-cii/story/305389.html

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Experiential Learning


How we learn naturally

Human beings are always learning, whether we are inside a classroom or outside of it. We may not always be conscious of the process. Our daily experiences of learning may range from figuring out an online booking system to a new mobile phone, learning a new sport to making a little child laugh. What is common to all of these, is that they involve a deliberate and direct approach to learning something that is useful, and connected deeply to the world that we live in.
Classroom education has been moving away from the abstract, and rote based learning towards concepts connected to the real world. Teachers typically gave out information and students were expected to absorb it passively. Over time, we it has become evident that we cannot convince a student to learn something because it has been taught that way for many years and everyone before them learned it. Trio has incorporated experiential learning in the manner that it complements the offered curricula.  When a child is shown how, say, learning to grow vegetables or calculating their monthly expenses can have an impact on their life, they will value what they are learning much more.

What is experiential learning

The theory of experiential learning was proposed by David Kolbe, an American educational theorist. In his words, “Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping experience and transforming it.” This form of learning is not always dependent on textbooks or formal instruction. The experience itself entails that the learner takes initiative to begin, direct and completely involve themselves in the learning process.

How experiential learning differs from hands on learning

The intention behind several school projects, workshops and trips are typically noble and are chosen to expose children to new things. However, an exercise like collecting different kinds of leaves or building a model of an aircraft does not automatically make it useful, if there is no self-reflection and assimilation involved. Take, for instance, an exercise to build a great camping tent. An educator can serve as an anchor and guide, by encouraging students to answer questions like, what is the purpose of doing this activity, what is your goal, what worked in the design, what did not work, what can we learn from other teams, what are the challenges and so on. Experiential learning effectively transforms the learner, by giving them a framework to approach any new situation with confidence and open-mindedness.



The cycle of learning

Kolb’s model gives a 4 stage cycle, that the experiential learning process typically entails. 
Abstract Conceptualisation:  Gathering information on how a system works and intellectual analysis of the situation. For example, learning to grow vegetables in the garden can involve, in this step, watching videos or reading up about different types of plants, weather, soil, tools etc.
Concrete Experience: Encountering a new situation that catches the learner’s attention and learning from it. In our vegetable growing example, this may involve working with an expert gardener, learning to prepare the soil, seeds, watering, pruning branches and more.
Active experimentation: Taking action towards accomplishing the set goal. In our example of growing vegetables, this may involve using the skills learned to setup a small garden and tending to it every day.
 Reflective Observation: Carefully observe the situation, and the available information. This is a critical step in the process where the learner deeply reflects on and synthesizes their learnings. 
One may reflect on what conditions kept the plants healthy and what conditions caused them to wilt.

Challenges to implementing experiential learning in the classroom

One of the challenges to implementing experiential learning, is the amount of preparation required on the part of educators. Adequate research must go into planning activities and just enough structure must be provided to students.

One of the most significant changes we have made at Trio, is creation of a long term plan, with all our educators on board, to incorporate experiential learning activities throughout the academic session or adding a component of experiential learning into existing activities.  Teachers are given sufficient support and resources to come up with activities that the children are curious about and find beneficial. The more interdisciplinary the nature of the activity, the better. Field trips or group activities are no longer concluded with a simple report, but with deeper self-reflection.

Benefits of implementing experiential learning

When students are involved fully in the process of learning, and identify how their work impacts them on a personal and meaningful way, they are more likely to internalise those learnings and pursue an even deeper inquiry into a topic. They gain skills that they can apply to a variety of situations both inside and outside the classroom. They become motivated and autonomous learners who can tackle any challenge that life throws at them.

References

https://www.teachthought.com/learning/experiential-learning-just-hands-doesnt-mean-minds/

Thursday, May 3, 2018

How to bring up a confident child


What is the one thing that can help your child succeed?

Without a doubt – if there is one thing that can ensure success – it is confidence.

Without confidence you cannot do anything. With confidence you can conquer the world
But where does confidence come from?

Confidence cannot be pasted on to a child by constantly telling her/him “You are amazing”.

A child who knows he/she is not worthy of the praise being heaped on by his/her parents – begins to feel hollow and becomes pompous and arrogant.

Confidence emerges out of achievements. A child becomes confident by pushing boundaries and proving his/her ability to achieve by overcoming challenges.

Our words and actions as parents – have a huge role in developing our children’s confidence.

Here are 10 things you can do to build your child’s confidence

1.      Love your child unconditionally

Of course we love our children. But we must tell them that we love them every day. We must let them know that we love them for who they are and not what they achieve. When a child knows that he/she will be loved regardless of how he/she performs – it gives the child the confidence to attempt new things and keep trying until he/she succeeds.

2.      Stop comparing – start celebrating

Every child is different. Every child succeeds at different things and every child succeeds differently. Celebrate your child’s successes without comparing him/her to others.

3.      Teach your child that happiness is in the small things

Teach your child to be curious – to delight in everyday things – to be open to changes and differences. The journey towards success is stressful if you don’t love every little thing about your life. And it can be an exciting enjoyable ride if you learn to love and enjoy the small things in life.

4.      Instil exploration and adventure
Confidence starts with courage. Build courage in your child by constantly encouraging your child to push boundaries and explore

5.      Teach your child to be grateful
A child who tries to succeed – will invariably fail several times before he succeeds. These failures can be very disappointing unless children have been taught to be grateful for everything – including the opportunity and ability to try.

6.       Have firm family rules

Being able to say no to peer pressure is an extremely important part of success. And those children who have watched their parents firmly say no to them when the family rules demanded a “no”, will be able to say no with much greater ease than others.

7.      Encourage sports and other physical activities

A confident mind can only live in a fit body and sports enhances physical fitness. Sports also teaches children how to set goals and improve and achieve them. Sports also teaches teamwork and the ability to gracefully handle and overcome defeat.

8.      Support your child’s passion

Respect and encourage your child's interests—even if they don't interest you. Every child will excel at a different thing. And when your child excels at something it will build his/her confidence. Don’t dismiss your child’s interests as useless or trivial and don’t ridicule him/her when he/she fails. Guide your child’s efforts. Teach your child how to set realistic incremental goals. Help your child make a plan to reach the goal. And constantly encourage and support your child’s effort and resilience

9.      Teach your child to cope with both praise and criticism

Children look at themselves through our eyes – and so it is extremely important to praise children. But it is important to be realistic when you praise. Always praise the effort, but don't gush unrealistically over the results. To succeed – children must be able to accept negative feedback and constructive criticism without getting crushed.

10.  Teach your child how to make friends

In the end – all of us estimate ourselves based on how well we are liked by others. When a child knows that he/she is a likeable person – when a child knows that he/she can easily find friends in an new setting – it builds his/her confidence. Help your child to be kind and empathetic so that others like her. But teach him/her also how to be self-assertive and maintain an inner core of self-belief.

To bring up a confident child – our aim should be – to build a solid wall of confidence that cannot be knocked down by the blows of failure. This wall must be built – one brick at a time – every time we interact with our child.

By

Dr Debmita Dutta MBBS.MD

Dr Debmita Dutta is a practising doctor, a Parenting consultant and the founder of the website www.whatparentsask.com ( https://whatparentsask.com/ )  a video based website that provides expert answers to parenting questions. She is based in Bangalore and conducts Parenting workshops and prenatal classes for pregnant parents in addition to her medical practice. She believes that parenting stress can be relieved significantly when parents are well informed about their children’s growing brains and bodies. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Impact of online learning on school education


Online education has found its place in the lives of working professionals, and students in higher education. These categories of online learners find immense benefit in the autonomy, and flexibility, that these courses offer. Online courses can be planned into their schedule, which may include full-time employment, internships and caring for family. It can also help them take out quiet time to study.
Distance learning has been around for a long time, even before technology made it extremely accessible. Traditional schooling is now seeing an increased proliferation of virtual training materials and online courses. Even in a world of tried and tested schooling systems and curricula, the most successful schools are the ones who adapt to the changing times, as well as to the expectations of students, parents and the society. If online education is here to stay, then what are its implications for traditional learning? Instead of focusing on pros and cons, the conversation we should be having today is about leveraging online education to make our education systems more conducive to learning.

Online courses call for a greater amount motivation and self-discipline than a classroom-based course. A classroom has one or more instructors and peers, who can hold a student accountable for their course-work. In contrast, online courses involve setting our own goals, tracking progress and meeting deadlines. One does not learn in isolation, so online courses do offer discussion forums, email and one-on-one support. Technology also adds on to the visual experience by incorporating animations, that can be used interactively for effective teaching, and communication.


The classroom advantage

A school provides structure, support, and a system of rewards and penalties to groom its students. Classroom education has the benefit of face-to-face interactions with peers, which are typically moderated by a teacher. It provides children, especially those in their early developmental years, with a stable environment for social interactions, helping them develop skills like boundary setting, empathy and cooperation. This also allows plenty of room for spontaneity, unlike a virtual learning setup.




Online education in the context of schooling

As students progress to higher classes, they seek more autonomy and intellectual freedom. Online learning can help them pursue highly individualised learning programmes, possibly even college level courses. These, combined with hands-on exercises, real world exploration, and thorough assessments, can be highly beneficial to their learning progress. They can explore their options, by trying out introductory topics from different fields, before committing to a specialization. Online learning platforms can help these students become more independent learners, before they make their way into college. I believe that we must not hold students back from picking any online course, but instead act as their guide as they navigate through it.

Mobile apps that provide enhanced learning opportunities for school children have become mainstream. Since mobile phones have already found their way into their hands, these apps are being used to supplement classroom learning. Teachers and parents need to act as anchors and mentors, curating the kind of educational content students are exposed to, during the tricky phase of finding the right career to pursue.

Virtual public schools, that offer a full scale K12 education, have already sprung up in some parts of the world. They even offer a combination of the traditional system with online education. There are programmes that provide support to families that wish to home-school their children, in the form of online course material. These programmes bring parents and teachers into the fold, by involving them into their child’s education from the get go. However, their effectiveness in the long term needs to be studied.

Online learning programmes will also open up opportunities for children from weaker socio-economic communities, who possess a limited access to learning resources i.e. teachers, text books and infrastructure. It will connect them to a global network of online learners, exposing them to new perspectives. The ideas that they receive, will not be limited by the number of heads in one classroom.


Online education for educators

Online education can also be designed to be accommodating of a variety of learning styles among students. As educators, it is likely that we will have to put in additional efforts to incorporate online learning programmes into the curriculum, in the most suitable manner.
Online training programmes are helping teachers/educators advance their skills in curriculum implementation, policy, education systems and leadership, both independently and with the support of their institutions. It lets them collaborate with their peers, and learn new instructional skills, that are relevant to their career. These programmes can help them develop new skills and capabilities in their students, with the help of technology and interdisciplinary approaches.

As the overlap of the traditional and online educational worlds is becoming more and more inevitable, we owe it to our students to make their education relevant to their future, through our own ingenuity, passion and careful planning.