Skills for 21st Century MSMEs:

Skills for 21st Century MSMEs: 

Backdrop: 

India’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) base is the largest in the world after China.

The sector provides a wide range of services and is engaged in the manufacturing of over 6,000 products – ranging from traditional to hi-tech items.

Given the government of India’s latest ‘Make in India’ push, along with a significant jump in the FDI flows, the Indian MSMEs sector is poised for rapid growth and integration with major global value chains.

As per the official estimates, there are about 63.05 million micro industries, 0.33 million small, and about 5,000 medium enterprises in the country.

The state of Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of estimated MSMEs with a share of 14.20 percent of the total MSMEs in the country. West Bengal comes as close second with a share of 14 percent, followed by Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra at eight percent. Source : https://www.india-briefing.com/news/micro-small-medium-enterprises-india-explainer-17887.html/

Challenges:

There are numerous challenges to the sector, and every enterprise is unique in its vulnerabilities. The biggest challenge is the rapid change in the external environment, driven by emerging technologies as well as global geo-political events such as the climate crisis or the most recent coronavirus pandemic. There is no ‘ panacea’ for the problems of any MSME enterprise, but possession of a suite of skills can help mitigate many problems. I have listed below 10 important skills which are mainly in the realm of emerging technologies. For real success, the leadership/ownership team will also have to be supplemented with human dispositions of risk taking, creativity, empathy, resilience…. and so on. 

There is a well known list from World Economic Forum  of the 10 most valuable skills for 2015 and then how they change for 2020: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

The list of skills that I have listed are more basic, and relevant to our context, where we are still in the process of transformation to a ‘ digital India’.  Not everyone must acquire or master all these, but all should be ready to learn them should the need or opportunity arise.

1: Office automation and productivity skills 

2: Web and Internet skills

3: Social Media Skills

4: Safety/ security/ password skills 

5: Digital Media marketing skills

6: IoT awareness and understanding 

7: 3-D printing

8: Augmented Reality

9: AI related skills: RPA, data, voice, vision

10: Search and research skills 

Goals :

The most important and critical ability for success in the foreseeable future is the ability to learn by oneself, to become an autonomous learner with enhanced learning power. 

1: Learning how to learn ( launch a learning community for MSMEs) 

2: Building a financial safety net ( both personal and for the business) 

3: Enhancing customer base ( deploying digital marketing skills) 

4: Increasing customer satisfaction ( using AI and other technologies for personalisation, and ameliorating any deficiencies in customer experiences) 

5: Innovation and continuous improvement ( disruptive innovation as well) 

MAYA : the 4 letter code for selling anything : https://youtu.be/6pY7EjqD3QA

Most advanced yet acceptable

Please feel free to get in touch with me electronically. 

Start following me on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @mmpant

I have the following digital footprint :

e-mail : mmpant@gmail.com

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Website : http://www.mmpant.com

I am also present on Facebook, LinkedIn, Github and Instagram

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Education in the age of Intelligent Machines:

Education in the age of Intelligent Machines: 

Our future is being shaped by two major forces: the 4th Industrial Age driven by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and allied technologies like the Internet of Things, Blockchain, 3D Printing, AR and VR, and the 4th education revolution which is disrupting the traditional education model, propelled by the same technologies.

The WEF 2020 meeting at Davos just concluded on the 24th January 2020. One of the panel discussions was on the Reskilling revolution with the theme “Better skills for a billion people by 2030”. Link to the video of panel discussion on the topic : https://youtu.be/mlpMomsOWxA

The complete failure of the AICTE to project and anticipate the future of technology has led to the absurd situation of our freezing down of technical education at a time when explosive developments in new technologies such as protein engineering, Biomanufacturing and quantum technologies are offering trillion dollar economic opportunities. . Here is a link to the AICTE appproach and vision ( or rather lack of it)  : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/50-seats-vacant-no-new-engineering-colleges-for-2-yrs-aicte/articleshow/74108434.cms

Without beating about the bush, I wish to suggest that it is Artificial Intelligence and allied emerging technologies that provide the answer to the upcoming challenges. 

The term “artificial intelligence” has been around since its introduction at a science conference at Dartmouth University in 1956. But only in the past several years have we started seeing theory put into practice the way those researchers imagined. We now have machines that can translate languages, compose music, write novels, and operate vehicles.

The key constituents of an AI-empowered educational ecosystem are the following: 

  • The AI-fluent SmartEducator ( machine teaching is an important ability, to which attention was drawn by Microsoft in 2017)
  • The AI powered autonomous Learner ( the future of education will be led by the autonomous learner) 
  • Recommender and content personalisation systems
  • Chatbots to assist both educators and learners ( building on the Jill Watson experiment of Prof. Ashok Goel) 
  • Co-learning spaces and emerging technologies experience centres ( the viable alternative to AICTE approved programs) 
  • AI enabled assessment systems ( that are a death knell to CBSE and other Board exams) 
  • Blockchain for academic credentials ( MIT Edublocks and SONY Global Education  models) 

The rapid progress in Artificial Intelligence can be appreciated from the flow of the sequence of events from IBM Blue defeating the human chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997 to Google’s AlphaGo zero defeating the world’s Go champion in December 2017. In between IBM Watson defeated the reigning human champions in the game of Jeopardy Champions in the year 2011.

Even as we prepare ourselves for the age of Artificial Intelligence, the era of Quantum Computing is upon us and it could eventually revolutionize the way medicines are developed, financial options are priced and climate change is managed, experts say. It’s been lauded for its ability (or, at least, its potential) to complete complex calculations in a fraction of the time that it would take even the fastest traditional computers today. 

The big news on 23rd October 2019 was the demonstration of Quantum Supremacy by Google, meaning thereby that their 54 Qubit Sycamore Quantum Computer could do a calculation in 200 seconds, that the fastest classical super computer, the Summit would have taken 10,000 years. This event has probably a much greater significance that a man landing on the moon.

Education in the age of intelligent machines will be AI-enabled and will be in really 3 stages. The first of pre-school learning facilitated by the parents. The School stage may extend for about 10 years during which the new learning dispositions of curiosity, autonomous learning, mastery learning and achieving the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy of learning objectives are developed and finally the third stage of lifelong learning. In terms of domains of knowledge, President of NorthEastern University, Prof Joseph E Aoun has advocated teaching  ‘humanics’ to create a robot-proof education. Perhaps above all, Aoun says humans need to focus on skills that are harder for artificial intelligence to replicate. Specifically, that means taking knowledge from one context or discipline and applying it to another. Humanics itself is about combining three separate disciplines.

“We humans are creative, innovative, entrepreneurial. We are able to interact with other people, work with them, be empathetic. We are able to be culturally agile, work with people with different backgrounds. We are able to be global,” he said.

It is often said that evolutionary changes happen in response to the pressures of the external environment. Sometimes it is simplified to “ necessity is the mother of invention”. The AI powered autonomous learner , is a result of this evolutionary learning process to cope with the situation when there is no teacher. 

Autonomous learning is clearly a very critical part of the above mission and an important element of the strategy to reach the goal by 2030. 

So what might the implications of these developments be for educators and students?

The primary goal of AI research may be to teach machines how to learn, thereby automating some of the tasks that complicate our everyday lives, but brain scientists are saying it goes both ways: We now know more about human learning as a result of machine learning, and it has some exciting implications for the classroom. What does machine learning tell us about human learning ?

One very important learning from ‘ overfitting to the test data’ is that too much emphasis on getting more marks in the monolithic summarise assessments at school or University is counter-productive. Rather continuous swift feedback on multiple dimensions helps in progress of learning, through re-enforcement learning. We also know that more training data leads to better model of predictions, and so instead of limiting the set f courses a student can take, a learner should be allowed to pursue as many courses as the learner finds interesting. Finally recursive learning inspired by Artificial  Neural Networks with forward and backward propagation, help learners have a method and approach towards becoming autonomous learners. 

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Coming of age in the 4th Industrial Age ( the age of Artificial Intelligence)

Coming of age in the 4th Industrial Age ( the age of Artificial Intelligence):

We are at the intersection  of two major revolutions: ‘the 4th Industrial Revolution’ ( a phrase suggested by Prof Klaus Schwab at the 2016 World Economic Forum at Davos) driven by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and allied technologies like the Internet of Things, Blockchain, 3D Printing, AR and VR, and ‘the 4th education revolution’ ( proposed by Prof Anthony Seldon in a 2018 book with the same title) propelled by the same technologies which is disrupting the traditional education model. 

Children who are studying in School today will be adults ready for further education or to play their role in changing  the world in the years from 2020 to 2030 and beyond. The Indian educational  system and policies in their Ostrich like attitude ignore these disruptive changes, though thought leaders elsewhere in the world are beginning to take notice. 

Barack Obama in his 2010 State of the Union address had said “ In the 21st Century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education”. This program is a small step towards such a mission.

Sir Ken Robinson in a TED talk in February 2010 refers to the need to transform education. Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

In support of  his viewpoint Sir Ken quotes a speech made by Abraham Lincoln during the civil war in the 1860s.

 Lincoln said, ‘The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the striving present, the occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new so we need to think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we can save our country.’

Building on Lincoln’s speech and relating it to the crisis in education Sir Ken said there are ideas about schooling we take for granted.

 Such ideas were suited to a previous century but our minds are still captured by them. We need to ‘disenthrall ourselves of them.  This, he said, is easier said than done because ‘it is very difficult to know what you take for granted the reason being we take them for granted’.

In the decade since Sir Ken’s TED talk and Obama’s state of the Union address, amazing progress has happened in the fields of neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence, which make these ideals actually capable of being implemented on a large scale. 

Engineering education was in place well before the creation of IITs in the 1960s. 

From College of Engineering Guindy established in 1794, Thomason College of Engineering that was established in 1847, to JNTU College of Engineering in 1946, there were about  27 engineering colleges even before independence, But IITs transformed engineers who worked with slide rules to those who were problem solvers with cognitive flexibility using computers of the day and some of them are leaders today in the Silicon Valley of trillion dollar companies. 

In my view, the IITs had as their input bright students just out of Senior Secondary School and over 4 years transformed them to future ready professionals.

In this age of mobile phones, cloud services, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, we can raise the autonomous learning power, problem solving abilities,   entrepreneurial dispositions, cognitive flexibilities and future readiness to be equipped to fulfil their aspirations in the rapidly changing innovation economy by pursuing lifelong learning to suit their needs.

School, especially the last 4 years of School will be of greatest importance in the learning journey. 

This is a program directed at the young (both boys and girls) who are coming of age (turning 18) in the years to come. We are aiming at the age group of 18+-2, that is from 16 years to 20 years.

This is about the same age group that pursues the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, the A levels and the Senior Secondary stage of the CBSE and other State Boards. Younger persons may not be able to benefit from the program, although students in post-secondary courses (general BA, BSc, BCom or Professional courses such as Engineering, Medicine or Law) would find this program helpful in preparing them for their future. There is really no upper age limit for an enquiring mind with the disposition of a life-long learner.

We have a suggested sequence where  learners who begin  in class 9 pursue one cluster over a month, and cover the whole set of 42 modules by the time the student would normally pass class 12. 

The pool  and sequence of course titles :

Class 9th:

1: Learning How to Learn

2: The landscape of emerging technologies

3: Basics of Artificial Intelligence

4: Introductory Python

5: Fostering a Mathematical mindset

6: Data: a many splendoured thing 

7: Finding your element

8: The significance of ethics

9: Creativity

10: Emotional Intelligence

11: Developing Foresight

—————————————————

Class 10th:

1: Computational Thinking

2: Linear Algebra

3: Probability and Statistics

4: Python libraries and their usage

5: Computer vision

6: Entrepreneurship

7: Financial acumen

8: Negotiation

9: Critical Thinking

10: Big History : evolution and extinctions

——————————————

Class 11th:

1: Mathematical Modelling

2: Multivariate Calculus

3: Topology : moving beyond geometry

4: Key concepts in Computing 

5: Understanding the Quantum World

6: Effective decision making

7: Health Literacy : Preparing for a 100 year life

8: Modern approach to Biology

9: People management: co-ordinating with others

10: Design Thinking

11: Developing a personal action plan

———————————————

Class 12th : 

1: Algorithms

2: Machine learning algorithms 

3: Artificial Neural Networks and Deep Learning

4: Deep Learning applications

5: Quantum Computing : its nature and future

6: Service Orientation 

7: Complex Problem Solving

8: Cognitive Flexibility

9: Cultural awareness and sensitivity.

10: The future of work

————————————————-

Those who are already in tertiary education could suitably spread their learning to align with the progress in their formal education. 

While we have suggested a sequence to be followed, we expect that over time, students may express their interest in following a sequence that they are happier to follow. 

In the early years of the IITs, students were admitted after passing class 11 itself and went through a 5 year program. If there is sufficient interest in students of Class 8, in pursuing a future readiness program, we could add a suitable pool of courses designed for them which will build stronger foundations. 

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Co-learning Spaces and emerging technologies experience centres:

Co-learning spaces and emerging technologies experience centres: 

In earlier blogs, I have described some aspects of how Artificial Intelligence will change the models of education, as we know them. Two elements of it are the AI-fluent SmartEducator and the AI powered autonomous learner. 

While it is true that a lot of the teaching, learning, coaching and mentoring can be done remotely and on mobile devices, there is also significant value in meeting in person at defined spaces….. that are not designed as traditional classrooms or laboratories. 

I have named them “ co-learning spaces and emerging technologies experience centre”. These spaces will help create a holistic learning disposition as different from the narrow academic discipline and certification approach of traditional institutions. 

What is it ?

It is a dedicated physical space where a number of co-explorers who are eager to be well prepared for the 21st century can find others members with similar interests and it becomes a co-learning space for the AI and emerging technologies learning community.

The ambience: 

The co-learning space would be accessible at designated times for the learners to engage with an interact with the learning resources and the human resources (co-learners) available there. There would be a facilitator managing the space. This would preferably be a woman entrepreneur who receives an initial training and continued technology enabled support following the model suggested by Sir John Daniel several decades ago for scaling teacher training. 

The Co-learning space and Emerging Technologies Experience Centre should have an ambience that is conducive to creating an interest in learning by doing.

The atmosphere and infrastructure:

Should be conducive to foster learning adventures. There would be a set of books ( some with multiple copies that can be borrowed for a limited time), electronic resources and projection facilities for group viewing of videos, PowerPoint presentations and interactive discussions.

Learning has various aspects covering self-study, peer learning and learning from mentors. Hence these learning centers offer spaces for every aspect of learning i.e.

1. Self Study Area/ zone : This is a conducive environment where silence is maintained providing a table, chairs, power sockets, and internet connectivity. Learner can use their books/laptop to study

2. Peer Discussion Area/ zone: This offer sitting capability accompanied by a cafe facility. This can be thought of as a meeting/conference room in a coworking space.

3. Mentor Access/ zone : This space may offer some spaces for learning looking to talk to mentors or attend some classes and workshops

There would be adequate tables, chairs and other furniture, air-conditioned environment, wifi, tea/coffee, pantry and some additional space to have lunch etc. Needless to mention adequate toilets. 

Pictures of leaders and their quotes:

Pictures ( portraits )of leaders, their brief bios and their quotes:

  • A list of 20 women who are making an impact on AI:

Example :

Alan Turing; Herbert Simon ; Marvin Minsky ; Edward Fiegenbaum; Andrew Ng

Ian Goodfellow ; Geoffrey Hinton; Joshua Bengio; Yann LeCun ; Tim Berners Lee

10 Women Leaders in AI, Machine Learning and Robotics:

Rana el Kaliouby ; Fei-Fei Li; Cynthia Breazeal; Tessa Lau

Timnit Gebru; Devi Parikh; Daphne Koller; Neha Narkhede

Manuela Maria Veloso ; Caitlin Smallwood 

The infrastructure :

I am suggesting the smallest unit as a place that can accommodate 30 students simultaneously. Students will learn better if 2 students share an equipment. So there will be 15 workstations. Of these 3 could be PCs with appropriate software loaded. There would be 3 sets of Raspberry Pis configured for AI projects and 6 Alexa Echos with 3 of them being without a screen and 3 with screens ( Echo Show). And 3  Amazon DeepLens.

Then wi-Fi with subscriptions to some cloud services…. Then some posters and pictures to create an atmosphere. I have specially worked on finding accomplished women AI scientists to act as inspirational role models for girls …. then a list of books to be bought…this will give a broad idea. 

There may  be 15 workstations, which could be configured as follows:

1: The IndiPi systems : 3 numbers 

2: Alexa, echo and Alexa show : 3 numbers

3: Windows PC/ Macs : 3 numbers

4: Intel Mobidius CNN stick : 3 numbers 

5: Amazon DeepLens : 3 numbers

A reasonable model can be one where 30 learners can be actively involved simultaneously. Apart from the furniture and allied equipment like TV/screen and projection system, and some media players and printers, there have to be special equipment at the centre.

Learners are best served in pairs, and occasionally larger numbers for specific projects. 

There has to be good wi-Fi to support all present, and facilities for participating in remotely held webinars. 

Furniture , A/C, power (UPS) infrastructure… according need…

The projects: 

To begin with there will be the following types of projects giving a feel and experience of a range of emerging technologies.

1: Experiencing Siri :

2The Alexa experience :

2.1: Exploring existing Alexa Skills

2.2: Creating New Alexa Skills

3: The Raspberry Pi experience : 

4: The IBM Watson services:

5: The AI Hub from Google : 

5.1: Learn how to find and use assets on the AI Hub.

5.2: Discover how to share assets within your organization on AI Hub.

6: 3 D Printing

7: Internet of Things

8: Augmented Reality

9: Virtual Reality

10: Brain-Computer Interfaces

More projects will be continually added.

There is a recent news item announcing a modestly priced AI learning kit from an IIT Delhi start-up. https://m.economictimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/iit-delhi-startup-launches-diy-artificial-intelligence-kits-for-school-students/articleshow/73665611.cms

Other activities : Peer and social learning at the co-learning space:

Seminars and lectures : 

Scheduled as well as occasional seminars as well as lectures.

These co-learning spaces can be very useful for groups that are pursuing MOOCs from Coursera, edX, Futurelearn and our own SWAYAM.

They can also be meeting points for any webinar or online courses offered by individuals or smaller organisations. 

More specifically , I offer a suite of courses that learners can access through their mobiles and WhatsApp. Such learning spaces can be physical places for interaction of learners amongst themselves. 

They are a great opportunity for lifelong learners. I hope that during this year 2020, we may see the creation of several such spaces fostering the development of lifelong learning communities. 

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The future of education is the AI powered autonomous learner:

The future of education is autonomous learning:

 Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs in the educational system. And very often the proposed solutions lose sight of the fundamental issues. The lack or unavailability of quality teachers, in adequate numbers. 

In this age of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning, we are all experiencing more and more intelligent automation.

But the history of human progress has always been about increasing automation. As a child I was very fascinated to note that the lights of the refrigerator switched on automatically when it’s door was opened. We saw the emergence of automatic telephone dialling rather than calling up the operator to connect a call. For some time, while local calls were automated, trunk calls and International calls were still operator assisted. We have seen microwave ovens becoming commonplace that don’t have a visible obvious source of heat, and cellular phones without copper wires. Also the evolution of cars from their earlier version of ‘ horseless carriages’  to ‘self-driving cars’.

If India wants to become a $5 trillion dollar economy in the foreseeable future, it will have to overcome the challenge of rapidly training millions of young in the requisite skills of the 21st century. This requires that we transform our passive and reluctant learners to active self-directed learners, shifting the focus of education from teaching to learning.

Autonomous learning is the future of education. We must now think that instead of having a classroom of twenty students, we now have “twenty classrooms” of one student, each with their own agenda. Students should be able to work independently and be given the freedom to do so. Autonomous learning would allow the learner to personalize his/her learning agenda based on his/her academic strengths and personal interests, and self-monitor his/her achievements.

The teaching curriculum might look a bit different in the autonomous classroom. The teacher will be responsible for sharing self-monitoring strategies. Students might use learning logs or charts and tables to follow their progress. Teachers will teach error analysis and help students use their mistakes as learning opportunities to accommodate their learning goals. Teachers must provide the necessary guidance to help students choose their personal learning goals. Teachers must provide feedback as student pursue their own questions and solve their own problems. Teachers remain the most important part of the autonomous classroom. They guide and help the learner in becoming a better autonomous learner, increasingly less dependent upon a teacher for all the learning needs. 

Let’s take a look at autonomous learning: The student is working on his science objective in the field of chemistry. The student goes into his virtual science laboratory. Here he experiments using chemicals that might be considered dangerous in the traditional classroom. In his virtual lab, the student witnesses the chemical reactions and must determine why the chemical reacted in that manner. While in that virtual world, the student finds an artificially intelligent computer that moves the student through a lesson on chemical reactions. The student then logs his work and determines his ability to meet his goal(s). That same student then meets in a small discussion group with his teacher and others to solve real world problems using necessary math skills. After making a determination and deriving at a solution, the teachers uses augmented reality to determine if their solution actually solved the problem. The student will continue his learning at home as he uses his foreign language application to practice his chosen foreign language as he prepares to meet his “Family Abroad”.

What about the teacher? Are we doing away with teachers? Regardless of the teaching/learning philosophy, the teacher remains pivotal part of the learning process.  When teachers ask if technology will replace teachers, I respond by saying that “ Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers who use technology effectively to develop autonomous learners will replace those teachers who cannot.” 

Just like for an autonomous car, there needs to be some guidance and direction in order for that vehicle or in this case that student to arrive at its destination. Consider the teacher the GPS of the autonomous learner. The teacher will offer up a variety of paths to students’ destinations and also suggest best routes. The teacher will be the director of the system, helping students decide on their destinations and helping them get there by passing through various necessary skills and standards that the students will need once they reach that point.

We are presented with the same kind of thinking when it comes to education. Let’s think about the self-driving student, also known as the self-directed learner or the autonomous learner. What do we mean by autonomous learning?  An autonomous learner is  “one who solves problems or develops new ideas through a combination of divergent and convergent thinking and functions with minimal external guidance in the chosen areas of endeavor.”  

Traditional face to face learning evolved to Open and distance learning exemplified globally as the UKOU and in India as the IGNOU. While regulators in India have strangled the growth of distance learning, and other innovations in learner centric there is now a ‘Quantum jump’ to self-directed learning. Educators have been talking about independent learning, personalized learning, and student-centered learning for a very long time. The difference today is that new technologies powered with AI have given us the unique abilities to accomplish this task with greater success.

It is often said that evolutionary changes happen in response to the pressures of the external environment. Sometimes it is simplified to “ necessity is the mother of invention”. The AI powered autonomous learner , is a result of this evolutionary learning process to cope with the situation when there is no teacher. 

The WEF 2020 meeting at Davos just concluded. One of the panel discussions was on the Reskilling revolution : Better skills for a billion people by 2030.

Link to the video of panel discussion on the topic : https://youtu.be/mlpMomsOWxA

Autonomous learning is clearly a very critical part of the above mission and an important element of the strategy to reach the goal by 2030. 

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Artificial Intelligence in Education:

AInEd : Artificial Intelligence in  Education

………the answer to implementation challenges of the NEP 2019

The draft new education policy has had a long gestation period. Its latest draft version is in the public domain since October 2019, and numerous conferences, seminars and workshops have been convened that have  deliberated on the document. But it seems it has still not been approved by the cabinet. 

Six years on from the announcement of the intention to have a new education policy, is a lot of time wasted for such an urgent matter. 

Even some of those who hail the draft new education policy 2019 as a progressive measure in the right direction, are sceptical about its implementation. 

The new education policy 2019 draws attention to the importance of learning first in its very first page at the third paragraph :0.3. Indeed, with the quickly changing employment and global ecosystem, it is becoming increasingly important that children not only learn, but learn how to learn. 

It is again mentioned in its para 4.5. “The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and learning how to learn.”

In para 23.8 it is acknowledged that this policy has been formulated at a time when an unquestionably disruptive technology – Artificial Intelligence (AI) -has emerged. 

We are in the midst of two major disruptive revolutions: the 4th Industrial Revolution and the fourth education revolution. 

Whether it is the draft central education policy awaiting finalisation or the self-acclaimed initiatives of the Delhi Government, both are out of tune with the reality facing our youth.

Without beating about the bush, I wish to suggest that it is Artificial Intelligence and allied emerging technologies that provide the answer to the upcoming challenges. 

To illustrate my point, let me refer to a fundamental transformation in a specific domain of education, that happened in India about 60 years back. Engineering education was already happening in India when the IITs were created. But the 5 IITs transformed the erstwhile engineer with a slide rule to the engineer who programmed digital computers, and in due course moved on to CAD/CAM as a consequence. And they prospered and flourished in the 3rd Industrial Age of Information Technology. Today as we transform the  young who are in the later stages of School, who are coming of age in the fourth Industrial Age, we must equip them to prosper, flourish and thrive in the age of Intelligent machines. IIT orientation began just after finishing School. Sixty years later, with learners being digital natives, we can begin their transformation while at School, without spending those two valuably years in coaching programs of various kinds. They can be directly introduced to and have hands on experience in AI, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and other emerging technologies. 

We are now in a position to develop a whole new generation of young who do not pursue meaningless higher education,whose benefits are not clear, but become active self-directed lifelong learners, who can take charge of their lives and have evolved in readiness for the VUCA ( Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) future before them. These digital natives transcend being job seekers and passive consumers of digital content, but are ready with creative ideas to launch enterprises with innovative ideas that propel India to more than a $5 trillion economy. 

The key constituents of an AI-empowered educational ecosystem are the following: 

  • The AI-fluent SmartEducator
  • The AI powered autonomous Learner
  • Recommender and content personalisation systems
  • Chatbots to assist both educators and learners
  • Co-learning spaces and emerging technologies experience centres
  • AI enabled assessment systems
  • Blockchain for academic credentials 

I have described the AI-fluent SmartEducator in a previous blog dated January 10th 2020. The other constituents will be elaborated in upcoming blogs. Watch this space!

Even as we prepare ourselves for the age of Artificial Intelligence, the era of Quantum Computing is upon us a dit could eventually revolutionize the way medicines are developed, financial options are priced and climate change is managed, experts say. It’s been lauded for its ability (or, at least, its potential) to complete complex calculations in a fraction of the time that it would take even the fastest traditional computers today. 

Microsoft in November announced that it would start providing access to Quantum Computers in its Azure cloud. A month later, Amazon Web Services announced a similar service.  IBM has offered quantum computing access in its cloud since 2016.

Google in October 2019 announced that  it had achieved “ Quantum Supremacy” with a machine capable of superfast calculations, a claim that competitors quickly challenged. Google has also said it is working on providing access to quantum computers on its cloud.

Here is the link to a very interesting article that anticipates how the coming decade will roll out: https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/2020s-decade-ai-and-quantum

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The AI-fluent SmartEducator:

The AI fluent SmartEducator :

I have been projecting for some time that in the future educators will be the most important group of progressive and flourishing societies, and the ones that will perish and be left behind are the ones that do not make this shift to appreciating the importance of educators. Much of my recent activities and present activities are towards the realisation of this goal. 

As we enter the 3rd decade of the 21st Century, we are witnessing the impact of the twin revolutions, the 4th Industrial revolution ( Klaus Schwab) and the 4th education revolution ( Anthony Seldon). Sir Anthony discussed how Artificial Intelligence will change learning and teaching in universities, and the world into which our students will go. He called on educators everywhere to open their eyes to the fast approaching revolution in Artificial Intelligence, and asked if we are ready to embrace this evolution and shape AI to the best advantage of education and humanity as a whole. The new education policy 2019 has also acknowledged that it is being formulated at a time when an unquestionably disruptive technology AI has emerged. In this article we propose a plan to equip and empower progressive educators to become familiar with AI and leverage it to fulfil the goals of a high quality and equitable education. 

Recent research in neuroscience and psychology suggests that the feeling of uncertainty, fear of rejection or a diminished status all activate the same region in the brain that  physical pain does ( https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2015/12/25/rejection-and-physical-pain-are-the-same-to-your-brain/#6431253f4f87 ). Teachers at School, College, University or Professional institutions will  all be suffering this pain as they realise their lack of familiarity with AI, the driver of both the 4th Industrial revolution and the 4th education revolution. 

Qualities essential for a modern ( AI-fluent) teacher: 

The most important quality of a modern educator is one of being a lifelong learner. The other important attribute is the appreciation that imparting  the knowledge of subjects is less important than fostering a desire to learn and the ability of learning to learn, and building of learning power. 

In the new education policy 2019, the importance of “ learning how to learn” is emphasised, because it is mentioned in the 3rd paragraph itself of the report. “ Indeed, with the quickly changing employment and global ecosystem, it is becoming increasingly important that children not only learn, but learn how to learn. “ and again mentioned in more detail  at para 4.5. 

4.5. The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and learning how to learn – and away from the culture of rote learning as is present today. The goal will be to create holistic and complete individuals equipped with key 21st century skills. All aspects of curriculum and pedagogy will be reoriented and revamped in order to attain these critical goals.

The best pro-active response to this challenge is to seize the opportunity and become an AI-fluent SmartEducator. Such a person has a Deep Learning mindset ( well versed in deep learning techniques of Machine Learning as well as pedagogy of mastery learning and learning in depth). It has been said the education will be the killer application of Deep Learning. 

  • Is familiar and well acquainted with commercially available solutions ( both in the cloud and at the edge) for deploying AI in education and their best use situations.
  • Can be actively involved in creating be-spoke solutions for a specific context. 
  • Is well versed with the triple helix of AI-readiness: The Concepts ( theory); The tools; The applications ( educational)

Our program has been designed as a year long program structured as 4 terms of 3 months each.  At the end of each term, the educator-learner will earn a completion certificate of having become a level 1 to level 4 of an AI-ready educator. 

Level 1: AI-familiar educator

Level 2: AI-competent educator

Level 3: AI-proficient educator

Level 4: AI-fluent SmartEducator

The first batch of the program has begun from January 2020. But new candidates can join at the beginning of the month in what may be called a ‘rolling admission’ process. The first course that has to be done by all is “ Learning How to Learn” because we believe that every educator is first a learner, who creates other learners. Robert Frost had famously said “ I am not a teacher, I am an awakener”. 

First term:

By the end of this term, the learner will have an appreciation of the landscape of AI ( and allied technologies such as IoT, Blockchain, 5G and Dapps) and education and be able to distinguish hype from hope. During this period, there will be 3 WhatsApp courses of one month ( 4 weeks Monday to Friday) on the following themes :

MLL01: LHTL ( Learning How to Learn)

MLL02: The Landscape of AI and education 

MLL03: Technologies of the 4th Industrial Age and education

Award at the end of first term : “ The AI-familiar educator”

Second Term:

During this term, the participants will get into details of the most important methods of AI, that will make them confident about being able to play a meaningful role in the field. In particular they will be able to make their own chatbots. The 3 WhatsApp courses during this term will be :

MLL04: Machine Learning for educators

MLL05: Deep Learning for educators

MLL06: Chatbots for learning

Award at the end of second term : “ The AI-competent educator”

Third term:

This is the transformational term. The first month builds an appreciation of the key mathematics such as linear algebra, multivariate calculus, probability, Bayesian models and optimisation. The next month is to build the ability to make practical applications using the IBM cloud services for a wide range of applications. The third month is on understanding the working of driverless cars, and using those principles to develop more autonomous learners. 

MLL07: Mathematics for Machine Learning

MLL08: The IBM Watson and other cloud services

MLL09: Driverless cars and autonomous learning

Award at the end of third  term : “ The AI-proficient educator”

Fourth term :

By the end of this term, not only will the educator-learner become fluent in AI for educational purposes, but is well positioned for a future of affluence, being ready for ‘deep teaching’, the sexiest job of the future ( https://medium.com/intuitionmachine/why-teaching-will-be-the-sexiest-job-of-the-future-a-i-economy-b8e1c2ee413e

MLL10: AI powered personalisation of content and assessment 

MLL11: Learning to learn AI/ML 

MLL12: Flourishing and thriving as an educator in the Gig economy 

Concurrently they will pursue an AI-Ed project to which they will devote about 45 hours during the 3 months 

Award at the end of fourth  term : “ The AI-fluent SmartEducator”

The design is such that it should require about 20 hours of academic effort every month, evenly spread out for about an hour every day from Monday to Friday for 4 weeks in a month. The additional days on weekends may be used to catch up on for any lost time during the working week for unseen contingencies. Most people will during  their third term start investing more time, as they can start seeing the benefits of the learning acquired. In the final term they will devote about 45 hours to a project. The time required for the 3 courses during this term would be significantly less, to make more time available for project work. 

To know more, contact Prof. MM Pant by sending him a WhatsApp message at : +919810073724

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Towards a $5tn economy:

The quest for ABDCE( A billion dollar company in education): to help n India’s March towards a $5 trillion economy. 

As we begin the New Year, it is time for reflection and making future plans, and pursuing the goal ( not the dream) f India becoming a trillion dollar economy by the year 2024. There are a large number of ‘professional pessimists’ in whose view these are very bad times, and we are headed for much worse, and the 5 trillion dollar Indian economy is a pipe dream. That attitude is self-fulfilling, and the coming years could  confirm their worst fears.

At the other end of the spectrum are perennial optimists who always think that the future is several orders of magnitude brighter and full of opportunities. These are the ones who launched satellites, put a man on the moon and recently on October 23rd Google achieved Quantum Supremacy, meaning thereby that their 54 Qubit Sycamore Quantum Computer could do a calculation in 200 seconds, that the fastest classical super computer, the Summit would have taken 10,000 years. This event has probably a much greater significance that a man landing on the moon. Just imagine what is coming in this decade. 

We are already in the era of reusable rockets and soon commercial space travel. About 400 years ago, the famous Isaac Newton had put it beautifully. “ I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself, I am like a child on the seashore, looking now for a smoother pebble it a prettier shell, while the vast ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.” 

As we begin the 3rd decade of the 21st century, there is a vast ocean of opportunities to be explored and exploited, and learning is the most crucial element for leadership in the knowledge, creative and innovation economy. 

This is the right time to work towards creating a great educational enterprise with huge revenues and valuation. 

Evan Williams had identified the formula for building such an enterprise. 

Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps…..Evan Williams ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_Williams_(Internet_entrepreneur))

The following text is extracted from the famous book ‘ Schools that Learn’ by Peter Senge ” The drive to learn is as strong as the sexual drive,” writes anthropologist Edward T Hall ” It begins earlier and lasts longer.” The drive to learn: an interview with Edward T Hall Santa Fe Lifestyle ( Spring 1988) pp 12-14 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_T._Hall )

In the coming decade, the stages of education will change from the multiple stages that we have today to the 3 broad stages of (a) pre-natal, neo-natal and pre-school learning (b) becoming an autonomous self-directed learner during school, college or university and (c) becoming a lifelong learner. 

According to Kim and Mauborgne, authors of ‘ Blue Ocean Strategy’ competing in overcrowded industries is no way to sustain high performance. “ Lifelong Learning” is the Blue Ocean in education space. 

The new education policy 2019 draws attention to the importance of lifelong learning first in its very first page at the third paragraph :0.3. Indeed, with the quickly changing employment and global ecosystem, it is becoming increasingly important that children not only learn, but learn how to learn.  It is again mentioned in its para 4.5. “The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and learning how to learn.”

Thomas Frey, the senior futurist at the Da Vinci Institute think tank has been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet, This is the result of disruptions in education caused by Technologies Disruptively Transforming Education :5G: very high bandwidths with low latency ( death of distance)

Big Data : learning analytics : search, compare, rate, review : recommendation engines, Blockchain : Smart contracts ; EDU-blocks, Augmented & Virtual Reality: immersion learning, AI and Machine learning : Watson, Chatbots etc. 

A major disruption will be the evolution and proliferation of Co-learning space and Emerging Technologies Experience Centres: 

Such a centre is a dedicated flexible physical space, with a better learning environment than either home or a traditional classroom, conducive to self-directed learning, where a number of co-explorers who are eager to be well prepared for the 21st century can find others members with similar dispositions  and it becomes a co-learning space for the AI and emerging technologies learning community.

Levels of such centres :

“Co-learning Space and Emerging Technologies Experience Centre”:

Level 1: All learning resources and infra-structure and experiencing as well as developing new Alexa Skills. Experiencing Virtual Reality with Oculus. Experiencing Augmented Reality. 

Level 2: Level 1+ Hands-on Indipi, Smarthomes, Deeplens etc.

Level 3: Level 2+ Developing AI solutions/ projects from IBM, Amazon and Microsoft cloud resources

Level 4: Level 3+ Quantum Computing: knowledge resource base and cloud services from Microsoft, Amazon and IBM

This is also an important element in India’s March towards a $5 trillion dollar economy : https://youtu.be/lxkhumAnQlE

If you find this challenging and worth your while to pursue this niche in entrepreneurship, feel free to contact me by sending a WhatsApp message at : 9810073724

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Goodbye 2019, Welcome 2020

Goodbye 2019, Welcome 2020: 

As the year 2019 ends, the most important event is the unusual cold conditions prevailing in Delhi and northern India, and the disruptions that it has caused. Analysts say that this deviation from the normal effects of motions of the earth and the Sun, is the result of the wind system.

One big news on 23rd October 2019 was the demonstration of Quantum Supremacy by Google, meaning thereby that their 54 Qubit Sycamore Quantum Computer could do a calculation in 200 seconds, that the fastest classical super computer, the Summit would have taken 10,000 years. This event has probably a much greater significance that a man landing on the moon. Just imagine what is coming in this decade. 

On the last day of a year, it is usual to reflect on the year gone by and make resolutions for the New Year. But this year is special. We are now entering the year 2020, which has been used as a marker for future predictions in the last decades. The numbers 2020 are used to represent ‘ perfect vision’ that usually happens with hindsight. Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing may perhaps bring similar accuracies to foresight. 

One may quarrel about the definition of the beginning of a decade, but the coming year 2020 may be considered as the beginning of the 3rd decade of the 21st Century. It is therefore worth considering whether to have just a New Year resolution for the year 2020, or a 10 year plan for the coming decade. A link that could help: How to create a 10 year plan for your life : https://daringtolivefully.com/10-year-plan

We are witnessing a global climate crisis, as well as the country’s severe economic slowdown. But there is an even greater ‘ learning crisis’ lurking beneath. Ken Robinson has referred to it in his talk…… http://sirkenrobinson.com/bring-on-the-learning-revolution/

Guy Claxton has also pointed out as to how traditional classroom teaching destroys ‘ learning power’: https://youtu.be/JxWybvns1jg

Children who are studying at School today will be adults ready for further education or to face the world in the years from 2020 to 2030 and beyond. The traditional system in its Ostrich like attitude ignores these disruptive changes, though thought leaders elsewhere in the world are beginning to take notice. 

Their future is being shaped by two major forces: the 4th Industrial Age driven by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and allied technologies like the Internet of Things, Blockchain, 3D Printing, AR and VR, and the 4th education revolution which is disrupting the traditional education model, propelled by the same technologies.

I have coined the phrase “Learning 321: education in the 3rd decade of the 21st Century” to describe the educational needs and delivery models for the coming decade. This is a very different world from the one experienced by our grandparents,parents and teachers. 

In an article in HBR May 2018, it was suggested that learning is a learned behaviour :https://hbr.org/2018/05/learning-is-a-learned-behavior-heres-how-to-get-better-at-it

In my view we should consider the learning journey as 3 stages. The first is the pre-natal, neo-natal and pre-School learning in the lap of the mother, occasionally with both parents involved. The prime goal of the School stage is to further develop curiosity, a love for learning and the ability to learn. The rest of the life is a period of lifelong learning, with the present University and higher education systems being  completely avoidable by most. Efforts at enhancing the GER in higher education, have not helped the youth, only the bodies promoting them, an interesting example of conflict of interest that was never challenged. 

Forget University : 4 steps to design your own education : https://youtu.be/TUnpSYMNEhY

Designing a University for the new Millenium by David Holland : https://youtu.be/DZQe73IXZtU

Towards this goal, I have created a pool of 42 Lifelong Learning courses. 

Why 42? In the famous book by Douglas Adams with the title “ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the number 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything by an enormous Supercomputer named Deep thought over a period of 75 million years. Unfortunately know one knows what the question is. The Wikipedia link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42_(number)#The_Hitchhiker’s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy

Ecole 42,(  https://qz.com/1054412/a-french-billionaires-free-teacher-less-university-is-designing-thousands-of-future-proof-employees/  )  a new model of Software training has also perhaps used the same fascination of 42 in their name.

I have used the same 42 as the total number of my courses. The details are available at mmpant.com. They are listed as separate pages: Weekend Learning (10), weeklong learning (10), WhatsApp Live (5) and monthlong learning (17). Some are also listed as programs with a theme, such as Learning How to Learn, AI fluent SmartEducator and The Quantum Track.

I am sharing now my plans for 2020 and beyond. My focus areas now are : learning how to learn, Artificial Intelligence and its transformative ( or maybe disruptive) effect on education and Quantum Computing and other Quantum phenomena. My mode of engagement with my colleagues and learners will be primarily digital. In addition to the above 42 courses of varying time duration through WhatsApp, I have offered a course on critical thinking as a number of Tweets. I have recently created a Facebook page with title “ Prof MM Pant’s Quantum Gurukul”. Linked In can also be an engaging learning environment. During the coming year, I will be exploring all these and other digital methods of learner engagement. As a corollary, I will not usually deliver in person, face to face ‘lectures’. By the end of the decade, we may see the demise of the lecture, and an extinction of those Institutions whose main offering is a suite of ‘lectures’. 

To develop these ideas further, I will be posting a blog on every Friday evening on this WordPress site mmpant.com. During the course of the year, we would have covered whatever is needed to transform ourselves and be ready to make the transition. 

In addition to these digital learning, we have in person meetings, on one Sunday a month at Gurgaon. The venue is the WOODs, sector 46 Gurgaon. For the year 2020, these meetings are planned for January 19th, February 16th, March 22nd, April 19th, May 17th , June 21st, July 19th, August 23rd, September 20th, October 18th, November 22nd and December 20th. 

To know more about any of these courses or events, please send a WhatsApp message at +919810073724 or an e-mail to mmpant@gmail.com

Once again, wishing you all a Happy New Year with prosperity in the coming decade. Hope to be in touch with you every Friday through this blog. 

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Learning 321: Real Learning, Relevant Education for the 3rd decade of the 21st Century:


Learning 321: Education for the 3rd decade of the 21st Century:

Children who are studying at School today will be adults ready for further education or to face the world in the years from 2020 to 2030 and beyond. 

This is the 3rd decade of the 21st Century and is a very different world from the one experienced by their grandparents,parents and teachers. 

Their future is being shaped by two major forces: the 4th Industrial Age driven by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and allied technologies like the Internet of Things, Blockchain, 3D Printing, AR and VR, and the 4th education revolution which is disrupting the traditional education model, propelled by the same technologies.

This leads to two very important questions. The first is what should a child learn in School to prepare for an Age of intelligent assistants that can fetch any information and do low level cognitive tasks, and the consequential question as to how do we teach what should be taught. 

It is often said that change is the only thing that remains constant. But what we are experiencing is the rapid rate of the change itself. And it’s wider impact, across almost all fields of human endeavour. 

Trying to accurately predict the future is futile. Perhaps becoming intelligent enough to build a perfect future is too. We must develop foresight and ready ourselves  by being a pro-active self directed lifelong learner and defensively by building skills of critical thinking and discernment to prevent us from being swayed by misinformation. 

This is the true objective of a good School education: to prepare children to prosper, flourish and thrive in an unknown and rapidly changing future. 

I am listing below 10 salient features of this new educational paradigm: 

1: Educators will be the most important members of Society. As we enter the rapidly developing knowledge society, very large numbers of people have to be trained in new knowledge and skills domains. 

To put it into context, the OECD estimates that, owing to the fourth industrial revolution and automation, 38 to 42 per cent of the UK population will need to completely retrain in the next 10 years to be able to stay employed. That is a staggering amount of training required to keep the UK workforce and our industries productive and competitive.

Quote from : https://www.cityam.com/retraining-course-the-case-for-lifelong-learning/

While more and more learners will move towards autonomous learners, it is educators who will enable this transition and provide the resources and guidance for self-directed learners. Microsoft in 2017 proposed “ Deep Teaching” as the sexiest job of the future. 

2: An educator takes a learner through 4 stages, in the journey from ignorance to knowledge, even if not clear to the learner: 

1. Unconscious Incompetence : In the unconscious incompetence stage , the learner isn’t aware that a skill or knowledge gap exists.

2. Conscious Incompetence : In conscious incompetence, the learner is aware of a skill or knowledge gap and understands the importance of acquiring the new skill. It’s in this stage that learning can begin.

3. Conscious Competence : In conscious competence, the learner knows how to use the skill or perform the task, but doing so requires practice, conscious thought and hard work.

4. Unconscious Competence : In unconscious competence, the individual has enough experience with the skill that he or she can perform it so easily they do it unconsciously.

The four stages of competence are core to the algorithms used in adaptive learning technologies. By knowing in which stage a learner is for a particular topic, an adaptive learning platform can select content on that topic that will help the learner reach the next stage. It can even use assessments to demonstrate to learners that they have skills gaps, thus moving them from stage one to stage two.

This journey will be personalised for each learner and each learning goal by AI-fluent SmartEducators. 

3: We are at the intersection of 2 fundamental revolutions : the 4th Industrial Revolution, announced by Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum in January 2016 and the 4th Education Revolution proposed in a recent book (2018) by Anthony Seldon. This is unprecedented for the whole world. Anthony Seldon says “ There is no more important issue facing education, or humanity at large, than the fast approaching revolution in Artificial Intelligence or AI. This book is a call to educators everywhere to open their eyes to what is coming. If we do so, then the future will be shaped by us in the interests of humanity as a whole.”

4: The recent advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have an important bearing on how we teach humans. We are now in a position to move from the art of teaching to the Science of learning. And achieve the goal of education for all, and the democratisation of education. The entire entrance test and coaching for the entrance test industry will be a thing of the past. So will the School leaving Board or University graduation final examinations. Assessments and feedback will become a continuous on-going process. 

5: The mobile is the device for access to learning. UNESCO has been organising a  Mobile learning week every year from the year 2012. 

* https://en.unesco.org/themes/ict-education/mlw/

Mobile Learning Week is the United Nations’s flagship ICT in education conference. Held annually at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the event convenes experts from around the world to share how affordable and powerful mobile technology – from basic handsets to the newest tablet computers – can so accelerate learning for all, particularly people living in disadvantaged communities. Each year the event has a specific theme to focus discussions.

Holistically the event seeks to advance understandings of how technology can be leveraged by UNESCO Member States and others to improve education.

*2019: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications for sustainable development

* 2018: Skills for a connected world

* 2017: Education in emergencies and crises

* 2016: Innovating for quality

* 2015: Leveraging Technology to empower women and girls

* 2014: Teachers

* 2013: Mobile Learning and EFA Goals

* 2011: December: Using mobile Technologies to transform educational process and outcomes

UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2020, the flagship ICT in education conference, will be held from 2 to 6 March 2020 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

First you learn to use the mobile. Then you use the mobile to learn. 

Most mobile devices are now equipped with AI powered chips. The future of learning is therefore in your hands. 

6: Learning will be a lifelong pursuit, with 3 broad stages, of which the first is pre-natal, neo -natal and pre-school learning. The new education policy 2019 has acknowledged that 85% of the child’s cognitive development happens by the age of 6 years. 

7: The stage of School, College and University is the period  during which a learner must acquire the skills and competence of learning how to learn and become an autonomous learner. The importance of learning how to learn has been acknowledged in the new education policy 2019 in the 3rd paragraph in the beginning and also at para 4.5 while dealing with School education. 

8: For the rest of a person’s life, a person would be pursuing lifelong learning to continually learn, unlearn and re-learn to achieve his human as well as academic potential. 

Blockchains will be used for academic credentials. Growth and widespread recognition of micro-credentials such as badges. 

There is already a pilot experiment with a Blockchain University and an MIT supported Blockchain credentials system in edublocks. 

9: In an unknown and uncertain future, instead of trying to find what we should teach during School, College or University, we should develop youth who love learning and having decided to learn something are capable of learning it well ( mastery learning). This is achieved by building learning power. ( ज्ञान ऊर्जा अर्जन)

10: MeetUps in co-learning spaces. While much of the learning will be ‘anytime anywhere’ occasional in person meetings would be organised at “co-learning spaces” to support in person peer and social learning. 

The present didactic model of the ‘sage on the stage’ does not encourage live learning interactions between the learners in the classroom. This is OK when only the teacher is informed and knowledgeable and all the learners are ignorant, of the topic being dealt with during the lecture hour.

But in lifelong learning the learners are also informed and aware of what they want to learn. The dynamics in such a situation changes fundamentally, allowing for huge benefits from social peer learning. 

If there are  students in a cohort, and the teacher is essentially in a single student teaching mode, then the quality of learner engagement reduces with increasing n as 1/n. That is why in good institutions there is an attempt to have a small teacher to student ratio, in the range of 1/10 to 1/20. If however the teacher is in a broadcast mode, like a text-book or a video, then the effectiveness is independent of the value of n. 

But if the pedagogy is designed to encourage interactions between the learners, as happens in the digital environment, then the number of student interactions becomes n(n-1)/2 in pairs, or proportional to n squared. There may be smaller clusters with more than 2 students. Very soon, there is an overwhelming contribution to the discussions and construction of knowledge, leading to a better and richer experience. 

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