Becoming a RockStar Teacher

The big buzz this week is how the Diwali release of 2 big Bollywood films are setting a new bar for revenue generation in the region of Rs 200 to Rs 250 crores. One of them was screened at about 2500 screens and grossed around Rs 15 crores in the same period that the other one on about 2000 screens grossed Rs 11 crores. It is of course a neck and neck race. The arithmetic is quite simple. Multiply the number of screens by the number of shows per day multiplied by the size of the hall finally multiplied by the price of the admission ticket. And you know this makes the big stars.
How did this happen? From street corner nukkad actors to performing at Ramlila and other leelas to moving theatre groups to theatres such as Broadway was a long journey. The Indian film industry which is about a hundred years old did not have very well paid artistes for quite some time, because both the production and distribution systems were quite constraining.
And for the first time, we heard of a petition to the competition commission about the stranglehold of the distribution system.
So imagine a wold where almost anyone, or a small group of persons could present a story and distribute it to millions of people and somehow get paid for it by every viewer of the story. This is the world that is at the intersection of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Garage Band, Moviemaker and so on. You had Justin Bieber, Kolavari D and the recent Gagnam style.
So who would be the beneficiaries of this space. Extremely unlikely as it may seem at first sight, it is educators who will emerge as the next celebrities, after politicians, sportspersons, actors and business leaders.
Did you know that the Physics Professor Walter Levin of MIT has been a number one on YouTube and that too for teaching Physics. Nitin Gupta, an IIT Mumbai alumnus is also very poplar, and I have had the opportunity to see him perform live at a recent event at Allahabad. You can see Prof Levin at: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=AaALPa7Dwdw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAaALPa7Dwdw.

Another very popular course is one from Gilbert Strang of MIT on Linear Algebra,
which is a basic course on matrix theory and linear algebra. Emphasis is given to topics that will be useful in other disciplines, including systems of equations, vector spaces, determinants, eigenvalues, similarity, and positive definite matrices. The number of students registered for this course is about 7.3 million.

Coursera, an upstart company working with selective universities to offer free online courses, had reached one million registered students by August 2012. Another company, Udacity, which also offers what have become known as Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, says it has more than 739,000 students.

As popular as our celebrity Bollywood actor Salman Khan is the Maths teacher Salman Khan of Khan Academy, which has a library of over 3,500 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, is on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
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