Progressive Digital Learning:

Progressive digital learning :

Enhancing digital learning attention span:

from 1 minute to 90 minutes (over a 3 month period)

We are now seeing symptoms and evidence of the possibility of our expected demographic dividend turning into a demographic nightmare. Apart from its implications at the economic impact at the national level, it will also have a very serious impact on the happiness of the elderly, if they don’t find their children adequately equipped for the future.

The biggest contradiction that we see around us is the aspiration of a digital new India as a $5 trillion economy but with mobile phones being banned in Schools, Colleges and Universities, rather than being used as a learning empowerment tool. The UNESCO has been advocating the use of mobile phones for learning for the past decade , with first mobile learning week from December 12th to 16th 2011 and this year the mobile learning week is being held at Paris from 2nd to 6th March 2020. The theme for this year’s event is “ Artificial Intelligence and inclusion”. The future of learning is literally in our hands. 

And as has been said on several occasions by thought leaders, like Ken Robinson, John Holt and Guy Claxton, fostering curiosity, learning ability and building learning power are the engines that will power future success. 

I am touching on ‘ learning power’ in my blog next week….and in this piece I want to draw attention to an even more basic concern, learning poverty arising from reading inadequacy, inability to learn from video and a deficiency in active listening. In the success skills listed by the WEF for 2015, active listening was at number 9, and has not been included at all in the top 10 skills for 2020. Perhaps it is expected that by now  it can be taken for granted. 

Doing large amounts of extensive reading at suitable levels of understanding is a productive tool to increase reading rate, vocabulary, motivation, attitude and general language proficiency. Francis Bacon famously said that “ Reading make the a full man, Conversation make the a ready man and writing an exact man”. 

I am sharing here the outline and flow  of a 3 month program designed to become a better digital learner. The program is accessible from a mobile phone and will run on WhatsApp, so both Android and iOS users can use it without any difficulty. An incidental purpose of this learning experience is to inform learners of the wide canvas of human knowledge, that is often ignored in the focus on prescribed text-books and the exams that follow. 

When learning digitally, allied skills of search, dictionaries, wikis, spell-check and grammar tools as well as Apps that aid learning are very important. This programme makes the learners aware of their existence and effective use for better learning. 

The WhatsApp posts will be made from Monday to Friday each week for 4 weeks. A total of 20 WhatsApp sessions every month, and a total of 60 in all. 

The broad schematics is to begin with learning nuggets of 1 minute and increase them to 5 minute nuggets by the end of the first month. During the second month, progression from 5 minutes to 10 minutes learning nuggets, and in the third month: from 10 to 20 minutes, onwards to a 90 minute WhatsApp course.

During this 3 months duration, learners will engage with different media types ranging from text, images, audio and videos. For those who like to estimate the total time taken in this learning journey, it would be between 25 to 30 hours, depending upon the pace of the learner. The rate of learning will be slow at first, and then increase. 

The text will cover a variety of forms, as follows : Essays, Poems, Stories, Excerpts from literature, biographies and autobiographies , thoughts on current matters and overall language improvement. For short content, there will be much use of “ mnemonics” that are useful learning devices, proverbs, parables and inspirational quotes. Throughout the journey, there will be information about and links to further interesting knowledge nuggets. 

During the first two months ( 8 weeks) learners will peruse a number of texts, audios and videos and apply techniques of comprehending them, so that in the third and final month they are able to achieve significant abilities and be well set on their path of becoming autonomous self-directed and self-regulated learners who are able to learn from the abundant learning  resources , accessible through a mobile phone. 

We begin the first week of the program by sharing the following 1 minute videos:

Week 1:

1.1: What are 1 minute English videos about ?

1.2: English in a minute:

1.3: What happens in a minute:

1.4: Machine Learning explained in 1 min 20 seconds :

1.5: Supply and demand explained in 1 minute :

Week 2: 5 short  videos of about 2  minutes each

2,1: The hen that laid golden egg :

2.2: Marketing concepts in 2 minutes: 

2.3: Internet of things in 2 minutes

2.4: Machine learning explained in 2 minutes :

2.5: How much is a million? Not much :

Week 3: The following pieces of text

3.1: Eldorado by Robert Louis Stevenson :

3.2: What’s worth learning in School?

3.3: Sir John Gurdon Nobel Prize winner was too stupid for Science at School :

3.4: Rabindra Nath Tagore : A parrot’s tale:

3.5: Say Goodbye to Knowledge workers and welcome to learning workers :

Week 4: 5 videos/ podcasts  of 5 minutes each

4.1: Why the sky is blue?

4.2: The most beautiful equation in Maths :

4.3: Why is Trigonometry so important?

4.4: Fifteen logical fallacies in 3 minutes:

4.5: Four ways to end a speech with a bang :

Week 5: 5 videos/ podcasts of 5 minutes each

5.1: What is DNA and how does it work?

5.2: Epigenetics :

5.3: Where did viruses come from?

5.4: How pandemics spread ?

5.5: What is a neural network?

The details of the texts for Week 6 are as follows: 

6.1: Every curriculum tells a story : the Dragon Slayer curriculum :

6.2: JBS Haldane: On being the right size:

6.3: Bertrand Russell : Useless Knowledge:

6.4: Virginia Woolf : death of the moth :

6.5: The Sabre Tooth Curriculum:

During Week 7, the learners will view the following 4 videos and one set of PowerPoint slides which is the 5th resource: 

7.1: Humans need not apply:

7.2: The 4 letter Code to sell anything :

7.3: MM Pant: India’s March to a $5tn economy

7.4: MM Pant : What is innovative teaching?

7.5: Stephen Downes : new trends in online learning :

Week 8: 5 video/ podcasts of 10 minutes each 

8.1: Five things rich people never do :

8.2:How to introduce yourself :

8.3: 9 incredible Science facts that you probably didn’t learn at School :

8.4: How Bluetooth works?

8.5: What’s under the ice in Antarctica ?

During week 9, learners will peruse the following pieces ( all written by Prof MM Pant) to which links are given below:

9.1: The AI-fluent SmartEducator: :

9.2: AInEd : Artificial Intelligence in  Education

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

9.3: The future of education is autonomous learning .:

9.4: Co-learning spaces and emerging technologies experience centres.:

9.5: Education in the age of Intelligent Machines:  :

During week 10, the learners will view the following YouTube videos 

10.1: How to win an argument ?

10.2: Six phrase that instantly please people :

10.3: Rich Dad poor Dad ( Summary) :

10.4: Dealing with difficult and annoying people :

10.5: How to win friends and influence people ( summary):

During this progressive learning journey, they will view the following five TED/ TEDx talks in the 11th week: 

11.1: Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education

11.2: Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

11.3: Ken Robinson : Bring on the learning revolution :

11.4: Guy Claxton: Building Learning Power :

11.5: MM Pant: Education for the 4th Industrial Age :

This journey of progressive  digital learning begins with a few 1 minute learning nuggets, and in a period of about 3 months, it culminates with 5 WhatsApp talks in the following topics during the 12th week.

12.1: WhaT01: Learning first, AI and Quantum next

12.2: WhaT02: Why learn Quantum Mechanics at School?

12.3: WhaT03: Avoiding Natural Stupidity 

12.4:WhaT04: Ideas- their creation and spread

12.5: WhaT05: Inspiring humans

This program will be offered for the first time from Monday 6th April 2020, and then onwards begin on the first Monday of every month. Each learner will pursue his or her own trajectory and may progress differently. 

The above are a set of initial thoughts and possible resources that would be used, but the program is being continuously improved upon with inputs from others. By the time it is actually launched in April, there may be some changes for improvements upon the scheme and list of resources shared here. 

To know more about this program and to register for it please send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724


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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Progressive Digital Learning:

  1. Pingback: The high road to future readiness: | Prof.MM Pant’s WhatsApp VishwaGurukul

Leave a Reply