Wishing you all an auspicious start to a lifelong learning journey:
We begin the Hindu New Year and the Chaitra navraatri today, and my suggestion to all is to make a resolution, not only for this New Year but for the rest of your life, and that resolution is to become a lifelong learner. Now that in the aftermath of the Coronavirus, the world is acknowledging the value of Namaste, our traditional Greetings, it is a good time to draw attention to the importance and value of learning in our tradition. There are numerous exhortations on learning and knowledge, and here are a select few.
- Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions: आ नो भद्रा: क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत:
- A learned person and a King can never be compared, A king is respected in his own land whereas a wise man is respected everywhere: विद्वत्वं च नृपत्वं च न एव तुल्ये कदाचन्।स्वदेशे पूज्यते राजा विद्वान् सर्वत्र पूज्यते॥
- Education is a liberating force : सा विद्या या विमुक्तये
- How do we learn? One part from the teacher, one part from self-learning, one part from the peer group and one part over time. They may not be equal parts, but in different proportions : आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥
- Who is happy? One who is at his own home, and without debt: को मोदते …. अऋणी चाप्रवासी
It is in direct response to this advice in the YakshaPrasna in the Aranya-parva of the Mahabharata, that I created the course TALL04: Getting a world class education is now in your hands. A good number of Indian students find themselves in debt after having gone abroad or even another large city far away from their homes. This course provides information on becoming well educated with little more than a determination and pursuing a good strategy. It is listed at the end of the 42 course pool.
When we reflect upon lifelong learning in modern times, the most inspiring story is that of Socrates. While they were preparing the hemlock, Socrates was to learning how to play a new tune on the flute. “What will be the use of that?” he was asked. “To know this tune before dying.” If I dare repeat this reply long since trivialized by the handbooks, it is because it seems to me the sole serious justification of any desire to know, whether exercised on the brink of death or at any other moment of existence. A janata curfew in response to the coronavirus, and this 3 week lockdown is also a good occasion to start the journey of lifelong learning.
I recently saw a TV program about Subhash Ghai, the well known filmmaker, in which there were excerpts of his thoughts…. and he too emphasised being a lifelong learner, and actively seeking feedback. He said that when his film would be released, he would be present somewhere in the theatre to observe the reaction of the audience on every scene or dialogue. Now we have software which does that using facial recognition.
But being a lifelong learner and actively seeking feedback seem to be the two principles of learning beyond schools, colleges and universities.
Elon Musk actually seeks negative feedback to improve his ideas, while most in places of authority decry, ridicule or even penalise such inputs .
The following couplet from Kabir also makes this point : ‘Keep your critics close to you, let their hut be in your courtyard, that way you don’t need soap and water to cleanse your nature’
निंदक नियरे राखिए ऑंगन कुटी छवाय, बिन पानी, साबुन बिना, निर्मल करे सुभाय।
And here is support for lifelong learning from a most unexpected person, Bill Clinton : https://youtu.be/L_nUOfaWEC4
Do watch the video and admire his desire to learn particle physics before he dies…. similar to Socrates….get inspired to learn a few things before you die….. of Coronavirus or something else.
As we enter the 2nd quarter of 2020, it is almost axiomatic that the mobile is the preferred device to access learning, at one’s chosen location and preferred time. On the basis of our accumulated experience over the last few years and in anticipation of the learning needs for future readiness over the next few years, I am offering learning opportunities in two formats. The first is a pool of 42 short courses of varying durations, delivered through the popular messaging platform WhatsApp, which learners can choose in a la carte mode. The other is a set of personal mentoring programs ranging in duration from 3 months to 5 years with one of 6 months and another of 1 years duration. These are for learners who are happy to and prefer making a longer term commitment.
It all started with Douglas Adams’ cult radio show turned novel turned movie, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you’re not familiar, the fictional series proclaims that 42 is ” the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything”
This answer was determined by the supercomputer Deep Thought after a lazy 7.5 million years of calculations. The question, however, was forgotten by then.
Ecole 42 began as a teacher-less coding school in Paris, and now has a presence in the Silicon Valley as well.
The course pool of 42 short courses:
List of WhatsApp live talks: (90 minutes duration)
1: WhaT01: Learning First, AI next !
2: WhaT02:Learning Quantum Mechanics at School
3: WhaT03:Avoiding Natural Stupidity
4: WhaT04: Ideas: their creation and spread
5: WhaT05: Inspiring humans
List of weekend courses:
1: WEL01: Complex Problem Solving
2: WEL02: Critical Thinking
3: WEL03: Creative Thinking
4: WEL04: People Management
5: WEL05: Co-ordinating with others
6: WEL06: Emotional Intelligence
7: WEL07: Effective Decision making
8: WEL08: Service Orientation
9: WEL09: Negotiation
10: WEL10: Cognitive Flexibility
11: WEL11: Didn’t get into IIT? Rejoice!!!
12: WEL12: Questioneering
13: WEL13: Grit: Passion with Perseverance
14: WEL14: Design Thinking
15: WEL15: Building Learning Power
List of weeklong courses:
1: WLL01:Learning with WhatsApp, other mobile Apps and MOOCs
2: WLL02:Financial Acumen
3: WLL03:Health Literacy
4: WLL04:Computational Thinking
5: WLL05:Evolution and Extinctions
6: WLL06:Developing Foresight
7: WLL07:Preparing for a 100 year life
8: WLL08:Humour: a must have skill
9: WLL09:The pursuit of Happiness
10: WLL10:WhatsApp for educators
11: WLL11: First Principles
12: WLL12: Mental Models
13: WLL13: Finding your element
14: WLL14: Finding Meaning Making Sense
15: WLL15: Death? Understanding it is critical to living well
The Quantum Track : one month long courses
QT01: Understanding the Quantum World
QT02: Quantum Biology
QT03: Quantum Computing
The Autonomous Lifelong Learner Track: one month long courses
TALL01: Parental guidance for pre-school learning
TALL02: LHTL for Screenagers
TALL03: LHTL for lifelong learners
TALL04: Getting a world class education is now in your hands
The longer duration personal mentoring programs are the following:
- Progressive Digital learning ( 3 months)
- The high road to future readiness /20 weeklong courses ( 6 months)
- The AI-fluent SmartEducator : code AIFSE/ 12 one month long courses ( 1 year)
- Coming of age in the age of AI: code CoAiaAI / 52 one month long courses ( 5 years)
Further information about all these programs is given on other pages with appropriate headings of this site. To know more about any of these programs and the procedure for enrolment to any of the above programs you may contact Prof MM Pant through WhatsApp at +919810073724 or my sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
You will find a lot of useful educational information at Twitter.com/MMPant
You could start following him on Twitter to be regularly updated with his tweets.