Why Indian Education Changed Overnight - and How databot™ is Helping, One Learning Exploration at a Time.
I was talking with my friend Abhishek recently about education in India, and he said, “We rarely have a discussion on school education in which our education system is not under fire for being colonial, inequitable, and outdated. The biggest criticism of all, one that has recently grown to a fever-pitched battle cry, has been that education in India is not forward-looking.”
India is home to the largest youth population in the world with five hundred and seventy-nine million people under the age of 24. In order for this population to establish India as a leader and innovator in the 21st century, it’s essential that they get an education that is not still rooted in the 19th century.
Hence, India introduced the National Education Policy – 2020 (NEP), which leaves behind the rigid curriculum of the past and extends the learning outside the four walls of the classroom to facilitate experiential learning and critical thinking among students.
What's NEP 2020 All About?
NEP is a comprehensive framework from elementary classes to higher education with an aim to develop conceptual understanding and application during the formative stage. To achieve these goals, a high priority has been assigned to activity-based learning and application – fostering innovation, and critical thinking begins with the freedom to explore. In addition to a strong nod to equity and quality, the new reformed approach to education recommends a highly interdisciplinary, applied learning experience which is a long, long way from rote learning and preparing for exams. What does this look like in the classroom, and what does NEP 2020 look like in action?
How Does databot™ Fulfill the Vision?
Agastya International Foundation students analyzing classroom CO2 levels.
To fulfill this vision, students in the classroom need a nurturing environment and tools that enable them to explore and learn while having fun. databot™ was developed for this very purpose and empowers students to conduct a multitude of scientific explorations while naturally introducing them to data-based analysis and results.
Imagine having a tiny device that fits into the palm of your hand, connects instantly to a smart device for visualizing all types of scientific data that surrounds you, and helps you get the most out of the experiential learning approach. Curious about CO2 and global warming? Take air quality readings in your home and classroom.
Curious about your speed and acceleration as you race your friends home? Capture and analyze your motion data! The opportunity for conducting real, scientific explorations has never been easier for students. Do you want to check for the UV index and protect your skin? Take a quick data reading! Are the CO2 readings in your classroom at an optimum level for clear thinking and good health? What about how we breathe? Create a model of a human chest, complete with lungs, and place databot™ inside. Visualize how air pressure changes when the diaphragm moves causing us to inhale and exhale.
Scientific data surrounds us and is more accessible than ever.
databot™ takes students on a fantastic voyage inside the human chest!
databot™ is a remarkably versatile and innovative tool for STEM education. It is a small, incredibly tough device designed to help students collect, visualize, and work with real data, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of the data they see in the world around them.
With 15 included sensors for gathering data on air pressure, CO2, VOCs, color, motion, magnetism, humidity, and more databot™ offers students a wide range of experimental capabilities. Also designed for physical computing with interactive lights and sound, databot™ sets the stage for enhancing creativity through multidisciplinary studies in Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Design thinking, etc., all of which align with the experiential learning vision of NEP.
Here are a few of the key differentiators that make databot™ a highly useful tool in building experiential learning programs.
In an era of data-driven, complex technology, students often find it difficult to see the data associated with a particular technology and fail to understand the core concepts driving it. Tools like databot™ facilitate exploring the vast data that surrounds us and enhances student learning experiences.
With the availability of easy-to-use sensors, students gain access to factual data, and this facilitates the fundamental skills of collection, visualization, communication, interpretation, and application. databot™ can be used in many ways and encourages multidisciplinary experiences as students explore data related to Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Life Science all with one device.
Science and Exploration Driven
databot™ helps link experiential teaching strategies with the field, classroom, and laboratory by facilitating student experiments using real-time data. Students can visualize and work in tandem with a databot™ to view, explore, record, and transfer data from it. databot™ helps bring scientific theories to life through a multitude of applications. The databot™ exploration paradigm is different from traditional probeware or DIY sensors. The objective is to make interacting with scientific data simple, natural, engaging, and relevant. What better way to build future scientists than provide them with tools that facilitate asking and answering questions?
AI-enabled with Physical Computing Capabilities
Combined with a variety of coding software, databot™ can introduce AI concepts such as facial, sound, and text recognition, and it can encourage fun ways of learning coding through physical interaction. Physical computing, in education, refers to engaging students with physical feedback as students create code that manifests something in the physical world. It might be a light flashing, a tone generator squawking, or a robot arm moving. databot™is a fantastic introductory physical computing device as students create sensor-driven light and sound activities without having to chase the hundreds of components in a typical robotics kit. This enables educators to benefit from physical computing attributes while they focus on coding concepts before taking students the next step into robotics.
databot™ acceleration data displayed for students competing against one another to move with zero acceleration on the Y axis – can it be done?
How does illuminance vary with distance from the light source?
Concluding Thoughts on NEP 2020
The India National Education Policy 2020 is a remarkable commitment to transforming education for millions of Indian students. As it evolves and takes root in schools throughout the country, students and educators will become more and more familiar with experiential learning fostering a whole new generation of innovative, visionary students ready to change the world for the better. databot™ is a revolutionary new STEM education tool that can be instrumental in the overall development of these students as it encourages hands-on activities that necessitate trial and error, challenge-solving skills, and decision-making.
As student involvement grows due to these processes, learning speeds up, and retention increases. Students conducting databot™ explorations will find them a fascinating experience as they record data and transform raw numbers into actionable information. That’s what science is all about, exploring the world with a sense of wonder and curiosity, experimenting, hypothesizing, creating, and solving challenges. NEP 2020 realizes this is where the roots of innovation lie, and its remarkable design provides a fabulous vision for transforming the future of India and, indeed, the world.
databot™ learning solutions transform the way K12 students experience data, science, and technology. In the classroom, after-school, and in the home, our mission is to make interacting with and understanding data a beautiful, fun, and ubiquitous experience. One that crosses the traditional boundaries of all learning environments. The world is driven by data and we are driven to teach future generations how to use it for good. We create data powered technology and brilliant learning activities that empower students everywhere to think deeply, explore with passion, and solve our planetary scale challenges.
Contact us to share ideas, comments, and learn more about our products and mission.
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About the Author
Robert Grover is a proponent of STEAM education and educational technology that helps engage and develop the students of today into the thoughtful leaders of tomorrow.