Learning Through Videos

Learning Through Videos 2016

Learning has always been into frame, though the medium differed with innovations and technology. To enhance the effectiveness and usability of knowledge, new and alternative ways have been adopted now and then. In early 1940s, it was print media and radio. Now, with latest technologies and explorations, Learning through Videos has been brought up as one of the prominent pedagogical method.

Among different projects of Happy Horizons Trust, Learning through Videos has been the most successful and outreaching project. But the question is, “Why are we doing it?”, “How learning through videos would help children?”, Or “How is it beneficial in education?”. Answer to this lies in the very motto of our organization, i.e., to improve the quality of education.

Visual media or video has a greater and wider impact than printed books. Sight and sound of videos stimulates our sensory motor and captures quick attention. Unlike any other method of learning, Learning through videos keeps maintaining interests of students for longer period of time, rather than getting distracted. Videos related to educational fields like science, history, geography, mathematics, etc. or films related  to children, social, cultural and moral issues are been screened to simplify the complicated mechanism or ideas.

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With development in technology, Learning through videos provide the flexibility to stop, start and rewind the video, so that the part which has been missed for any reason whatsoever or not properly understood, can be replayed and watched from the same section. Also, pausing the video for pointing something important or briefing some related ideas helps in clicking reasoning of students. The child needs to get engaged in and enjoy what they are studying and learning to pique their interest. Watching a film, undoubtedly, is something that every child enjoys.

In May 2015, we, at Bihar branch of Happy Horizons Trust, started the project of “Learning through Videos” in collaboration with Children’s Film Society of India, Mumbai. During our 4 month session of this project, we outreached to over 25000 students. Projecting the films that are aimed at cultural sensitization, knowing about different cultures of the world, storytelling and building in students a sense of inquisitiveness towards how to do things. To encourage more public participation, screening were done either in classrooms or at public spaces.

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Anew, without any collaboration, this year we started this project of Learning through Videos in October to drive students motivation, knowledge and curiosity. With the help of laptop, projector and few volunteers, targeting 1600 students a week, we are doing this through school wise and community wise screening of the videos. Project will continue in different schools of selected districts of Bihar till December 2016. But just projecting videos or films is not what’s been aimed for. As a follow up of these screenings, we open discussions on the ideas and morals of the video to bring the student’s participation.

Truly said by Seth Gordin, “Learning is not watching a video, Learning is taking action and seeing what happens.”  As video learning triggers the long-term memory, it helps in explaining complex concepts and ideas in easier terms, and improves overall learning experience. Providing a means of interactive instruction, learning through videos helps in critical thinking of children furthering the Quality of Education. And that’s what we aspire for.

 

Call for Volunteers at HHT

We all have some or other skills. Some people are good with technical skills, some are good at field work whereas some are skilled in organising everything. We process and enhance our skill in our particular expertise, work for money, for our own good and stay happy living in our own little world. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But, some step out of their personal confined world, to aid the people in need, to help those who are not as privileged as we are, to not just sympathize but to reach out with their helping hands, to work for the benefit of others, not for money or kind but out of love, respect and self-satisfaction. We simply call them VOLUNTEERS.

Working and earning for one’s benefit and pleasure is usual. Whereas doing things for oneself while working for the benefit of others require a real dedication and altruistic feeling which is commendable. Volunteer’s work is impactful to other people’s lives as they meet and get engaged in helping people around. Volunteers, individually or in group, sharing similar vision and purpose to work, come forward to get associated with an organization and help the people in need for an overall development of society.

There are countless number of non-profit organisations working dedicatedly for a particular social cause. We, at Happy Horizons Trust, work with the vision to improve the quality of education in schools across India and bridge the gap between students, teachers and parents. Running an organisation is not a solo task, rather it requires a good volunteer base to keep it moving with its work. And believe it, a small contribution by each and every volunteer can make a project successful, and your part will be counted upon. We welcome anyone who wishes to join us in our mission sharing our vision.

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Being a volunteer is an Odyssey- a long journey full of adventures. As everyone is in learning process, volunteering can help in acquiring new skills in terrain of new people while building self-confidence as one of the strongest traits of your personality. Coming together as volunteers, you don’t need any specific skill or expertise to help. What Volunteering need is commitment as per your capacity, convenience and skills. But inevitably,we are aiming to improve the quality of education through participatory learning and alternative methods with our ongoing projects, we require one who can help in:-

  • Training and mentoring our existing volunteers.
  • Develop teaching ways or alternate activities to enhance the classroom environment.
  • Create Social Awareness Posters
  • Introduce new career options to the students through Career Awareness Seminars.
  • Working with schools and motivate children.
  • Coming up with any new idea to enhance the way of learning.
  • Any other way you want to contribute!

Volunteer with us!

So, poke the curiosity inside you, ask yourself,
“Can you be more worthy than you are?”
“Can you work for goodness of others and societal development?”
“Can you make a difference?”

If yes, then this is the time. Come and join us.
Reach out to us!

——-
Post by Volunteer, Puja Raj

Children in School

Education for Development

Education, being the vital key for the development, is the act or process of imparting knowledge or skills to another, which is also the locus of Happy Horizons Trust. Education is the act of learning things around us which improves our knowledge, skill, confidence level and personality. It empowers us intellectually to interact with other in our life. Education brings maturity and teaches us to live in society with changing environment and also helps in social development, economic growth and technological development.

But Education is usually mistaken with Literacy or learning in schools, wherein Education is not just confined to books, copy, pen or schools and colleges. Literacy is about acquiring the ability to read and write, learning skills in school or college ; while Education is about the application of these skills and learning for the benefit of other people, society and country.

Inevitably, books, school or college can make a person literate but not relatively educated. Education is not merely factual knowledge related to curriculum , but extra-curricular skills and knowledge, moral and ethical values are also considered under Education which further helps one in overall development of their personality. Education far outstrips the concept of Literacy.

Albert Einstein said:- “It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need college. He can learn them from books. The value of an Education in a liberal art college is not the learning of many facts,but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”

There are several living examples like Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sachin Tendulkar and many more who dropped out school or college but still achieved the height of their goals with the Education they have been provided. Education is not only to read or write but is the ability to think in broader terms and analyse the things rationally.

Education brings Development with itself. Because an educated mind brings change in society by helping others to be educated beyond the limits of books. Education and Educated people diversify the knowledge for the good and development of all. Though Education usually requires Literacy, but not restricted to it.

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People living in the backward areas are not getting proper means of education but still government provide them with Literacy. But this lack of Education remains the major reason behind their backwardness. Education not only allows us to open our minds to improve ourselves to make better choice about our future, but also diminishes the believe in myths, superstitions, gender prejudice, caste system and many more bizarre beliefs.

Through the small platform of HHT, we are reaching out to encourage underprivileged children as well as parents for Quality  Education beyond books and also to make learning fun and engaging . The child needs to enjoy what they are studying to pique their interest. With advancement of Digital World and Technology, HHT is trying to empower the youth with the understanding of technology and it’s usages which help them to be capable enough to access computer or any technical device. Though Literacy help in acquiring the basic skills of reading and writing anything around, but may also lead to use abusive and fowl language,  but Education can never. Education has an intrinsic value. It is truly said  that Literacy cannot make a person wise but education makes a person wiser and provides with the understanding of distinguishing between right and wrong.

To enrich and summarise this article, few lines by Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit can be quoted as:- ” Education is not merely a means for earning a living or an instrument for the acquisition of wealth. It is an initiation into life of spirit,a training of human soul in pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue.”


Puja Raj
Content Writing Volunteer, HHT

Making education engaging and fun II

Remember the days when all students learned the same thing in the same way? These days’ educational innovations are set where you must teach to each individual learning style, and create differentiated learning plans for each student.

For times like when you just can’t make a lesson fun, follow-up the lesson with some fun activity. These activities which includes art and craft sessions, storytelling, fun games etc., allow the students to build self-confidence, and get better at presenting themselves, engage with an audience and improve on their motor skills. Art and Craft sessions are integral to our endeavor to improve the quality of education.

As our nation is full with festive seasons, we at Happy Horizons trust are trying to make every festival a fun activity based learning process. These process involves giving knowledge about the festivals through story telling workshop followed by some activities related to the festival. Apart from several sessions we conducted, we hosted two major festive events in Bihar this month.

Cap Making workshop and stories of independence as a part of Independence Day Celebration and Rakhi making workshop held at Saharsa district as a part of Raksha Bandhan festival were the two small step taken to build up, the skills and knowledge among students. These workshops help the students to build knowledge about the festivals, enhance their creative skills, leadership quality and their motor skills.

In storytelling session for Independence Day, champions explained the students how our leaders came up for the freedom of India and why 15th August is so important for us. In Cap making session students used white thin sheet for making Nehru cap which they painted in saffron, white and green color. These students wearing Nehru cap painted with the colors of Indian flag are the future of India. They need to be educated in the right direction for the betterment of society and as nation whole.

Raksha Bandhan is a bond of love between brother and sister. On this occasion we conducted a storytelling session and a workshop which were monitored by champions.  They used silk thread for making Rakhi, as it is considered best in Raksha Bandhan festival traditionally. For decorating Rakhi they used small glittery jewelries. Our Champions were monitoring and helping them. Craft activities helps the students to enhance their motor skills and they all enjoyed it.

The workshops act as a training for our champions and a learning for the children as well. As a part of this endeavor to make education more interesting and fun, we at the Happy Horizons Trust are constantly looking for different ways of engagement with the children. These activities allow us to bring smiles to children and have a long-lasting impression on them, for something that they will cherish forever.

Earlier, we had written about “Making education engaging and fun,” in which we gave emphasis on children faster learning and entertaining mediums like cartoons, visuals or videos in comparison to text or theory. Later, with some more observation about children’s interests and psychology through organizing sessions of creative activities, we come up with Making Education Engaging and Fun II.

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Annual Report 2014-2015

It has been quite some time that we had released the last Annual Report for the FY 2014-2015. But many say that they have not seen it. So we present it here again for those who may missed have seeing this.

The last year was special for us, as we grew our team. More people who believed in our vision joined us and got associated in different capacity. We started our office in Delhi as well. The projects in Bihar started to bear fruit, as our alumni of the programs got recruited as teachers.

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has helped, contributed in whatever manner. It is with your wishes and blessings that we continue to move forward and attempt to improve the quality of education in the schools.

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Happy Horizons Trust Annual Report (2014-2015) from Kshitiz Anand

 

Making education engaging and fun

Everyday, we talk about education, and get to read about data collected through different researchers. Some talk about the past and some give a better understanding of the present. We discuss on how can we contribute to uplift the grim situation in education in different ways.

We do not talk frequently about the smart and unique ways that can attract students/children in schools to have interest and willing to focus on their syllabus. Learning in schools through memorising the text are currently seen as boring. It is important that we address this issue to make learning more fun, engaging and entertaining for the students. As an analogy, if food can become tastier by adding spices, then perhaps we can look at spicing up the ways of learning as well. This will make it awesome and interesting.

Through this post, let us look at the some of the activities that we are doing at the Happy Horizons Trust, to bring in this interestingness in the schools since the past few years.

As a part of this initiative, first of all we initiated storytelling session in our series of activities with the schools. Through the numerous story-telling sessions we have conducted, we have observed that these sessions allow the students to build self confidence, and get better at presenting themselves, engage with an audience and improve on their communication.

We later introduced some art and craft activities to the children through our sessions as we believe that children need to be learning through making things and not just through memorising through books. For example, the students were taught how to make Christmas trees, when the festival of Christmas was near. Things like origami, sessions on creating artifacts from waste materials are a wonderful method of engaging children further.

We further initiated the “Learning through Videos” project, in collaboration with the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) in the month of May 2015. The project aims to educate children by showing videos/films picturised on children itself. These videos provide practical and social knowledge of life. We feel fortunate to get this project in our hands as it brought smiles to many little ones. Those who have never seen good movies like these that too on projector screen before this, as most of our screenings are done in government schools of rural areas.

As a part of this endeavour to make education more interesting and fun, we at the Happy Horizons Trust are constantly looking for different ways of engagement with the children. There is nothing more satisfying than the sheer joy on the faces of children when they experience our participatory methods of learning.

Learning through Videos Project

We have embarked on a very exciting journey. As proponents of alternative learning, we strongly believe in the power of learning through activities and one of the projects that we have initiated is Learning Through Videos’. This project is being done in collaboration with Children’s Film Society, India (Mumbai) . As a part of the project, 100 screenings of different films are to happen at around 20 schools in 6 districts in Bihar. These districts are Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura, Purnea, Katihar, Khagaria.

This is a very important landmark in the history of Happy Horizons Trust, for 2 reasons. Firstly it allows us to collaborate with the institutional body like Government of India (through the CFSI) and secondly it also expands our presence, connections to other districts in Bihar.

The project inauguration happened on the 22nd of May in Simri Bakhtiarpur, Saharsa . The guest of honor were the Block Education Officer, Shri Vinay Kr Jha, Vice-Chairman of Saharsa Jila Parishad Shri Ritesh Ranjan and Shri Mahendra Narayan Prasad, veteran teacher.

The following films (produced by CFSI) are being screened as a part of this project:

  1. Lukka Chhupi
  2. Chutkan ki Mahabharat
  3. Gilli Gilli Atta
  4. Bapu ne Kaha Thha
  5. Kabhi Pass Kabhi Fail
  6. Bal Ramayan
  7. Dost Magarmachch
  8. Ankur, Maina aur Kabutar

For many of the schools, this is the first time ever that they are screening something using the Visual media for their students.  The joy on the faces of students when they get to know about the project, the curiosity of the students when they are watching the films and then happiness at the end of the screenings are so wonderful to watch.

Inauguration of Computer Center

It was a landmark moment for us as the last month, we inaugurated a computer centre that will serve as the home to the Digital Literacy and Internet Awareness Course. The guest of honour was the Sub divisional Officer Shri S K Shah and Shri Mahendra Narayan Prasad.  This would allow us to also launch multiple new programs and raising the digital literacy level in the area.

The beneficiaries of this centre would not only be school students, but also farmers and other citizens. Agriculture being a primary source of livelihood in the area, we feel it is important that the farmers are made aware about the recent advancements in agriculture and farming methods. Through videos and animations, through guest lectures, we hope that the citizens use this center to their benefit.

Another major beneficiary could also be teachers, who may want to find more about learning methods, new pedagogy styles and gain access to content that they can then use in their teaching.

The current setup has 5 systems and the hope is that we will be adding more systems by the end of the year.

The setup will also function as the centre for Champions training and imparting lessons on how to conduct the sessions.

3rd Career Awareness Seminar

The 3rd Career Awareness Seminar was held at the Rose Valley Public School, Simri Bakhtiyarpur, Saharsa. One of the things we want to do is to take these seminars across schools. That way more schools have access to asking questions to the panelists and The panelists for this event were Shri Pramod Bhagat, Principal and Director Tagore Public School, Mr Sarkar – Principal, Rose Valley School, & Smt Prema Shrivastava, Education worker. The agenda of the event is  such that the panelists first talk about the importance to be driven by a career gaol. The panelists also talk about the different careers which the students can aim for.

One of the motivations behind these sessions have been that students generally see only engineering or medical as a career option. We try to address this issue by making the students aware of as many things as possible.

In the hunt for that elusive engineering degree, there are many students who end up going through immense stress and pressure from parents and the society. It is our endeavor that if the students are introduced to different career options, they would end up making better and more informed choices about what to study.

In this Seminar, we particularly emphasized on the role of taking up careers in agriculture, careers in defence services and also teaching as a career option.

Here are some more images from the event.

 

Relation between hygiene and education

This was the topic of our discussion at the Open Parent meeting last week. We have always insisted this with the school students, that they need to be neat and clean. By doing so the children develop a positive attitude towards education and a higher sense of belonging in the schools.

Even though there were very few parents who attended, we feel activities like these need to be encouraged. This is important because often the parents themselves are not educated. For them their role at the max is to just send the children to the school. They are least bothered about what happens in school or how the kids go to the schools and the level of cleanliness that it maintained.

A major challenge with trying to attain this is that the infrastructure in many of these schools are also not top class. Schools often run in incomplete buildings where dust is a major problem.

Without windows, proper doors getting students to belong to a clean environment is tough.

The fact that the hygiene is not a topic of discussion at the homes, makes it a challenge to follow up in the school as well. Most of the parent struggle with this and the challenge really remain at the systemic level.

Over the subsequent sessions, we will be sharing more insights on the interactions with the parents and what they feel about this issue.