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VOL- 3, ISSUE - 8, JULY 2019

Mr. Rohan Mahimkar

Co-CEO Prodigy Math Game talks about how math has become engaging for students that play Prodigy. 

- IDA BLOGS - - IDA EDUCATION AWARDS 2019 -

Can Entrepreneurs be made in a classroom- An Insight

By Subhankar Dhar Choudhury - Life Coach & Director, Eduseas Services Pvt Ltd   Read More

How to be a great teacher to foster a positive classroom environment

By Mr. Daljeet Rana - Principal, CT Public School, Jalandhar   Read More

Professional Development of Teachers

By Sivaramakrisnan V - Managing Director, Oxford University Press India   Read More

- SPOTLIGHT -

- LATEST UPDATES IN EDUCATION -
Delhi University gets an astonishing 9000 Enrollments despite a high cut-off. Read More
Gross Enrollment Ratio should improve for better higher education in India: NITI Aayog member. Read More
Draft Education Policy gives boost to research and Innovation. Read More
The Role of Universities in an era of heightened migration. Read More
British, Australia and Canada universities gain as Chinese students look for alternative destinations. Read More
Higher and further Education Institutions around the Globe declare climate emergency. Read More

To contribute original articles, blogs, opinions, suggestions on Education and Training, please write to sushil@indiadidac.com

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VOL- 3, ISSUE - 7, JUNE 2019

Dr. Meera Balachandran

Director, Education Quality Foundation of India (EQFI) shares valuable views on up-scaling teaching methods only at Didac Talks 

- IDA BLOGS - - IDA EDUCATION AWARDS 2019 -

We need to put in the curriculum, the skills we expect

By Mrs. Rasika Soman - Research Associate (IIM-A)   Read More

6 creative ways of teaching to engage students

By Dr. Ramesh T. - Senior Principal, SCAD World School, Chennai   Read More

A digital workbook education solution for elementary schools

By Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. - Japan Educational Business Div.   Read More

- SPOTLIGHT -

- LATEST UPDATES IN EDUCATION -
On CBSE directive, govt asks schools to form hubs of learning. Read More
Government to connect Madrasas to mainstream education. Read More
Yoga to be made a compulsory subject? Here is what school, college students must know. Read More
US Embassy launches education app for students. Read More
Alexa Goes to ISTE: Edtech Companies—and Teachers—Debut New Skills for Learning. Read More
Online cheats: the rise of ‘fake’ degrees in Malaysia. Read More

To contribute original articles, blogs, opinions, suggestions on Education and Training, please write to sushil@indiadidac.com

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VOL- 3, ISSUE - 6, JUNE 2019

Dr. Swati Popat Vats

President, Early Childhood Association unfolds those 5 vital things that India can teach to the world only at Didac Talk! 

- IDA BLOGS - - DIDAC INDIA 2019 -

Improving Learning Outcomes in Indian Schools

By Mr. Deepak Maun - Assistant Professor, IIHEd, O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat   Read More

E-Assessment Opportunities and Innovations for the 21st Century

Mr. T. Sanjeevee Jayram - Educator / Correspondent, Cholan Group of Educational Institutions, Dwarakesh CBSE International School   Read More

Advantages of Inclusive Education in School

By Dr. Arundhati Hoskeri - Director and Management Representative, MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Mumbai   Read More

- SPOTLIGHT -

- LATEST UPDATES IN EDUCATION -
After Delhi, AP schools to have happiness curriculum. Read More
France to now recognise four Indian academic qualifications. Read More
Paraguay seeks Indian technology and investments for diversifying its economy. Read More
UK govt announces new international education strategy. Read More
China “opening education to the outside world” – policy document. Read More
Aus: ACPET becomes ITECA, refines focus. Read More
To contribute original articles, blogs, opinions, suggestions on Education and Training, please write to shweta@indiadidac.com

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By
Pooja Jain
Academic Counsellor

78% of the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of nitrogen - a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. Nitrogen is also a component of several important biomolecules such as DNA, proteins, and chlorophyll. Despite its abundance in the atmosphere, it is not accessible by primary producers in its molecular form (N2 gas).

There exists a biogeochemical cycle through which the conversion of nitrogen into different chemical forms takes place. This cycle is commonly referred to as the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle process can be broken down into the following individual processes:

Nitrogen Fixation

The nitrogen fixation process involves the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2 gas) into nitrates (compounds containing the NO3- ion) and nitrites (compounds containing the NO2- ion). Diazotrophs (a type of bacteria) are responsible for the majority of nitrogen fixation.

Assimilation

In this process, the nitrates and ammonium ions are absorbed by plants through their roots. The plants then proceed to reduce the nitrates into ammonium ions and then incorporate these ions into chlorophyll, amino acids, and nucleic acids.

Ammonification

Ammonification refers to the conversion of organic nitrogen (compounds containing carbon and nitrogen) into inorganic ammonium. Organic nitrogen is found in animal waste and plant/animal remains.

Nitrification

Some bacteria that exist in the soil convert ammonium into nitrites and eventually nitrates. This process is known as nitrification. Nitrosomonas bacteria oxidize ammonium into nitrites. These nitrites are further oxidized into nitrates by Nitrobacter.

Denitrification

The final process that completes the nitrogen cycle is known as denitrification. It involves the conversion of nitrates into nitrogen gas. This is primarily accomplished by Pseudomonas and Paracoccus bacteria.

To conclude, Nitrogen is a very important element which is an integral part of all living things. Even some lipids contain nitrogen. The nitrogen cycle is a very important process that is responsible for the conversion of nitrogen into different chemical forms. Inert atmospheric nitrogen is made available to plant life via this process. The ammonification process also involves the decomposition of plant and animal bodies, which helps clean up the environment. Since nitrogen is an integral part of cells, the nitrogen cycle is essential for the survival of many life forms on the planet. To learn more about the nitrogen cycle and other related topics such as the carbon cycle, subscribe to the BYJU’S Youtube channel and enable notifications.

Carbon Cycle - YouTube

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By
T. Sanjeevee Jayram, Educator / Correspondent
Cholan Group of Educational Institutions,
Dwarakesh CBSE International School

INTRODUCTION
Assessment lies at the base of analysis of learning experience to assess learning styles, understanding level and determines overall ability and student achievement. Technology can play a significant role in assessment; if it is used appropriately it adds value to any of the learning activities associated with assessment.

e-Assessment is an end-to-end electronic assessment process where Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is used for the management of learning and its development processes from perspective learners, educators and educational institutions. E-Assessment is a web-based method that reflects systematic inferences and judgments to be made about student’s skills, knowledge and capabilities.

ASSESSMENT TYPES
There are four basic types of assessments:
i. Diagnostic
ii. Formative
iii. Summative
iv. Integrative or summative

DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT
It is a traditional assessment in tertiary education and often associated with a negative model designed to identify deficiencies in student’s capabilities (Benseman & Sutton 2008). It is a baseline assessment to determine students’ preparedness for their current learning activities and to allow teachers adjustments expecting majority students participates in learning activities at a meaningful level.

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
This task ensures timely and appropriate feedback, primarily intended to have an impact as the current learning of students to connect potential improvements in student’s performance.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
It is mostly applied to overview students’ performance as a measure of how much they have learnt within a course. This task is used primarily for progress a proxy measure of overall learning.

INTERGRATIVE ASSESSMENT
This is designed to promote and measure student self-study regulations and capabilities associated with lifelong learning. Marks and grades could be used as the indicators of standards. The advantage of integrative assessment is to highlight and provide feedback or judgment on students’ abilities.

CHARACTERISTICS OF INTEGRATIVE ASSESSMENT
1. To make judgment on students’ learning and performance.
2. To define standards and expectations in their responses.
3. To track and analyze their approaches responding to a problem, issue situation or performance.
4. To integrate prior or current feedback into their response.
5. To engage with a meaningful task and reward for their quality of their analysis of meta-cognitive abilities.

E-ASSESSMENT –TO LEARN
E-Assessment drives learning. It provides motivation, opportunity and guidance. It defines mechanism by which achievement is monitored and recognized. In learning we must create a design for opportunity for learning as well as assessment. It takes several strategic issues.
• E-Assessment and personalized feedback offers global delivery of quality learning opportunity.
• E-Assessment allows student profiling with links to target team based support.
• E-Assessment can facilitate student induction and diagnostics.
• E-Assessment can enhance efficiency and even reduce costs.

1. E-ASSESSMENT CHALLENGES
• Are not quick and easy to produce success is dependent as input from both academic authorities and software developers
• Have considerable investment costs
• Can be filled to pre-defined templates which lower the production cost and improve accuracy but limit ambition
• Require rigorous testing
• Require a summative drive for continuing student engagement
• Have a technical expertise that can be a barrier to academic staff

E-Assessment for learning will be a crucial testing methodology for the 21st century because of its exceptional pedagogical and learning systems which require technical skill base, educational resource for further development.

2. E-ASSESSMENT – LEARNING MANAGEMENT
E-assessment involves the use of digital devices to assist in the construction, delivery, storage or reporting of student learning, responses, grades by using desktop computers, laptops, smartphones & iPad, its formats are in multitude text, portable document, multimedia formats, such as sound, video or images, assessments can be undertaken individually small group/large group.

Teachers by using computer tablet construct the assessment task, record and provide feedback & grades to the students. It can also be used to test many different students’ capabilities and analyze students’ responses both to provide feedback to the students on the quality and relevance of their response. E-Assessment is highly sophisticated widespread, can undertake, manipulate directly or remotely.

E-Assessment can be a part of learning management system which can be located and delivered from a central server and assessed by students anywhere and anytime through web browser or isolated in local area networks (LAN) with limited access gateways. It is a digital record which allows to authentic than traditional paper based assessments.
Online assessment rational based the test module provides individualized, targeted feedback with the aim of getting correct answer even their first attempt is wrong. Feedback appears immediately in response to a submitted answer, such that the question and student’s answer still visible finally students are allowed up to three attempts at each questions with an increasing amount attempt and it is evident that instant feedback is effective at promoting learning.

3. PROMOTING LEARNING FEEDBACK
The importance of feedback for learning has been highlighted
• Emphasizing its role in fostering meaningful interaction between student and instructional materials.
• Contributing to students development and retention
• Evaluators can work remotely from both peers and tutors
• GIBBS AND SIMPSON (2004) suggests following conditions on students learning.

  • Assessed task capture sufficient study time and effort
  • These task distribute students effort evenly across topics and weeks
  • These tasks engage students in productive learning actively
  • Communicates clear and high expectations to students
  • Sufficient student feedback is provided both often enough and in enough details
  • The feedback is provided quickly enough to be useful to students
  • Feedback focuses on learning rather than on marks or students themselves
  • Feedback is linked to the purpose of the assignment and to its criteria
  • Feedback is understandable to students
  • Feedback is received by students and attended to
  • Feedback is acted upon by students to improve their work or learning.

4. E-ASSESSMENT INNOVATION
E-Assessment is an innovative approach in teaching, learning and especially assessment is a valuable tool in the education field for many more reasons, which has potential benefits for students in terms of learning registrations and retention as well as increasing their efficient learning content. E-Assessment offers many advantages over traditional pen and paper exams.

E-Assessment is at its best students receive instant and individual feedback on their work allowing them to form an accurate pictures to progress and to build confidence.

  1. Is much more realistic, timely and appropriate feedback. It also likes to further reading directed towards self-directed learning
  2. Immediate feedback focused students work particularly
  3. Allows students more than one attempt at an answer
  4. Presents questions in a pre-determined or random order
  5. Be used for diagnostic, formative and summative assessment
  6. Guides students to further reading or resources, if they are having difficulty in learning
  7. Increases students digital literacy
  8. Increases student engagement and involvement
  9. Records highly detailed student learning analytics
  10. Manages teacher work load, corrections, and remedial measures

The use of e-Assessment makes this task manageable, which automatically track many learning analytics as students use this system. It is also helpful for flexible learning, including lifelong learning. E-assessment is innovative as part of learning management systems, much more multiple choice questions, can involve the use of blogs and wikis, self or peer view in the existing social media sites associated with web. It is capable to set virtual media in engaging sophisticated tasks for students.

CONCLUSION
Assessment can be integrated with electronic media that has intrinsic work students, teachers and institutions. E-Assessment offers a range of potential opportunities including:

EFFICIENCY
1. Timeless
2. Flexible delivery
3. Automatic processing responses
4. Effective storage results and grades

EFFECTIVENESS
1. Cost effective
2. Immediate feedback
3. Evolve new question types

AUTHENTICITY
1. Access to people and resources
2. Designed to simulate real world
3. Can set complex tasks

ENGAGEMENT
1. Multimodal formats
2. Can use virtual world
3. Can use self and peer group

REFERENCES
1. Buchanan, T. (2000) The efficacy of a World-Wide Web mediated formative assessment, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 16, 193-200
2. Gibbs, G. and Simpson, C. (2004), Conditions under which assessment supports students' learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 1, pp 3-31
3. Gibbs, G, (2006) Why assessment is changing, in C. Bryan and K. Clegg (eds), Innovative assessment in Higher Education, Routledge
4. Ross, S, Jordan, S and Butcher, P (2006), Online instantaneous and targeted feedback for remote learners, in C. Bryan and
5. K. Clegg (eds), Innovative assessment in Higher Education, Routledge Yorke, M. (2001) Formative assessment and its relevance to retention, Higher Education Research and Development, 20(2),
6. Curran, K. G. Middleton and C. Doherty, Cheating in Exams with Technology, International Journal of Cyber Ethics in Education, 1(2), 54-62, April-June 2011
7. Gathuri, J., A. Luvanda, S. Matende & S. Kamundi, Impersonation Challenges Associated With E-Assessment of University Students, Journal of Information Engineering and Applications, Vol.4, No.7, 2014, (60-69)
8. Harbin, J.& P.Humphrey, (2013). Online cheating - the case of the emperor's clothing, elephant in the room, and the 800 lb. gorilla, Journal of Academic and Business Ethics, available on: http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/131450.pdf
9. Williams, S., Tanner , M., & Beard, J. (2012, July/August). How to Cure the Cheating Problem.BizEd. Young, 2012

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By Deepak Maun
Assistant Professor,
IIHEd, O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat

What do the near-perfect (or even perfect) scores in board examination represent except an ability to ace an examination with a predictable pattern? Have these toppers learnt that is of value in the world outside the boundaries of school (i.e. real life)? And what about the (academically) average or below average children? What skills do they leave the school with after spending more than 14 years in this institution? These are pertinent questions that need an answer if we want to talk about improving learning outcomes.

To answer the question about value of ‘learning within schools’, let’s consider a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that a 15-year old child (a typical 10th grader) loses both her parents in an accident. With no support from relatives, this child needs to negotiate the world and make a living for self and a younger sibling. What can this child do? Twelve years into schools (including kindergarten and nursery), what has she learned that can help sustain her in ‘real world’?

An ‘academically intelligent’ child may be able to teach younger children but an average (or below average) child will not even have that option. Much of what they can pursue outside school can be done without the knowledge gained inside schools. In fact, whatever is being taught in schools is in fact accessible now on internet, and children may find it more interesting (and customization) compared to the teacher. What then should the schools try to teach a student? And how can the student learning outcomes be improved? In this article, I take an unconventional view (compared to mainstream schooling perspective) of the nature of learning, and how it happens.

In my understanding, even if the schools are able to improve their existing processes to achieve better learning outcomes, the real value gained for students will be minimal. This is because the knowledge being imparted, and skills being taught in schools are mostly irrelevant in real-life situations.

There are three specific actions that the schools can take to redefine the nature of learning that should be their focus.

One, they need to allow more time and space to students to learn at their own pace and according to their own interests. This can be facilitated by creating reading rooms and well-stocked libraries and encouraging students to use them. This can help reduce the ‘dead time’ where the students remain physically present in classrooms without engaging with the content being delivered therein, a situation very common at present.

Two, the schools should move beyond the current model that focuses on logical-mathematical and verbal-linguistic intelligence and create opportunities for students to learn by engaging in other types of intelligence (as suggested by Howard Gardner). For example, theater in education or learning through music or poetry is a well-accepted idea now.

Further, the schools can create MakerSpaces by having equipped Do-it-Yourself (DIY) labs where the students can tinker with various materials, experiment and create prototypes or even full working models in collaboration with welders, blacksmiths, carpenters, electricians, or plumbers from the local community. Internet could be a great source to help them overcome challenges of guidance.

The schools could create safe spaces for children to experiment, create, reflect on, and share their ideas and learnings with their peers (across age groups), teachers, and community members. Learning of theory is crucial to make sense of the phenomenon. Yet, it should neither happen in isolation (i.e. in classroom without engagement with practical action), nor should it be considered as a knowledge that cannot be gained without teacher’s instruction.

Three, the schools should stop being spaces to physically restrict students within its walls. They should act as congregation points, not just for students of different age groups but also for members of the immediate community to engage in discussions around issues that they are facing. The fields, houses, or streets in villages, and slums, parks and markets in cities could be valuable social and science laboratories for their experiments and actions.

As an institution, schools should facilitate engagement of students in such issues and promote action-research based projects aimed at finding solutions to these challenges and implementing the solutions. Their focus needs to be on facilitating students’ learning and not on controlling it.

In this Internet society, the traditional textbook-based learning (the present focus) should be relegated to background and self-study and action-based learning should be promoted. The teachers should intervene only to help students identify their goals and guide them towards it. This demands a new kind of mindset and skill set from the teachers. Instead of acting as a storehouse of knowledge, they need to act as facilitators and co-learners (Khoji).

The existing (pre and in-service) teacher training is not just inadequate but counterproductive. Probably, the teachers themselves should take a gap-year to reflect upon their lives as professionals, to understand themselves better, to unlearn, and finally learn new skills.

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VOL- 3, ISSUE - 5, APRIL 2019

Ms. Ritika Subhash - Director, Indian Subcontinent, Mangahigh, shares her experience and valuable insights on making Mathematics a stress free learning!  

- IDA BLOGS - - DIDAC INDIA 2019 -

Three Empowering Ways to Beat Your Child's Math Anxiety

By Ms. Ritika Subhash - Director, Indian Subcontinent, Mangahigh   Read More

Enhancing Effectiveness of Education - TQM

By Dr. R. Ramachandran - Consultant & Researcher   Read More

What is Worth Knowing - and How do we Teach it?

By Dr. Shalini Advani - Founding Director - Pathways School   Read More

- SPOTLIGHT -

- LATEST UPDATES IN EDUCATION -
World Bank and UNICEF partner to promote education, skills and training for young people. Read More
CBSE to group schools under Hubs of Learning – all you need to know about how, what and why of HoL Read More
A-level and GCSE exam papers are to be micro-chipped for first time in bid to combat online leaks. Read More
Unicef, Niti Aayog tie up for children empowerment. Read More
Saudi minister calls for ‘new safety measures’ in educational transportation Read More
Haryana government to introduce choice-based credit system (CBCS) at undergraduate level. Read More
India and Sweden launch joint industrial R&D programme. Read More
To contribute original articles, blogs, opinions, suggestions on Education and Training, please write to shweta@indiadidac.com

EdInsights is an IDA Initiative.

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VOL-4, ISSUE - 2, APRIL 2019

- IDA BLOGS - - JOIN IDA -

How to Make Your Teaching More Effective

By Mrs. Gurmeet Kaur Gill - Principal, Dasmesh Nursery School   Read More

A Paradigm Shift from Monotony to Creativity in Teaching

By Prof. T. Doddegowda - Principal, Seshadripuram Pre-University College  Read More

Best Practices in Teaching & Learning in Early Years

By Ms. Shalini Jaiswal - Director Academics, Maple Bear South Asia  Read More

- AWARDS & RECOGNITION -
Didac India bagged the "The Unique Show" and recognized as India's only exhibition for Education & Training Resources by the Exhibition Showcase at Exhibition Excellence Awards 2019.  

Delhi University revises curriculum of all UG courses to align with learning outcome based framework. Read More
CBSE 'Hubs Of Learning' To Encourage Collaboration Among Schools. Read More
Delhi: Entrepreneurship curriculum begins rolling out at 24 schools. Read More
Kenyan Teacher Wins $ 1 Million Global Award. He Gives Away 80 % Of His Salary For Education Read More
Empowering education through speech technology Read More
Microsoft + Made by Dyslexia: Helping students with dyslexia thrive with technology. Read More

To contribute original articles, blogs, opinions, suggestions on Education and Training, please write to shweta@indiadidac.com

EdInsights is an IDA Initiative.

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Email: ida@indiadidac.com​ | Telefax: +91-11-46535555

Disclaimer: The above material is the combination of content curated by IDA team and syndicated links. These external links are being provided for informational purposes only and lead directly to the source page. Although every effort is made to ensure the external links are accurate and up- to-date, we bear no responsibility for the maintenance and authenticity of the content of these pages or for that of subsequent links.
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A significant amount of research has been undertaken on Maths anxiety in children and how an established "fear of mathematics" can result in low levels of confidence - A problem that parents and teachers have been observing in students increasingly around the world.

Below are the top 3 researched and documented reasons for Maths anxiety in children, (and in some cases even in adults), and some suggestions on how we can help students overcome these:

#1 The emphasis on procedure
According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2016), only 43% of grade 8 students tested could do simple division problems, making them 3-4 levels behind their grade-level 1.

Another research paper titled ‘The Untapped Math Skills of Working Children in India: Evidence, Possible Explanations and Implications’ presented that only one-third of the children surveyed could divide and only 21% could subtract in a written test. However, when the same children were offered a problem in terms of market transactions, over 90% were able to successfully perform the arithmetic operations.

The researchers reported, “children showed greater mathematics skills in the market because they could match a concrete context with the abstract notion of a number”2.

The traditional method of teaching arithmetic operations on numbers requires the child to engage procedural with place-value and carry-over functions, which may be harder for them if the context of the problem is not closer to their own sense of meaning. Children need to develop a sense of numbers before they can start working with complex algorithms. Thus, we need to balance the classroom approach between giving tangible, engaging, contextual problems, whilst also encouraging the understanding of fundamentals and the use of procedure.

#2 The teaching and testing approach
In the traditional system of classroom teaching and testing, there is a heavy emphasis on accuracy and speed in a mathematics session. However, according to Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University, timed tests cause the early onset of maths anxiety for students across the achievement range3, leading to low self-confidence, maths avoidance, and negative experiences of maths throughout life. Also, with differentiated learning levels in a classroom, teachers have a genuine struggle with knowing the level of maths understanding and misconceptions of each child, thus making it humanly impossible to address individual deficiencies.

With the ease of access to calculators and computing devices, we need to enable our classrooms to offer a self-paced and personalized, adaptive environment for each child to thrive, without stress. Children today learn through active, immediate feedback, which is ideal for them to remediate their approach by their own self.

#3 The adult’s approach to math
Very often, we hear parents casually remark-“ I’m not a maths person” or if a child is good at maths, then we hear remarks such as “Oh, s/he must be a genius!”. Most of the times, parents also tend to address maths homework towards the end of the assigned tasks, after completing the “easy” subjects. The maths phobia is very much in the air and our children catch it, without our knowledge, thus either instilling fear of the subject or building on the notion that proficiency in this subject is reserved for a select few.

As the research continues to uncover more deterrents in the world of maths for children, it’s apparent the narrative around maths needs to change to something that is enjoyable, fun and rewarding, rather than the association with negative adjectives such as difficult, boring and abstract.

One solution being utilised in schools across the country is through the integration of online maths games in the classroom, which are enabling children to apply the concepts and theories of maths in an engaging environment. As offline activities help children to engage in brainstorming and teamwork, online games also help provide a platform for them to develop their skills through perseverance and to achieve more through their grit and determination, which are two key elements of doing well in both games and maths.

One example of an online maths resource that aims to help tackle problems such as maths anxiety is mangahigh.com and their online South Asia Math Ninja Challenge 2019. This challenge is FREE for schools to participate in and gives the perfect platform for students to engage with math positively and have fun, while also raising there level of Math understanding.

References:
1.- https://www.livemint.com/Education/WgtUkpjlzUPGhMMTgepGQM/One-in-two-Indian-students-cant-read-books-meant-for-two-cl.html
2.- https://scroll.in/article/850763/why-children-do-well-in-street-maths-but-not-in-the-classroom-researchers-fault-teaching-methods
3. - https://bhi61nm2cr3mkdgk1dtaov18-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/nctm-timed-tests.pdf

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BY SCOTT STEIN

https://www.cnet.com

Colorful dancing robot men and weird Lego robot creatures are coming... but not to Lego stores. Lego Education's new Spike Prime is a kit aimed at classrooms looking to incorporate Lego into lesson plans, targeting kids aged 11 to 14. The new STEAM robotics kit was announced today at an event in New York City.

Lego Mindstorms have been around for years. The Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit remains a staple of many learning centers and robotics classrooms. Lego's newest kit looks more like Lego Boost, a programmable kit that aimed to win over families in 2017 and was compatible with regular Lego bricks.

It's compatible with Lego Boost, Lego Technic sets and classic Lego pieces, but not with Lego's previous Mindstorms accessories. Lego Mindstorms EV3 is remaining alongside Lego Spike Prime in Lego Education's lineup, and looks like it's aiming more at the high school crowd, while Lego Spike Prime could bridge to that higher-end projects.
Lego Spike Prime will work with Scratch, and support Python by end of year.Lego Education

The Spike Prime set is created specifically for grades six to eight. It uses an app that uses visual Scratch programming and aims to adopt the Python programming language by the end of the year, according to Lego Education executives.

The robots made by Spike Prime look cute, and Lego Boost-like, but not necessarily as complicated as some Mindstorm kits.

The central processing hub that drives the Lego Spike Prime robotics creations has six input and output ports, and connects with sensors including an RGB color and light sensor, a force-sensitive touch sensor, and an ultrasonic distance sensor for measurement and navigation. The hub also has a six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, a speaker and a 5x5 LED screen. The hub has a 100MHz M4 320 KB RAM 1M FLASH processor.

Lego Education already has competition in the school STEAM space, including Sphero (whose expandable RVR robot is arriving later this year), and LittleBits, which already has plenty of kits. The company behind the kid-safe plastic-printing 3Doodlerpen is also making a big education push this year to incorporate the product into more school lesson plans.

Could Spike Prime be a hint of a future Lego Boost kit? It certainly looks like it could be the inspiration for a future Boost sequel. Lego's only targeting schools with this product, though, not homes. Could there eventually be a home crossover component, or is Boost meant to be that kit already? We'll follow up with more impressions from Lego Education's New York press event later today.

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