Last updated 13 August 2016
A: Related to ELT
B: Related to Education
A: Related to ELT
A: Related to ELT
B: Related to Education
A: Related to ELT
A1. Paper entitled Using Audio-Visual Media for Communicative Activities at the World Congress on ‘World Languages in Multilingual Contexts’ at CIEFL, Hyderabad on 3rd to 7th January 2001
This paper attempts to share with the participants , my nascent experiment in using audio-visual media for communicative activities.
The four-month in-service course for high school teachers at the Regional Institute of English , South India, Bangalore usually commences with Fluency-based activities during the first week.
During the present course (which started in June 2000) video clippings were made use of for the fluency activity. For the participants (who belong to multi-lingual speech communities) the use of video to make them use the target language(in this case, English) was a novel experience.
This paper attempts to share with the participants , my nascent experiment in using audio-visual media for communicative activities.
The four-month in-service course for high school teachers at the Regional Institute of English , South India, Bangalore usually commences with Fluency-based activities during the first week.
During the present course (which started in June 2000) video clippings were made use of for the fluency activity. For the participants (who belong to multi-lingual speech communities) the use of video to make them use the target language(in this case, English) was a novel experience.
It is proposed to begin the presentation by stating the rationale for using video. Then an attempt will be made to explain some of the processes involved.
It is hoped that this presentation would help create an awareness of the potential of the video for communicative activities. It also explores the possibilities of tapping the knowledge of one’s mother-tongue in the learning of English through participative group work.
A 2. Paper entitled CLT Through Teacher-made Video at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Innovative Techniques to Aid Performance in English as Second Language at Farook Training College, Kozhikode on 15th and 16th July 2005
Several technological resources are available for the use of teachers who are really interested in helping the learners attain a respectable level of communicative competence. Unfortunately, many teachers tend to ‘keep off’ or avoid using them either because they find it too sophisticated or because they find it expensive.
In this presentation , an attempt will be made to demonstrate the use of an unsophisticated and inexpensive video for Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). First, an issue related to CLT in India will be highlighted. Then, the rationale for using video will be given. Mention will be made of the nature of the video used before concluding with a demonstration of the teacher-made video.
It is hoped that this presentation will initiate inexperienced teachers of English to the use of video for teaching English as a second Language (ESL). For those already familiar with using video, this will provide a chance to refine and question the methodology involved.
A3. Paper entitled Teacher as Materials Producer: Computer-based Tasks for Communicative Language Teaching at the National Seminar on Perspectives in Educational Technology at Central Institute of Educational Technology,NCERT, New Delhi from 1st to 3rd March 2006
In the context of a global society, and especially since the opening of the Indian markets to foreign investments competence in the use of English has become the passport not only to higher educational opportunities but also for better economic gains. The emphasis now in schools is to acquire language skills which will enable the learners ‘use’ the language. So teachers of English today are keen on providing opportunities to ‘communicate’ or ‘use’ the language and this is more or less the core of language learning programmes.
Teaching materials play a significant role in fulfilling learner’s expectations in the English language classroom. But most materials in the Indian situation tends to reflect a dependency culture. Both the student and the teachers in non-urban areas seldom do anything in the General English course without reference to the prescribed textbook. Sadly enough it has been found that text-based teaching materials rarely generate learning interest. Teaching Communicative English, the author believes demands a shift in the role to the teacher. He/ she has to be a Materials Producer, resourceful enough to provide suitable learning materials for communicative tasks.
In this context, it is worth noting the fact, that a study of art leads to a greater length of concentration span, enhances academic achievement and better intellectual abilities. Researchers have also shown that it is possible to teach language through the arts. The Internet, we know, is a gold mine of resources especially for the arts. Visuals, mainly paintings, available on the internet is extremely free. So if these are used as Communicative Language Teaching materials, we can not only aim at excellence in education, but also cut down the cost of materials production.
So this paper in addition to affirming the role of the teacher as Materials Producer goes on to demonstrate the possibilities of using paintings down loaded from the Internet as Communicative - task materials. Through this the author attempts to show the possibility of :
1. Motivating learners.
2. Making language learning interesting.
3. Generating an interest in the arts especially painting.
4. Providing inter-disciplinary study.
2. Making language learning interesting.
3. Generating an interest in the arts especially painting.
4. Providing inter-disciplinary study.
A 4. Paper entitled Priming to Howl Back?: An Examination of ELT Issues in God’s Own Country at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Decolonizing the English Classroom –Studies in Perspective at Government College, Madappally on 28th and 20th August 2006
When the British left India, as in other newly independent countries, English was taught as a Second language. Thanks to the three-language formula implemented by the Departments of Education, the marginalization of Indian languages was largely checked.
In recent years a diligent team of Resource Persons at the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) in Kerala , ‘God’s Own Country’, have been attempting to hoist the local ELT sail to suit the wind they perceive. But have they perceived it right? Are they in their preoccupation for fruitful sailing, conveniently ignoring the undercurrent of a covert ‘ELT industry’, flourishing in India and elsewhere? Will the local sail ultimately drown the ‘neo-baboos’ in the making? In this paper the author attempts to identify the issues which he confronted while associating himself with teaching and curriculum design of primary, secondary and tertiary level ELT syllabuses.
The paper begins with a brief sketch of the ELT curriculum recently introduced in Kerala at the Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary level interspersed with the author’s own impressions on how it was received. A fairly detailed examination of the ELT issues related to the implementation of the new ELT curriculum in the State follows. The paper concludes by stating possible course a tertiary level pedagogy should follow to eliminate completely the vestiges of colonization in Indian classrooms.
A 5. Key note address and paper entitled Art Beat via Cyber CLT at the seminar on Indian English Teaching /Learning @ Cyber World organized by the PG Dept. of English Mar Athanasius College , Kothamangalam on 28 Oct 2006
Experienced English Language teachers know that instructional materials play a pertinent role in generating language. Even the very quality of classroom interaction in an acquisition poor environment is dependent on the material used. But sadly enough the English Language Courses offered in many educational institutions in the country centres around prescribed Text books which seldom generate learner interest.
Studies have shown that instructional materials with a strong visual element used for language learning can help rivet the attention of the learners. Once attention grabbing is achieved, instructional materials can easily aid in the performance of its primary role- that of promoting communicative language use.
How can the Cyber World help in this regard? What role can it play in facilitating Language learning? This paper explores the possibility of exploiting Cyber world material for learners of English.
The author a practicing teacher, intends to present his modest attempt at designing and developing Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) tasks using art material downloaded from the Internet. The presentation of the material will demonstrate how art materials can become the content for communication, produce instant attention, and generate interest for Indian learners of English.
A 6. Paper entitled Communicative Skills at the inaugural function of the English Association of MES Keveeyam College Valancherry on 4th Dec 2006
The spectrum of communication in contemporary society defies description because of the immense variety and range of its components. Communication, we know maintains and animates life.
The presentation begins by defining communication and goes on to briefly discuss its characteristics . It shows how communication is an expression of social activity and civilization, leads people from instinct to inspiration and creates a common pool of ideas. The presentation also demonstrates how at every turn , the degree of success in communication could be hailed or deplored depending on the individuals ability or inability to skillfully utilizing and exercising his or her skill at communication. The author also makes a reference to the term ‘skill’ and attempts to elaborate the term ‘Communication Skills’.
A 7. Paper entitled Art beat via Cyber CLT: An Aesthetic Dimension to ELT at the Second International and 38th ELTAI Annual Conference at BSA Crescent Engineering College Vandalur, Chennai on 9th and 10th February 2007
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 places emphasis on art education. Studies have shown that instructional materials with a strong visual element used for language learning can help rivet the attention of the learners. But sadly enough the instructional materials used today for teaching English in India rarely uses material related to art nor makes use of colourful visuals.
The paper suggests how paintings downloaded from the Internet can become the content for communication, produce instant attention and also provide an aesthetic dimension to ELT…perhaps a novel way of teaching English for today and tomorrow!
A 8. Paper entitled Language Generation Using Films at the National Conference on Innovative Approaches and Techniques of Teaching English at the PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore on 13th and 14th July 2007
Film as a form of input in the classroom can be valuable as a teaching aid. The visual element is rich with non-verbal clues which can aid students’ comprehension. Perhaps the greatest advantage to which film can be used is for generating language.
This paper explores the possibility of language generation using a clipping from a film.The task oriented activity which follows the viewing of the film will energize the learners and provide scope for lively interaction . In fact , the film material becomes a document for inspection and discussion.
The presentation will begin by identifying the characteristics of language. Then mention will be made of the possible causes for failure of the printed text and audio recordings to generate language. Though the main focus in the paper is on affirmation of the potential of the film medium for generation of language, a reference will be made about the problems one is likely to face while using films for language generation.
A 9 . Paper entitled Linguistic Tasks & PC Generated Film Clips to aid HR Education at the International Conference on New & Emerging Technologies organized by the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG, UK in association with ELTAI Computer Technology SIG and Loyola College, Chennai from 3-5 Aug 2007
Several classroom strategies have hitherto been employed in India to practice and experience Human Rights behaviour. Topics related to Human Rights are invariably included in the General English text books prescribed for study at the Secondary level but, the present generation of learners are in the habit of watching films and they prefer watching films to reading! Hence the introduction of Human Rights topics in the English text books rarely turns out to be a fruitful teaching encounter.
The paper will attempt be to familiarize readers with ways of transacting Human Rights issues using select film clippings generated through a PC. It is hoped that such a procedure will help in infusing and practicing HR behaviour effectively in the English classroom.
A 10. Paper entitled 1 + 1 = 3 : Nurturing Creativity in the ESL Classroom Using Films at the 3rd International and 39th ELTAI
Annual Conference at Satyabhama University , Chennai. 8th to 10th February 2008
The Micro Chip age has ushered in new avenues for fostering creativity. With the support of Multi-media tools , there is tremendous scope for exploiting Feature films for developing creative language use.
One added to one should make two…. not three! But one short film clip conveying a coherent theme when added to another short film clip with another coherent theme, by applying the ‘splicing technique’ employed by film editors, would give, not two themes , but a third coherent theme!! How is this possible ? How can such a technological gimmick help in developing creativity in the ESL classroom?... These are some of the questions this paper attempts to answer.
The paper begins by referring to the role of films in teaching and goes on to identify one major avenue thrown open by the advent of Digital age technology viz; Non-linear Editing. This will be followed by an attempt to illustrate the ways of interpolating film clips for creative language use in the ESL classroom. The paper concludes by providing suggestions for proper use of films to nurture creativity – an activity which has the potential for teachers engaged in the activity to experience life-long learning!
A 11. Paper entitled Pic Tasks For Chit Chat at the National Conference on Task Based Learning for Communicative Competence organized by the Department of English , Sri Vasavi College, (SF Wing) Erode, on 01 March 2008
A derivation of an old Chinese proverb is : “One picture paints a thousand words”. Whether students are visual learners or not they will all benefit from the use of pictures. Pictures have an irresistible quality – that of attracting our attention. Used properly pictures can rouse the students’ imagination. Appropriate use of pictures can serve as stimuli for interaction too.
The Digital Age has thrown open avenues for easy access to quality pictures for the common man. The birth of Search Engines with features that help narrow search results to ‘web’ ‘images’ etc has made it comparatively easy to download the exact type of picture we need. Further, there are plenty of web sites that permit free downloading of pictures. In short there is an untapped gold mine of pictures out there in the virtual world for teachers to exploit for language teaching.
But what type of downloaded images can serve as reference points for chit chat in the classroom? How can teachers exploit images for developing communication skills? What procedure should teachers follow for involving students in language generation activity using pictures? How can teachers produce image-based materials that serve as an excellent tool for communicative activities? … These are some of the questions this paper attempts to answer. The author also intends to share his experience of using linguistic tasks based on pictures for students at the Under Graduate level.
A 12. Paper entitled Emerging Literacies vis-à-vis ELT: A Constructivist Reformulation of the Film-Litt. Pedagogy at the National Seminar on Literature, Language, Communication at Pondicherry University on 27th and 28th March 2008
In our ever-changing world , youngsters are bombarded daily with multiple forms of media via the internet, television, advertising , music, movies, video games, and other digitized realities. It is an acknowledged fact that teenagers are some of the most avid participants in this media- crazed society.
Educational theorists emphasize the importance of connecting student knowledge with college knowledge. Even recent brain research supports this pedagogical approach. One way of achieving this is by selecting a film based on a literary text , that relates to the students, connects to their schemata, and engages them with its story. If the chosen media-supported literary text, strongly fits within the experiences of the students, it will have relevancy for their lives. And by doing so, we will be creating a dynamic environment in which the students think about the film and the literary text critically, expresses their opinions orally, and writes profusely about select aspects of the film and the literary text.
In fact, the time has come for a shift from a Literature based ELT programme to an integrated Film–Litt. pedagogy which has tremendous scope for developing communicative competence of the learners. One obvious advantage of the introduction of integrated media-based language texts is that it can help meet some of the demands of globalization and intense electronic interactions.
Such an integration demands a novel approach to curriculum design . Perhaps the most appropriate approach could be Constructivism- with its emphasis on the individuals actively constructing knowledge by working to solve problems, using Discovery learning techniques including predicting of narratives, involving in Project-based learning and Collaborative learning and of course the developing of Critical Thinking skills by basing the chosen film-based text on the learners’ schemata.
What goes in to the making of an integrated Film – Litt. ELT programme with an emphasis on developing Communicative Competence ? What kind of learning activities should be included in such a curriculum ? What would be the role of the teacher and the learner? And finally how can such a curriculum based on the Constructivist paradigm be evaluated? These are some of the questions that this paper will try to answer. An attempt will also be made to illustrate the approach using an extract from a popular literary text and a film clip based on the extract .
A 13. Paper entitled Honing Trainee Writing Skills Through ICT-based Immersion Programme at the National Seminar on Best Practices in IT-Enabled Teacher Education and Knowledge Management organized by the Dept. of Education,University of Kerala , Trivandrum on 17th and 18th Oct 2008
Those who join the teaching profession need to be able to exploit the potential of ICT to meet his or her teaching objective. Today, it has become imperative for teacher educators to equip trainees to evaluate examples of ICT to make sound judgments about when, when not and how to use it.
Teachers of English, in India have attempted to bring about changes in the educational environment of ELT to keep pace with the technological advancements. This paper is a report of an immersion programme of e-learning aimed at facilitating and enhancing Second Language (L2) competence of the BEd trainees whose optional subject is English. The study was conducted in Government CTE, Calicut, during 2007-08 - an institution affiliated to the University of Calicut which recently introduced ICT as a Core Paper.
As part of the study, the trainees were initially familiarized with the use of Communication Technology and later encouraged to use E-mails to communicate and Blogs to publish their work. How did it help the trainees to develop their L2 competence? What were the consequences of the shift in teaching strategy? This presentation will attempt to answer these questions.
The paper begins by presenting the background of the study and goes on to highlight the initiation programme to ICT followed prior to the study. Next, the rationale for focusing on E-mail and Blogs is given and the role of the teacher educator / trainees is mentioned. Before concluding, it states how the approach followed benefited the trainees and the college in which the study was conducted. Areas for further study are also suggested.
A 14. Paper entitled Glocalizing ELT in the Time of Postmodernism at the National Seminar on Postmodern Pedagogies for the Emerging Global Society at Sahodaran Ayyappan Memorial College of Education, Poothotta, Ernakulam on 18th and 19th May 2009
Everything around the world is in a constant state of flux. We have witnessed modernism, globalization, liberalization and now postmodernism. All these have had profound effects on existing educational structures, and even on English Language Teaching (ELT) . Debates rage in several corners of the world accusing ELT practitioners of promoting British language and culture, and of aiding the imposition of a Western liberal capitalist ideology.
So, what kind of ELT should we render in the time of Postmodernism in ‘God’s Own Country’? This paper is an attempt to present a ‘glocal’ ELT which will be acceptable and will help resolve the kind of heated debate raging over ELT.
The paper begins by identifying the shifting perspectives of postmodernism, moves on to identify an appropriate agenda for ELT in postmodernism and proposes ‘glocalisation’ as a solution. Next, the concept is explained and the nature of the materials/ tasks and the role of the teacher and the students is presented. A sample Multimedia ‘glocalised’ material is also proposed to be part of the presentation.
A 15. Paper entitled Twitter for ELT...A Web 2.0 Fad? at the UGC Sponsored State Level Seminar on Implications of Novel Technological Approaches in Education at Titus II Teachers College, Tiruvalla on 9th and 10th July 2009
We have witnessed several Web.2.0 fads. Right from the time they were launched, we have seen techno savvy teachers and students go for it. The Microblogging facility, Twitter though only three years old is no exception. English Language teachers are keen on exploiting Twitter as a language teaching tool. But will it really help in English language teaching ( ELT) ... or is it likely to end up as just another fad?
In attempting to answer this question, the author takes a critical look at Twitter as a teaching/ learning tool and identifies ways in which it can be used for ELT and more particularly as a communication tool.
A 16. Paper entitled Ensuring Engagement Through Ad. Critiquing In Mixed Ability Classes at the Fourth International & Fortieth Annual ELTAI Conference on Managing Mixed-Ability Classes at the JBAS College For Women, Chennai from 7th to 9th Aug 2009
Teaching mixed ability groups have always been problematic. Tackling students of mixed levels, of mixed learning ability, or even both, teachers agree, is no easy task.
One solution is to abandon lockstep teaching of parts of the lesson which helps the teacher to work intensively with a sub-group of the class while the others work autonomously. But this too, may not necessarily be successful in all mixed-ability classes. It is on finding this approach unsatisfactory, that the author attempted to identify new materials for the mixed-ability class.
Banking on his familiarity with the use of film-based materials for language teaching, the author experimented with the use of materials related to authentic advertisements as a language learning activity in mixed-ability classes. This paper is a report of the experiment conducted.
The paper begins by looking at the nature of mixed-ability classes and the problems that such classes give the L2 teacher. The objectives of the study, the rationale for pitching on the skill of evaluation, the methodology and tools employed are also mentioned. Before concluding, the nature of the materials used and the findings of the experiment, will also be presented.
A 17. Paper entitled Animations To Animate Language Use at the International Seminar on Innovations in English Language Teaching organized by the Centre For English Language Teaching and Government College For Women, Thiruvananthapuram on 26th July 2010
Contemporary language pedagogy emphasizes the use of authentic materials to teach language. The last decade witnessed the production and publication of numerous books drawing on popular animated classics for language teaching. Such materials targeted a wide range of learners from advanced novice to intermediate. Most of those books were accompanied by video/ CD-ROM which provided interesting exercises in language skills and were even seen as a spring board for the discussion of foreign cultures.
Our historic interest in using animations has been in employing animated films based on a story line for performing language tasks for different levels of learners. This presentation explores the inverse process, namely generating text from individual animated figures, gifs or a piece of sustained animated sequence.
The key to generating language in this innovative approach, the author believes, lies in making learners create semantic meaning on their own, to perform language tasks built around single, double or a cluster of animated gifs. This presentation will begin by providing a brief review of the use of animations in language teaching and move on to explain the innovative approach to using animated gifs to generate language use. Sample language learning tasks will be presented. Before concluding some tips for using animations to animate language use will also be provided.
A 18. Paper entitled The CQC Text - An Innovative Approach To Pruning Future Jurists at the Fifth International and Forty-first Annual ELT@I Conference, organized by the Department of English, Anna Adarsh College for Women, Anna Nagar, Chennai from 5th to 7th August 2010.
This paper is a report of an experimental study conducted in the National Law School of India University, (NLSIU) Bangalore. The Language Proficiency Course material in use in the institute was modelled on the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) materials. But it was found that the materials failed to evoke any interest in the students and were unsuitable for pair or group work.
Given the fact, that the students of NLSIU will in future be arguing cases in courts of law, the investigator thought it best to use language learning materials which will help them in their career. The Cartoon-Quotation-Coupling (CQC) text which the investigator prepared were tested on the particularly bright students of NLSIU. The results were very positive. The collaborative learning task gave students an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning and become critical thinkers. The paper will provide information about the CQC text and the methodology employed. This innovative approach to pruning future jurists using the CQC text, can be used by teachers to develop the skill of arguing.
A 19. Paper entitled Ad’s, MI & ELT: An ICT Enabled Integration at the International Conference on ELT: Pedagogical Strategies in the 21st Century, organized by UGC-SAP, Institute of English and Centre for English Language Teaching, University of Kerala 3-4 Feb 2011
Using advertisements for pedagogical purposes is not something new. Access to the Internet and the explosion of media-based materials have made it possible for teachers to download online resources like TV commercials from a variety of sources.
A well crafted TV commercial, is visually and linguistically memorable, with catchy music, song, slogans and images. But studies have shown that there is very little exploitation of the fascinating uses of language and visual elements of advertisements.
This paper attempts to suggest an innovative approach to using advertisements-TV commercials in particular, for integrating English Language Teaching (ELT) and Multiple Intelligence (MI) through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The focus is on recreating commercials through ICT tools which necessitate the marshalling of the learners’ MI related skills.
The paper begins by listing down the features of advertisements that make it suitable for teaching language. The scope for employing ICT for creating advertisements that nurture the MI of learners are identified. While specifying the procedure for integrating ad’s, MI and English Language Teaching (ELT), the role of the teacher, the learner and evaluation strategy for the final product are also stated.
It is hoped that this innovative approach to ELT, if used properly can enhance a whole gamut of learner competencies through a pedagogic strategy appropriate for the 21st century.
A 20. Paper entitled A Survey Probing Qualities Essential For Teachers of English and its Implication for Teacher Education at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Learning To Be: Problems And Prospects Towards Developmental Education at S.N.Training College, Nedunganda, 18-19 March 2011
Social Scientists are fairly familiar with the theory that everything around us is in a state of flux. If this be true, won’t changing times require a changing pedagogy? How often have we come across reports in the Media of the occasional failure of the teaching community to address developmental problems of children!
English Language Teacher Training programmes like the programes designed for Science and Mathematics have Educational Psychology as a compulsory paper. But, a survey conducted recently by the researcher on practising College Lecturers have shown that the qualities essential for teachers of English in colleges are ones hardly addressed by any teacher training programme!
This paper sheds light on some startling responses given by a set of highly motivated teachers of English. The paper begins by providing a brief background of the study and goes on to state the procedure employed for collecting the data. A detailed list of the qualities which the respondents found to be essential for teachers of English is provided. The paper concludes by listing down the implications of the survey and suggests ways of addressing the lacuna of our teacher training programmes. The suggestions include the introduction of a proper Developmental Teacher Education programme and need-based In-service programmes.
A 21. Paper entitled Transforming Digital Language Labs: Report of an Innovative Venture at the VI International and 42nd Annual ELTAI Conference on Teacher Development at VIT University, Vellore. 16 to 18 June 2011
When the Digital Language Lab was introduced in India, everyone thought that the perfect solution for a burgeoning student population keen on acquiring a good pronunciation have finally been found. But the hard reality was difficult to swallow. In several colleges, the initial euphoria in students to don headphones and listen to native accents in the drill mode, simply waned! Soon, the facilities of the Language Lab turned out to be underutilized. In fact, what was proposed by language experts as a boon albeit huge investments for setting up the lab, turned out to be a complete waste!
This paper is the report of an initiative undertaken by a committed teacher in a government Arts and Science college to put to effective use the Digital Language Lab installed in the college. The description in the paper will offer insights on how an innovative, internet and computer-based, student-specific teaching programme of great value can be put in place, conducted and successfully implemented for three years.
A 22. Paper entitled Visual Prompts to Nurture Writing Skills –A Study at the National Conference on Emerging Trends in Arts and Science organized by the Nesamony Research Forum, Nesamony Memorial Christian College, Marthandom, Tamilnadu, October 2011
Teachers of language are particularly concerned with the development of Productive Skills in students viz; Speaking and Writing. A popular saying in academic circles reads : “A good picture can tell a thousand words”. To Linguists, words are the back bone of thought. If this be true, can a fruitful generation of words in students using visual prompts lead to an improvement in the writing skill of students? A study undertaken by the researcher on groups of students at the Higher Secondary and Under Graduate level has found that if visual prompts are employed, students can enhance their writing skills. This paper is a brief report of the study.
The paper begins by providing the background regarding common teaching practices for nurturing Writing Skills. Details about the sample chosen, the rationale for using visuals, the methodology involved and the findings of the Study are also given.
It is hoped that the presentation will give ample food for thought to researchers in general and teachers of language in particular. The highlight of the presentation will be the Visuals- both Still and Moving which generates language, prompting improved Writing Skills.
A 23. Paper entitled A Net-based strategy for empowering rural learners at the National Seminar on ELT organized by ELTIF and S.N. College of Education, Mahe on 13 and 14 January 2012
Thinking skills are the foundation of high achievement. Today, in language learning, thinking has assumed great significance. However, ELT activities in classrooms, particularly in rural areas, focus only on providing a limited knowledge of English.
Digital technology has made available to teachers of English, an array of tools to enhance thinking skills. The Internet, we know is a treasure house of visual resources. If students are introduced to visuals related to textual content, it is possible to stimulate critical thinking and creative thinking.
This paper is a attempt to illustrate ways of fostering thinking skills in resource-starved rural institutions using visual resources downloaded from the Internet. The strategy to be followed in the classroom while using such visuals, the ways of fusing text, thought and image will be stated. It is hoped, that if properly used such technology-based pedagogy can go a long way in empowering our rural learners by developing their linguistic competence and capacity to think.
A 24. Paper entitled Tapping the Thrill: Activity-based Teaching Using Bond Film Trailers at the International Seminar on ELT: Innovative Interactive Strategies organized by UGC SAP, Institute of English & Centre for English Language Teaching, Thiruvananthapuram in February 2012
It is almost fifty years since the first James Bond film was released. As a thriller, Bond films have amazed audiences the world over with its terrific effects and stunts. Though 007 films are popular, a brief survey conducted recently in select schools in Thiruvananthapuram city found that many children are fairly ignorant of Bond films.
The author who has specialized in adapting films for language teaching, proposes language teaching activities which taps the element of thrill in the trailers of popular James Bond Films. The activities listed in the paper are of two types- ones in which mere oral responses are expected and ones which involve group work resulting in both oral and written responses. What is unique about the activities is that they engage the attention of learners and make language learning an interesting activity.
A 25. Paper entitled Adapting James Bond Film Clips for Pruning the Skill of Evaluation at the UGC sponsored International Seminar on Fiction and Film : An Inter-Disciplinary Approach organized by Government College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram in association with Kerala State Chalachitra Academy in March 2012
In Bloom’s classification of Learning Objectives, the highest order among skills in the Cognitive domain is ‘Evaluation’. At its simplest, evaluation involves making judgment about the value of ideas or materials. Many teachers take for granted that the skill of evaluation is something that learners acquire. Pitching on the argument that this is not the case, the author of this article proposes some ELT-based tasks using Bond film clips to prune and develop the skill of evaluation.
But why Bond films? It is almost fifty years since the first James Bond film was screened. Hence Bond films have been receiving plenty of Media attention for the last couple of months. But unlike the days of its launch, when one had to visit a theatre for viewing the film or its Trailer, today, one has the luxury of viewing it by surfing the Internet at the mere click of a button.
The present generation of learners were born at a time which saw a phenomenal revolution in terms technological use. They have an information acquiring style quite different from those of the older generation.
Given the renewed interest in Bond films, the author proposes a few interest arousing ELT tasks which necessitates the surfing of the Internet which the present generation is adept at. The activities suggested in this paper ultimately aims at nurturing and pruning the skill of evaluation.
A 26. Paper entitled Music Videos for ELT-A Multimedia Exercise at the National Seminar on Initiatives in Educational Psychology IIEP 2012 organized by St. Antony’s College of Education, Angel Nagar, Mannarpuram, Tirunelveli on 24 March 2012
Songs are part of the daily life of most people. Many enjoy music at home, while working and even while travelling. Some students are so addicted to music that their music system will be on, even while they prepare for an examination!
Music videos have a charm of their own. The younger generation of today are often in the habit of watching music videos in TV channels. Now most music is accessible to almost anyone anywhere, either through radio, CDs, DVD’s and the Internet. The launch of YouTube has made it possible to download plenty of music videos free of cost.
Several innovative methods have been attempted for language teaching. A growing body of research confirms that songs are useful as a language acquisition tool. This paper suggests the use of Music Videos downloaded from the Internet for teaching English.
The videos listed in the paper have been chosen following two main criteria- Ability to comprehend and cultural appropriateness. The highlight of the presentation will be the illustration of some ways of using Music Videos with a multimedia PC in the English language classroom.
A 27. Paper entitled Sheltered Instructional Strategy For UG Classrooms –A Proposal For Improving Proficiency in English at the National Seminar on Second Language, Literature and Culture- Classroom Perspectives, organized by ELTIF in association with Vidyamandir College, Payyanur 1 to 3 June 2012
Literature-based language teaching and the use of Communicative English syllabuses have already been attempted in colleges across the country. In recent times, in some States, there were attempts at introducing Constructivist practice in classrooms. Yet, falling levels in English language proficiency of Under Graduate students is found to be a common problem in our country.
For Curriculum developers and teachers alike, there is one simple goal in teaching English – viz; helping students to quickly develop proficiency in English. But, conflicting ideologies and competing approaches/ methods to language teaching have continued to confuse many educators. To overcome a similar situation which arose in some institutions in the US, Sheltered Instruction (SI) was attempted with a fair degree of success.
Drawing on research findings and reports of SI, this paper proposes the introduction of Sheltered Instructional strategy as a panacea for the poor proficiency in English of students at the Under Graduate level. The paper will also present a modified version of SI, that can work in UG classrooms in the country.
Key words: ELT, Proficiency in English, Sheltered Instruction, Under Graduate
A 28. Paper entitled Language Refinement Through Native Faculty Immersion- A Local CLT Experiment at the Seventh International and the 43rd Annual ELTAI Conference on The English Classroom-Experiments and Experiences organized by Velammal Engineering College & ELTAI & supported by The British Council 19-21 July 2012
Many institutions in the country have attempted teaching of English using native speakers or teachers trained in Britain. But there is very little information or evidence of attempts made by institutions or agencies to create a limited native community setting in rural or semi-rural areas to enable local children to acquire proficiency in English. This paper reports on an experiment conducted in a Government-run school in Kerala State, through a community initiated ‘Native Speaker Immersion Programme’ solely funded and administered by the local Municipality.
The report is based on observation of classes, interview with the learners, teachers, local administrators, members of the community and a detailed post experiment interaction with the faculty from the United Kingdom who participated in the programme. The findings are quite encouraging but it underlines the need to implement similar programmes only after careful planning.
Key words: ELT, Immersion Programme, Language Skills, Native Speakers
A 29. Paper entitled 41 ICT-based Interdisciplinary tasks for Digital Natives at the International Conference on English Literature organized by Thassim Beevi Abdul Khader College for Women, Kilakarai in collaboration with ELTAI from 21 to 23 September 2012
The students of today are not only consumers of information but also active information creators—including text, images, audio and video in Websites or Blogs. They are adept at downloading music, movies, ringtones and anything they fancy on the Internet. Dubbed as digital natives, they require no assistance for online chatting, sending of SMS messages, emails or photos. In short, they are empowered and their communication is increasingly digital. Does this not necessitate the introduction of ICT-based instruction in a Literature class too?
Now, it is commonly agreed, that connecting the study of Literature to subjects across the curriculum enriches both subject areas. Such connections would not only reinforce related concepts across disciplines but also provide a fuller understanding of concepts or topics from different disciplinary perspectives.
With the objective of making the teaching of Literature a more meaningful exercise for Digital Natives, the author of this paper attempts an identification of 41techno-based tasks to integrate Literature with other disciplines. The text employed for the purpose is a popular short story by O. Henry entitled The Gift of the Magi. To elicit interest in the text, Internet-based technological resources related to the story have also been identified by the author. Though the tasks are ideally suited for Intermediate and Under Graduate level, some of them can be easily adapted for secondary level classrooms.
Key words: Gift of the Magi, ICT Tools, Inter-disciplinary, Teaching Literature
A 30. Paper entitled Text To Context Through Multimedia: An Exploration of Pedagogical Possibilities at the Two day UGC Sponsored National Seminar on English Language and Literature in the e-Era organized by Payyanur College, Payyanur in association with ELTIF on 4 and 5 January 2013.
As an educational tool, multimedia technology opens up immense possibilities of contextualization by textualizing knowledge through its representational capabilities. In fact, what the Printing Press did to the evanescent spoken work, multimedia technology does to words and images.
Experienced teachers of Literature know that asking students to think about their literary experiences in a variety of forms can lead to fresh insights and new understandings of a text. Thanks to the revolution in modern technology, it has made possible the introduction of resources that cater to the tastes and interests of a generation of learners dubbed as ‘digital natives’.
This presentation will attempt to demonstrate the author’s attempt at exploring the possibility of addressing recent curricular focus on Multiple Intelligence, Interdisciplinary study and the fostering of thinking skills in the e-era. For this. Internet-based technological resources related to two popular literary texts- a poem ‘Night of the Scorpion’ by Nizzim Ezekiel and a short story ‘The Last Leaf’ by O. Henry is made use of.
It is hoped that the presentation would prompt delegates to explore and employ similar practices in the classroom.
A 31 . Paper entitled Chip and Connect-An innovative Approach To Teaching Poetry at the National Seminar on Classroom Practices in Teaching English organized by Holy Trinity College of Education, Melpalai, Edaicode, Kanyakumari on 09 February 2013.
Teachers of English have often observed that though poetry promotes language acquisition, the use of poetic concepts and cultural assumptions make learning difficult too. This was particularly true in the recently introduced Secondary English Course Books in Kerala State. Some of the prescribed poems focussed on themes that matched the curricular objective of introducing ‘issues’. Some such poems were, translations from foreign languages into English. But their sophisticated literary and linguistic expression made comprehension and appreciation elusive.
To address the problem, the author, a Teacher Educator, employed an innovative approach to teaching poems found to be ‘tough’ for normal classroom transaction by trainees. The author employed an innovative ‘Chip and Connect’ strategy which was found to be useful both for the trainees and for the students whom the trainees were assigned to teach. This paper illustrates the strategy employed and suggests how teacher educators can employ it effectively to help teacher trainees teach translated verse with a complex structure and in the process improve the trainees’ own creative use of language.
Key words: Poetry, creative expression, connect, strategy
A 32. Paper entitled Silver Screen Portrayal in ENGLISH VINGLISH vis-à- vis Women Trainee Impressions- An Exploration at the 8th International Conference and 44th Annual ELTAI Conference organized by SRM University, Chennai in collaboration with English Language Teachers’ Association of India in July 2013
English Vinglish, the Indian Comedy-drama film, ever since its release in October 2012, have been creating a ripple of sorts among adult learners of English. The film basically tells the story of a woman who does not know English being made to feel insecure by her family at large. But at another level, it captures the inherent struggle of people all over the world in learning the English language.
The English language learning environment particularly in metropolitan cities in India, is quite distinct. Often one can perceive a culture of English language elitism, a tendency to nose at those unable to speak good English and the common habit of cutting off communication midway on encountering mispronunciation. For learners, particularly women with a lack of basic linguistic skills, repeated fiascos can evoke a feeling of insecurity. This makes the uphill struggle to master the language, quite difficult.
In a State like Kerala, which experiences a scarcity in jobs, many have been forced to hunt for jobs outside the State. This has made a mastery of the English language a necessity for potential job aspirants. What kind of problems do women teacher trainees face in their endeavour to master the English language? Are they similar to the kind of challenges the housewife, Shashi faces in the film? If the problems they encounter are different, in what way are they different? How can a knowledge of these, help those offering courses in Communicative English, for adult learners?
In an attempt to find out answers to the questions listed above, the investigator, a teacher educator by profession, collected viewer impressions and data related to personal problems of women teacher trainees in a leading teacher training college in Kerala State. The findings which will be presented in this paper is hoped, would be particularly useful for teachers, administrators and curriculum developers.
A 33.Paper entitled Equity + Enrichment = Employability: Lessons From Empowerment Programmes at the International Conference on Teaching English for Employability (TEE 2013) organized by Annammal College of Education for Women, Toothukudi in collaboration with ELTAI (ACE Chapter) and with support of British Council and RELO (USA)
With a view to equipping students with the confidence to face the future, many Universities have charted out a range of activities. These include among other programmes, training in Life Skills and Soft Skills. Communication Skills invariably finds a place in such programmes. The University of Kerala, through the Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension (CACEE) and the Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) is currently offering courses for both students and the general public. The investigator-cum-trainer, served as a faculty for a number of such courses. The widely heterogeneous group of participants of such courses hailing from disadvantaged sections led to the realization of a need for employing different strategies for different students. Often the investigator had to play multiple roles- as friend, philosopher, guide, mentor, scaffolder and teacher. The experience of serving as a faculty of such courses led the investigator to realize that if empowerment programmes offered by the University is to deliver, issues related to equity had to be addressed even as the teacher engages in attempting to empower the student.
This paper provides information on the nature of the equity issues, particularly with reference to developing communication skills in English. It is hoped that the areas identified would be of use to both practicing teachers and material developers.
Key Words: Competence, Employability, Equity, Empowerment
A 34.Paper entitled Language Generation in Adult Learners Using Print Media Visuals -A Study at the International conference on English Language Teaching and Technology organized by Malabar Christian College, Calicut in December 2013.
Enrichment Programmes are quite popular in educational institutions these days. Along with courses in Life Skills, Communication Skills in English is also in great demand. The faculty teaching the latter, often adapt materials prescribed for study in schools and colleges for developing Communication Skills.
An unique feature of the participants attending courses in Communication Skills and Spoken English offered by the University of Kerala for the general public is its heterogeneity. That is, students, employees, house wives, entrepreneurs, labourers etc. attend such courses. Developing an ability to use language is the prime objective of both the Communication Skills and the Spoken English courses.
On finding the available language teaching material unsuitable for the heterogeneous group consisting mainly of adult learners, the faculty-cum-investigator made an innovative use of visuals from the Print Media as teaching materials. The effect was that the adult learners who were found to be passive became active participants.
This paper reports on the experiment which was carried out in several courses for over two years. It also provides information on the nature of the visuals, the criteria employed for choosing the visuals and the tasks given to generate language in adult learners. Suggestions are also made regarding ways of converting the visuals from the Print Media to digital resources for Communicative tasks.
Key words : Adult learners, Communication Skills, Print Media, Visuals
A 35.Paper entitled Tapping Humour From Digital Texts In A Spoken English Course : An Experimental Study at the Littcrit Three-day International Conference on Humour: Texts, Contexts held at Thiruvananthapuram in December 2013.
Practising teachers know the advantage of using humour in the classroom. However, attempts have seldom been made to use texts which are exclusively humourous. Addressing this gap, the investigator who served as a faculty for a short term course for developing Communication Skills for adult learners, adapted authentic material which were basically humourous to identify its effectiveness in eliciting language. Classes were engaged using tasks related to texts which are humourous and texts that are of the normal serious type. Data were collected from non-participant observers, in classes in Communicative English, engaged by the investigator. The data collected were analyzed to identify the effectiveness of the material. The nature of the material used and the findings are presented in this paper.
Key Words: Adult learners, Communication skills, Humour
A 36. Paper entitled Revision To Content Generation- A m-Learning Experiment at the English Language Teacher Educator Conference [TEC 2014] on Innovations in English Language Teacher Education jointly organized by the British Council and EFL University at Hyderabad from 21 to 23 February 2014.
Revision in the m-learning mode has already been attempted in academia. But is texting suitable for Peer Testing? Can the material generated through texting become much sought after pedagogic content? This paper reports on the findings of an innovative post Practice Teaching experiment involving BEd. trainees at the University of Kerala. It highlights the scope for m-learning as a cost effective testing, learning and content generation tool against the backdrop of an ever growing criticism of misuse of mobile phones by students.
A 37. Paper entitled Participant Observer Study of an Online Professional Development Course for Teachers of English at the Two Day National Seminar on Reconceiving Teacher Education for Meeting the Challenges of the Knowledge Society, organized by Government College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram on 27 and 28 November 2014.
In an age of information explosion, the necessity to assist and guide students as they construct their knowledge base becomes imperative. In such a context Online courses which opens up new ways for enriching content knowledge have become a boon. So today it is only natural to find educators perceiving Online learning as the best avenue for acquiring new strategies and techniques to enhance their teaching and to stay competitive.
But how is Online training different from a face-to-face teacher empowerment programme? Does Online programmes transform teachers? What do teachers undergoing Online training gain through Learning Management Systems like Blackboard, Online collaboration and use of multimedia content? Unfortunately very little research has been done in this area and most such questions remain unanswered.
The author of this paper, recently completed an Online Professional Development Programme for teachers of English on TESOL Methods in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. The participants comprised teachers and teacher educators from India and Pakistan and were trained by expert teacher educators in the US. This paper is a report of the author’s own experience as a participant observer. Data collection on the effect of the Online professional development programme was done mainly through interactions with both the participants of the training programme and the course instructors.
It is hoped that the findings of the study would add to the knowledge base on the effects of Online training programmes and also motivate fellow teachers to pursue Online training for their own professional growth.
Key words: Online training, Professional development, TESOL Methods Course
A 38. Paper entitled A Case Study of Online English Teacher Professional Development at the International Conference-cum-Workshop on Literature and Language in the Classroom: In search of pedagogic potentials organized by ELTIF and Sree Narayana College of Education, Mahe, India 26 to 28 December 2014.
Given the fact that we live in an age of information explosion, teachers need to continuously update ones knowledge and skills. Those at the helm of affairs in Education Departments too have begun to realize the need for providing avenues for the continuous professional development of teachers. But in a country like India, with millions of teachers to be trained and with limited resources available, the task remains both daunting and expensive.
In such a scenario, the birth of Online courses have turned out to be a boon. Its comparatively reduced cost when compared to face-to-face training, have made it generally affordable. Today through Online training it is possible not only to enrich ones content knowledge but also stay competitive and continue to acquire new strategies and techniques that make ones teaching effective.
The paucity of research on the nature of Online teacher empowerment programmes is a matter of growing concern. In this paper, the author, recalls his experience of undergoing an Online Professional Development Programme for teachers of English on TESOL Methods in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. It is hoped that the experience shared on Online collaboration and use of multimedia content, would not only motivate fellow teachers to pursue Online training for their own professional growth but also add to the knowledge base on the effects of Online training programmes.
Key words: Online training, Professional development, TESOL Methods Course
A 39. Paper entitled Methods Mastery to Techno Pedagogy- Kerala University’s Curriculum Revision Experience at the English Language Teacher Educator Conference [TEC 15] on Ensuring Quality in Teacher Education jointly organized by the British Council and EFL University at Hyderabad from 27 February to 01 March 2015.
Quality enhancement measures led to the revision of the Bachelor of Education (BEd.) curriculum in Kerala University in 2013. A pronounced shift in the new curriculum from mastery of methods to Techno Pedagogy resulted in a crisis in curriculum transaction. This presentation critiques the curriculum and sheds light on the efforts to overcome the crisis. The paper also underscores the usefulness of mentoring roles and collaborative tasks which benefit teacher educators in the digital age.
B: Related to Education
B 1. Paper entitled Problems in the Use of Information and Communication Technology at the NCTE sponsored State Consultation Meeting for Capacity Building of Teacher Educators at Calicut on 15th and 16th April 2005
Progress of information and communication technology in the last twenty years has been rapid and dramatic. With the price of personal computers falling, more and more educational institutions around the world are acquiring this technology. Today ,teachers and students have the capacity to share information quickly and inexpensively.
No one denies that a visit to the Internet will show amazing technology and a fascinating storehouse of information. But many people do not realize that there is a kind of cultural invasion through the Internet. Frankly speaking ,there is much that is trivial, tasteless and inappropriate for the user of the Internet.
There are scores of problems, which need to be discussed and debated, and for which solutions have to be found. The misuse of information and communication technology can create problems which are physical, social, psychological and cultural. This paper attempts to highlight a few such problems
B 2. Paper entitled CCC for AAA: Tapping Creativity, Cooperation and Collaboration for Quality in Teacher Education at the Fifth State Convention and National Seminar of the Council for Teacher Education, Kerala State Centre at NSS Training College, Ottapalam on 13th and 14th October 2006
Our educational system is showing signs of moving forward…Innovational instructional media are being widely adopted and have become an integral part of teaching.“ Technology has entered the classrooms as a support system in the form of television literacy and computer literacy, which includes WIRE, WEB, and WINDOWS leading to CONNECTIVITY, NETWORKING AND APPLICATIONS.” We have witnessed the launch of the Edusat, and the beaming of classroom instruction to every nook and corner of our country. Today, UGC-CEC is avidly engaged in training teachers in instructional design based method of packaging knowledge which will shortly be available in the virtual world. Universities too have started introducing ICT as a compulsory part of Teacher Education programmes.
Experienced educationists know that for any new programme (here ICT enabled Teacher Education) to be of value, Quality assurance should be ensured through appropriate steps right from the planning stage till the feedback stage. But what should be the nature of the input, process and output of ICT enabled Teacher Education? What involves in the Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, Supervising and Evaluation of an ICT integrated Teacher Education programme where Networking plays a key role? This paper attempts to answer these questions by drawing up a feasible plan for integrating ICT in Teacher Education programmes and suggesting ways of drawing the rewards of Networking.
The presentation begins by explaining the relevance of Networking in Teacher Education institutions and then goes on to suggest ways of drawing on the rewards of Networking by tapping Creativity, Collaboration and Cooperation. This will be followed by identification of ways of applying the CCC formula while deciding the Input, Process, Output and in the Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, Supervising and Evaluation stages of ICT enabled Teacher Education.
B 3.Paper entitled Think with Your Heart, Smile with Your head: Soft Skills @ Work at the National Conference on Progressive Advances in Constructive Pedagogy at BNV College of Teacher Education, Thiruvallam, Thiruvananthapuram on 10th and 11th May 2007
Curriculum revisions in our country always takes in to consideration the need of the hour. On realizing that our students lacked Oral Communication Skills, most Universities while redesigning their Curriculum introduced teaching of Communication Skills. The introduction of Functional English, Communicative English and the opening up of Spoken English Coaching Centres both in the Public and Private sectors are evidence of the need based change that has set in since the 1990’s.
But the modern day employers are not just satisfied with Oral Communication Skills! They are looking for Soft Skills in their prospective employees. So, it has become imperative for Universities to train the students of today with Soft Skills.
What are Soft Skills? Why are they important? How can we introduce Soft Skills ? The paper will attempt to answer these questions . It is hoped that an understanding of this new concept can help practicing teachers to prune their own teaching to help learners develop necessary Soft Skills.
B 4. Paper entitled Blended Delivery : Integrating Communication Skills and ICT at the NAAC Sponsored National Seminar on Innovations in Teacher Education For Quality Enhancement at Peet Memorial Training College, Mavelikkara on 8th and 9th October 2007.
Several efforts have been made to improve Teacher Education programmes in our country. The decision of the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) to make ICT Literacy a compulsory part of the Pre-service Course, is one such effort.
Communication of ideas and information is an inevitable role that a teacher has to perform. And in the changing global scenario, a communicatively competent person is held in great demand. Not surprisingly, many educational institutions in the country have started insisting on Communication Skills as a requisite qualification along with ICT skills for appointment of teachers.
ICT enabled Teacher Education programmes have already been introduced in several Universities. But the possibilities of exploiting the Computer or the Internet for developing Communication Skills is rarely attempted. This paper attempts to highlight the significance of Communication Skills and underscores the scope for blending Communication Skills and ICT. It also suggests ways of developing Communication Skills through ICT support . The author believes that such an integration can to an extent lead to Quality enhancement of Pre-service Training Programmes.
B 5. Paper entitled Pedagogic Grooming via Silver Screen at the Seminar on Changing Scenarios in Teacher Education at Government College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram on 26th and 27th October 2007.
‘Modelling’ of teaching is an essential learning experience given to trainees prior to the Practice Teaching sessions for Pre-service training programmes.
Observation of Video Lessons of actual classroom teaching , Demonstration Lessons by the Teacher Educator / Resource Persons and Micro Teaching sessions are invariably employed for ‘modelling’. But the use of scenes from the Silver screen related to teaching for ‘modelling’ is seldom attempted.
This paper will focus on an innovative approach to ‘modelling’ viz; the use of materials from the Silver screen . It will report on the use of this approach in 2005-06 and 2006-07 in the Govt. College of Teacher Education, Calicut.
The presentation will begin by explaining the rationale for using material from the Silver screen for ‘modelling’. Then it will proceed to explain the procedure involved and highlight the unique advantages of such an approach to ‘modelling’ based on trainee response. The paper will conclude with a note of caution on the indiscreet use of this approach and will suggest possible solutions to overcome them. The author believes that this approach is worth emulating in Teacher Training Programmes in Kerala .
B 6. Paper entitled Nurturing MI Though Movies at the International Seminar on Cognitive Restructuring : Linking With classroom Competencies and Life Skills at N.S.S Training College, Changanacherry on 14th and 15th December 2007
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence (MI) has fascinated curriculum specialists and educationists all over the world. It has found a place in the recently revised Secondary and Higher Secondary curriculum in India too. So teachers today are forced to design the learning process in such a way that the content gives due importance to all the eight categories of intelligence identified by Gardner. But Curriculum transaction in almost all the states in the country, is heavily text-dependent. This has made the transaction of the content in a way that helps the learner express his intelligence in multiple ways an intricate task even to an experienced teacher.
According to the famous culture critic Henry Giroux , movies are "powerful pedagogical forces, veritable teaching machines in shaping the social imaginations of students in terms of how they view themselves, others, and the larger society." Educators in a number of disciplines have used the movies for innovative teaching.
The author believes that it is high time that teachers gave up their slavish dependence on text books alone for instructional purposes. The entertainment value of movies, and its wide variety which lends itself to illustration of the content of instruction has prompted the author to explore the possibilities of using movies for nurturing Multiple Intelligence. In this paper, an attempt will be made to exploit an English film based on the famous Russian novel, Anna Karnena to identify suitable tasks for developing MI.
B 7. Paper entitled Interpolating Films For Packaging Soft Skills at the International Conference on Quality Enhancement in Educational Communication at Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, India on 29th and 30 March 2008
In today’s competitive world, organizations are on the look out for outstanding performers. Employees in several organizations have begun to realize that Technical Skills alone don't lead to recognition, promotion and most importantly opportunity. Technical Skills are important but so are Soft Skills.
Soft skills, teach one to succeed, and to exceed expectations and so, many educational institutions have started giving attention to developing Soft Skills in their students. So far in our country, teachers have been using conventional text-based materials in many learning situations. The current demand for Soft Skills in job aspirants by employers have prompted many Universities to chalk out programmes for developing Soft Skills in students studying at the Under Graduate level.
The area being relatively new, training materials on developing Soft Skills are not easily available. The use of clips from Feature Films for teaching Soft Skills is yet unexplored. This paper aims at helping teachers develop innovative learning experiences on Soft Skills by interpolating films. This paper presents a feasible plan for packaging Soft Skills by interpolating films. The author believes that, it is one way of ensuring quality in distribution of knowledge on Soft Skills.
The paper begins by highlighting the significance of Soft Skills and goes on to briefly mention agencies involved in Soft Skills training. After making a reference to attempts at teaching through films, it proceeds to illustrate ways of interpolating films for packaging Soft Skills. Before concluding, some guidelines are provided for both packaging materials and using film material via satellite which could create issues related to the Copy Right.
B 8. Paper entitled Digital Age Artistic Excursions For Pre-service Quality Enhancement at the national seminar on Implications of National Curriculum Framework 2005 on Teacher Education at St. Gregorios Teachers’ Training College, Wyanad on 23rd April 2008
For over a decade Quality has been the buzz word in Education. The quest for Quality has led educational institutions to reap the fruits of technological advances. And ways of ensuring Quality, through ICT-enabled Teacher Education programmes have been attempted in several States.
Art as Annie Besant puts it “is the international language , in which mind can speak to mind, heart to heart, where lips are dumb”. Given the fact that, what teachers mostly do, is communicate, can any discussion on Quality or Education, afford to ignore issues related to Art in general and Art Education in particular? The National Curriculum Framework (2005) has also noted with concern the poor attention given to Art Education!
The executive summary of the NCF reads “Art as a subject at all stages is recommended, covering all four major spheres, i.e. music, dance, visual arts and theatre. The emphasis should be on interactive approaches, not instruction, because the goal of art education is to promote aesthetic and personal awareness and the ability to express oneself in different forms. The importance of India’s heritage crafts, both in terms of their economic and aesthetic values, should be recognized as being relevant to school education.
Though Art Education has already found a place in BEd programmes elsewhere, we in Kerala are yet to introduce it. This paper will attempt to present a feasible plan for enhancing Quality of Pre-service trainees through artistic excursions appropriate for the Digital Age.
B 9. Paper entitled Linguistic Reconstruction of Digital Images : An Innovative Approach to Language Enrichment at the National Seminar on Inroads Into Constructivist Pedagogy at Devakiamma Memorial Teacher Education College on 7th and 8th Aug 2008
Using pictorial aids in language teaching , we know, has a lot of advantages . But when education is subsidized and free text books are liberally supplied for learners, visuals, especially colour images which have the unique ability to draw the attention of learners cannot be included profusely owing to the enormous expenditure it is likely to incur.
The internet we know is a mine field of resources especially for free downloadable images. Unfortunately, both curriculum specialists and teachers alike have often over looked its potential advantages. In this paper, an attempt will be made to illustrate one way of adapting downloaded images from the internet for developing linguistic ability in a classroom following Constructivist ideology. It illustrates how digitally altered images can serve as springboards for linguistic reconstruction- an activity appropriate for the digital age leading to language enrichment.
B10. Paper entitled Literacy Sans Visual Culture !... Sifting Paradigms To The Aid at the CTE Seventh State Convention and National Seminar on Beyond Constructivism: Exploring Future Learning Paradigms at Govt. College of Teacher Education, Kozhikode on 5th and 6th December 2008
Shifting paradigms fostering Constructivist thinking, Critical Pedagogy and Issue Based Curriculum advocated for schools in Kerala is no doubt a welcome change. This very seminar too has whole heartedly assumed that “…the learner’s active involvement in his own education and his grappling with and resolution of the problems would determine his learning.” But, can an all encompassing education afford to ignore issues related to visual culture? How long can we ignore the fact that the stream of images and contexts presented by the media, particularly television, shapes the identity of children and the youth? Should we really rack our brains for identifying still effective learning paradigms or has the time come for sifting existing paradigms?
This paper attempts to present a more meaningful learning paradigm arrived at by sifting existing paradigms. It squarely addresses issues related to pruning visual culture, by incorporating into the curriculum a grossly neglected, but potentially vibrant area, viz; Media Studies, which is already popular in the west. A workable strategy for nurturing visual culture based on incorporation of time tested instructional strategies is also presented. This, the author believes is what the digital age demands…for, ‘as the wind blows you must get your sail.’
B 11. Paper entitled Marshalling Student Capability Through Knowledge-Centric Web Critiquing- A Study at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Capability Building in Students: Concerns and Challenges of Teacher Education at Sree Narayana Training College, Nedunganda, Varkala on 26th and 27th March 2009.
For those joining the teaching profession, it has become imperative to acquire the ability to exploit the potential of ICT. Naturally, the time has come for teacher trainers to not only talk about ICT in the class room but also model best practices in ICT for student capability building.
But most universities in Kerala follow an assessment criteria for ICT that merely requires the submission of a Power Point presentation on CD-ROM as Practical work by the trainees. This has prompted trainees to approach local experts to produce on their behalf a Power Point presentation for submission for their BEd Degree Practical Examination. Needless to say, that this defeats the very objective of ICT–enabled learning and in no way contributes to student capability building!
In an attempt to make ICT-enabled learning truly enhance trainees’ knowledge, skill and understanding, the author conducted a study on trainees of the Govt. College of Teacher Education, Calicut during three academic years.
This paper is a report of the study conducted in which the trainees had to report on websites which they visited, share opinions and ideas regarding its potential. The rationale for conducting the study, the objectives, the methodology followed and a brief analysis of student performance will be presented.
The findings of the study conducted during the three academic years: 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 show, how knowledge-centric web critiquing has the potential for marshalling student capability. It essentially addresses one of the objectives of this seminar - identifying ways of instilling “qualities and capabilities among prospective teachers so as to be utilized for accelerating the wholesome development of future citizens.”
B 12. Paper entitled Pruning and Publishing Student Writing at the NAAC sponsored Two Day National Workshop on Best Practices in Higher Education, organized by Loyola College of Social Sciences, Trivandrum on 18th and 19th July 2009
Curricular aspects and Best Practices play a significant role in improving the Quality of Higher Education. Realizing the importance, the Government College of Teacher Education, Calicut, introduced several Best Practices prior to the NAAC Peer Team visit to the college for accreditation in 2008.
This paper gives a detailed description of one of the Best Practices followed in the college, namely ‘Pruning and Publishing Student Writing’. – A Practice which received accolades from the NAAC Peer Team and the community.
The paper begins by making a reference to some of the Best Practices followed in the college for the last couple of years. Next the objective, significance and step by step detail of the procedure followed in executing the Best Practice is given. Before concluding, suggestions regarding the next phase of the Best Practice is given.
The paper reveals how the Best Practice actually helped the target group, the students in general and the college in particular. There is an affirmation that this Best Practice is more an Innovative Practice. It is perhaps a practice other colleges can easily emulate!
B 13. Paper entitled ‘Kanavu’…Swan Song For Alternative Schooling?–An Investigation at the International Seminar cum Eighth Annual Convention of Council For Teacher Education, Kerala State Centre on Development Education : Paradigms For Twenty First Century Teachers organized by the Department of Education, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram at the Institution of Engineers (India) Hall, Thiruvananthapuram on 30th and 31st Oct 2009
The Wikipaedia entry on Kanavu reads : “an alternative school/commune in Cheengode in Nadavayal village, Wayanad district, Kerala, India set up by writer, activist and film director K. J. Baby. The school's activities include performances of traditional plays and music, as well as martial arts (Kalarippayattu) training. During the year 2007 the Kanavu was registered with the students of kanavu as a trust, and they have taken over the charges”.
A popular documentary produced in Malabar by a few educationists attempted to eulogize the existence of Kanavu. Recently the web site of a tour organizer found in ‘Kanavu’ a soul-stirring spot in pristine settings! The repeated focus on projecting ‘Kanavu’ as a novel venture, prompted teacher educators from a college in Calicut to make a journey to Kanavu to investigate those aspects which make Kanavu unique.
A group of four teacher educators armed with Note Pads, a Still Camera, a Tape Recorder and a Video Camera during its one day stay in Kanavu and its locality, investigated and documented its programmes.
The investigation revealed some unsavory truth that lisps the swan song of alternative schooling in God’s Own Country! This presentation is in tune with the seminar’s objective of “generating a solidarity among teachers” and “promoting human sustainable development”. It is hoped that the presentation will prompt a few concerned teachers to act.
B 14. Paper entitled Coupling Visual Learning & Visual Culture : Paradigm For A Changing World at the International Conference on Adaptability and Responsiveness in Teacher Education organized by the Government College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram, on 18th and 19th June 2010
Learners, particularly adolescents, grow up in a culture, where most of their information and entertainment comes through the visual media. Studies have shown that the meaning one gets from a particular visual experience may not be the same to another. In fact, many grapple with the meaning of objects and events that is being depicted in the world visually. From a pedagogic perspective it can be stated that visual experiences are theoretically open to a wide set of interpretations. This implies that we need to prune the learners of today to deal properly with the pluralistic meanings which visual experiences give.
In this paper, the author presents a few teacher-made tasks based on the proposed paradigm. The moving-cum-still visual material, prepared using film clips, photographs and cartoons aims at nurturing visual learning skills. What makes them unique is that it also develops in the learner, the ability to focus on the cultural meaning rather than aesthetic value. The tasks are not subject/ discipline-specific and has the ability to draw the attention of learners with widely different learning interests. The author affirms that the coupling of visual learning and visual culture essentially helps learners to clarify thoughts, organize/ analyze information and to think critically. The material is presented for preview as an innovative paradigm for “adapting curriculum to respond to the changing world”.
B 15. Paper entitled Connecting For Peace: A Five-Step-Formula at the Ninth Annual Convention and International Seminar of Council For Teacher Education (CTE) Kerala State Centre, on Peace Education: An Orientation For Gen Next, at St. Thomas College of Teacher Education, Pala, Kerala on 13th and 14th August 2010
Socrates in the West and the Buddha in the East have pointed out centuries ago that self-knowledge is the key to wisdom since it eliminates disorder in consciousness and generates virtue. The Indian education system with its rich yogic tradition, has taught us that mere academic learning does not transform consciousness. Unless we introduce a holistic education which aims at achieving excellence in all the four aspects of our life- physical, the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual, it is fairly difficult to ‘know thyself‘. It is only by ‘knowing thyself’ can one really grasp the essence of the teachings of a great saint of India, Swami Nirmalananda- “If you desire to live in peace, hear all that falls on your ears, see all that comes to your eyes, realize that everything is in accordance with the Eternal Law of nature and be silent”.
Drastic curricular change, we know is in the pipeline in India. Many educationists of the older generation have often noted that in the fervour for curricular reforms, old and time-tested educational practices which includes yogic exercises sometimes get obliterated. It is this, which prompted the author to submit for preview, a five-phase strategy garnered from his personal two-decade-old quest for harmonious living. It is presented as a formula to connect for peace in the world. To achieve its aim, the author affirms that the five steps have to be integrated into the curricular programmes propelled through yogic exercises. The paper is an illustration of the following five stages:
•Control of the mind and the senses
•Bhakti and spiritualism
•Advocating the philosophy of love
•Initiation to the interconnectedness between the microcosm and the macrocosm
B 16 .Paper entitled Cartoons To Coax Active Learning at the International Conference on Towards a Global Competitive Learning Community- Role of Active Pedagogy organized and hosted by Department of Education, University of Kerala 4-5 Feb 2011
One of the most alluring aspects of cartoons is that they add humour to a topic and illustrate the idea in a memorable way. Interestingly enough, the Michigan State University website states that humour reduces stress, increases student interest and attentiveness and does much to improve the classroom environment. Hence using cartoons for pedagogical purposes deserves attention.
As part of additional course work in a teacher training programme, the author had employed cartoons to coax active learning of the topics prescribed for study in the Eduational Psychology paper, with a fair degree of success. In this paper, the author wishes to share with the participants of the conference, his nascent experiment of using cartoons for coaxing active learning in teacher trainees.
The paper begins by defining active learning and goes on to state the rationale for using cartoons as a pedagogical tool to enhance active learning. Next, the actual procedure employed will be stated. After highlighting the effectiveness of the strategy employed, the paper concludes by stating that using cartoons to coax active learning is a strategy that deserves the attention of teacher educators. There is also an indirect affirmation that employing cartoons for active learning can engage young teacher trainees fruitfully in the teaching learning process.
B 17. Paper entitled Ugly Ducklings To Mahalaksmi: A Cyber-enabled Transformation at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Gender Quest in Multiple Intelligence organized by Farook Training College, Kohikkode on 02-03 Sep 2011
From time immemorial, a great many women and girls have had to consciously address a genetic endowment for which they themselves were in no way responsible- viz; ‘beauty’. A diligent use of the body of knowledge available worldwide, even by the best Beauty Parlors have not succeeded in transforming one born ‘ugly’ into a graceful swan. The apparent outcome of this has been nothing short of utter misery. In the marriage market or in social gatherings where a media-generated hype and preference for beautiful women has a profound influence, those born ugly have always been and will continue to be at the receiving end. Is there any way out of this circle of doom? YES… argues the author of this paper and goes on to suggest an innovative solution-viz empowerment through e-Multiple Intelligence.
Given the fact that girls born with unattractive features are likely to lead a cocoon-like existence, the author affirms that more than any other intelligence, it is Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence which has to be given prime attention. And for this purpose, the author suggests some cyber-enabled tasks which if performed meticulously can result in a successful transformation of girls branded as ‘ugly ducklings’ to a ‘Mahalakshmi’ who becomes much sought after by men and the general public.
The paper begins by providing a brief background of the present scenario where beautiful women are much sought after and ones born ugly are often derided by society. After affirming the need for focusing on Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligence, research findings of women empowering themselves through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is presented. Next, the strategy to be followed for nurturing Multiple Intelligence (MI) through ICT is presented. The precautions to be taken by parents and teachers to prevent girls from getting sucked into hidden traps in the cyber world is also mentioned. The paper also provides a list of on-line resources which would enable girls to work in the privacy of their homes to transform themselves into a Mahalakshmi.
B 18 .Paper entitled Fostering MI in Teacher Educators : Cashing-in on the Techno-surge at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Educating Teacher Educators for Diversity organized by Govt. CTE,Kozhikkode on 15-16 Sep 2011
A sociological profile of the students who join the BEd. course in Kerala State would give a grim picture. Many choose to join the Under Graduate (UG) course in Education only after having failed to get admission for much sought after professional courses such as Engineering, Medicine and Management. This leads us to assume that the cream of talent seldom joins the UG course in Education! It also logically follows that those who pursue a Post Graduate course in Education after having completed the UG course may not necessarily possess those intelligence deemed essential for becoming successful Teacher Educators viz; Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence, Visual-Spatial Intelligence and Interpersonal Intelligence. How can we meaningfully resolve this problem? Can we foster the development of MI in Teacher Educators through activities? This paper attempts to propose a feasible strategy.
Technology is all around us and is progressing every day. Studies have shown that technology can be fruitfully employed for instructional purposes. Many educational institutions today employ projectors and touch screen technology. Use of Laptops is becoming more and more popular in institutions of Higher Learning owing to its great usefulness. Addressing the need of the hour, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has affirmed the need for integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for instructional purposes in Teacher Education programmes.
This paper will begin by affirming the need for developing MI in Teacher Educators. It will then move on to suggest ways of integrating ICT to Teacher Education programmes through tasks aimed at fostering the development of MI. The paper will also list down several ways of nurturing MI through technology-based resources.
B 19 . Paper entitled Quality with a humane touch: The ‘One Class-One Pet’ Scheme at the National Seminar on Quality Concerns in Education organized by the Department of Education, University of Calicut on National Education Day, 11 November 2011
Several national policies have reiterated the urgency to address quality concerns in school/college education on a priority basis. In an attempt to ensure quality in the products coming out of schools and colleges, many institutions in India have begun to introduce Life Skills training as part of their curricular programmes. But, the short time span in which most of these programmes are executed, have led many to question its effectiveness.
Taking the cue from a leading Malayalam Daily, which supplied every other week on a specified day, seeds for their subscribers, the State Education Department in Kerala introduced the ‘one child-one plant’ scheme. Though no comprehensive data is available regarding the effectiveness of such ventures, it has been found that both schemes to a large extent succeeded in sensitizing the general public and the student community to the importance of planting trees.
This paper proposes the natural next phase to the ‘one-child, one plant’ scheme which the author calls the ‘one class, one pet’ scheme. Pitching on the assumption that teaching students how to care for and properly express emotions to fellow human beings forms one of the objectives of Life Skills training programmes, the author in this paper, spells out the rationale and the procedure for the proposed programme. Illustrations of student-pet rearing programmes attempted in certain institutions and research findings on the effectiveness of such programmes is also given.
The paper affirms that the scheme proposed is more rewarding than the regular short term Life Skills training programmes now being implemented and that it can to a large extent effectively address quality issues in education.
B 20. Paper entitled A Plastic Art Pedagogy for Sustainable Development at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Empowering Teacher Educators for Sustainable Development organized by Farook Training College, Kohikkode on 29 and 30 November 2011
Reports indicate that an estimated one hundred million tonnes of plastic is produced every year all over the world. It has also been found that in India on an average a person uses 3 kilo of plastic every year. Urbanization has added to the plastic pollution in concentrated form in cities. In beaches near urban areas, plastic used as packaging is dumped adding to the pollution problem. As plastic does not decompose it poses a major environmental problem. Is there a feasible solution? Perhaps the best solution is to manufacture alternative degradable material. But given the huge expenses involved in mass production of alternative material, we have to live with the sad reality that plastic is here to stay for years to come.
What can teacher educators do to address the ‘plastic problem’? In this paper, the author proposes an innovative solution to address the problem viz; ‘a plastic art pedagogy’. At its simplest, it aims at familiarizing teacher trainees with ways of recycling plastic materials into art forms. The activity has sustainable development as its ultimate objective. The paper suggests ways of producing creative and useful products from waste plastic. This, the author believes can to a large extent help put an end to the dumping of wastes in streets and the burning of plastic which produces toxic fumes that causes diseases.
This paper spells out the strategy for the plastic art pedagogy. A visual display of an interesting array of creative art work produced using waste plastic will also be the highlight of the presentation.
B 21. Paper entitled Fostering the Art of Loving and Living - An Animal X Student Interactive Life Skill Programme at the UGC Sponsored International Education Meet on Education for Global Excellence at Mar Theophilus Training College,Thiruvanthapuram from 5 to 7 Jan 2012
It has been found that modern educational practices in India often ignore our cultural practices and nurtures an education pattern restricted to academics alone. The assiduous engagement of students in the mad rat race for career gains is often accompanied by a failure of educational institutions to nurture appropriate values and social graces in their alumna. So has not the time come to create modern age gurukulas that impart values including Life Skills to students without deviating from conventional modes of learning?
Indian Universities have recently taken the right step to implement Life Skills training for students. The ten core Life Skills listed by UNICEF, UNESCO and WHO is imparted to students through training programmes aimed at empowering young people to take positive action, and engage in positive social relationships.
It is common knowledge that a lecture on ‘good behaviour’ in a Life Skills training session will not lead to the practice of acceptable behaviours. Life Skill lessons work best when augmented or reinforced. Studies have shown that if a message is given once, the brain remembers only 10 percent of it one day later, and when the same message is given six times a day, the brain remembers 90 percent of it.
In an attempt to squarely address the startling flaw in some Life Skill training programmes, the author of this paper, proposes a novel strategy for Life Skills training- An Animal X Student Interaction Programme.
The paper will attempt to illustrate ways of implementing certain practices aimed at Animal X Student interaction, observation and association which would in every probability result in the nurturing of essential Life Skills. The author affirms, that this is the need of the hour, for, possession of right values and character is the key to success in any education programme aiming at global excellence.
Key words: values, Life Skills training, interaction, animal rearing
B. 22. Paper entitled Digital Concept Maps to Aid Revision- A Study at the National Seminar on ICT Trends in Education, Bethany Navajeevan College of Education, Vencode, Kanyakumari, January 2012
A Concept Map we know, is a graphical representation of a student’s knowledge of a domain. In institutions of Higher Education, students are often encouraged to arrange major concepts from a text or lecture into a visual arrangement similar to Concept Maps. Unlike student created Concept Maps, Digital Concept Maps available on the Internet has an added advantage-viz; visual imagery and a richer expressive power.
Five distinct uses have so far been indentified for Concept Maps in education. These include: to generate ideas, to design complex structures, to communicate complex ideas, to assess understanding and to aid learning by integrating new and old knowledge. But, very rarely has Concept Map been used as a tool for revision of content knowledge of a subject of study.
This paper is the report of an experimental study undertaken on students of Education by the investigator using Digital Concept Maps downloaded from the Internet. The objective of the study is to identify the effectiveness of Digital Concept Maps for revision of content knowledge.
The paper begins by providing the background and rationale for the study. The preparations undertaken to edit the tool viz; the Digital Concept Map, the population on which the study was conducted and the procedure employed is stated. Before concluding the investigator attempts to list down the perceived advantage/ disadvantage of employing Digital Concept Maps for revision.
B. 23. Paper entitled Online Videos for Knowledge Processing- A Study at the International Meet on Differential Perspectives in Classroom Transaction organized by the Departments of English, Christian College, Kattakada, Govt. College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram (affiliated to the University of Kerala) and Canterbury Christ Church University, UK in Feb 2012
The Internet is an enormous resource of online video. On several websites easily downloadable free digital video files are stored and exhibited for viewing. The content of some of the videos available are often dubbed as controversial or even bordering on obscenity, yet, there is a tremendous growth in its viewership. Though teachers have found many videos useful for class instruction, they have been doubly cautious in employing them for instructional purposes. The investigator of this study made a bold attempt to explore the possibilities of using online videos for pedagogical purpose.
Incorporating technology to connect with apparently abstract concepts, we know can make class room transaction both engaging and meaningful. This is the report of a study which attempted to use Online videos for improving class room transaction in a teacher training programme offered in a couple of colleges in Kerala State.
B. 24. Paper entitled Lacuna in MI : An ICT-based empowerment strategy for women trainees at the Two Day National Seminar organized by the Department of Education, Gandhigram Rural Institute (Deemed University), Dindigul in February 2012
Over the years the education of women have begun to receive great attention in India. What kind of problems do women trainees face? Recent studies conducted on women-teacher trainees in select institutions in Kerala have shown that the problems they experience are unique.
One hither to unattended problem in women trainees relates to the apparent lack of certain types of intelligences essential to perform as effective teachers. Is there any hope or solution for such unfortunate women trainees? YES states the investigator and goes on to suggest an ICT-based empowerment strategy.
The paper begins with a brief background of teacher training programmes for women in Kerala. Next, the findings of recent studies conducted on women trainees will be highlighted and the apparent lack of certain types of intelligence will be mentioned. Then follows an illustration of instances of empowerment of women through ICT. Before concluding an attempt will be made to list down different ways of fostering MI through ICT.
B. 25. Paper entitled Shockvertising in Print Media: A Minor Reception Study at the Two-day National Seminar on Emerging Perspectives on Media Studies organized by the Department of English, Govt. College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram February 2012
Most of us are familiar with humourous advertisements that attract our attention. But often we stumble upon another type of advertisement that disturbs or shocks us. ‘Shockvertising’ is the technical term used to refer to advertisements that are designed to shock and create controversy. But for leading advertisement firms, use of such audacious method is nothing new or uncommon.
How do people, particularly youngsters perceive such advertisements? Do people in the West and in our own State, Kerala, God’s Own Country, perceive them the same way? What kind of impressions do such shocking advertisements leave on the minds of viewers ? The data related to these questions were collected by the author from two sources : a survey on randomly selected students who have completed their Post Graduation and an analysis of impressions recorded on a website by viewers.
The paper will begin by referring to advertisements in general. Then, an attempt will be made to provide a detailed description of Print versions of different kinds of shocking advertisements now available on the Internet. Finally conclusions are drawn based on an analysis of the impressions recorded by the viewers. It is hoped that the study would sensitize viewers to the changing values and perception of our own society. The highlight of the presentation would be the display of select shocking Print Media advertisements that drew widely different comments.
B. 26. Paper entitled Click Button Publishing: A Teacher Educator’s Weblog Experience at the National Seminar on Quality Concerns of Teacher Education in the Technological Era organized by Dr. Sivanthi Aditanar College of Education, Tiruchendur in February 2012
Blogs have been popular for almost a decade, but only recently have they been viewed as a potential mainstream teaching tool. The author of this paper, a teacher educator by profession started using Blogs as an educational tool, five years ago. It was a time when like many educators, the author too was perceiving an apparent mismatch between print-based reading habits and a growing interest in teacher trainees to quickly acquire digital literacy. Naturally, the space available for the author to experiment with was varied. On the one hand there was scope for uploading potentially useful learning materials at the mere click of a button. On the other hand, there was the scope for learners to learn in a collaborative space with peers through digital media, particularly through online connectivity.
Being a new technological approach, the five year experience was never hassle free. There were times of turbulence and rough sailing. Yet each academic year, the shore was always in sight. What were the problems the author faced? What lessons were learned ? These are some of the questions this paper will attempt to answer. It is hoped that novice teachers interested in using Blogs as a pedagogical tool will find useful tips from the experiences shared by the author.
B. 27. Paper entitled Precautionary Pointers for Effective Online Learning : Lessons From a Blended Learning Experiment at the Two-day UGC sponsored International Conference on Preparing World Class Teachers Through Online Education: The Future is Now! Organized by Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya College of Education, Coimbatore, in collaboration with USIEF on 20th and 21st April 2012
An euphoric introduction of Online instruction is in vogue in many Universities around the world. But can Teacher Education programmes be successfully implemented through an Online learning environment? The author of this paper expresses serious doubts about the prospects of offering teacher training through an Online mode. Drawing on his six-year experience of evolving a Blended Learning environment in a Government- run Teacher Training College, which draws the cream of talent in the South Indian State of Kerala, the author observes that a lot of groundwork needs to be done prior to the introduction of Online teaching.
The paper begins by providing the background of the Blended Learning experiment. The nature of the student role, the materials used and the role of the Teacher Educator who engaged in the Blended Learning experiment is also stated. A critique of the experiment follows which throws light on the fact that there is every possibility of Online learning environments failing to deliver if aspects such as visual literacy, information literacy and information fluency vis-a-vis the individual learner are not squarely addressed. The paper also highlights the need for looking into learner competency and learning habits prior to admitting students for an Online teacher training programme.
B. 28. Paper entitled When a student stabs a teacher...does Gandhi matter? at the Dr. N. P. Pillai Centennial Celebrations cum International Seminar on ‘Gandhian Educational Principles & Practices for the Emerging Global Scenario’ organized by Dr.N.P.Pillai Centennial Celebration Committee and Dr. K. Sivadasan Pillai Foundation for Educational Research & Development at Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Thiruvananthauram in July 2012
Recent reports of a culture of violence that has swept through schools in India have sent shock waves across the nation. Anecdotal evidence gathered from some institutions confirm that teachers are prone to a high degree of aggression from students who are physically larger than them.
Can we blame students for getting spoilt through the constant watching of movies and surfing of the Web? Can we expect students to fare better when the television they regularly watch, bombards them with news about scams, murders and other acts of perversion? Why is it that the teaching of a subject like ‘Moral Science’ failed to prevent the escalation of student violence?
In an attempt to find a solution to the disturbing tendency, the author of this paper makes an earnest suggestion- sensitizing students to Gandhian Philosophy, particularly that of Non-violence. The paper begins by listing down instances of student violence in campuses and the failure of teachers to properly tackle it. Next, classroom activities that help sensitize students to the philosophy of non-violence will be suggested. It is hoped that if such activities form a part of curricular programmes in India, there is every possibility that the citizens of tomorrow can become successful leaders in the emerging global scenario.
Key words: Student violence, Gandhi, non-violence, strategies
B. 29. Paper entitled Pruning Through Negation: An Innovative Modelling Strategy at the 11th State Convention of CTE, Kerala State Centre and International Conference on Innovations, Quality & Excellence in Education-IQEE 2013, organized by Fathima Memorial Training College, Kollam, Kerala State on 11 and 12 January 2013
Class room performance of teacher trainees to a large extent depends on the kind of training received in pedagogical techniques. If teacher education programmes are planned in such a way that actual class room teaching is preceded by Micro Teaching sessions, the trainee stands to benefit.
Teacher training programmes now being followed in the colleges of Teacher Education, affiliated to the University of Kerala, seldom employ Micro Teaching. Instead, trainees participate in Discussion Lessons, observe Demonstration Lessons and participate in Criticism Lessons before Practice Teaching. One consequent lacuna observed by Supervising Teachers during Practice Teaching is that many trainees show a complete ignorance of various sub skills related to teaching skills like Set Induction, Explaining and Demonstrating.
In an attempt to address the lacuna, the author of this paper made use of self-edited videos of actual teaching sessions. This presentation will illustrate the methodology employed and will go on to state how the innovative modelling strategy employed, benefitted the trainees.
Key words: Micro Teaching, Video Modelling, Teaching Skills
B. 30. Paper entitled Fostering Values Through YouTube Videos- A Minor Study at the UGC Sponsored National Conference on Social Media in Education: New Horizons (NCSMENH) organized by Sri Sarada College of Education, Salem & Tamilnadu Teacher Education University, Chennai on 01 and 02 February 2013
Given the sad erosion of essential values now being perceived in teachers, Value Education has come to acquire increasing prominence in discussions related to teacher education programmes in the country. Working on an assumption that an experiential learning process initiated by viewing videos will serve as a spring board for discussion, the author, a teacher educator by profession arranged brief discussion-cum-viewing sessions of select YouTube videos downloaded from the Internet. The objective was to sensitize budding teachers to values they need to acquire for serving as effective teachers of future generations. This paper is a report of the study. It will illustrate the methodology employed and throw light on the potential usefulness of the innovative strategy employed.
Key words: Values, Teacher training, YouTube videos
B. 31. Paper entitled Resuscitating Gandhism in the Metamaterial Age Via Social Media at the National Seminar on Gandhian Vision of Development for a Progressive Nation, organized by the Centre for Gandhian Studies, University of Kerala in collaboration with Department of Education, University of Kerala March 2013
The editorial of the March 2013 issue of the New Scientist magazine addresses the question, ‘Are we living in a Metamaterial Age?’ and goes on to add “We devise so many new materials nowadays that it is hard to know which one would define our times...”
The rising middle class in India in the ‘metamaterial age’, appears to have embraced a purely materialistic life. For instance, it is not uncommon to perceive the opening of Shopping Malls and Company Outlets of leading consumer brands in once lesser known towns. And close on its heels comes the issue of rising divorce rates, Old Age Homes and to top it all, proposals to open Night Clubs in confluence with a changing culture! Are these not fatalistic for our youth? Are we not conveniently forgetting the fact that it is in these very youth, that we have lain our faith to take us forward to a new era?
In this context, it is worth recalling the fact that the youth of today have never had any first hand experience of foreign rule or the struggle for Independence. Neither have they ever realized the need for acquiring Gandhian values in troubled times! So has not the time come for a resuscitation of Gandhian values? Won’t an awareness rousing campaign preferably through the Social Media, draw the attention of the youth in our country?
The author in this paper dwells on certain developmental issues in the country and goes on to expresses his conviction and faith in the Gandhian vision. Next, an innovative strategy is proposed to address the problems that have risen from a materialistic outlook- viz; the use of tools of Social Media to which, the youth of today are addicted to promote Gandhian values.
Key words: Consumerism, Gandhism, Metamaterialsim, Social Media
B. 32. Paper entitled The Swami mourned and the Guru reformed- Can either help renovate education in Kerala? at the UGC sponsored National Seminar on Renovating Higher Education: Vision of Swami Vivekananda organized by Sri Sarada College of Education, Salem and Tamilnadu Teacher Education University, Chennai on April 2013
Over 100 years ago, Swami Vivekananda toured the princely states of Kerala. Having witnessed the horrors of the caste system, then being practiced, Swami Vivekananda, concluded: ‘I have wandered into a lunatic asylum!' Then came the social reformer Sri Narayana Guru on the scene. His untiring efforts led to the emancipation of the helpless and depressed sections of society.
What Swami Vivekananda saw a century ago has drastically changed. Perhaps at this moment in history- the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, it is indeed appropriate to recall his contributions which have a relevance to educational reform in Kerala. But any educational reform cannot afford to ignore the socio-cultural background of the target community.
The Ezhava community, once severely discriminated by the upper castes in Kerala, now forms fifty percent of the Hindu population of Kerala (3.20 Crore). The Ezhavas, today, are an empowered lot, thanks to the philosophical and spiritual teachings of the Saint-Philosopher Sri Narayana Guru who hailed from the same community. So, any talk of educational renovation in Kerala have to take into consideration, the contributions of Sri Narayana Guru. Incidentally, the recent move by the Government of Kerala to introduce the Guru’s teachings into the school and college curriculum, is one significant milestone with regards to educational reform in Kerala.
The author however has identified quite a few similarities in the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Narayana Guru. And in this paper, the author presents a brief review of the current socio-cultural scenario in Kerala and concludes with the impression that several factors have to be looked into before either the Swami’s or the Guru’s views on education is to create any impact at all with regards to educational renovation in Kerala.
Key words: Kerala, Education, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Narayana Guru
B 33. Paper entitled Emerging Literacies and Yawning Gaps in Teacher Education- A Case Study at the Two-day Regional Workshop on Scientific Research Skills for the 21st Century organized by AIRIO, Kerala Chapter in collaboration with Pazhssi Raja College, Pulpally & Council for Teacher Education, Kerala State Centre, Pulpally, Wayanad on 26 and 27 April 2013
As part of Course Work, BEd trainees were assigned the task of designing and producing multimodal instructional material for teaching English. The study conducted in six consecutive years involved student teachers of two government-run teacher education institutions in Kerala. Findings indicated signs of students’ emergent multimodal awareness with a growing sensitivity to semiotic codes. The investigation has however identified widely different levels in student capability :
Those at the base level comprised students who could barely list the descriptive attributes of multimodal resources. The second level comprised students who could expand the value of semiotic resources and also show an awareness of the functional use of semiotic resources to synthesize idea. But an advanced level which displays an ability to rationalize and explain the selective and adaptive use of resources and employ such knowledge for digital material production was very rare.
Data sources which comprised classroom observation, informal interviews, multimodal response tasks and evaluation led to the identification of a yawning gap in student teacher performance. The findings call for a classroom pedagogy responsive to technological developments and the associated changes in new literacies.
The implication of the study for teacher education includes an urgent need to develop instructional practices that actively work with multimodality to enhance students’ learning. As pointed out by Cope and Kalantzis (2000), teachers should not be merely executors of language lessons but be ‘designer’s of meaning toward a more involved, collaborative participatory “design” culture.
Key words: Multimodal design, New literacies, Semiotic codes, Pedagogic strategies
B 34. Paper entitled New Directions Through Assessment- An Extension Work at the NAAC sponsored National Seminar on People Management for Quality Enhancement in Higher Education, organized by IQAC of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore July 2013
One way of improving teacher performance is to provide in-service training and provide avenues for professional development of teachers. But a scientific approach to such a programme should begin by identifying the performance of individual teachers in the context of the educational institution in which they teach. This should be followed by offering guidance for improving performance in those areas in which a lacuna is felt by those assessing the teachers. The practice becomes complete when proper training in areas which deserve attention is provided to individual teachers. This paper reports on an unique extension work carried out to assess and provide need based training for teachers of a local school.
B 35. Paper entitled ‘KISS & Smile’- A Formula for Digital Knowledge Packaging at the UGC Sponsored National Workshop on Knowledge Management & Instructional Technology-The Praxis of Teaching and Learning organized by Sree Narayana Training College, Nedunganda 23- 24 August 2013
Recently the National Mission on Education outlined a plan of action to make available personalized and interactive modules for Higher Education Institutions in an any time any where mode. The proposed strategy is to leverage the potential of ICT to provide high quality, personalized and interactive knowledge modules over the internet/intranet for all the learners.
Reputed Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning like the IIT’s have joined the bandwagon to package knowledge. True, most Universities and IIT’s have talented faculty capable of producing knowledge modules. Some have already uploaded their content for free download in portals like the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). But are the materials really suitable for learners ? Do they have the ingredients essential for sustaining the interest of learners?
The author of this paper critiques a few packaged materials now available for free download and comes up with a, ‘KISS and Smile formula’. The rationale for developing the formula and the nature of the formula will be presented in this paper. The author hopes that employing this formula can help ensure the production of instructional materials that evoke interest- something essential for knowledge modules.
Key Words: ICT, Knowledge modules, Knowledge Packaging
B 36. Paper entitled Recasting Vivekananda’s sine-qua-non for Bliss-The Sexual Abstinence Index at the International Seminar on Revisiting Swami Vivekananda’s Vision for Facing the New Educational Challenges organized by Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and SPFERD in collaboration with several organizations at Gandhi Bhavan, Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram from 5 to 7 September 2013
Swami Vivikenanda considered ‘akhand brahmacharya’ (unbroken celibacy) for a minimum 12 years at-a-stretch an absolute must for realizing self-bliss. Obedience to the Guru without questioning and strict observance of Brahmacharya was to the Swami the secret of success.
The student of today grows up in an environment bombarded by lust-exciting glossy magazines, television and films. Studies have shown that concomitant with the rise in the use of Internet for academic purposes, there is a rise in the popularity of sexually explicit materials. From an analysis of 400 million web searches, researchers have concluded that 1 in 8 of all searches online are for erotic content. Studies have also shown that there is a relatively high-level of acceptance of pornographic materials among traditional-aged college students.
Such findings are a cause for concern. How pervasive is the problem? Does it affect students and teachers? How can we address the issue by recasting Swami Vivekananda’s observation that the ideal of all education, and all training, should be man-making? This paper attempts to find answers to these questions. The author also proposes the introduction of a ‘Sexual Abstinence Index’ for the realization of Swami Vivekananda’s vision.
Key words: Brahmacharya, Pornography, Sexual Abstinence Index
B 37. Paper entitled When Unlike Poles Repel-The Teacher Education Colleges X SCERT Case at the UGC Sponsored National Seminar on Inclusion and Quality in Higher Education: Challenges and Prospects organized by Sri Sarada College of Education, Salem and Tamilnadu Teachers Education University, Chennai 20 and 21 September 2013
Fostering quality in Higher Education is no doubt a challenge. We also know that the complexity of Higher Education institutions normally make interaction between institutions difficult. But it is natural to assume that when there is a similarity in institutional goals, there would be greater scope for cooperation and collaboration. Is it always so? The author of this paper attempts a comparison of educational practices in Teacher Training Colleges in Kerala and the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT). The study identifies a widening gulf in areas that deserve high levels of cooperation and collaboration which is essential for high quality instruction in the State. The study is based on personal interaction with the faculty of both Teacher Training Colleges and the SCERT.
Key words: Collaborative Practices, Higher Education, Quality
B 38. Paper entitled Philosophical Ideals and the Reality of the Kerala School Curriculum at the International Seminar on Impact of Philosophy on Education in the Present Curriculum
Organized by Peniel Rural College of Education, Vemparalil, Dindigul, Tamilnaduin September 2013
After the formation of NCERT in 1961, Kerala avidly followed all the curriculum reform efforts initiated at the national level. The most recent curriculum revision programme was initiated in Kerala in 1996. The State’s curriculum reform effort gained impetus with the formulation of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005). This along with the Position Papers provided grounds for introspection and formulation of the Kerala Curriculum Framework (KCF 2007).
Education we know is a tool to achieve efficiency in all walks of human life whether social, political, religious or philosophical. Education always evolves out of historical and cultural contexts. How did the society in Kerala, including parents, teachers and learners receive the new curriculum?
This paper attempts a review of the Kerala School Curriculum with a focus on its philosophical ideals. It also includes references to some studies done about education in Kerala.
Key words: Curriculum, Philosophy, School Education
B 39. Paper entitled Value Sensitization Through Internet Resources: An Experimental Study on Teacher Trainees at the International Conference on Values or Virtues? Redefining Moral Education organized by Bethany Navajeevan College of Education, Marthandom, Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu, January 2014
We have seen that there is too much violence and dishonesty in society. And educators and parents have often expressed fear about the fact that values are falling and nobody is respecting them. Yet, during discussions of Curriculum, issues that invariably find a place at the top of the agenda are identification of strategies for teaching subjects like Science, Social Studies, Mathematics and Language. Moral Education or strategies to teach moral values, seldom gets any attention.
Common sense tells us that moral values need to be taught, because, it will prepare students for future roles in society. More importantly one might forget the Science and Mathematics one learns in school or college, but the values one learns in all probability is likely to stick with one for life. Narration of anecdotes, engaging students in open discussion etc. have all been tried as strategies for Moral Education. But the present generation of today are addicted to technology. Working on the assumption that changing times require a changing pedagogy, the investigator attempted to sensitize select values in teacher trainees using Internet resources. This paper is a report of the innovative experiment.
Key words: Internet, Values, Videos
B 40. Paper entitled Sensitizing Pedagogic Perspective Through Short Films-A Study at the International Conference [ICBDM-2014] organized by the Department of Human Resource Management, Noorul Islam University, Kumaracoil, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu on 28 February 2014.
It is common knowledge, that the best way to help teacher trainees grasp pedagogy-related concepts, is to expose them to actual teaching encounters. But teacher training programmes in Kannur University invariably follow a schedule where Practice Teaching sessions are conducted only during the Second Semester. The First Semester is set aside for familiarizing novice trainees with teaching strategies through criticism of Peer Teaching.
A perceived aim of the BEd programme is to sensitize trainees to pedagogy and appropriate teacher qualities. Studies have shown that film materials are easy to integrate into curriculum and that they allow flexibility of teaching techniques (Aiex,1999). The investigator-cum-teacher educator found in Short Films, an useful medium to achieve the perceived aim of the BEd programme during the period when trainees receive only a limited exposure to actual teaching encounters.
This paper is a brief report of the study conducted to identify the scope of select acclaimed Short Films to sensitize pedagogic perspective in teacher trainees.
Key terms: Pedagogy, Short Film, Teacher behaviour
B 41. Paper entitled Human Rights Issues vis-à-vis 12 Years A Slave at the National Seminar on Human Rights for Sustainable Future at Thalassery, Kerala, organized by Government Brennen College of Teacher Education, Thalassery in association with the Institute of Parliamentary Affairs, Thiruvananthapuram on 05 and 06 March 2014.
The 2014 winner of the prestigious Oscar Award, 12 Years A Slave which narrates a slavery drama lays bare the cruel and dehumanizing system that twisted the morality and psychology of a dark period in US history. It is true that in the 21st century, Black Americans are no longer slaves. But a sense that human rights for Black Americans and more particularly other people of colour, like Asians, are still contingent and at risk is very real and alive!
This paper turns the critical search lights on Human Rights issues and goes on to argue that such depiction will turn out to be a timely reminder to oppressors and a plea to those in power to take constructive steps for addressing such issues.
B 42. Paper entitled Soft and Hard Part of Communication Skills-A Qualitative Approach at the National Seminar on Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions- Criteria, Techniques and Issues organized by the school of Education, Pondicherry University, Puducherry on 21 and 22 March 2014.
Employers and educators alike are of the opinion that if students have to make a successful entry into the workforce they should possess the right kind of Soft Skills. Beyond academic or technical knowledge, the one skill that most employers look for in their employees is the ability to communicate effectively.
On finding that the traditional type of education is inappropriate for developing the required Soft Skills, many institutions of Higher Education have started implementing training programmes in Soft Skills. Activity-based classes for developing Communication skills, ask students to present information in front of the class and also focus heavily on delivering speeches. Such programmes also have a writing component aimed at developing clear writing ability.
But would such a focus on Communication Skills suffice? According to the author of this paper, Communication Skills which forms the hallmark of an individual, has an even wider scope. And in this paper, an attempt is made to illustrate a wider perspective of Communication Skills. The author also suggests that if this aspect is ignored, students passing out of our educational institutions are likely to trail far behind in today’s job market which in many fields are becoming ever increasingly competitive.
Key Words: Communication Skills, Soft Skills
B 43. Paper entitled Experiment on an ICT-based Learning Project in the Connectionism mode-A Critique at the International Seminar on Institutional Interventions to bridge Competency Gulf in an e-World (IIBCGeW 2014) and 12th State Convention of Council for Teacher Education (CTE), Kerala State Centre and hosted by N.S.S Training College, Pandalam, Kerala, 24 to 26 March 2014.
Teenagers of today are getting addicted to one social networking site or other at a rapid pace. In an attempt to match student-favoured learning strategies, several institutions of Higher Education are exploring the possibility of employing networked information and communications technology for teaching and learning. Learning Projects following the Connectionist mode is one such venture.
This paper is a critique of an experiment on an ICT-based Learning Project in the Connectionist mode which the researcher-cum-teacher educator gave his trainees. The venture being new, during the learning project, the investigator observed trainees experiencing several snags in communication. The paper in addition to critiquing the experiment, attempts to identify the possible causes for the snag. It is hoped that the impressions drawn through hindsight will be useful for teachers attempting to employ ICT-based learning projects in the Connectivist mode for teaching and learning.
Key words: Connectionism, learning, social network, teaching
B 44. Paper entitled Social Media and Eating Disorder– A Toxic Combination at the UGC sponsored two-day National Seminar on Sports Culture and Society: Trends and Challenges organized by Govt. Brennen College of Teacher Education, Thalassery on 17 and 18 December 2014.
Consumption of food, since historical times have had a social meaning. Even today, to get a comprehensive picture of the food eating patterns of school children, one has to conduct a thorough study of the social life of the population. And given the fact that with the birth of social media, social habits and economies are undergoing dramatic changes, one cannot afford to ignore the effect social media creates on individuals, particularly students.
But does social media impact eating habits? A study conducted by the Rochester Institute of Technology a couple of years ago found that it does indeed affect. This roused the curiosity of the teacher educator-cum- researcher of this paper. Data collection on the eating habits of school children and food consumption pattern of adolescents hanging out in food joints was undertaken. When a pattern was found to emerge from the data, additional data was collected from families on the expressed interest of children and adolescents while at the dining table and during tea time. An analysis of the data revealed that children and adolescents and a small percentage of adults too have little or limited interest in family style traditional meals. And for a vast majority, the time chosen for food consumption or the preference for a particular food is dictated by the impressions of friends and peers to whom they get into contact through the social media to which they plug in!
The findings of the study according to the author is a cause for concern. In this presentation, the author hopes to sensitize participants of the seminar to the toxic combination that social media and eating disorder creates.
Key words: Adolescents, Eating disorder, School children, Social Media
B 45. Paper entitled Aids or toys ?-A critique of popular apps for autism at the UGC Sponsored National Seminar on Autism Spectrum Disorders- Challenges and Perspectives organized by Govt. Brennen College of Teacher Education, Thalassery on 30 and 31 January 2015.
Ever since Apple Inc. released the first iPad, developers have dived to create Enabling Devices or Autism Apps. Now, a search for "autism" in Apple's App Store brings up no less than a thousand apps for iPad, and iPhone. And Apple has even created a "Special Education" section of the App Store.
Several apps of different companies too are available for people with autism. Their manufacturers claim that individuals will benefit from apps for different reasons. Apps have even classified into categories such as General, Assessment, Behaviour Management, Communication, Language/Writing/Maths, Schedulers/Organizers, Sensory/Relaxation and Social Skills. In fact, apps have become quite varied and diversified.
But how effective are apps for autism? Does the different range of apps help people with autism communicate and improve social skills? Can teachers deliver basic educational lessons in a format that is better suited to autistic learners? Or are apps for autism just ‘toys that engage’ with a ‘semblance of aids’ for learning?
This paper begins by looking at the nature of the neurodevelopmental disorder known as autism. Then it briefly reviews the growth in autism apps and identifies the possible reasons for its growing popularity. Next, an attempt is made to list down the skills associated with the strategies commonly employed for developing reading comprehension among children. These skills are then matched with the ways in which popular apps for autism work to arrive at a critique of their real potential. It is hoped that the presentation in addition to familiarizing participants of the seminar with a range of autism apps, will also help them look critically at the autism apps market.
Key words: Autism, Apps, Enabling Devices
B 46. Paper entitled Media Literacy Skills in BEd Trainees: A Minor Study at the UGC Sponsored National Seminar on infusing quality in teacher education: Issues and perspectives in purview of new psychological paradigms organized by Govt. Brennen College of Teacher Education, Thalassery on 18 and 19 March 2015.
The last two decades have witnessed the profuse use of new technologies for teaching and learning. The learners of today receive most of their information through a complex combination of text, images and sounds. In fact, many of them are constantly bombarded everyday with messages and they themselves use a variety of media tools and technologies. This has necessitated the possession of an ability to navigate through the complex media environment an absolute necessity. But do teacher trainees possess appropriate Media Literacy Skills? Do they have the ability to access, analyze, evaluate media messages of different kinds? This paper is the report of a minor study conducted to identify the Media Literary Skills of BEd trainees.
At the commencement of the study impressions about media and media messages were collected from the participants. Next, a selection of visual documents and audio-visual media clips were shown to the trainees and the message which each trainee received was collected. Finally a Checklist comprising questions employed by those skilled in Media Literacy Skills was distributed and impressions/ responses for a sensational audio-visual media clip was collected.
The responses recorded by the trainees were compared and analyzed. It showed that a majority of the participants who took part in the study are ignorant of strategies to be employed for critiquing media texts and are fairly unaware of the various components of Media Literacy Skills though they are vigorous consumers of media messages.
It is hoped that the findings of the study would prompt those engaged in designing curriculum for teacher training programmes to include topics and activities aimed at developing Media Literacy Skills in prospective teachers.
Key words: BEd trainees, ICT, Media Literacy Skills
B 47. Paper entitled Film-based Research- Deficient or Defunct Practices?-An Explorative Study at the All India Association for Educational Research’s (AIAER) Annual-Cum-International Conference on Standards and Benchmarks for Excellence In Learning, Teaching and Research Organized by the Department of Education, University of Kerala in collaboration with the Govt. College of Teacher Education, Thiruvananthapuram 26 to 28 November 2015.
A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit embalmed and treasured upon purpose to a life beyond life, observed John Milton many centuries ago. In earlier days, research in Literature, usually involved a critical study of major works of an author. With the onset of Modernism, close on the heels of theories like ‘Death of the author’ and ‘Reader Response’, literary research began to fall back liberally on studies in Deconstruction and Inter-textuality. This is fact lend a solid theoretical base to such studies. But the scenario in literary research has begun to show a perceivable change in recent times. This change, commenced with the trend in University departments to include Film and Culture Studies as one of the papers for study at the Post Graduate level in Arts and Humanities.
Feature Film as an entertainment medium evolved hardly a century ago and is perceived as the creative output of hundreds of people including behind the screen experts from cinematographers, script writers and film directors to those in the lime light- the glamorous actors and actresses. Studies in film by students of Literature at a lower level can focus on the one hand on thematic study of plot and on the other hand on the study of adaptations of novels and short stories into films. But the moment Film Studies begin to focus on the medium per se it would necessitate a knowledge of film grammar and film aesthetics on the part of the teacher who teaches the subject and of course the scholar who pursues research in films. Incidentally, such professional knowledge can be gained only by associating oneself with film production- a field widely different from mere composition of a literary work or the acquiring of pedagogical knowledge for becoming a teacher of Literature. Yet, pursuing research in films has become a fad among research scholars across India. Does this augur a genuine creation of knowledge or does research in films reduce itself to a redundant exercise? This paper is the report of a study on film-based research in Universities in Kerala State. The data was drawn from write ups on film criticism and through interviews with research supervisors, research scholars, librarians, film critics and film directors.
This study can prompt those already engaged in film-based research to attempt a serious reflection of their current practices. It is also hoped that a dissemination of the findings of the study would prompt those at the helm of affairs in academic bodies in Universities to set up standards and benchmarks both for courses in Film Studies and also for film-based research.
Key words: Film Studies, Film-based research, Standards, Benchmarks
B 48. Paper entitled Our march towards Virtual Schools- A reality check at the National Multi-disciplinary Annual Research Conference (MARC) organized by University of Kerala 15 to 18 December 2015.
Setting up of Computer Laboratories, introduction of a paper on Information and Communication Technology and the opening of Smart Classrooms in schools are distinct strides made by the General Education Department in Kerala State. Recently the state government proposed the supply of free Tablets and introduction of digitized textbooks in schools. But do such path breaking leaps in the construction of a Kerala Model IT Education which is truly modern, actually make school children in Kerala and their teachers gear up for Virtual Schools? Have we polished certain essential skills and pruned our practices that prepares for the smooth functioning of Virtual Schools? This paper is the report of a critical study of the multiple trajectories of the school-based IT programmes, to gain a clear picture of the real status of IT instruction in schools in Kerala.
Primary data for the study was collected through surveys, and informal interviews with school teachers, students, administrators and parents. Research conducted by students of Education and reports published by the government served as sources of secondary data.
An analysis of the data revealed that though IT education in schools in Kerala has a solid foundation, with regard to pedagogy and use of IT resources, there is much more to be done/achieved. In fact a passion for online learning, independent study, networking, the introduction of ‘connectivist practices’ and the evolution of a ‘community of learners’ are conspicuously absent in the IT-related education. It is hoped that the findings of this study would prompt those engaged in IT-education in schools in Kerala to seriously reflect on their practices and plug loopholes in their current pedagogy.
Key words: IT education, Internet-based learning, Virtual Schools
B 49. Paper entitled Whatsapp Unplugged for Content Revision- A Minor Study at the International Conference on Educational Management and Administration (INCEMA 2015) organized by SIEMAT-Kerala, Department of General Education, Govt. of Kerala on 17th and 18th December 2015.
Whatsapp has in recent times emerged as an extremely popular social media among college students in Kerala State. Unlike Facebook, sharing text, audio and video messages via cell phones are comparatively easy using Whatsapp. This scope for multimodal message transmission, prompted the investigator to conduct a minor study to explore the possibility of revising content knowledge using Whatsapp. This paper is a report of the study conducted during a mid-course vacation of an Under Graduate teacher education programme in a college affiliated to Kannur University.
The study involved ensuring the availability of connection via Whatsapp with local cell phone networks. A check on clarity in reception of messages transmitted using text, audio and video was also attempted. When this appeared OK, the investigator adapted interesting digital resources and identified tasks for revising content learned during the course. Tasks were periodically posted for the specially created Whatsapp group comprising teacher trainees and the investigator-cum-teacher educator. Time bound completion of tasks by the learners followed by feedback on individual and group responses continued during the mid-course-vacation.
The study revealed that Whatsapp has great potential not only for establishing connectivity, but also making learning a pleasurable experience by exploiting the possibilities of multimodal instruction in a blended learning environment.
It is hoped that a dissemination of findings of the study would prompt educationists to critically review the current rule banning the use of cell phones in campuses and motivate teachers not only to adapt and incorporate freely available multimodal digital resources for instructional purpose but also make possible connectivity 24x7 with their students.
Key words: Content revision, Multimodal instruction, Social Media, Whatsapp
B 50. Paper entitled Identity self-check: An innovative film-based strategy for adolescent education at the National Conference on Prospects, Practices and Trends in Adolescence Education organized by Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Mysore from 24 to 26th February 2016.
Several strategies have hither to been explored in India for Adolescent Education. But film as a pedagogic strategy has rarely been attempted. This paper is the report of a curricular innovation attempted to foster identity self-check in students using film.
During a regular film appreciation session organized as part of the Film Club activity, the Club Coordinator and author in a teacher training college, screened Identity, an award-winning short film by KJ Adames which criticizes the dominant cultural norms of identity and the self. Going beyond the usual passive viewing session, the author through an informed discussion and Questionnaire-cum-Checklist initiated self-reflection. A week following the screening, the Questionnaire-cum-Checklist was collected and in an informal chat, the author elicited impressions of respondents on how the viewing of the film and the answering of the questions actually helped them.
An analysis of the responses given showed how screening, discussion and self-reflection helped the participants to prune their own perspective and impressions of both their friends and acquaintances. The innovative curricular practice highlights the potential of film as a pedagogic strategy for Adolescent Education programmes. A dissemination of the findings of the study and a replication of the film viewing sessions with adolescents can help refine the personality of present–day adolescents who are saturated by media images and messages.
Key words: Adolescents, Identity, Mask, Media images, Self awareness
B 51. Paper entitled Social Dynamics in a Cross Border Online Course–A Study at the International Seminar of Swami Vivekananda Association of Science and Humanities(SVASH) on Multidisciplinary Approach: Education and Development held at Kerala Hindi Prachar Sabha, Thiruvananthapuram on 13 August 2016.
Online learning is gaining popularity in India where formal education is increasingly becoming expensive for the common man. Thanks to the birth of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), acquiring knowledge today, is not a privilege of the elite.
But how exactly do Indian learners and teachers perceive courses offered exclusively through an Online mode? How do they perform when almost fifty percent of the participants happen to be from a country projected by the media as hostile? Does it affect learning? In an attempt to find answers to such questions, the author of this paper attempts a case study of an Online course with special focus on its social dynamics.
The acclaimed ten week course entitled ‘Critical Thinking in the Language Learning Classroom’ offered by the University of Oregon, USA is chosen for the study. The course with a one month winter break was offered between November 2015 and February 2016. Unlike other Online courses, where learners from all over the world join, this course was meant only for those who had won a scholarship from the Regional Language Office of the US embassies in India and Pakistan.
As a participant observer, the author had the rare opportunity to study social dynamics of both Indians and Pakistanis pursuing the Online course. Close analysis of responses of participants in three specially created threads to foster social interaction during the course was done.
The study reveals how the entire programme brought together mindsets willing to share, learn and care for each other even though at the political level both countries had fought one major war and several minor battles.
The author hopes that the impressions drawn related to social dynamics of Online learning would add to the limited research data now available on Online learning in India. Further, the findings of the study can be made use of by those engaged in designing Online courses in India.
Key words: Online learning Courses , Discussion, Social dynamics