December 29, 2012
I was only able to appreciate the scale of the 'problem' when I was driving through the streets of Detroit, from Gross Pointe to the Hiedelberg street, and seeing the transition, and the farmland like open spaces right in the middle of the city amidst broken, burnt, nearly-empty neighborhoods.
December 17, 2012
The Detroit challenge!
When I came to Michigan to study my degree course, I have very little idea about the history of the region.
First through a few conversations, then through the discovery of organizations and groups, and then more talking, I came to know of the gravity of the problem confronting Detroit. I still remember sitting down open-mouthed trying to imagine how a US city could go so wrong. The city has shrunk down to 700,000 in population from over a million a decade ago, entire buildings and neighborhoods are empty and the city could go bankrupt. Wow!
How does a city go bankrupt?
December 04, 2012
I recently heard a moving story which I thought would be worth sharing. This story was told to me by Nancie Severs at the recently held OLPC San Francisco community summit (olpcsf.org). She has been closely associated with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project initiatives in SE Asia.
December 03, 2012
The power of ideas!
Since ancient times, mankind has progressed on the foundation of great ideas. From the Buddha in the 5th century BC, to the renaissance in Europe, to the information age we are in today, change happens when people challenge assumptions, break barriers, and are not afraid to fail.
I believe we are at the threshold of another such revolution in education. Modern technology has afforded us with tools which we can "think with" rather than stare at a blackboard, or constructionism as opposed to instructionism.
In my work, I want to take cutting edge technology, join them to the "learning by doing" constructionist principles, and put that synthesis at the heart of educational reform.
There are sure to be exciting times ahead in my journey. Stay tuned!
I am a graduate student studying for my Master of Entrepreneurship degree at the University of Michigan. My mission is to revolutionize and democratize education through technology in less advantaged areas of the world. Before joining the program, I have worked in educational projects in Latin America and Australia as a part of the One Laptop Per Child project (which uses a low cost, rugged laptops as an aid to early education).
As part of my degree, I am working in the Detroit region to understand (and hopefully solve) some of the challenges with early education. I am at the stage of figuring out the challenges kids face while learning, and brainstorming solutions based on the principles of "learning by doing". Also, while I am dedicated to my overall mission ,I have yet to focus in on which aspect of education I want to address, and the role (or not) of IT and/or low cost rugged laptops and electronic devices in it.
I find that the most fulfilling aspect of my work is the sense of pride kids feel when they have had the wonderful experience of learning something, or better yet, learning about learning itself!