Tag Archives: #edtech

Indian-American’s Palo Alto Nonprofit Announces $2,000 Mini-Grants For US Classrooms

Palo Alto-based Osmo for Schools, in partnership with Osmo Cares, the charitable arm of award-winning STEAM brand Osmo, announces one-time mini-grants consisting of $2000 worth of Osmo for Schools’ educational technology.  A total of 20 in-kind mini-grants will be awarded to schools in time for the Fall 2021 semester.
Award-winning STEAM brand Osmo was co-founded by Pramod Sharma, who came to the U.S. from India to study at Stanford and later became an engineer at Google. In 2013, he co-founded Osmo with Jerome Scholler. Osmo has won numerous awards from US consumer and educational technology media outlets, including a Time Magazine Best Invention Award in 2014, EdTech Digest’s 2020 E-Learning Innovation of the Year Award, and Best AI-based Solution for Education Award for its proprietary reflective AI technology in 2018. The technology is used in over 2.5 million homes and over 30,000 classrooms.
“Osmo for Schools is so thrilled to offer 20 mini-grants for the first time ever,” says Jan Richards, head of education sales and marketing at Osmo for Schools, the division of Tangible Play that promotes in-classroom usage of Osmo’s devices. “We know there are many schools across the country which lack needed funding to purchase educational technology, so we decided to give 20 schools a gift. Their students and teachers will have something to look forward to when they return to in-person learning this fall.”
The grant application will be open to public schools in the United States desiring to outfit a classroom with Osmo’s award-winning STEAM technology. Mini-grant recipients will be able to choose from a selection of Osmo for Schools products; only one recipient will be selected per school. Schools must already have appropriate tablets on hand, or a plan to purchase them–they are not included as part of the mini-grant.
Applications will be accepted July 1-17, 2021; mini-grant recipients will be announced Aug. 9, 2021.
For further details about the Osmo for Schools’ mini-grant and application process, visit here: schools.playosmo.com/grants.

Osmo for Schools, a division of Tangible Play, Inc., focuses on building in-classroom usage of Osmo’s award-winning educational systems. Using proprietary AI technology, these systems help teachers foster collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and increased engagement in learning, in students. Osmo is used in more than 30,000 schools in North America. Tangible Play is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For more information about Osmo for Schools and its products, visit schools.playosmo.com

Unconventional

Unconventional

disquieting dreams,

and marooned behind inadequate screens

await former days

and absent glitching in say.

eyes stained: debilitated red

with dilly- dally chained to bed. 

and what to find?

obliterated time!

how can one comprehend?

when inhibited voices send.

this institution is rapid pace 

we aren’t tying lace

but how can they care about dreams…

After all, vision is by screen.

*****


Rashmika Manu is a 10th grader attending High School. She enjoys using poetry as a form of expression. She is passionate about travel and hopes to fight poverty when she is older. 

EdTech Trends Post COVID

COVID-19 has posed a major learning issue to students, parents, and educators. In the face of a sudden paradigm shift, online learning now finds itself at the forefront of mainstream learning. For the first time, students everywhere are completely dependent on digital methods to fulfill their daily learning needs. 

“The pandemic has become an inflection point for education, and you can see this in how different stakeholders have responded to the crisis. A majority of educational institutes are conducting their classes online, parents are encouraging their children to learn from a screen, and students themselves are experimenting with new methods of learning from home. While I don’t expect things to remain 100% online or even 100% offline on the other side of the pandemic, I believe certain aspects of the ‘new normal’ will make their way into the ‘Classrooms of Tomorrow,” says Divya Gokulnath, co-founder and teacher of BYJU’S.

Few trends we will see post the pandemic:

  1. Blended learning will be the new normal: In the post-corona era, we will witness the rise of a blended form of education, with seamless integration of the best of both online and offline learning. The proliferation of smart devices coupled with the democratization of the internet will fasten this process. With teachers now understanding the advantages of online learning tools, we will see tech-enabled learning gain importance even in a classroom setting. The ‘Classrooms of Tomorrow’ will have technology at its core, empowering students to cross over from passive to active learning. The future will see us take a leap from the traditional one-to-many approach to blended one-on-one learning experiences, providing students the best of both physical and digital worlds.
  2. Interactivity will take center stage: Given the prolonged exposure to online learning tools during this period, engagement and interactivity will emerge as a priority for students, parents and teachers. Newer dimensions to quizzes, interactive games, story-based Q&As, engaging lessons that strengthen concepts, will see greater inclusion and adoption. 
  3. Personalization will be the need of the hour: Students are looking for learning solutions customized to their own style and pace and a majority of innovation will be geared towards making personalization as effective as possible. Data and analytics will play a major role in making this a reality. Virtual mentoring for personal guidance and tutoring will also emerge as a key service.
  4. Early learning will become more innovative: As the importance of formative learning and early conceptual understanding gains more acceptance, we will see a lot more innovation in products, tools, and ideas to help young children get learning right from the beginning. From storified concepts to their favorite cartoon characters playing teachers, kids will experience a highly engaging form of learning from their early years
  5. Vernacular learning will gain importance: As internet penetration and smart device adoption continue to increase across India, learning will become more customized. To cater to the huge student population outside metros, learning programs will be effectively created and delivered in all key vernacular languages. 
  6. Digital learning tools will see greater adoption from teachers: The on-going pandemic has caused teachers to become digitally empowered. Even teachers who were hesitant to adopt digital tools are now using them in different capacities. This has enabled them to see the advantages of digital learning. Because of better awareness, the coming year will see teachers/educators increasingly adopt tech-enabled learning tools to support their students’ learning needs. This could be in a classroom or in an after-school learning setup.

Suman Bajpai is a freelance writer, journalist, editor, translator, traveler, and storyteller based in Delhi. She has written more than 10 books on different subjects and translated around 130 books from English to Hindi.