Last week I attended an amazing panel discussion on “Raising Millennials in the Digital Age”, superbly moderated by Rajeev Makhni. Panelists included Ms Sheetal Ansal – Trustee Ansal University, Ms Vaneeta Uppal – Director British School, Ms Ankhi Das – Director Facebook India, Mr. Saket Modi – Entrepreneur, Kalli Puri Vice Chairman India Today Group. Raising millennials’ in the digital age is critical and so is making aware their parents. This panel discussion was equally invigorating and addressing this important aspect.
Last year Dr. MM Pant a visionary educationist and a leader par excellence, gave me this unique opportunity to be a co-presenter alongside him in a WhatsApp based course, that he was doing on Learning How to Learn. The topic has been inspired by Dr. Barbara Oakland and it’s my endeavor to put forth the answers to some of the questions/topics below.
This write up was actually a part of an email that we had written on the eve of the closure of the latest application round of Atal Tinkering Labs. (ATL) on 31st August 2017. Our objective was to bring forth the anomaly of sole hardware promotion with little or no emphasis on its training.
Undoubtedly hardware is a key resource in IT, imagine learning all the software engineering theory with little or no practical use of the computer! Conversely just having to say computers with no training on how to use them, would sooner or later make the same redundant, dysfunctional or frustrate the whole process.
Due to adverse weather conditions I reached the conference venue late. However to my surprise there was a sizeable number of audience already sitting & listening to the deliberations. Lakshayraj Singh Mewar from the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation had the audience spell bound with his gripping talk. Very eloquently he explained the role of Gyan Chand, Rai Chand & Dhyan Chand analogies in what we do. Next was a power packed panel of Dr. Sugata Mitra, Mr. Mathew Ragett and Dr. Vipul Redey, suggesting how the idea of knowing had become obsolete. We have to live with the internet & our smart phones, which catapults us to the fact that we know everything. So would we call the smart phone & internet an addiction? Is it something akin to wearing of shoes asked Dr. Mitra? When our early ancestors walked barefooted, who would have guessed that shoes would become an addiction or necessity! So with the advent of internet & smartphones, may be 20 years later this discussion would seem completely obsolete and out of place.
The moment I saw the poster of GEF, I knew this was something big. However, when I reached the conference, it was much bigger than I had initially thought about it! In all conferences, it’s the people that make it big, so in the presence of big names like Mr. Anil Swarup, Dr. Sugata Mitra, Dr. Harish Chaudhary, Dr. PB Sharma, Dr. Kamlesh Misra etc. one feels already enlightened. There is so much energy & knowledge that is revolving around these people, it’s unimaginable & unexplainable.
It all started with 2 innocuous 3D printing demos with the Principal, Headmistress and a few teachers of the school in the early part of 2017. Everyone was impressed with the 3D printing technology and the potential it held for them. Being a purely CBSE school, we were of the wrong view that DPS wanted to have 3D printing technology as a hobby club! Seeing their enthusiasm we corrected our course of action as in the past most of our clients had been IB schools. However their condition of buying our 3D equipment was that we had to do capacity building, that is train their teachers & students first.
It all began with a casual phone call from the Principal of Indian School Muscat (ISM). He wanted someone to teach/enmesh STEM education into their curriculum. I remember their Principal Dr. Rajeev Chauhan mentioning, ‘sir we hope it won’t be robotics, that you will be teaching’! it was then that I realized that how misleading STEM education had become. ‘We’ve always been into 3D printing training’ and I reiterated that’s the thing we will be teaching.
Last month NITI AAYOG refloated the Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) scheme. In the current scheme of things, 1,000 schools are being shortlisted for the setting up of Atal Tinkering Labs. and will be given Rs.20 lakhs for the same. Already 457 schools have been selected to receive the grant and their purchases are under way. However 2 weeks ago Niti Aayog gave approval and released another list of 484 schools that had applied earlier for the ATL grant. Being passionate about 3D Printing and the fact that government finally decided to push technology to the grass root level with such zeal, it synergized with our existing work & ethos. We at I Print My Things promote 3D printing in schools and we are into the installation of 3D printing labs. and 3D printing training in educational institutions in Asia.
It’s always invigorating to meet schools leaders as it brings out a fresh thinking in us at I Print My Things and of course takes us back personally to our schools days! Earlier this week, it was amazing to meet Mrs Anupama Chopra Principal GD Goenka Karkardooma and Principal of GD Goenka Rohini, Mrs Ragini Kaul. Both these are new K-12 schools of about 1200 students but above all great school leaders. Both these, Principals had an aura to them, their approach to their schools was unique and it was a joy to spend time with them. Avikshit Saras was in these schools in his capacity as a 3D printing trainer, conducting a demo class for the students. The students were very much aware of 3D printing and their hunger for knowledge was quite apparent. There were numerous questions and excitement was palpable.
3D Printing is a cutting edge technology of the 4th Industrial Revolution causing disruption everywhere. Its impacting us in more than one ways, be it how we make, learn or design anything. 3D Printing augments creation of physical objects in three dimensions, using 3D CAD software. 3D Printing brings out a person’s creativity & imagination; increases team work & collaboration. McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that 3D printing could generate economic impact of $79 billion per year by 2025 with a 28% CAGR. The huge growth rates are a direct result of its applications for prototyping and mass production in a number of industries, thanks to an ever increasing list of 3D printable materials. The World Economic Forum describes it as one of the four pillars of the 4th Industrial Revolution alongside AR, VR & AI, big data, block chains etc.”
3D Entrepreneurship comes from the realm of 3D printing or 3D prototyping, a 20th century technology having far-reaching applications in the 21st Century. The World Economic Forum calls it one of the pillars of the 4th Industrial Revolution. 3D Printing was invented by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems in the 1980s’ in the US and patented then. Now the patents have expired and we see a lot of widespread usage and advancement in this technology.