Location: Barcelona, Spain
I was fortunate to be part of UNESCO X international seminar on the theme, ‘Revisiting the fundamentals of traditional curricula’ as one of the demo presenter.
Due to logistical issues, I could not be present physically to talk about my ‘Zero Cost Management Graduate (Envisioning 21st century global manager)’ I was very excited to talk about my work as well as slightly nervous. The people participating in X international seminar, are very much experienced and working in the sector for many years. How I am able to convey my work 🙂 and explain them about the importance of open education and many other questions were roaming in my mind. All these worries went away, when crowd at Barcelona waved their hands saying ‘hi’ on Skype Window. After a brief introduction of my work by Emma Kiselyova (Executive Director, UNESCO Chair of Social Change, UOC, Barcelona, Spain), I have started my presentation. There has been some minor technical disruption during my presentation, but apart from it, I enjoyed talking about my work.
I could recall some of the questions asked after the presentation. I am answering them here also, with more inputs than I have talked during that Q&A session.
Question 1: Did I face difficulties in finding resources?
Answer: Yes, it was not easy to find the resources. Often, I had to rely on trial and error to decide which resource was suitable. Even though their was Google, finding a proper resource required time but I knew something was there, and I was able to find it. In fact, I have also taken the help of other people in finding such resources. So my entire project, was more or less fully open sources. Example: For understanding rate cute, currency conversations, I have used the help of LinkedIn group ‘Treasury Peer’ members. Whenever I had confusion, I asked what does this headline in the newspaper can mean? How it is related to? And where to get more information? People replied to my questions and even explained things to me, also telling me where to find more ways to study.
Question 2: I think the question was, how do you think these open resources can be implemented in the developing countries like India. This was asked by someone who has spent more than a month teaching in Kolkata. She has seen students are very much motivated.
Ans: Yes, its possible. The real problem is the lack of awareness about such open educational resources. Open source being developed in English can be one of the reasons they are not being promoted so much in India. And I do think, they can help a lot of students. I come from a small town and seen people dropping out of schools due to various reasons and many who are finishing university education often find it difficult to re-skill themselves with the rapid changes of industrial demand. Open Education can actually answer this and I do hope, my example can shed some positive light.
Question 3: Are you still an engineer? Or you have changed?
Ans: Well, I prefer to call myself interdisciplinary professional as I have combined my engineering skills with newly learned managerial aspects. In one of the projects done for a Mexican firm, I have tried to modify packaging efficiency of their framing. Here, I have used my engineering background to understand the problem and tried my experience to solve it. Something similar, I have tried while helping 2 NGO’s in Sierra Leone. The word ‘Interdisciplinary’ is something I like to quote suits better for me. Word of thanks I like to thank team of UNESCO at Universitat Oberta de Catalyuna as well as all the participants of the seminar for giving me opportunity to share my work. I hope, more people will understand the importance of open education as well as pursuing their dream by charting their own path, like I did.
Want to read more? – Event website
— UOC UNESCO Chair (@UOCunescochair) April 27, 2015