KidloLand Interactive Educational App for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Review and Giveaway

Not All Screen Time is Bad- KidloLand Proves That

Technology has seeped into all parts of human life. Living in 21st century, its tough to avoid the use of technological gadgets in our everyday life. I used to be very apprehensive about giving some ‘screen time’ to my kids. But over a period of time I realized it’s impossible to keep kids away from the same.

Healthy screen time can be a great way of fun and learning for kids. As parents it depends upon us how we use technology to our advantage and choose the right content for our kids. While allowing some screen time to my twins there are two things that I always keep in mind-

1.Fixing the time limit – I believe in practicing moderation. So, my children are allowed only half an hour of screen time everyday which they happen to enjoy a lot.

2. Avoid Passive Learning–  I ensure to involve them in interactive games that requires active engagement on their part. This helps making screen time a session full of fun and learning.

I always prefer downloading some fun, interactive and educational apps that let my kids learn and enjoy at the same time. So when I was offered a six months subscription pack to try an educational app named KidloLand, I jumped upon the opportunity.

KidloLand

I have been exploring this app with my kids since over a month now and can easily vouch for it to be an ideal Nursery Rhyme and Games App for toddlers and preschoolers.

Read on the detailed review of the app. Scroll down to see the Giveaway surprise at the end. 

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Treasure Of My Life – My Library Shelf That Transports Me To An Alternate Reality

I have always been very fond of reading. I love the look and feel of books. Their smell attracts me, so much so that I can devour an entire book in an evening. The biggest treasure of my life is my library shelf that contains all the novels and books that I have read and that have added to my knowledge.

I developed this love for reading when I was in class 8.  Before that reading just meant like any another casual activity. However in class 8, my English teacher gifted me a book. She rewarded the five highest scorers of the section and gave them all a story book as a token of appreciation. That was the first prize/ reward I had ever received and so it held a special value for me. Reading that book transported me to another world. I found myself enjoying in an imaginary land of words and illustrations. Through that book my interest in reading developed.

Now when the time came to think of a course for Graduation, I could not think of anything else but English Literature. Studying that course broadened my horizon of knowledge as I got a chance to read books of different genres, themes, styles etc.

During my college days, my parents always loved to boast about my reading skills. However as much as they appreciated, my mother would also get fed up seeing my room cluttered with books. So one day she decided to create a mini-library of sorts and dedicate a special corner of my room only to books. In her attempt to maintain cleanliness in my room, she gifted me my biggest treasure of life.

Treasure
Credit: pixabay.com

My library is personally curated by me. Each book on the shelf is either my favourite read or by my favourite author. I have classified them on the basis of genres and tried to maintain an alphabetic sequence.

Books from all genres find place in my library. From sci-fi to romantic fiction, from classics to popular reads, from European to Indian literature, from prose to poetry, from Plato to Chetan Bhagat- my mini-library includes my favourites amongst the all.

I find my small library shelf as a big window from where I look out to a new universe. Whenever I want to get away from the complexities of the real world, I pick up a book from this shelf and sit in a silent corner to read it. Each book that I read transports me to an alternate reality. Each read gives me a unique perspective to comprehend things. Each book sparks my imagination and enables me to think differently. And hence I consider my library as a treasure-house that broadens my horizon and opens a different world for me.

I am now married and in a different city. My library is back at my maternal home. Every time I visit my place, I like to spend a few hours of the day standing in front of that library and reminiscing the story behind each and every book that is a part of my collection.

Apart from all the books in my library shelf, I also have a journal which is another most treasured possession of mine. Read all about my favourite Matrika’s Journal here.

I am participating in the 6th Write Tribe Festival of Words

#writetribe #writingbravely #festivalofwords #writebravely 

What is your biggest treasure of life? Do share with us in the comments below.

Schools of Tomorrow- My Vision of A Perfect School for My Kids

The Future Of Education: Schools of Tomorrow

Think about schools and there are two images that appear in my mind.

One is of the traditional school of ancient times, where kids were taught in open spaces with all the naturally available resources. The focus of the school was knowledge of Vedas, philosophy and morality. The teacher was supremely respected and had one-on-one connection with the students.

The other image that appears in my mind is that of the modern-day school with all the state-of-the-art facilities that aims at advancing knowledge through means of technology. Digitalization forms the major aspect of the school and focus is on subjects like literature, art, science, etc.

Both the images are quite different from each other and are based on different precepts of education. Now when I envisage an image of the perfect school of tomorrow for my kids- I imagine a school that imbibes the best of both the worlds- ancient and modern.

Schools of tomorrow

The idea of schools has changed drastically over a period. From chalkboards to smart boards, from slates to notepads, from open air classrooms to the curtained air-conditioned ones- there has been a huge evolution in the concept of schools. Along with the infrastructural changes, the concept of teacher-child relationship, the medium to pass knowledge, the use of language, etc all have changed.

Being a mother and a teacher, my vision of the school of tomorrow involves a system that is healthy, less complicated and fully focussed in providing the best to the kids. Here are my few hopes that I have placed on the education system for the future generation-

Infrastructure and Environment

I hope for a school that is fully equipped to promote all-round development in children- be it physical, social, intellectual, emotional, etc. Along with digital classrooms and updated technology, the schools should have open play ground, safe and independent learning spaces for the students.

The school atmosphere should be healthy, friendly and encouraging. Students should emerge as confident thinkers who are able to express themselves freely.

The policies of the school should be based on the precept of equality and be flexible enough to adjust as per the needs of students.

Admission and Fee

The admission process of the school should be fair and equal. The admission criteria should be same for all the students. Seeing the current scenario, it is highly needed that the school focusses to be the centre of knowledge and learning, and not a commercial organization.

Curriculum

I would like to send my children to a school that prepares them for life, and not just for getting a high-salaried job.

Curriculum of the school plays at important role. A school which focuses on all the subjects and provides multiple choices to the kids to choose as per interest would be the best.

For any school, it’s curriculum has to be relevant to the lives of the students and should involve practical learning lessons. Along with intellectual development it should help in the growth of individual attitude, skills and habits.

Spiritual and Value education is the need of the hour. Given to the state of public life in today’s time with corruption, violence, etc at its peak, all schools should focus majorly on character-building and moral development among kids.

Teachers and Teaching Methodologies

The role of a teacher is indispensable in a school. I want to see a school which keeps pace with technology but not at the cost of a teacher. Teacher still remains the most important and respected being like the ancient education system. She plays the role of a guide for students and not an influencer. Her major goal be to promote independent and creative thinking amongst the students.

My idea of a better school involves a setup where teachers and parents work as a team for the best interest of the child.

Teachers are not just knowledgeable but also updated and open to the idea of learning with the changing times. They practice what they preach and ensure setting a good example for the kids.

Teachers are innovative, creative and as good a listener as a speaker. They promote experiential learning as opposed to the rote one and use new tools of teaching methodology to suit the needs of all students.

Assessment and Evaluation

Individual abilities and the interest of the child should be kept in mind while designing basic home works, weekly tests, final examinations, etc.

The perfect school should be able to recognize that the success of the students cannot be measured by simple tools. The evaluation system has to be far more comprehensive, transparent and fair.

 

Education has become much more complex in today’s time. I don’t aim for an ideal place of learning for my children but I do hope that it is based on a basic premise that- each child is unique and hence needs to be shaped as per his individual capabilities and interests.

The future institutions be the one that  do not measure the success of the students by the weight of their school bag, nor by their ability to use the latest notepad. It rather helps children to reach their full potential and be able to give their best in the society.

I want a my kids to be happy and enthusiastic at the idea of going to school every morning. If that happens it would make for a perfect school of tomorrow.

 

What kind of school do you imagine for your children? Share your idea for the schools of tomorrow with us.

Also read the hopes and wishes of my friends Mahek and Prisha for the future of  education.

I am proud to be participating in The Festival Of Education Rajasthan and writing this post on the topic: ‘Schools of Tomorrow- What Could They Be’. You can read about the festival here



 

 

Also read : Being A Teacher: My Learnings And Hopes From This Profession 

Being A Teacher: My Learnings And Hopes From This Profession


It is usually said, ‘teaching is one profession that makes all other professions’. Being a teacher, therefore, is not that easy as it seems.

Having taught in a secondary school, I gained a deep perspective about this profession. During my B.ed days, I thought teaching is all about imparting knowledge, making students learn and creating an understanding of concepts in a simple yet interesting way. However, a practical experience of addressing a class full of bright minds, made me realize that teaching is all this and much more.

As a teacher, I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders. I just don’t have to teach a few young souls so that they pass from one grade to another but also train them to understand what they are and want to be; introduce them with their own abilities; enable them to deal with certain shortcomings and prepare them to face life with all its challenges.

So when I used to enter my class, I not only needed a lesson plan in my hand that would tell me how to engage my listeners for the next forty minutes, but also some clarity in my mind of how to enhance the young and dynamic personalities that I got a chance to deal with and groom them into wonderful human beings.

Being a teacher, therefore, required me to first be a good learner. Having mastery over my subject wasn’t enough. I had to constantly learn and upgrade my knowledge. I had to learn how to enable learning in a classroom of 40 students. I had to be creative enough to create their interest in a subject that they may like or dislike. Thus, each day I had to acquire a new art and practice a new skill.

Teacher
Teacher

Teaching a curriculum is exacting, and teaching the same curriculum over the years to a different group of students is testing. Hence, comes the challenge of giving a new twist to an old tale. Being a teacher, required me to discover various ways through which I could break monotony and practice ingenuity. This was possible only when I ardently loved my profession and put my heart and soul into whatever I did as an educator.

In the course of my career, I also realized that as a teacher I may err to be an influencer. To teach implies enabling students to think and helping them develop their own point of view. It’s easy for kids to be influenced by the thinking of the teacher which has a risk of damaging their creativity. Hence I always felt the danger of imposing my own beliefs and values on them. Maintaining a thin line difference between the two and helping kids grow as independent thinkers is the toughest part of this profession. While speaking to my students, I always had to be cautious. If a parent used to come up with a remark that ‘my child is really influenced by you’ or ‘my child loves to copy your style of writing or speaking’, I never took it as a compliment. Rather, I used to get perturbed and reflect on changes I needed to bring in my own teaching methodologies.

There is a lot of hard work, knowledge, passion and compassion that goes into the making of  a  teacher.  It sinks my heart to see how this profession, in spite of its noble stature, is yet to receive it’s due. It’s still the most underrated and underpaid profession(especially, in the private sector). The teachers, at times, are subject to exploitation by all- the employers, the parents and, to an extent, even the students. The common perception still holds- ‘if you can’t be in any other profession, you can at least be a teacher’.  However no one admits, that had there not been a teacher, no other profession would have been possible.

 

Do you want to read more teachers views on this. Check out this interesting post by Vidhi Duggal : Parent-teacher Relationship: Don’t Criticize Let’s Coordinate

Also read this thoughtful poetic piece that I wrote when I observed so many changes in my life after taking the job of a teacher – The Change.