Chandrayaan 2 – what can we learn from it?

So much information, so many emotions, people sat glued to their televisions in utter suspense…..eager to learn some news. And… oh no, a collective cry of disappointment. Many people were sad.

The country had lost its reputation in the list of superpowers.

The country had failed.

Do you agree? First let’s see what the hue and cry is about.

What and why

What was the mission about? Why was it important?

The first Indian mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 1 had provided evidence of water molecules on the moon. Chandrayaan 2 was to further study the extent of water distribution on the moon. The process was expected to increase our understanding of space and allow for more collaboration with other nations. In short, this was an exploratory mission designed to learn and instigate further missions.

A space mission involves more than a decade of groundwork, understanding the conditions through which the vehicle must operate,  simulations and finally, take-off. Sounds a bit like school work, doesn’t it? As students, you have the initial groundwork of understanding the subject. Knowing and managing the distractions that will certainly come in the way. Regular practise sessions and finally, the test.

Collaboration

Did you know that the orbiter wasn’t all Indian? The lander was originally supposed to be from Russia, but they backed out and finally, India went ahead with the design of Vikram Lander. Two instruments were from NASA. 

In a project of this size and complexity, expertise and resources are sought from across the world. Do you know why? Because no one person can claim to have all the knowledge. It’s as simple as that. 

Similarly, when you have a project to complete or face a subject that just won’t go into your head, collaborate. When concepts are fuzzy and you are losing the will to practise, collaborate. Usually collaboration works by finding someone who has understood and is good at teaching.

Resources are everywhere, don’t limit yourself to your friends and the few other people you know. It is possible that the person who doesn’t talk to you, ever, can actually teach you.

Keep trying

There have been many missions to the moon. A hundred and nine.

Only sixty-one have been successful. Only forty-six of the missions were meant to land on the moon and return samples of rock to earth. Twenty-one did.

The idea of success varies. At first, the question was, can we land a man on the moon? Yes! And that was success. For one country, the purpose was just to achieve flyby. Once the first question was answered, the question changed. With that, what constituted success changed.

What is success?

Success then is about identifying the question only you want to answer, nobody else.

As you grow older, let your mind travel. And don’t forget the basics, understand well, practise to perfection.

What does this tell us? There is a group that refuses to sit back and say, ‘Oh, they did it already. There is nothing left to be done.’ Instead it asks, ‘What can I do?’

They keep asking, exploring, seeking, finding answers, dropping some, fixing on others.

The scientists at ISRO are the best in the country. Why would a group of scientists put their effort into sending an orbiter to the moon? Failure can appear at any moment. There are far easier, less risky options available.

Do they do it to please someone at home? Because they will get a bigger car or house? Or are they motivated by being a part of an exercise that goes beyond themselves?

What is success for a student?

When you, as a student get tired of the study and regular practice or limit free time to learn for an immediate test, do you think of what you are doing and why?

Why should you streamline your day so that you can enjoy both work and play?

We often ask children what they would like to do when they grow up. Become an artist? Mathematician, maybe? Haven’t really thought so far ahead? Oh, then try medicine, or engineering. And the young person doesn’t like those options either.

Sometimes, the answer doesn’t lie there.

Would you like to ask instead, what question do I want to answer? And let your mind wander. The questions may arise from the world around us, from within a circle of people you know. Clouds, trees, birds, computer games, machines at home, anywhere. You might land up with many questions from different sources and decide, oh, that one is what really interests me.

So…..was Chandrayaan 2 a failure? What did we learn from it?

Let’s talk about what’s not working. The lander reached the ground at a higher than desirable speed. There may be some damage. It was tasked with directing and relaying the findings of the Pragyan rover, and it may not be able to play its part. The area it occupies offers harsh temperatures and a rocky terrain.

Let’s see what’s working. The orbiter is relaying high resolution images back to earth. Can it answer the question about water? Maybe it can. Maybe the evidence will be inconclusive.

Time will tell

So how can anyone label the mission a failure or success?

We must realise that the view of the world is limited. Celebrating only success takes away from all that we can learn from the journey.

This question will come up in your mind, am I successful? Maybe you cleared a tough exam but are unsure of the future, maybe you got accepted at a prestigious institute. The answer is  – time will tell. A lot depends on your adaptability to a challenging, unknown environment.

 

– Contributed by aspiring author, Shobna S. Iyer

What’s the Difference Between Test Papers & Revision Notes?

March and April are tough months for all students in India. Firstly, the pleasant spring weather gives in to blazing heat in April. April showers do not bring May flowers. Secondly, it is the time of the school, Board, or other competitive exams. children are buy poring over their books and cramming the lessons, practicing sample test papers, or studying revision notes.

These days, children have abundant and surplus material to study- class notes, tuition notes, study guides, exemplars, question banks, past test papers, revision notes, etc. The list is endless. Children are confused as to what to study and when.

Test Papers and Revision Notes – The Difference

Here is an analysis that clearly differentiates between test papers and revision notes. This will help students to understand when to use each of the two.

1. Summary vs. Q&A

Revision notes help you to summarize the lesson briefly and give a snapshot view of the lesson in condensed form. It takes the entire lesson and concisely presents it. One look at the revision notes and the child is prepared as they have a high overview of the lesson.

On the other hand, a practice test paper or mock test cannot present the lesson in a brief and capsulated form. They only give a set of questions and answers pertaining to the lesson. They can be either general or specific questions, and there is no guarantee that the entire lesson will be covered. However, it might cover specific details that would have been glossed over in the summary.

2. Important Points

Both revision notes and test papers cover the important points of the lesson, each in their own way.

Revision notes give a list of all the important points of the lesson while test papers pose questions from important portions. By reading the revision notes, the child can be fully prepared with the concept of the lesson. With test papers, they have a fair idea of how the questions regarding these important points will be asked.

3. Coverage

Revision notes give the entire lesson in a capsule form at least mention the main information. This cannot be said about test papers as each test paper may have questions from selected areas.

This can be fixed by working out several test papers, almost all portion of the lesson are covered fully. This is why several batches of sample test papers must be worked out.

4. Tough Portions

Can the tough portions that need extra work be identified? With sample test papers, yes. With revision notes, no!

With sample test papers, there is an understanding of which areas of the lessons are difficult from the question posed. There is a realization of having to work really hard on these areas. With revision notes, there is only an overall picture of the lesson and the difficult areas cannot be earmarked.

5. In Depth

The lesson may or may not be covered in depth by the revision notes. Usually, revision notes are for last minute brushing-up of the lesson for revision purpose and not to introduce the lesson and teach it to someone new. So, they just give the important points as a bulleted list.

The entire lesson cannot be covered in depth by practicing only just one test paper. If students make a habit of practicing test papers regularly, they can cover the lesson in depth. Students must make use of productive online practice learning sites like let practise and download sample test papers from them.

How and When to use Test Papers and Revision Notes?

Both test papers and revision notes must be used during exam time. The student must first prepare for the exam and revise using revision notes. Then they must practise and test herself/himself using the test papers to gauge their proficiency in the lesson.

Parents and teachers can download these sample test papers from online practice learning sites like LetsPractise. LetsPractise has an abundant resource-pool of question papers pertaining to all syllabi- State Board, IGCSE, CBSE, ICSE, etc. and for students from 1st standard to 10th standard. Take a look at our subscription plans. See anything you like? Contact us for more.

Online practice learning sites like LetsPractise are a boon to students as they offer both  test papers and revision notes to help them gain excellence in academics.

Make full use of LetsPractise to help your child excel in studies!

Mobile Phones for Students: Boon or Bane?

Everything in life has a dual nature- day and night, good and bad, rich and poor, health and illness. All things in the universe can be a boon (good) or a bane (bad) or in other words, a blessing or a curse. So it is with mobile phones.

Mobile phone usage is growing at a rapid rate. With smartphones, people have access to a variety of information at their fingertips. Today, the world is unimaginable without the omnipresent mobile phones. From the children aged 9 to the elderly aged 90, everyone has a smartphone now.

Before we continue, here are some cold hard facts regarding mobile phones:

  • 56% of the children in the age group of 8-12 have a mobile phone
  • 21% of children aged 8 years use a smartphone
  • The average age of a child when he/she receive his first mobile phone is 12.
  • 51% of the high school students carry their mobile phone to school every day.
  • Children under 9 years spent at least 2 hours every day staring at mobile screens.

Are all the above facts for good or is mobile usage going to harm your child in a huge way? It depends on how the smartphone is used.

Mobile Phones: Boon or Bane?

Let’s start with the negatives first.

Mobile Phones: Bane

Everyone knows how harmful mobile phones can be, especially for children.

  • Mobile phones emit bright blue light which harms the eye of children on prolonged exposure.
  • Children get addicted to online gaming due to the use of mobile phones
  • Addiction to social media is the aftermath of mobile phones usage
  • Children become couch potatoes as they cling on to their mobile phones and lose the opportunity to exercise and remain fit.
  • Children might be exposed to undesirable content online and it is difficult to monitor what they are doing every second.

Everything is best when used in moderation and this is the case with mobile phones.  Parents and teachers must not ban, but regulate the use of mobile phones at home and at school.

At home, parents must supervise the use of mobile phones and monitor the content of the websites and apps their children are using.  They should also restrict the excessive use of mobile phones by clearly defining at what times they can be used.

During examination time, children must limit time sinks like mobile phones and switch them off or hand them to the parents. At school, the use of mobile phones should be forbidden during class hours so students don’t get distracted. This is already being followed and implemented across many institutions.  

Mobile Phones: Boon

Enough has been said about how mobile phones make children addicted and ruin their lives. Let us look at some positive things about mobile phone usage by children.

Here are some statistics on how parents and teachers feel about the usage of mobile phones for children.

  • 62% of parents feel that mobile phones promote children’s education.
  • 45% of parents bought or plan to buy mobile phones to aid in their children’s education.
  • 68% of parents feel that mobile phones can teach children how to read.
  • 57% of parents feel that mobile phones help children in doing maths.
  • 32% of parents feel that mobile phones should be used in the classroom.
  • 62% of parents feel that mobile phones promote children’s education
  • 86% of school principals feel that it is important for students to use mobile phones for their school work.
  • 71% of teachers use online educational apps for teaching.
  • 64% of teachers use educational websites for teaching.

Apart from this, mobile phones help parents and teachers to access children at all times with a call. Students can also call their parents in case of an emergency, thus ensuring their safety.

All the above just proves that most parents and teachers feel that mobile phones can be a blessing. However, they have to be used in a productive manner by children to enhance their knowledge.

Should Children Use Mobile Phones or Not?

There’s no right answer to this question as it depends on how the phones are used. Instead of wasting time playing online games or posting on social media, children must optimise their use of mobile phones by amassing knowledge and enriching their talent. This will make mobile phones a boon for all children.

What are the ways in which mobile phones can be used productively by children?

Academically, children can use mobile phones to:

  • Expand their knowledge
  • Improve their English skills as a majority of language online is in English
  • Improve their vocabulary
  • Strengthen their mathematical ability
  • Understand science concepts
  • Improve their creativity
  • Download educational apps
  • Improve their dexterity and reflexes

If you’re deciding whether you should get your child a smartphone, remember that mobile phones are not all bad. Of course, kids will have fun with them, but they can still be used for educational purposes. Students can use mobile phones to practice their academic lessons and test themselves using online practice learning sites such as LetsPractise.

LetsPractise has an extensive knowledge base comprising of practice questions, worksheets, test papers and revision papers for classes from Class I to X for all boards like IGCSE, ICSE, CBSE, State Board, etc. Check out our interactive learning plans to see what we have to offer and contact us for more.

Here at LetsPractise, the education and welfare of children is our top priority. We aim to enrich the lives of children by enhancing their scholastic skills and also guide them on the path to success.

Follow our blog for more such enlightening topics.

Making mobile phones a boon or a bane is in our hands. You can make the merits outweigh the demerits. Let us teach children to use mobile phones consciously for the right purpose to upgrade their lives.

Why Should We Educate Girls?

Today (March 8th) is International Women’s Day. It is a day for advancement of rights of females all over the planet, both young and old. The theme for Women’s Day 2019 is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.

The day is also an important time for raising awareness of feminine issues. One such burning issue is “Education of the Girl Child”.

Facts About Female Education

While we are on this topic, there are a couple of facts we should be aware of first.

  • ‘Literacy rate’ is defined as the ability to read and write. Do you know that the world average for the female literacy rate is 79.7% while India stands at just 65.6%? Even our neighbor, the heavily populated China has surpassed us with 82.7%.
  • Are you aware that 65% of female students drop out of school when they attain puberty?
  • In India, do you know that while Kerala boasts a female literacy rate of 92%, Bihar is at a pathetic 51.5% female literacy rate?

What does all this mean? One thing: There is still a dire need to educate girls.

Even though the world as a whole may be advancing in terms of technology and transportation, one thing remains suppressed: female education. Why should we educate girls? We’ll tell you.

10 Reasons Why We Should Educate Girls

There are a lot of things that can be achieved by providing quality education to women. Educating girls has a lot of potential benefits to the society and the world. We have listed some of them here.

1. Creates a Healthy Family

According to the UNESCO, providing secondary education to mothers can save 12 million children from stunted growth and malnutrition. Since most of the infant deaths under 5% are due to malnutrition, this can be prevented by educating mothers.

An educated woman takes better care of her family and children.  She will be more aware of the importance of providing healthy nutrition and timely vaccination for her children. Mothers, especially single mothers need to be educated in order to take care of their child or children.

2. Lowers Infant Mortality

By providing girls with secondary education, we can reduce infant mortality by 50% and save the lives of 3 million newborns on Earth. The child of educated women is less likely to die before its first year. This is when they are the weakest and most vulnerable This is because an educated woman is less likely to contract HIV or AIDs and does not pass it on to her children.

She is more alert and aware of the causes of infant mortality and protects the child from infant death by taking timely vaccinations during her pregnancy and other health precautions. Thus, by educating a woman, you are not only helping one life, but saving another.

3. Decreases Deaths From Pregnancy

Women who are educated are more conscious of their health. They have fewer pregnancies and are hence less likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth, or the post-pregnancy period. Educated potential mothers are also more informed of what to do and what to avoid during pregnancy.

Educating more women also means providing more female healthcare workers to assist other women during pregnancy and childbirth. All this reduces maternal mortality and deaths during pregnancy by half. Again, we are saving not one life, but two.

4. Improves Socio-Economic Growth

Educated women stand better chances of gaining employment. This means a better quality of life, better health, education and future for the family. More well-educated people in the workforce leads to a healthier business sector and economy for the country.

It also helps in female empowerment and reduces female discrimination in offices. Educating women enhances the socio-economic growth of the family and society.

5. Stops Child Marriages

Educated girls aspire to study further, gain employment and enhance their personal standing in society. They wish to be self-reliant and independent. so they say “no” to child marriages and concentrate on pursuing their education.

Child marriages are the worst kind of social evil and cause early deaths of mothers and children. By educating girls, we can make them realize the risks of child marriage and prevent them from getting married early for their own welfare. The family will also not marry off their girl child for money.

6. Reduces Population

An educated woman knows that a “small family is a happy family”. Educating women makes them understand the perils of repeated pregnancies and the disadvantage of population explosion.

Educated women will also place more focus on their careers rather than just raising a family. Lesser population means better resources and opportunities without much competition. Women’s education is the first step to decrease population explosion.

7. No More Domestic Violence and Harassment

An educated woman knows how to exercise her rights and safeguard herself at both home and in society. The rate of exploitation, harassment, and domestic violence will go down because an educated woman will not be afraid to stand for what’s right.

Educated girls stand up boldly against domestic violence and sexual harassment or exploitation. In this #MeToo era, education gives a girl the courage to defend herself and seek social justice against such evils that plague society.

8. Better Political Participation

Representation of women in the governance of a nation is an absolute must and educating the girl child is the first step towards this process. No one knows women better than a woman herself and females deserve a right to vote and be heard. Educated women will both vote for politicians and run for political offices.

It goes without saying that women should have a say in the political process of this country, and educated women are more informed of policies. They should exercise their voting rights and choose the candidate who will work best for their cause. Educating girls from a young age helps them understand politics and gets them involved in the political process of the country. The more educated people that vote, better the future of the world will be.

9. No More Anti-National Tendencies

Uneducated girls are easy prey to terrorist organizations or enemy nations who brainwash them and force or fool them into becoming anti-nationals or terrorists.

Educating a girl child prevents her from going astray and becoming unknowingly militant. They cannot be duped or tricked as easily as an uneducated person. They are now well informed and contribute positively to the nation.

10. National Progress

Educating a woman is the first step to national progress. Educated women become better entrepreneurs, better administrators, and spokeswomen, furthering the progress of the nation. They are proud to represent the nation.

Girls must be educated in order to promote the welfare of the family, society, and nation. We must put a stop to female infanticide, child marriage, discrimination, and harassment against women if we want our planet to prosper. Female education is the answer.

Educate Girls to Improve the Country and World

Online practice learning sites like LetsPractise are dedicated to contributing to the cause of women education and further female participation in the education system.

We offer many educational plans for various subjects and school boards. Your daughter can learn about history, maths, science, languages, and more in fine fashion. Test sheets, practise papers, sample worksheets, and quality assessment reports will all be at her disposal. The more she learns, the more she knows. Contact us now if you have any questions that need answering.

On this Women’s Day 2019, let us all take a pledge towards women education and empowerment. Beti bachao, beti padhao.

Why Should Your Child Practice After Learning

Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. Learning new concepts is the foundation of amassing knowledge. However, without practice, what is learned may soon be forgotten. This applies to school, college, office, and your personal life.

Practice is not only the key to retaining information but also the effective means of applying it. After your child learns something at school, they need to put it into practice. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the idea to be ingrained into their brains. Let us take a look at why practice after learning is important for every child.

Why Practice After Learning?

Practice after learning Is highly crucial and beneficial in the following ways.

1. Improve time management

Students are usually used to small cyclic tests and monthly tests as these tests are conducted more frequently than the longer ones. The annual exam or the currently ongoing Board Exam is conducted only once a year and for a 3-hour duration. Students are not used to sitting at a desk and writing such a lengthy exam. So, most of the students fail to complete the paper due to lack of time.

Improper time management is the reason for this incomplete execution of the exam. This major flaw can be corrected only through practice. Students who undertake practice tests while timing themselves are able to fare much better and finish the test on time. Their answers are well-structured and to the point. They learn the knack of answering questions pertinently and become masters at the vital skill of time management. Thus, practicing after learning improves a student’s time management ability.  

   2. Increase self-confidence

Many students do well to learn their subject, but when it comes to answering questions, they lose their confidence. The reasons for this are varied. The child may be afraid of getting the answer wrong or are unsure of how to write it out. Some face starting trouble and are better at oral communication.

These problems can be fixed, and the solution is to practice. Practicing helps students because it develops their ability to answer questions. They now know how to respond to the question in the proper manner and get a much needed morale boost.

With repeated practice, a student understands his/her strengths and weaknesses. They can then work to improve or cover up their weaknesses and build on their strengths, hence gaining confidence.

  3. True self-assessment

Some students are overconfident and this causes them to be careless in their studies. For such students, practicing after learning is the key to bring them to their right senses. Overconfidence is their weakness. By practicing, they understand the need for preparation done thoroughly and not just that done at the last minute.

It’s important to be confident, but not overconfident. Practicing exposes just how much the students really know. They may think they know something, but it may not turn out to be true. This is why practicing after learning offers the student an opportunity for true self-assessment.

  4. Gauge pace and coverage

The sad truth is that students can hoodwink parents, but not practice tests. Practicing clearly reveal which portions the student has learnt thoroughly and which ones he/she has rushed through.

Practicing and working out the answers requires an in-depth analysis and understanding of the subjects. Concept-based questions require high-order thinking skills and without a clear understanding, the student will be stumped. In this manner, practicing reveals how far the student has understood the portions, and gauges their pace and coverage of the material.

  5. Learn the art of answering

A student has to master the art of answering questions and this is easily done via practice. Practicing after learning teaches a student how to answer questions briefly and to the point, based on the marks.

It teaches the student how to structure the answer and present it effectively. Through continuous practice, the student is ready to face the actual exam as they have already put themselves through the scenario. They have gained familiarity and know the best way to tackle the questions.

LetsPractise for Learning

Learning is incomplete without practice. Practicing after learning is a must and every child needs to do it, not just to succeed in their examination, but also to have a stronger grasp on the subject and get more knowledge.  

Often times, it is not enough to simply learn. Parents should always emphasise the importance of practicing after learning to their wards and ensuring that they practice after learning by questioning them on their subjects in a random manner.

Where can you get practice tests and material for these subjects?

Online practice-learning sites such as LetsPractise offer an endless range of model questions in a standard -wise and syllabus-wise format. Take a look at our plans, order the material, and write these practice tests on a timed basis online. We have sheets for many subjects, standards, and school boards. Contact us now.

Practice makes perfect!