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India

By the time you read this we’ll be leaving China from Chengdu and heading to India via Kathmandu.

 

I’ll be updating you on who we visited, what we saw and what we learned during our stay in China in the next post but for now let me tell you what’s next in our global adventure to find innovation in learning as we travel around India.

 

India, touted by many as a future superpower alongside the USA and China, is characterised by poverty and chaos on the one hand whilst being a global leader in high technology on the other. It is the worlds leading weapons importer and is also advancing its space programme which includes a mission to Mars. With a population reaching 1.27 billion this year India is the 2nd most populous country in the world and is expected to exceed China by 2030. That’s a lot of people to feed and educate in the worlds largest democracy.

 

XSEEDOur first stop is New Delhi where we’ll be meeting with the principals of iDiscoveri and learning about their XSEED programme. iDiscoveri is a leadership organisation whose CEO, Ashish Rajpal, we’ll be meeting. His iDiscoveri Education group describes itself as “an education innovation company focused on learning and leadership”. It has developed a programme called XSEED which is based around a proprietary curriculum, training and assessment capability designed to improve learning and teaching capability. The programme has already scaled to more than 700 schools in India with 2-3 times improvement in academic improvement within pilot studies. Of course, this raises questions over what is being assessed and how but with what appears to be such an impressive track record we wanted to learn more and will report back.

 

After visiting iDiscoveri we’ll be travelling down to Chennai to visit a school that has adopted the XSEED program to see for ourselves.

 

BBC Media ActionAlso in New Delhi we’ll be meeting with BBC Media Action a charitable organisation via the British Broadcasting Corporation that uses media and communication as a force for positive social change. BBC Media Action in India has been using media to improve health, rights and resilience since 2001 with a strong focus on maternal and child health. Their innovative projects in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha help to increase knowledge and improve the health of mothers and children using a combination of TV, radio, online, street theatre, outdoor advertising and mobile phones.

 

We will be visiting sites in Patna, Baadh and Bhaktiyarpur to meet with frontline health workers, beneficiaries and correspondents related to this vital initiative.

 

Follow our activities on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – see you there!

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China

Chairing at WISEWell, the WISE 2013 Summit was epic and I was pleased to meet so many friends old and new who wanted to know about the Learning {RE}imagined book.

 

As I was filming interviews a lot of the time I didn’t get to spend as much time in sessions or meet as many of my fellow delegates as I would have liked but you know where to find me – virtually at least!

 

I’ve put some more AudioBoo’s online from some of the people we interviewed including former Australia Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, LEGO Education President, Jacob Kragh, BBC Learning Controller, Saul Nassé and many others. Find them here.

 

The Learning {RE}imagined team are now heading to China where we will be visiting the RDFZ Xishan School in Beijing, a flagship school for Apple, where every student is equipped with an iPad and where the school actively nurtures personal growth, creativity and innovation.

 

 

RDFZ was the first school in China to adopt a 1:1 computing approach based around Apple technology so we are looking forward to learning how this has worked out.

 

By way of contrast we’re then travelling to Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan province in Southwest China, to meet with Deng Fei, the campaigning journalist who leveraged social media in China in response to the many rural schools in the country that do not have facilities to provide children, many of whom walk many miles to school, with lunch. The “Free Lunch for Children” initiative raised more than $4 million in 8 months as a result of Deng Fei’s campaign largely conducted on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

 

 

We then travel to Ya’an the site of a catastrophic earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale that occurred in April of this year killing nearly 200 people and injuring a further 12,000, some 1,000 seriously were seriously hurt. Many homes and public buildings, including schools, collapsed during the earthquake and the region is still recovering. The Free Lunch for Children programme is actively supporting the community here and we will be reporting back on that.