“Sharing your knowledge is the key today. Share and collaborate with educators around the globe and you will never see any challenge you cannot meet.” – Vijay Gupta, India
For educators throughout the world, a sense of community can mean the difference between working in a profession that can, at times, feel isolating and one that can be collaborative and connected. It was with this in mind that the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network launched its referral contest in February. Through the contest, expert educators who were already part of the Partners in Learning Network would refer other educators they believed would benefit from the community of thousands of educators globally, in addition to the free tools, programs and resources that Partners in Learning provides. The educator with the highest number of referrals would win a Surface.
Today, I’m happy to announce the winner of the referral contest: Vijay Gupta from India, who referred 1044 teachers to the Partners in Learning Network! Gupta, a Daily Edventures alumni, has been teaching for more than 15 years, and also won the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Leadership Award in 2010.
Today, Gupta updates us on his work, his passion for education, and what inspires him each day. Enjoy!
What drew you to the field of education? Why is it important to you?
Because through education, I can serve my nation in a better way.
Can you tell us about a favorite teacher, or someone who made a difference in your education or inspired you the most?
Mrs. Usha Sidana in D.A.V. College of Education, Abohar (Punjab), my parents and my life partner, Mrs. Neetu Gupta.
Please describe how your professional achievements have advanced innovation in education. What has changed as a result of your work?
My work has been recognized at the state level. The Director General of School Education, Punjab has invited me to deliver the lectures on Edusat for all of the schools of Punjab.
How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support your work?
I use Microsoft PowerPoint effectively for teaching in my classroom.
What is your philosophy as an educator?
The world is changing at a very fast pace and so is technology. We as teachers need to accept this change positively if we really want to grow personally and professionally.
What type of learning environment do you create in your classroom?
A stress-free environment.
Why is using technology an important part of your educator toolkit?
Because learning through ICT is long lasting and more effective for learners.
Explain how technology has changed education for you?
Technology has made learning so fun and interesting for my students. It has made my students learn at their own pace, eventually making them confident.
What are three things every student must have in order to be successful?
Hard work, commitment and time management.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education?
Illiteracy, poverty, narrow-mindedness.
Where do you find inspiration and new ideas for the classroom?
My students inspire me the most – when I see my students’ smiling faces while learning.
What lessons have your students taught you?
They have full faith in me. They are the ones who make me work hard every day.
What is your key to success?
My passion, commitment, hard work.
How can teachers or school leaders facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned through your work?
Sharing your knowledge is the key today. Share and collaborate with educators around the globe and you will never see any challenge you cannot meet.
In your view, what is the most exciting innovation happening in education today?
I think the best innovation in education is bridging the geographical divide, bringing the classrooms from around the world together through technology conferencing tools. Applications like Skype, Messenger, Office 365, and cloud computing have made communication so easy.
Is there a 21st century skill (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, or creativity and innovation) that you are most passionate about? Why?
It is communication and collaboration, I am passionate about them because it is through these, I can share my ideas around the world.
If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? Why?
Access to online textbooks to students as it makes learning so easy and affordable.
What is your region doing well currently to support education?
My state is now more concerned with using technology in government schools — installing computers labs, Edusat labs, ROT (Received only Terminal), SITs.
How must education change in your country to ensure that students are equipped to thrive in the 21st century?
By ensuring learners are computer literate.
About Vijay Gupta
- Website I check every day: http://www.pil-network.com/, www.ssapunjab.org, www.ajitjalandhar.com,
- Blog url: http://itinschools.com/
- Favorite childhood memory: Made a radio on a wooden board during school days.
- Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Japan
- When was the last time you laughed? Why? Just one month back when I was teaching my 6th grade students with the projector, and I was sitting with them on ground. We enjoyed that a lot.
- Favorite book: The Ramayana
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Life is an echo; all comes back, the good, the bad, the false and the true… So give the world the best you have and the best will come back to you.
- What are your personal interests or hobbies outside of education? Social Service and exploring new places.
- What’s one piece of technology in your classroom that you can’t live without? Projector.
- If you had to write something on the chalkboard 100 times what would it be? Have self-confidence.
- What is the worst excuse you’ve heard for not completing an assignment? I left my notebook at home.
Are you or is somebody you know an Expert Educator? The Microsoft Expert Educator program is an exclusive one-year program created to recognize global educator visionaries who are using technology to pave the way for their peers for better learning and student outcomes. Experts start the program by coming together for the annual Partners in Learning Global Forum.
To apply to the Expert Educator Program, and win a free trip to the next Partners in Learning Global Forum, go to www.pil-network.com/expert
Applications are being accepted through September 2013. Apply today!