“Education is a basic right, a social imperative, and technology can accelerate insight and impact.” – Pratima Nayak, India
For the students in Pratima Nayak’s class, mathematics is as easy and fun as flying a kite…or at least building a kite to better understand quadrangles. “I try to create an environment for young learners where they learn with fun,” says Nayak.
Nayak was inspired to teach from a young age, when her math teacher won her over with his skills. “He was very fast in computation and knew many shortcut formulas for calculation in arithmetic,” she says. “Since then, I wanted to be a mathematics teacher like him, and mesmerize my students with my computation skills.”
Now she’s an award-winning educator in India, and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. “Now I can share even more mathematic ‘magic’ with technology,” says Nayak. “I have become very innovative with ICT tools.”
Blending fun with project-based learning is the key to Nayak’s success. “[My lessons are] designed so that students are actively engaged in ‘thinking and doing’ things rather than in ‘learning about’ something,” she adds.
Today she shares her hopes for the future of her students – and for education in her country and abroad – in our Daily Edventure. Enjoy!
What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator?
I was selected for a National ICT Award in India for integrating technology in learning in 2013. It made me more confident to innovate. It was proud moment for my colleagues, principal and my students.
But November 6, 2014 was the most inspiring day for me as an educator, because I received the bright blue colored certificate of Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert signed by Anthony Salcito. It was an amazing experience to be one of the globally recognized Innovative Educator Experts.
I was so excited, I posted it on my all social websites and blogs. I am excited to use the free Microsoft tools and technology, exclusive professional development opportunities, the opportunity to develop my personal “brand” and career as a thought leader.
Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom?
Through project-based learning and use of technology, I motivate my students to study mathematics. The projects provide students with opportunities to build 21st century skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and the use of technology. Project-based learning can be facilitated with the use of the different Microsoft tools as One Note, MS Excel, and the PowerPoint add-on called “Mix” that can easily create self-paced web quests that integrate guided Internet searches, collaborative assignments, and moments for a student to reflect on what he/she has learned.
Some of our projects include:
Whether it’s a day-to-day challenge or a larger problem, what’s the biggest obstacle you or your country or region has had to overcome, or will have to overcome, to ensure a quality education for students?
I hope in my country that more and more teachers will become part of the Microsoft Educator Network. Microsoft is constantly working to bring the benefits of technology to the classrooms. Teachers from my country can benefit from technology, and can improve education here and around the world. Education is a basic right, a social imperative, and technology can accelerate insight and impact. School leaders can be empowered so they can transform education, and support educators to inspire students to develop innovative ideas to become stalwarts of upcoming generations.
In terms of education innovation, what are you most excited about for the future? What is your biggest hope for today’s students?
My biggest hope for my students is that they can learn through the project-based approach to develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving. It encourages learner-centered learning, collaboration and cooperation.
I am excited about the use of new Microsoft tools to make project-based learning more meaningful.Project-based learning should be at the heart and mind of our instructional approach.
Mathematics Teacher and ICT Trainer, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Fort William
West Bengal, India
- Birthplace: India
- Educational background: Msc(maths),PGDCA
- Website I check every day: Microsoft Educators Network
- Favorite childhood memory: My Mathematics teacher’s fast calculation.
- Favorite book: UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: One Note, MS Excel, Microsoft Mathematics, Auto Collage, Movie Maker, everything…
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Work is worship.