Ratna Sagar feels proud to be the publishers of Padma Awardees

Mr Ruskin Bond is conferred with Padma Bhushan. Ms Manorama Jafa and Mr Keki N Daruwalla are conferred with Padma Shri.

A treat for poetry lovers! Those who would love to meet Mr Ruskin Bond, please visit our Stall (# 63, Hall 11) on the first day of the World Book Fair ie 15 February 2014. See you there!

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Seminar on Parenting

Ratna Sagar is organising a Seminar on Parenting on 2 Feb 2014, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Allenhouse Public School, Ghaziabad. Mr Rishabh Khanna will be conducting the seminar. All parents are invited to become a part of this event.

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Indian Army Day

Ratna Sagar salutes the martyrs who gave up their today for our tomorrow. Indian Army Day is celebrated in India on 15 January every year, in recognition of Lieutenant General K. M. Cariappa who took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in 1948 on this date.

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Anglo-Indian Heads of Schools Conference

Our sales heads Mr Satyendra Bhadauria and Mr R Emerson with the keynote speaker, Mr Nandan Nilekani, at the Anglo-Indian Heads of Schools Conference, Bangalore, 3-5 January, 2014.

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Inverting the Classroom Model

The recent buzz around the world about the changing methodology in education revolves around the concept of the flipped classroom. Teachers are using technology to connect with their students and help them learn. In a traditional classroom, the teacher is the ‘sage on the stage,’ who uses the textbook, explains the ‘lesson’ and the difficult words, asks questions to test understanding, and sets homework. Students rarely ask questions. Whatever the pace or learning–style of the individual learner, the teacher does the teaching in the ‘one size fits all’ mode. Students listen passively and keep processing information as the teacher teaches. They absorb all that they can, and sometimes miss chunks. There is no time to reflect or think actively.

In flipped–teaching, the teacher records her teaching in a video. This video is shared among the students. They learn individually, each at his or her own pace.

As a student, I can fast–forward or rewind parts which I know or need to know better. Psychologically, I don’t feel at a disadvantage if I don’t learn as quickly as my peer. I also don’t feel pressurized to learn it in the 40–minute time span. I don’t need to dodge the teacher’s eye because I am afraid that she will ask me a question. I learn at home, without other psycho–social concerns distracting me.

Thus prepared, the students meet to work together in the classroom. Discussion is possible, because everyone has already done the lesson. The teacher is now ‘the guide on the side’, and becomes a true facilitator. The teacher can conduct a quiz, or do a hands–on assignment on the topic or even a project. All these will ensure further learning and understanding.

However, the resistance to a flipped classroom may come from teachers, parents and students. The teacher has to put in extra effort to create the video, and the school has to invest a bit in creating the technology. Parents or caregivers may complain that they are expected to supervise the learning. Many still doubt if learning takes place when the learner is in control. Students may lack self–discipline and motivation. They may miss the presence of a reassuring teacher, and may not be sufficiently challenged to learn on their own. Schools very often say that their significant investment in digital content has not improved the learning outcome. While many reasons may contribute to this, the teachers’ aversion to technology may be a major one.

Still, as teachers, we need to understand the learning environment and the learning process of the present generation. If we allowed the use of mobile phones in classrooms, and asked students to open their dictionary, many may open it in their mobile. This could be a realistic proposition in future classrooms. We complain that students spend a lot of time in front of a TV or play computer games. When we reach them through the most comfortable medium they know, chances are that we help them learn better.

Let’s say that the teacher has created the video, taking care to ensure it caters to different learning styles, and made it interesting. The learners do their work and come to class. Thereafter, in a flipped classroom, teachers should expect a lot of interaction – read noise – in the classroom. The topic may somewhat veer off course as well, so flexibility is necessary. As students become responsible for their own learning, the centrality of the teacher is reversed. They do not become dispensable, though any such innovation may naturally give rise to such thoughts.

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Workshop on Effective School Management

Ratna Sagar P Ltd organised a workshop on ‘Effective School Management’ on 30 November 2013 in Patna. Mr Surya Narain Bahadur, a renowned corporate trainer conducted the workshop. From famous schools across the city, more than 150 school principals, vice-principals, directors, academic coordinators took part of this event. Mr Bahadur discussed day-to-day school management problems and solutions. The event gained huge media coverage with many newspapers covering the event along with regional ones. Some major booksellers of Patna were also a part of this session. All the participants gave an overwhelming response. Many school management ideas were partaken.

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Ratna Sagar pays homage to Nelson Mandela

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Take a Break

A Five Minute Relaxation Break

Got five minutes? That’s all the time it takes to relax and distress.

For starters

Sit upright in a chair on your ‘sit bones,’ with your spine straight but not rigid. Close your eyes if you wish.
Do the twist

Put your hands on your legs or the arms of your chair and twist your trunk to the right as you exhale. (Initiate the movement from your body’s centre, and your head will follow). Inhale and then twist to the left as you exhale. Repeat.
Breathe Deeply

Continue to breathe through your nose, focusing on the continuous flow of the breath. If your mind wanders to the past or the future, acknowledge these thoughts and then put them aside. Remind yourself that you’ve committed this time to relaxing – you could be doing a million things, but you’re not.
Let go

Systematically go through your body, tensing muscle groups as you inhale, holding the tension for a few seconds and releasing completely as you exhale. Tense and relax your face, neck, shoulders, and arms; then your stomach and entire back and buttocks; and finally your legs and feet. Make a point of memorizing how you feel
when you release.
Roll your shoulders

Imagine yourself as a puppet with strings attached to the tops of your shoulders. Keep your arms relaxed. Begin to roll your shoulders up toward your ears, backward so you feel your shoulder blades gently squeeze together; downward; and then forward so your shoulder blades separate. You’ll feel your shoulder blades massaging the muscles within. Repeat five times and then reverse directions. Breathe.
Try cleansing breaths

Take a deep breath through the nose, filling your lungs from the bottom (your stomach will gently puff out), through the middle, and through the top. Exhale forcefully through the mouth, using your lips for resistance.
As you inhale again, imagine gathering up all your tension and expelling it as you exhale. Repeat.
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RSPL: Panel Discussion on Technology in Classroom

Ratna Sagar Pvt Ltd organised a panel discussion on ‘Effective use of Technology in the Classroom’ on November, 23, 2013 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi to discuss how educators and schools are using the power of technology to promote students’ active engagement, critical thinking and literacy skills.

The advent of technology in education has led to a paradigm shift in how knowledge was transferred and gained. In this changed education landscape, while the role of teachers remains central to the teaching-learning process, technology has become an important tool in supplementing this process, and empowering learners with easy and open access to high quality education. The National Policy on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in School Education 2012 and the initiatives stemming from it recognise the immense potential of ICT for enhancing outreach and improving quality of education. However, with a myriad of digital learning resources available at their fingertips, educators have a daunting task of employing technology that is user-friendly, figuring out how to integrate these added tools into their lesson plans and selecting meaningful and innovative content.

Educationist Dr Vidya MS set the tone of the discussion by introducing the audience to policy initiatives on ICT. She spoke about the need to redesign the learning space and reinforced that teachers and students are partners in the learning process. She encouraged teachers to integrate efficient and interactive technology into pedagogy. Ms Nina Sehgal, Director – DPS Society addressed the audience on blending ICT-based resources into classroom practice. She gave guidelines to educators on researching and choosing appropriate digital content, which is suited to the curriculum requirements. Ms Sehgal emphasised that teachers should participate in content creation and in selecting resources that are suited to their methodology and the learning requirements of students. Ms Meera Balachandran, Director- Education Quality Foundation of India, shared her extensive experience training teachers on various pedagogical tools including technology. She deliberated that ICT-enabled classrooms should not limit their scope to using computers and the Internet as mere information delivery devices; instead the focus should be on enhancing the overall learning experience of students. She highlighted that educators need to recognise the potential of technology in taking learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. The discussion progressed with Mr Vikas Gupta, Author and Managing Director – Wiley-India, sharing ongoing global practices towards integrating ICT with learning, making it collaborative and an enriching experience. He also introduced the audience to the potential change in the classroom format that technology may bring about with simulation-based learning, flipped classrooms and more. He underscored that teachers needed to embrace technology, explore its potential and use it optimally in the classroom. He said that content and technology can go hand-in-hand only when teachers string these together and integrate it into their teaching process. These talks were followed by an open discussion with eminent educators of Delhi and NCR in the audience on the impact of technology in education, and how it could be better utilised for the holistic development of students.

The event also served as a platform for the organisers of the event to showcase Enriched All-in-one eBooks developed for the first time in India in accordance with the CCE guidelines of CBSE. Mr Sugat Jain, Director, IT – Ratna Sagar, introduced these as enriching innovative ebooks that were designed from scratch for use in the classroom. He said, “These should be looked at as enriching and empowering learning tools which will reduce the effort of educators in researching content by incorporating excellent licensed content from sources including National Geographic Creative, Shutterstock and others, and placed appropriately according to the curriculum requirements. These will not only make the learning experience engaging but also help educators improve learning outcomes.”

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How we got our Name?

Ratna Sagar has derived its name from ‘Ratnasagara’ one of the three grand buildings of the massive Nalanda University Library.

The history of Nalanda University dates back to the 6th Century BC, famous for being known as the Greatest University of Ancient World. Many inspirational personalities like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Vasubandhu, Hiuen Tsiang and many more are associated with this temple of learning. The excavation on this site has unfolded many academic, philosophical and spiritual histories.

We are happy to share with you some pictures which portray the grandeur of this university after which we are named.

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