Rahul is one of our youngest [He is in his early 20’s!] and newest Grannies. And he is already quite active; choosing to take sessions at various different centres so as to give himself a broader sense of the kind of settings, the children’s profiles, the challenges as well as the kind of support available & viable at each place.
So from rural, to semirural, to urban; from full-fledged labs to centres functioning with just a computer or two; from English medium settings to regional language settings; and with children of various ages, Rahul has been trying to give himself the Granny experience as much as possible. Some regular sessions with the same group every week, some sessions that he takes on the fly. Just like many of the other Grannies.
He shared some of the memorable incidents from some of the sessions indicating how it had shored up his conviction that even if the children came from remote and small towns their capacity to think and follow their interests was as strong as any other child elsewhere. Rahul’s insights will resonate with Grannies all over the world. What follows is an unedited excerpt from the quick summary report he sent in to The Granny Cloud … Over to Rahul!
First, it is an amazing concept, as it not only makes the students think but also assists in the thinking process, as they know little about the world.
Second, knowing what, why, how of searching will become an important skill in the future of learning and The Granny Cloud strikes at the root.
Third, my experience as a granny has been amazing, many times, I have thought what should I do with the session and sometimes I go into the session with nothing and somehow the conversation and interaction becomes so engaging that not only children learn but also I also simultaneously learn, maybe more than the children do.
Fourth, assessing what the children want becomes important as The Granny Cloud, Grannies all are investing their time, effort and energy for the children or youth, and that must not be forgotten.
Fifth, as every child is unique, and every child is special, every child should be encouraged to participate, but if someone doesn’t that doesn’t mean the child doesn’t want to, just that he/she is taking some time to fit in, and all of us have experienced whenever we take some time to do things, it happens better than when we try to do it real quick, that means the child would grasp slowly and steadily, and that is perfectly okay.
Sixth, I have felt talking about what they like to do, which game or subject is their favorite, which subject they hate, instantly that connection is built, that human connection which binds us all, these questions become important, and makes a child feel good, what Grannies can endeavor is to make the children experience that anyone can learn anything.
Seventh, the smaller children need more hand holding and the higher class students need lesser cues comparatively. The hand holding and cues should be just enough for them to think, to question, and human nature is to always enquire, it is rightly said we are old when we stop learning, the drive to learn is the most important of human life, I hope all of us will agree.
Eighth, all sessions can become amazing if Grannies become and act like a child with children, and a part of the theme of The Granny Cloud, that is self-organized learning and mediating environments. So the sessions are enlightenment for the coordinators and teachers to experience how a child is developing, and what interventions are needed to make the learning process in school better and more inclusive, for the Grannies as they know how can be made better each time, this continuous improvement is an ongoing process, and most importantly the child, if he/she knows how to learn, life becomes a lot easier not only for the child but as he/she grows up, the responsibilities and expectations will not feel like burden but as light as feathers of a pigeon, and similarly he/she would be able to inspire others too .
Ninth, character, morals, values, ethics, they start forming since we were a child and if these are in the right place for the child, nothing can be better. Stories have morals, stories have visual cues too, therefore multi-sensory engagements in the form of audio, video will always help the children in the end, and the pathways will start forming.
Tenth, I am glad and inspired, as I am fortunate enough to be a part of such great team, working together so cohesively, irrespective of boundaries, age groups, taking out little time out of their busy schedules, and growing and contributing towards the growth of children, as everyone of us has a child hidden deep down, and it will never ever die irrespective of how much harder we try.
Therefore, I thank the coordinators, core team members, fellow Grannies, for this amazing experience and making me feel like its family.
In addition, I look forward to more sessions, more learning and more collaborations.
I would like to end by saying that perfection for human life is defined as improving second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, year by year, and life by life.
Some experiences can never be penned down in words, and The Granny Cloud is such an experience.