Friday, March 31, 2017

Welcome to the GEMS Modern Academy Resource Centre






“Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and the most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers and parents all over the country know it. It is our children’s right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.”

Michael Morpurgo
               
Dear Parents,

Welcome to the GEMS Modern Academy Resource Centre. We are gearing up for one more successful year with your child. I strongly believe that parents play a critical role in the reading habits and literacy development of their children. Children no matter what their age is, are attracted to works of fiction. Even if they are not ready to accept the world of written words, they will always be thrilled to listen to books that are read to them. It is better to make them involved with books at an early age to inculcate a passion for reading in future. 

As librarians, we can always help them find a book of their choice and interest level and give suggestions on how to go about searching a good book. We expose them to a variety of interactive books and different genres. With our wonderful software Destiny Quest, students connect with peers to swap book reviews and recommendations. Parents can also play an equal role as librarians to develop a child’s interest in reading. See what your child is reading and what they want to read. Check out their book reviews and reports. Reading can be equally fun with non-fiction materials too. Encourage them to read comic books, newspapers, and magazines. It will be great if you can spend some time with your child to read together and ask them to point out words which they find difficult to understand. To flourish as readers students need to think further about what they have read in a book. Just have a small talk about the books, ask them about the characters, themes or the exciting and intriguing plots. That way reading becomes a family activity and most of the children I am sure will enjoy spending time with their parents. And when you ignite strong and positive feelings about your school library you communicate a powerful message to your child.



Keep an eye out. We have some exciting programs and activities planned for your child this year. I hope your child enjoys reading as many books as possible developing his/her reading skills. Looking forward to working with you and your child this academic year. And please leave your valuable comments and suggestions and queries if any. We are always happy to help and hear from you.


Posted By Sreevidya Devanand

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Introduction to GMA Resource Centre





About Resource Centre.

At the Resource Centre, we innovate, explore, collaborate and learn together. We thrive to create a generation of confident independent learners. The Resource Centre plays a pivotal role in supporting the students by encouraging them to read learn and write through innovative approaches and learning opportunities. It supports the school curriculum, meets the individual needs of the students, develops their information literacy skills and helps them make informed decisions. The competencies they acquire through information literacy equips them with critical thinking skills and an ability to think beyond the realm of curriculum and textbooks. The Resource Centre also helps in fostering the changes in the education sector which in turn has a direct impact on professional development for the teachers.



Using the Library.

Our services are readily available on all working days from 7 50 am to 4.00 pm. During the summer break (July-August) library will be open from 8 am to 2 pm from Sunday to Thursday. Students and new staff can join our library once they receive their identification card from the school. This card will be valid until the end of the course/service. It is necessary that students should bring the card to borrow books. Students can borrow one book at a time for a period of two weeks. But they can come and exchange the books any time once they finish reading the book. Books after two weeks if not finished can be renewed. If a book is lost it has to be either replaced with another book (which is in good condition) which has the same price as that of the lost book.Students are responsible for handling books with care since they are for everyone to share.An overdue book means a student cannot borrow another book until the book is returned. If a book is lost payment or a replacement will be requested from the parents.

Follett Destiny.

The library uses Follett Destiny Library Manager to manage our library resources. The link can be accessed through my learning portal from student’s and staff’s accounts. We orient the new students at the beginning of every academic year to make maximum benefit from Follett destiny which has a wide range of collection of e-books, graphic novels, databases and other resources that help in curriculum development. It is very easy to navigate and is completely browser-based which means it can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection or even from your mobile or tablet. Destiny is more than a research tool. You can rate and put reviews for books, check your issue history, can see the status of a particular book if it is available in the library or not. There are options to search by author, title, ISBN, material type, keyword search, and series. We have both paid and free online databases which will give access to online resources. There is also a wonderful facility to recommend a book to your friends or colleagues.  Another feature which makes this software stand out is that we can search a book according to the Lexile level. Explore the wonderful options that give you fun means of discovery and meaning. Check out a good book from the circulation desk and enjoy reading!

Our Team

You can contact any four of us if help is needed for anything related to the library.

Sreevidya Devanand: sreevidya.d_mhs@gemsedu.com
Shirin Pawane : malbush1@hotmail.com

We are looking forward to continuing to share our learning journey with you. Please feel free to leave comments.

Posted By Sreevidya Devanand

Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Event: Makerspace in GMA

Makerspace: Fostering Creativity and Innovation

We are transforming The Resource Centre to start Makerspace from the scratch. Our library will soon be getting transformed with creativity. Let us hope this new event will provide an outstanding opportunity for synergy in our new learning environment.



Feed the Soul: Let Creativity Speak.

A few things make us human beings different from any other species. One of the traits that make human beings unique is the power to think and create. 2000 years ago the famous philosopher Aristotle wrote, “We are rational animals pursuing knowledge for its own sake. We live by art and reasoning.”

Art is creativity and creativity is art. Ever since we learned to write we documented whatever was created in the form of art and writings. This later developed the idea of libraries to provide an organized access to a collection of materials for informational needs of individuals and groups. Libraries flourished all over the world and it evolved from time to time. If we look into the transition of libraries from clay tablets to digital tablets we come to know about the fascinating development libraries have undergone through ages and where it stands now. New tools and technologies have been invented and libraries we see now everywhere is undergoing revolutionary changes around the globe. Libraries are no more a space to stock books and circulate them. They are rather spaces of innovation and creativity. Makerspace is one such revolutionary change in the world of libraries. It is offering vast and exciting opportunities to the world of education.

What is a makerspace?

"A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.  These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, cnc machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.  A makerspace however doesn’t need to include all of these machines or even any of them to be considered a makerspace.  If you have cardboard, legos and art supplies you’re in business.  It’s more of the maker mindset of creating something out of nothing and exploring your own interests that’s at the core of a makerspace.  These spaces are also helping to prepare those who need the critical 21st century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  They provide hands on learning, help with critical thinking skills and even boost self-confidence.  Some of the skills that are learned in a makerspace pertain to electronics, 3d printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics and even woodworking,   Makerspaces are also fostering entrepreneurship and are being utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups."

Source :


The best way for students to learn is making them engaged. Different students have different capabilities. I strongly believe that there will be only very few students even if any who will not love to explore, innovate and create something of their own. They can identify the problems, find solutions, work on it, collaborate and communicate with peers. Difficult tasks which seem impossible will be much easier when it is a collective effort and problems get more structured and can be solved through multiple perspectives. When technology is integrated with foresight and intended for specific goals, it develops the potential of students in their learning in a unique and refined manner. Makerspace is one such technology where learning and creativity come closer together fostering skills and interest in learning.

Look out for some of our exciting and wonderful Makerspace events during this academic year.

Posted By Sreevidya Devanand

The Metamorphosis By Franz Kafka


“A picture of my existence... would show a useless wooden stake covered in snow.. stuck loosely at a slant in the ground in a ploughed field on the edge of a vast open plain on a dark winter night.” 

Franz Kafka                                                                                                               
                                                                                                               

Metamorphosis is a novella published by Franz Kafka in 1915. It is one of the most pioneering works of Kafka and has been regarded as the most influential literature of the 19th century. The story is allegorical in nature and deals mostly with one’s purpose of existence and to a great extend the part played by money in the society.
                                                                                                                  

Gregor Samsa the protagonist is a traveling salesman who finds it very difficult to make the ends meet. He is the only earning member of the family. He decides to continue the job which he dislikes in order to support his family. One day he is a little tired from work and sleeps early in the night. He wakes up to the sound of rain hitting his window pane after the troubled night only to discover that he has been transformed/metamorphosed into a monstrous cockroach. He later discovers that his voice also has been transformed. In spite of his physical changes, his mind works like that of a human being. So instead of getting worried about his recent change into an insect he keeps calm and spends time in his bed reflecting on his life- his constant train journeys, irregular bad meals and meeting new people all the time being not able to develop any continuing relationships.

As the story unfolds, life sets on a different plain for George. His family members and the clerk who comes to ascertain his absence from work were shocked to see the change in Gregor who after so much struggle managed to unlock the door with his mouth harming himself in the struggle. His father weeps. But he forces Gregor back into his room. Gregor's sister is the only person who is a bit compassionate to his present state. He is isolated from the family and his sister serves him stale food which Gregor devours with taste. Later he contemplates and observes his family through a hole in the door.

His immediate family is not really disturbed by the tragic situation which Gregor has fallen into but they are more concerned with their own existence as Gregor was the only breadwinner of the family. His sister and father in the meanwhile take up jobs and they rent the house to three people. The story takes a turn when one day the guests who rented their house wanted Gregor’s sister to play the violin. They did not seem to enjoy the music much and started insulting his sister to which Gregor reacts and the guests seeing Gregor left the house. His father tries to scare him with a stick. Gregor understood his situation and he headed back into his own room and eventually dies.

To the family, the death of Gregor was a non-event. They looked upon the situation as if an insect had died and not Gregor. Unburdened of Gregor, relief and hope springs up in the family. No one in the story wonders how a healthy human being could turn into a bug. The story has a surreal element, which is a unique feature that distinguishes it from other stories. The story ends by confronting us with a question- do we really love people who change in ways we are not comfortable with? It comes with the issues we face even today and that way Kafka’s prophecies has an emphasis centuries later. Kafka in this story beautifully blends magic with realism. There is a room for thought for the reader in almost every sentence in the story. The helplessness we feel when we are rejected by the ones we love, the reluctance to embrace incongruity all are depicted beautifully in the story. The story is one of the unique and overpoweringly outlandish works I have ever read.


Posted By Sreevidya Devanand

To Kill A MockingBird By Harper Lee

                                                                                                    
"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
To Kill A MockingBird: Atticus Finch to Jem
                                                                            






To kill a mockingbird takes place during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The story revolves around Scout Finch her brother Jem and their father Atticus Finch. Atticus is a widower and he raises his children with the help of a housekeeper named Calpurnia.

The book is all about growing up. The story takes place betweenn1933 and 1935 in Maycomb a small town in Alabama. Atticus Finch who is a lawyer takes in the case of a black man who is charged with raping a white woman. For Scout and Jim, things change during the trial and after. They learned things they could never have imagined otherwise. In a nutshell, the book is against Prejudice and Racism. The reader can feel the character in many situations. The book is an easy read even though it has deep, underlying messages. It teaches you to stand up for what is right. The book is a great read for anyone who has empathy regardless of age, gender or culture

The book withstood the test of time and was passed down the generations. Pick up the book and the words will speak to you. This book should be read at least once by every single person in their lives.

Posted by Sreevidya Devanand

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanance


Image result for zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance book cover


"You have got to live right, too. It's the way you live that predisposes you to avoid the traps and see the right facts. You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally. That's the way all the experts do it. The making of a painting or the fixing of a motorcycle isn't separate from the rest of your existence. If you are a sloppy thinker the six days of the week you aren't working on your machine, what trap avoidance, what gimmicks, can make you all of a sudden sharp on the seventh? It all goes together...The real cycle you're working in is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be "out there" and the person that appears to be "in here" are not two separate things. They grow toward Quality or fall away from Quality together."

Robert M Pirsig.

Zen and the art of Motorcycle maintenance is considered as one of the best works of philosophical non-fiction, published first in 1974. It wanders through the Western concept of rational thoughts, interspersed with musings of Eastern spiritualism. The narrative is in first person-perhaps Robert Pirsig himself, though he never identified as such. The narrator and his son undertake a 17-day motorcycle trip from Minnesota to California. In this trip, there are the narrator's own musings, and those of Phaedrus, whose real connection with the narrator is established towards the end of the book, The musings, philosophical dialogues, that he terms as Chautauquas, deals with experiencing, understanding and defining Quality. He also talks about the two ways of looking at life the romantic way and the classical way, and the balance between the dichotomy that makes modern life and inner peace co-habitable. It is a thought provoking book, that seems timeless in retrospect. It evolves with the reader and develops layers of depth, keeping along with the layers of understanding that one gain with time.

Posted by Sreevidya Devanand

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Where do libraries stand in the 21st century?

Libraries find themselves on a sheer drop at the dawn of digital era. Other than storing, meticulously curating and circulating the books what are libraries for?Observed by someone who is from an earlier period and is unfamiliar with screens and devices and latest gadgets and technology libraries seem to be in decline. It is time for libraries to compensate for a shift and redefine their mission to provide access to the latest technology. But does that mean all the printed materials should be taken away from the library and only the digital contents should remain? In my opinion libraries should work as a bridge between digital and print media. It should make available to its patrons all the resources either printed or digital with in the library. According to a study conducted in the U.S on libraries, there are three types of patrons. Those who are completely ignorant and avoid new technologies. Those who learn about the technologies but not use it and those who learn and use technology efficiently. A library should cater to the needs of all these three types of patrons by transforming the broad spectrum of services from traditional to the most modern digital technologies. In a nut shell the libraries should provide a space to meet, collaborate, learn, research and share.

Research and scholarship is moving steadfast in the digital arena. The institutions and organizations which are involved in publication of these works should also evolve along with this.The emerging role of libraries, the different types of search engines, the continuing development of technology all have created a radical change in the role of organizations that play a major role in disseminating scholarly articles and other publications. Librarians are supposed to be ground keepers and gate keepers who guides patrons to access the information timely and accurately.

Non-librarian faculty members should appreciate the need for collaboration with librarians and libraries should should be viewed in a more wider perspective than traditional terms. There are seismic changes that have undergone in librarianship which is in accordance with technically skilled students, academics and research scholars. The key to moving towards success is to understand the users and their changing demands, experiment with new technologies and collaboration with subject specialists. It is not always easy to move on with changes that comes through collaboration but we cannot fully ignore these challenges as it will shut down the opportunity to disseminate information in a fruitful and effective way.
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Obituary to Robert M Pirsig

The classical philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is one of its kind in literature. Its author Pirsig pas...