Digital learning company Pearson India on Tuesday introduced an interactive skill called MyPedia on Amazon Alexa for students and learners of all age groups to learn English.
The Pearson MyPedia skill offers a collection of engaging stories coupled with fun facts, trivia, quizzes and rewards.
“We have worked with Amazon Alexa team to build Pearson MyPedia skill that will help learners improve their English language abilities through storytelling. The skill can supplement reading and writing of the English language in a new, e?ective and fun way,” Ramesh Subbarao, Vice President Portfolio, South Asia, Pearson, said in a statement.
The interactive format of the skill can help improve English vocabulary, listening, speaking, comprehension, and storytelling. To get started say “Alexa, open MyPedia”, or simply “Alexa, I want to learn English”.
It is designed to enhance the interest of students in the English language. The stories used in the skill can inspire them to be authors and be imaginative while writing in English.
The new skill can be accessed on all Amazon Echo smart speakers, Echo Show smart displays, as well as the Alexa app for smartphones. (IANS)
Two United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Indian expats started free online coaching for children who have dropped out of after-school private tuition because of the coronavirus pandemic, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news reported.
Simran Kanal and Mehak Lalchandani, who have been best-friends from their Dubai school days, were running their newly-founded ‘#PandemicCamp’ to provide free online coaching for CBSE students whose parents can no longer afford private tutors, reports Gulf News.
Pandemic Camp is offering free Zoom lessons in English, Maths and Hindi for grades one to five, taught by the two former CBSE students Kanal and Lalchandani, both 2014 alumni of The Millennium School in Dubai.
“We’re both very compassionate, both as students and as teachers. We came across parents who have had to withdraw their children from private tuition, so this camp is a way we wanted to give back to society,” said Kanal, a freelance journalist and writer who works for an online marketplace platform.
Lalchandani, a finance degree holder, said: “Since we’re very familiar with the CBSE curriculum, that is why we chose CBSE and are catering to primary school grades.”
She said the sudden switch to distance learning has not been easy for students, teachers and parents.
“In a classroom, you have 30 students and you have to personally go to a student and see what they’re doing in their book. But when you have 30 students online, then it’s very difficult for that one-on-one help,” Gulf news quoted Lalchandani as saying.
Kanal said compared to her school days, students today in grade four or five have “tremendous assignments” that often need close help by parents, who themselves have to learn new digital skills. (IANS)
NASA is seeking US citizens for an eight-month study on social isolation in preparation for missions to Mars and the moon.
The international space agency is preparing for its next spaceflight simulation study and is seeking healthy participants to live together with a small crew in isolation for eight months in Moscow, Russia.
Participants will be staying in a lab located in Moscow, and they will experience environmental aspects similar to those astronauts are expected to experience on future missions to Mars that will have crew members from different nations.
NASA is looking for highly motivated and healthy individuals between the ages of 30 and 55 who are fluent in both English and Russian. They must also have an MS., PhD, MD. or have completed military officer training.
The space agency will consider other participants with a bachelor’s degree and other qualifications such as military or professional experience.
They will study the psychological and physiological effects astronauts are likely to face as a result of isolation on long missions.
According to NASA, participants will experience environmental aspects similar to those astronauts are expected to experience on future missions to Mars.
A small international crew will live together in isolation for eight months conducting scientific research, using virtual reality and performing robotic operations among a number of other tasks during the lunar mission.
The research is being done to study the effects of isolation and confinement as participants work to complete simulated space missions.
Results from ground-based missions like this help NASA prepare for the real-life challenges of space exploration and provide important scientific data to solve some of these problems and to develop countermeasures.
Participants will be compensated, and there are varying levels of pay depending on whether you’re associated with NASA.
This study builds on a four-month study conducted in 2019. The SIRIUS-19 analog mission had six participants — two US citizens and four Russians — isolated in a metal habitat that acted as their spacecraft, lunar lander and home. (IANS)
Strict parenting may not always yield the best results, especially when it comes to making your kids take time off the screen and do some exercise, suggests new research Lifestyle news.
Rather, parents who know a child’s preferences and participate in the activities become more successful in keeping him/her motivated to do exercise, showed the findings published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Parental control, meaning varying degrees of coercion and disregarding the child’s role in exercise-related decision-making, was perceived as undesirable and reduced enthusiasm for exercise.
“For example, strong, public and overt encouragement in tournaments and games was perceived in some cases as embarrassing and even shameful,” explained postdoctoral researcher Arto Laukkanen from University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.
“In addition, underestimating and ignoring the temporary cessation of exercise motivation, for example, was perceived as controlling and reducing enthusiasm for exercise.”
The study involved interviews with 79 first-, second-, and third-grade students.
The researchers found that children aged 7 to 10 years had a clear distinction between parenting that increases and reduces exercise motivation.
A very typical unpleasant exercise experience for children was related to limiting screen time and the associated command that the child should go out to exercise.
“This is very contradictory, as parents try to take care of the children’s screen time and adequate level of exercise, but at the same time they may be contributing to alienation from exercise,” Laukkanen said.
“Perhaps exercise should not be set in opposition to screen time, but one should strive to organize independent space for both of them in everyday life.”
However, the researchers said that further research on this topic was urgently needed from the perspectives of both children and parents. (IANS)