Sunday, April 30, 2023

Free Digital/Online Learning Resources for Students to Learn and Grow!


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Be it a formative assessment or a competitive exam, study materials are indispensable tools for a student’s preparations. At the same time, they contribute significantly to the student’s knowledge acquisition capabilities.

With the changing times, the medium of education and knowledge transfer has transformed immensely. Such that, digital teaching aids are currently being used extensively within and beyond the classroom to develop a better learner-centric ambience. Most importantly, the domino effect of technology being used for educational purposes was initiated quite inadvertently by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the world came to a halt, certain industries kept on with their endeavors during the pandemic, like the Education sector. As classroom teaching techniques transcended the concrete walls to be implemented in online video classes, there was a surge in demand for online tools and resources among students for better understanding of the lessons being taught in class. Thus, the need for building digital repositories was deemed necessary.

Although several organizations, private and governmental, have their own archives containing multimedia resources and study materials, we at No Herd Mentality decided to build our own repository that would benefit students to a great extent, from secondary to postgraduate level.


  • Indian Culture - Digital District Repository:

A wonderful way to introduce young students to the extensive cultural landscape of our country, the Digital District Repository is the best starting point for parents and educators to consider. The interactive web design allows the viewers to access the historical accounts and events of each state across the country on the basis of its famous personalities, traditional and cultural forms, hidden facts and gems, as well as major events that shaped the legacy of the state. The coalescence of IT and History to educate students about the national as well as regional cultures of India is indeed a phenomenal mode to make learning a fun experience among children of all ages.

  • National Digital Library of India:

The National Digital Library of India boasts of a huge array of study materials and resources for school students in classes X and XII (CBSE) to prepare for their board exams as well as various competitive exams such as GATE, JAM, IIT-JEE, NEET, UGC-NET, IBPS, RRB, SSC, and UPSC. It also features archives of scholarly works and journal publications to benefit students pursuing higher studies.

  • Crash Course:

One of the most popular channels on YouTube, the Vlogbrothers (Hank and John Green) came up with the idea to kickstart a separate series of educational videos that would help students in the American Education system to understand the lessons being taught in class without the hassles of study notes and homework. Thus, Crash Course came into being as a YouTube channel in 2011. In the span of over 20 years, Crash Course has created more than 1.5k videos spanning across hundreds of subjects and study topics. Be it Literature, Psychology, Physics, Philosophy, Chemistry, Film Studies and whatnot, Crash Course covers almost every aspect of the syllabi taught at the school and college levels, excluding non-US content. You can click on the link above to access their web library.

  • TED Ed:

If Crash Course videos are too long for you to devote enough time, then you can always consider the bite-sized educational videos by TED. This series of animated videos (also available on YouTube) encompasses every major subject that is taught at the college level. However, what distinguishes TED Ed videos from other educational channels is that the former provide thought-provoking ways to viewers to look at a particular lesson or topic. Interestingly, TED Ed videos emphasize less on school test preparations and more on the need to educate students and viewers alike about the various phenomena that we see around ourselves. In short, TED Ed videos go beyond the textbook to help you read between the lines.

  • SWAYAM: 

One of the major initiatives taken up by the Indian Government in terms of making education accessible to all, SWAYAM consists of a huge array of courses and materials from the disciplines of STEM, Social Science, Commerce, as well as Humanities. Nine major coordinators provide these courses that have been designed by renowned scholars and educators from across the country. While these courses are offered for free on the website, students can choose to sit for a pen-paper exam or a CBT/Computer-Based Test to get a certification for the said course. These certificates do accentuate the candidate’s professional skills as well as academic qualifications, thus creating a good impression on the recruiters.

  • eGyanKosh: 

The courses offered on eGyanKosh are copyrighted by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Another popular digital academic repository, eGyanKosh provides course materials for different programs at the Bachelor’s degree, guiding students with the best quality resources so that they can ace the exams as well as learn about the contents of their respective programs in the long run. eGyanKosh also offers links to pre-recorded lectures, university publications, as well as self-learning materials so that students can strategize their knowledge acquisition methods accordingly.

That being said, this list of digital resources and study materials will be updated time and again with more innovative and useful academic websites and archives by us at No Herd Mentality. This way, students, parents, and educators as well can refer to these sources in the course of the learning phase, so that the students can not only understand the nitty-gritty of the lessons being taught in class, but also establish the right state of mind to frame their own ideas and opinions as independent individuals.

Apurba Ganguly (she/her) is an English Literature student, pursuing B.Ed (English). She has been eager to understand the intricacies of Memory Studies and Visual Narratives.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Careers at the intersection of STEM and Humanities for students to explore.

Recently in Episode - 61 of 'Headlines ke Peche Shekhar ke Saath' of The Print (Digital News), one of the viewer's asked Shekhar Gupta (editor-in-chief) - Why is there so much fuss about syllabus changes in NCERT Social Science? Social Sciences and History don't impart any marketable skills nor provide job opportunities. So, why are students still studying these subjects and yet hope to build a career out of this? (paraphrased in my words).

Such questions reflect the larger issues pertaining to the mindset of the mainstream society which is lopsided in favour of STEM. (We did discuss this phenomenon at length in our previous blog. Please do check out:). These prevailing career beliefs make our efforts worthwhile and motivate us to write on the intersection of STEM and Non-STEM (Humanities) careers to raise awareness, broaden the tunnel vision and expand the choices for career selection among parents and students. 

In our previous blog, we made a case for the interdisciplinary problem solving approach in 21st century, challenges which are complex and have global implications for humanity at large. 

In this blog, we attempt to distill down these esoteric thoughts to practicality and practice of such interdisciplinary disciplines. 

So let's begin by peeling off the first layer of the onion :) What is Interdisciplinary? 

The term “interdisciplinary” refers to the interconnectedness of subjects or disciplines. It brings together various branches of knowledge and encourages the individuals to assimilate multiple perspectives and connect the dots

Example, the economic downturn of a country (think contemporary Sri Lankan crisis) may put the economists at the center. However, the economist does not function in isolation and has to collaborate and work in integration with politicians, bureaucrats, think tanks, policy makers, researchers, inter-governmental agencies, social workers, local communities, businesses (big and small) etc. to plan, execute and audit such large-scale policy matters and its on-the-ground implementation.

Of course, by no means we can cover the length and breadth of all Interdisciplinary Courses and Careers being offered. We are making an attempt here to provide some glimpses of the practice of interdisciplinary careers, so that it removes the blind spots of students and expands their mind-space, so that they can make the right career choices.