Kigali, La Ville des Mille Collins (“City of 1000 hills”), is breathtaking for many reasons. The lush green, rolling hills with colorful houses speckling the rich landscape are a sight for any eyes, in contrast to the urban chaos of neighboring capitals like Kampala or Nairobi. The streets are spotlessly clean, neatly painted and lined with perfectly planted trees and cobblestone walkways for the many pedestrians. Each hill makes up a different neighborhood and an evening walk offers striking views of Kigali for pedestrians, bikers, or rooftop cocktail-drinkers alike. The colorful Kitenge (traditionally-printed cotton fabric) and Agaseke (hand-woven baskets) furnish…

Digging into India’s learning ecosystem, it’s difficult to ignore or accurately summarize the starkly evident demographic segments. Here, I describe learning experiences across three Indian demographics and provide tips at the end for solution-builders looking at the Indian market.

In Three Groups

India’s large and diverse population, influenced by layers of stifling segregation, battles obvious racial and socioeconomic inequities deeply embedded in every aspect of its social fabric. As is the case in most countries, India’s social inequities manifest themselves very visibly in its education system.We can oversimplify India’s education system into three groups: the Indian elite, a loosely-defined middle class, and a…

Traditional resumes value superficial achievements at the expense of meaningful capabilities, and it is no coincidence that this is what our societies produce around the world. To develop holistically capable individuals we need new evaluative methods that keep pace with the skills we value today.

From research and conversations with educators, learners, and companies around the world, I propose key components and considerations for a new resume paradigm, and the ways in which technology can help make this feasible.

The skills we value have changed.

What is holding us back from focusing on the new skills?

We have a global skills gap. The skills society demands…

Update # 2: Rural Education Centre, India (August 2019)

As I walk into the classroom, twenty-five smiling faces excitedly greet me “Hi, Akka!” and “Ey-mee thin-ah-roo, Akka?” They’ve just eaten their government-provided mid-day meals and want to know what I’ve eaten for lunch today. They call me “older sister” in Telugu. They are excited and curious, even the shiest ones, to sing songs in English, to observe and talk with visitors, and to learn new things.

Their school, Vidya Vanam (“learning in the forest”), is a satellite school run by the Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (part of the…

Sabbatical Update #1: July 2019

[Better late than never…]

Nestled deep in a beautiful and remote valley three hours from bustling Bangalore, birds and butterflies flutter from tree to tree, and children shriek with laughter, breaking the steady back-and-forth of creaky swings. A metal kitchen ladle clangs in a distinct rhythm that calls students to breakfast in the dining hall at one end of the campus. This same sound rings for breakfast, lunch, tiff (afternoon tea time), and dinner every day of the week, inviting students to a communal refuge from their daily endeavors. Outside the dining hall, there are…

As a product manager for Apple in Education, I’ve seen far too many in EdTech stick to solid product management advice, only to realize that education is (for good reason) a different ball game. If you want to build a successful EdTech product, below is an alternative framework to ensure your EdTech products meet the needs of teachers and learners.

Design with teachers and learners, not for them.

Good product advise often won’t work in education because it’s a complicated industry with an additional, more important, measure of success (learner outcomes) that is often not correlated with usage or financial…

Nidhi Hebbar

education ramblings, all about school love, teachers and learners know best, ed-technologist, and design-thinker

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