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We are not an alternative school.
We are the alternative to schooling.

Embrace the new normal


Namya Chandramouleeswaran

Apr 21, 2020


Embrace the new normal!

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening!

That’s how the introductory session of Out of the Box with Beyond 8 began, and fittingly so. Despite which time zones we live in and the languages we speak, we are all sailing in the same boat of navigating life and learning during the pandemic. For learners like us, the WWW has become a great unifier that brings us all together to reach for the same goal: embracing the new normal that we have been dealt. It is interesting that an outbreak like this has forced educators to look at learning differently. Education as we know it has come to a hard stop as conventional methods of uniform testing are indefinitely postponed and classroom setups are considered unsafe. With no other way of branding and categorizing students, even top universities are now looking at each applicant as a human being and truly seeing into their passion, interests and personality.

Raaji Naveen and Naveen Mahesh, the co-founders of Beyond 8 were live on our Facebook page last Friday to share diverse strategies for learning in this trying period. For the benefit of our followers who missed this session, here is a round-up!

Discover your passion

As most of the world is realizing, quarantine can mean the time to unravel our true passions and interests. Be it gardening, baking or reading, we are finally rid of the one excuse we have been making all these years: the lack of time!

Make the most of free online resources

Premier universities from around the world such as Harvard , Cambridge as well as academies such as Coursera and our very own Beyond 8 are offering free online courses ranging from photography, architecture to even blockchain technology. Never has the opportunity to learn been so accessible and inexpensive, even if it has found us in an unsettling time like this.

Find meaning in the mundane

Household chores may feel far from magical on most days, but what if we look at them as avenues for learning? Doing the dishes won’t appear as just a mundane task but may inspire new ways of conserving water and soap, if we are mindful about it. Being self-sufficient without hired help will also go a long way in encouraging diffuse thinking and independent living, if learners look at it with the right lens.

Contribute to a good cause

If we look at the world around us with empathy, we will realize how privileged we are to even have the option of social distancing. A multitude of our countrymen are facing grimmer realities with regards to keeping their families fed and keeping their businesses afloat. Learning flourishes when we can use the knowledge and skills we have imbibed to help those in need. Find a cause that you are passionate about (online teaching, support for seniors, alternative employment opportunities for domestic help etc.) and contribute in your own capacity.

Strengthen bonds with family

There is no better to be quarantined than in your home with your family. Spend more time with your parents, grandparents and siblings and revisit the activities you enjoy doing together, even if it means at an arm’s distance, such as board games, card games or good old-fashioned cooking. The pandemic can be a rather isolating time for the elderly in your homes so include them in your fun and games, ask them questions about your family tree and share stories. You will be surprised how much you can learn from the people you share a home with!

In summary, the coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest black swans we have witnessed in recent history. But it has also shown us that the beauty of our human nature lies in our resilience and survival instinct. As a fraternity, it is quickly changing the way we look at the world and is an urgent reminder for parents, learners and educators that the time has come to think anew and act anew. We must remember that while we are preparing for a post-pandemic future, the way we learn, must also be for the future or what could be considered the new normal.

You can find the entire video on Beyond 8’s YouTube channel here

Stay tuned for our next edition of Out of the Box with Beyond 8 on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 11:00 AM, live on Facebook where we will be in conversation with Mr. Alladi Mahadevan , founder of Green Embryo, about life skills you can pick up while staying at home.

About Out of the Box with Beyond 8

Be it the way we learn or teach, there are always better ways to do it and often they lie out of the box, on the paths less taken.Out of the Box with Beyond 8 is an initiative that encourages the education fraternity to push the boundaries and challenge status quo.

We are not an alternative school.
We are the alternative to schooling.

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