Professional Development Day organized on the theme ‘Connect. Learn. Grow.’

Eager eyes and open minds sat there, waiting for the learning to begin. The only difference was that instead of students, the staff was filling up the classroom!

UFV India organized its first edition of Professional Development Day for all the faculty and staff members with the theme — Connect. Learn. Grow.

The day started with a short presentation by our Canadian guests — David McGuire and Craig Toews. While David spoke about Canada as a destination for higher education, Craig shed some light on community building, fund generation, and partnerships.

Following this was an insightful keynote speech by the guest of honour Dr. Sandeep Singh Chhatwal, General Physician, Omni Hospital, Chandigarh who spoke on the theme of the ProD Day. “Do we grow because we connect or do we connect because we grow?” he asked at the beginning of the session.

He followed this with his take on each of the 3 elements of the theme: “A connection is nothing but energy. It is a give and take relationship with all.”

He also spoke about the learning process. Drawing from his medical experience, he shared, “People who are not in touch with any sort of learning process begin their ageing process earlier than others. The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, and the willingness to learn is a choice.”

Talking about the last element, he shared how growth is the process of responding positively to change. “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

He closed his keynote by talking about IKIGAI — a concept that finds its origins in Japan, which roughly translates to the happiness of always being. “Learn to connect so that you can connect to grow.” concluded Chatwal.

Following this insightful session was Dr. Jasvir Kaur Chahal whose talk was about Life Skills. She started her session with an interactive activity aimed at showcasing how we never lead our lives alone, we not only have influences on us, we also hold the power to influence everyone who is connected to us. She showcased this by having everyone in the session pass around a ball of thread with everybody painting the section that they held and then moving the thread along. In the end, everyone was left with colourful hands and a knowing smile.

After her session on the lifeline of sustainable education, Jasvir divided the audience into teams who then worked together to come up with new projects that can help inculcate the three Generic Life Skills, namely Cognitive (Responsible Decision Making), Personal (Self-Management) and Interpersonal (Inclusion, Empathy & Advocacy), in our students.

After the lunch and afternoon networking session, the stage was taken over by Mr. Rajesh Ahuja who shed light on the commonly studied approach called the 5E Model where each of the 5 E’s describes a phase of learning — Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.

Ahuja shared “Students today have access to information at their fingertips, information that even our teachers didn’t. It impacts the way we teachers need to evolve our methodologies.”

Unravelling the mysteries of nature was our next speaker Dr. Sonia Gupta who showcased the presence of Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Spiral everywhere around us. The Fibonacci sequence has its presence in nature like shells, flower petals, pine cones, branching of trees, pine cones, the lineage of male honey bee etc. She then brought the Golden Angle into the conversation by showcasing its role in establishing the flowering pattern in nature.

Opening a discussion on the adoption lifecycle of televisions was Dr. Syed Ahmed Wajih who spoke about the advent of technology in terms of the television tech as well as the content that is being distributed. This opened a discussion on the cost of adoption of new technologies and how different markets react differently.

“New technologies like IoT, Motion Sensors and Artificial Intelligence integrated solutions are the way to go.  It seems televisions are here to stay. However, the form and content will undergo revolutionary changes in the coming decade.” shared Syed.

The last couple of sessions took us to the computer laboratory where Sunil Dhawan and Aseem Kaur shared some practical skills regarding search engine tips and using mail merge.

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