Royal Qasimov

Education, technology and beyond...

Tag: Education

FIVE FINGER BALANCE -how are you getting ready to apply to the most prestigious universities in the world?

I’ve recently attended a conference titled “The Future of Education: 2030 & beyond” in Nairobi, Kenya which I found extremely interesting. I took notes and pictures during the program, and I like to share them with you.

I was born, raised and educated in a country where education is all about “good grades” and “good university entry exam results” all the way from primary to university and it follows the same as you keep pursuing the higher education; be it graduate level or doctorate. Most countries and their education systems still take the academic success as the key component of “being successful” or being eligible to pursue higher education.

After I got into the professional life, I started realizing that “academics,” namely good grades, is a small part of a whole pie. Until I attended the conference mentioned above, what I knew was that academics and extra-curricular activities matter to achieve a career goal. But I still was wrong because there are more than that out there…Today, I will introduce to you a phenomenon which is held dear by the most prestigious universities (including Ivy league universities) and developed countries; the “FIVE FINGER BALANCE.”

  1. Academics
  2. Extra-curricular Activities
  3. Community Service
  4. Family
  5. Philosophy of life/Religion/Moral Compass

Students those who are planning to go to the top universities must consider covering each aspect of the list above. They should be building their portfolio/resume from the very early stages of secondary school and present their achievements when the time arrives to apply.


Note: I have come across with the news below about a student who recently accepted into Harvard University. In the story, he explains how he achieved to get there. I think it’s a great example of FIVE FINGER BALANCE.

Digital Literacy- make your lessons cooler than ever!

I’ve recently met some websites that I believe will make my lessons more fun, inclusive and engaging in all contexts. Don’t worry! It can make yours, too :-). So, let me cut it short and introduce some fantastic websites to you which you will fall in love with all their features as soon as you learn about them.

I know there might be dozens of such websites out there, but these are the best ones I came across so far. One of the best things about them is that they are suitable for all age groups. Another great thing is that they’re flexible to be used for any lesson or in any country with different languages.

So, let’s begin:

1. Kahoot!: Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform for teachers of awesome, classroom superheroes and all learners. Play, learn, have fun and celebrate together!

Kahoots are best played in a group setting, for example, a classroom. Players answer the questions on their own devices, while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson. It creates a ‘campfire moment’ encouraging players to look up and celebrate together. Besides creating your own kahoots, you can search among millions of existing games.

A picture is worth a thousand words!- Check out its YouTube channel to see how fantastic it is.

Visit the website, sign up and get your students play and enjoy!


2. plickers: Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Tailor instruction with instant feedback. Use Plickers for quick checks for understanding to know whether your students are understanding big concepts and mastering key skills.

Love seeing how quick and easy it is to use plickers. Fast, easy, effective formative assessment. To learn more about it, click the links below to watch how it works. Enjoy this amazing tool!


3. GRADECAM: As a teacher, it’s always been a challenge to accomplish the things I needed to do for our students. And still, have time for our life. Fortunately, GradeCam gives us the tools to work smarter instead of harder. You can quickly and easily create customized assessments with different question types in any combination and then print them on regular paper to use it in a variety of ways.

GradeCam also allows you accurately scan and score completed assessments on your own device. Whether it’s your document camera, computer, smartphone or tablet. The best part is that with the touch of a button you can automatically transfer grades to your grade book. It’s that simple!

GradeCam’s free version allows you to create and assent up to 10 questions. However, with a little payment, you can benefit the full version of it. It’s just $15/per month. I advise you to ask your school to purchase it. Purchasing one account will be enough for all teachers in your school! That’s excellent, isn’t it?

Visit its YouTube channel here!

I’ll continue writing about Digital Literacy. Come back soon!


Thanks for stopping by, let me know how these websites contributed to your lessons. I like to hear your stories. Please share it by submitting a comment below.


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