Thursday, 23 April 2020

World Book Day and Copyright Day

An annual event to promote Reading, Publishing and Copyright

Copyright is not an obstacle. It’s something you need to understand how to navigate, and we want to make that as easy and as transparent as possible.
Tracey Armstrong
CEO, Copyright Clearance Centre

World Book and Copyright Day is a day entirely dedicated to celebrating the contribution of authors and their books towards the global culture and the association between books and copyright. Since 1995, the 23rd of April has been a day to celebrate content creators and the laws that protect their works. Each year on April 23, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the rest of the world celebrate World Book and Copyright Day to address the problems of plagiarism and copyrights in a serious manner. It is a significant day for international book publishing because it is a worldwide celebration to promote the reading and enjoyment of books. About 100 countries and more than a million people join in the celebration.
Besides the name ‘World Book and Copyright Day’, this day is also familiarized by the names viz. ‘World Book Day’ and ‘International Day of the Book’. This day creates an occasion to honour the books and authors worldwide and inspire people at large to develop their interest and discover the inclination towards reading.
During the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day, representatives of the International Publisher's Association (IPA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), together with UNESCO, choose a city to be the World Book Capital. Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading and to organize activities over the year. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) was named World Book Capital for the year 2020 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on the recommendation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee. The city was selected because of the intense focus on inclusive education, the development of a knowledge-based society and accessible reading for all parts of the city’s population.

With the slogan KL Baca – caring through reading, the program focuses on four themes:

  1. Reading in all its forms
  2. Development of the book industry infrastructure
  3. Inclusiveness and digital accessibility
  4. Empowerment of children through reading

Among other events and activities there will be the construction of a book city (the Kota Buku Complex), a reading campaign for train commuters, enhancing of digital services and accessibility by the National Library of Malaysia for the disabled, and new digital services for libraries in 12 libraries in poor housing areas of Kuala Lumpur.  
The city's objective is to foster a culture of reading and inclusiveness - “A city that reads is a city that cares” – emphasizing ubiquitous access to books throughout the city. The city’s ambitious programme for World Book Capital is linked to the Vision 2020 for Kuala Lumpur, and the eco-city project called the River of Life with open-air bookshops and libraries populating the newly-restored waterways of the city.


The inspiration for the celebration came from the tradition in Catalonia, Spain. Catalonia’s patron saint is St. George. According to local legend, St. George slew the dragon on April 23 and saved a princess from being sacrificed. A rosebush grew on the spot where the dragon’s blood dripped. St. George (St. Jordi) picked the rose and gave it to the princess.
From then on, the tradition of a man giving a rose to the person he loves on St. George’s Day started.
In the 1920s, a bookseller from Catalonia realized that April 23 was the death anniversary of revered authors Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare (who died on April 23, 1616). A few authors were born on April 23, such as Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Halldór Kiljan Laxness and Maurice Druon. He promoted the date as a good time to present someone with a book instead of a rose. Many followed the idea, which led to the birth of “The Day of the Book” or El Dia de Libre in Catalan.
The tradition is deeply established in Barcelona, which is the publishing hub for books in Spanish and Catalan languages. In the region, a book is exchanged for a rose, and the gift-giving tradition on April 23 does not distinguish between genders. Most of the annual book purchases in Catalonia happen during the region’s Book and Rose Fair. Booksellers present a rose to anyone who buys a book. Various other activities are planned during the event, and many authors and publishers launch their books during the fair.

This date was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books. It is also the day to honour books, authors and the copyright laws that protect the intellectual properties of the authors. Various other factors make the World Book and Copyright Right Day very significant. It declares the intent of UNESCO to support equal access to knowledge, diversity and creativity. Various organizations work together to promote mobile learning, literacy, open access to educational resources and scientific knowledge.


It cannot be denied that books still have the power to connect cultures and generations.
The celebration of this day plays a significant role to inculcate reading habits in the students and develop their interest in them to know about several authors and other relevant things.
Perhaps the most straightforward way to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day is to read a book. Check out a new book from your local library, purchase a book from a local bookseller, or reread a favourite book you have at home. If you have a particularly busy day on April 23, reading a portion of a book with your family can be a great way to end the day and to celebrate the holiday.
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When you read a book, you become a part of the ongoing transfer of information and culture that is so important to human history. You’re also supporting the work of writers who are devoted to the process of information and cultural exchange.

Happy World Book and Copyright Day!

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Thursday, 16 April 2020

Engineering Physics for Diploma by Bhuyan

Physics is an applied science from which all engineering technologies have evolved. Therefore, a thorough knowledge of the basic principles and applied aspects will help students understand, apply and grow techniques more effectively and thereby improve the life of the society.

Engineering Physics is a course that might be suitable for you if you have an avid interest in technology and a passion for physics. Skills like problem-solving, observation skills, numerical aptitude, practical thinking and reasoning are essential for this field. Technical know-how is beneficial, and professionals in this field should be able to communicate their ideas to others with clarity, precision and imagination in a way that captures the interest of others. Engineering physics stresses the application of fundamental scientific principles to the design of equipment.

PHI Learning has come up with an eTextbook Engineering Physics for Diploma by Bhuyan. It imparts knowledge in basic concepts of physics relevant to engineering applications. Also, it introduces advances in technology for engineering applications. The paperback edition will also be available with online portals and your nearby booksellers in the next few months.

Book Description

Engineering Physics for Diploma is a complete textbook written for the diploma students according to the syllabi followed in the Indian institutes offering diploma courses in engineering. The book aims to provide a thorough understanding of the basic concepts, theories, and principles of Engineering Physics, in as easy and straightforward manner as possible, to enable the average students to grasp the intricacies of the subject.
Special attempts have been made to design this book, through clear concepts, proper explanations with necessary diagrams and mathematical derivations to make the book student-friendly. Besides, the book covers some advanced topics such as communication systems, ultrasonics, and laser technology with their wide range of applications in several fields of science, technology, industry, and medicine, etc.
The book not only provides a clear theoretical concept of the subject but also includes a large number of solved problems followed by unsolved problems to reinforce conceptual understanding of the concepts. Moreover, the book contains sixteen chapters, and each chapter contains glossary terms, short questions, and long questions for practice.

Key Features
  • Logically organised content for sequential learning
  • Learning outcomes at the beginning of each chapter
  • Important concepts and generalisations highlighted in the text
  • Chapter-end quick review

Coverage of Topics
  • Units and Dimensions
  • Scalars and Vectors
  • Kinematics
  • Projectile and Circular Motion
  • Laws of Motion and Friction
  • Work, Energy and Power
  • Gravitation
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Heat and Thermodynamics
  • Optics
  • Electrostatics
  • Magnetostatics
  • Current–Electricity
  • Magnetic Effects of Electric Current
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Modern Physics

Know the Author


Dr. Bhuyan is with the Department of Physics, Government (Autonomous) College, Angul, Odisha. With over a decade’s teaching and research experience, he has published about 18 international peer-reviewed journals and two books. He has presented his research papers in more than 25 national and international conferences.


Print Book ISBN: 9789389347210
eBook ISBN: 9789389347227
Ebook: Available
Print Book: Pre-order
Binding: Paperback
Print Book Price: INR 550.00   440
You Save: (INR 110)
Ebook Price: INR 550.00   385
You Save: (INR 165)

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Sunday, 5 April 2020

Strategies for Remote Teaching and Learning

Due to public health concerns over the novel Coronavirus, schools, colleges, and universities have been closed for a period expected to be at least until April 15. Educators are facing a challenge: how to keep students engaged and learning at home, and largely online, during an extended closure period?
The unusual situation has become a springboard for innovation and creativity in adapting curriculum and lesson delivery, particularly for middle and high school students, so they can continue learning without disruption. While every community and school is different, there are many lessons from Hong Kong that educators around the world can use should they need to support remote learning.

Making Active Learning Virtual

The closure of schools isn’t entirely unprecedented – typhoons and other public disruptions have prompted the move previously, and at the Hong Kong International School (HKIS), events in late 2019 saw educators dip a toe in the water of the virtual environment.

HKIS associate principal for teaching and learning, Brent Brayko, says the school, which caters to students in Grades 9-12, was already using an online learning management system to distribute schedules, make resources accessible and submit assignments online. While this provided a foundation for online education, other elements were required to make learning as active and successful as possible.

“We learned there needed to be some accountability for students so the teachers knew they were online, and there was a time every day during class to touch base. That human contact, even though it is virtual, is still important.”

Brent Brayko
Associate Principal, Hong Kong International School

This insight is supported by Steelcase research, outlined in the Blended Learning Ideabook, which found that blended learning works best when it combines online and face-to-face activities. Ordinarily, an optimal approach will combine web-based, mobile and classroom-based technologies. This combination improves learning effectiveness by allowing for individually-tailored content, pace, and feedback; provides access to diverse, outside-the-classroom content and experts; and enables peer-to-peer and group learning. Given that this ideal scenario of person-to-person connection is not currently possible, educators are looking for other ways to bring these elements into the virtual classroom.

Victor d’Hauteville, an 11-year-old student in Hong Kong, says his online math lessons have been almost like a normal school day. The class commences with the teacher explaining concepts and tasks, answering questions, through the video platform Zoom. The students are then assigned some individual exercises to work through with a specified submission time, to ‘hand in’ work via Google Drive. Project-based learning activities include students working in pairs. Victor and a classmate use WeChat video to collaborate on a research project together.

At HKIS, teachers have been using Zoom to conduct online lessons either from home or their usual classrooms. The videoconferencing platform lets teachers see and interact with students in lectures, Q+A, and discussion formats while also offering the chance for teachers to divide the class into breakout ‘rooms’ for smaller group work and interactions.

Though nothing can replace the experience of being together in person, being able to use videoconference capabilities, rather than just attend a voice call, improves the quality of virtual interactions considerably.

A 2014 Fuzebox survey found 80% of the messages people receive come from body language, and according to the article, “Making Distance Disappear,” in Steelcase 360 Magazine, making eye contact switches on parts of the brain called mirror neurons, which enable us to ‘read’ other people’s intentions, building mutual understanding and empathy.

“Those extra tools have made interaction and feedback more efficient because that’s important in this virtual learning environment. It can make the difference between an information “dump” and being an information curator. It’s very easy to just put a bunch of material online, but we need to teach,” Brayko says.

Personalizing Learning

While technology can certainly provide the connection between teachers and students, one of the challenges, says Sarah Wheatley, a high school humanities teacher at HKIS, is adapting course content to a teaching model that is less interactive by nature.
To achieve their learning objectives, teachers need to be far more creative in the way they plan lesson delivery. One of the advantages of utilizing technology in education, according to Steelcase research, is it can supplement face-to-face interactions with access to the enormous Online Learning Resources for students. Teachers and students can then spend class time focusing on higher-level cognitive learning with rich discussion and more dynamic, active interaction.

Wheatley augments her online lessons by providing interactive learning tools for students to follow up after the lesson, including Google slides with links to further information, such as definitions for new vocabulary words.

“We’re flexing a lot of our creative muscles right now, but making it fun.”

Sarah Wheatley
Humanities Teacher, Hong Kong International School

A Holistic Approach

Having students spend eight hours of each day in front of a screen, isolated from their peers, is obviously an undesirable scenario, so educators are thinking deeply about how they can manage the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of students.

Teachers in areas of the curriculum such as physical education are getting kids active by assigning activities such as going for a run and documenting what they see on the way; providing a yoga routine to complete, and then taking photos of themselves in the poses; or in the case of Victor’s class, teaching students how to juggle.

This lateral thinking is extending to subjects that lend themselves less obviously to physical activity. Wheatley has provided novels by mail so that when possible, her students can read a physical book rather than a screen, and has designed a lesson around a podcast – which students could listen to while on a walk – with a follow-up discussion planned for “class time.”

HKIS has also brought its wellbeing check-in system online, so school counselors can continue to touch base with students via video calls. And importantly, school hours have typically been shortened to allow for more outdoor activities and more family time to try to compensate for the valuable interpersonal interaction that ordinarily happens in the school environment.

21st Century Skills

Fostering essential skills such as creativity, curiosity and collaboration – for both students and teachers – is an unexpected benefit of what is an extremely disruptive scenario, Steelcase WorkSpace Futures Senior Design Researcher Aileen Strickland-McGee explains.

“Because this is a new situation and nobody has all the answers, people seem more apt to see the possibilities of the situation, rather than the limitations. Creativity happens not just when there is an open, blank canvas, but when new constraints force ingenuity and innovation. So, this new situation is a fertile ground for adaptability, agility, and creativity to be practiced and flourish,” says Strickland-McGee.

It has also provided the opportunity for students to learn accountability and take responsibility for their own learning while operating autonomously.

Steelcase research on personalized learning has found that when students are extended trust to take responsibility for themselves and their learning, they generally step up, which not only builds these traits but also nurtures a sense of trust with their parents and teachers. “By understanding how students behave when given freedom, teachers can adapt their approach and respond to learner needs and interests”, says Steelcase WorkSpace Futures Manager Andrew Kim. This has certainly been the case at HKIS. Brayko reports attendance has been strong, even for students who remain overseas in different time zones, many of whom are still attending the virtual classes. Students can access course materials easily and teachers are proactive in following up to check on any students who are not participating in class or completing work.

“By understanding how students behave when given freedom, teachers can adapt their approach and respond to learner needs and interests”

Andrew Kim
Manager, WorkSpace Futures


Educators admit it can be a steep learning curve to make a rapid transition from being primarily classroom-based to adopting a blended learning approach, but collaboration and communication are key – both internally within the school and with colleagues in other schools, who may share experiences, ideas, and policies.

Again, technology can be an enabler of information exchange – at HKIS, a tech expert has been upskilling fellow faculty members with tips and tricks on the platforms and applications they are using, while a shared Google doc allows all teachers to post helpful finds and workarounds to accelerate the process of adapting their lessons. While it’s not quite the same as being able to ask a colleague a quick question in the staff room, other tools such as Google hangouts and WhatsApp groups can facilitate communication.


• Create a personalized space for learning. A home is a place that we look to for inspiration in learning environments, for comfort and a sense of belonging. Soft lighting, a comfortable upholstered chair, a favorite photo or books on display, or a warm, cozy blanket – elements of the home create personalized learning environments where students feel a sense of ownership. Also consider access to power; ability to change posture and move throughout the day; some access to privacy for focus where possible; and proximity to work tools, other people at home and refreshments.
• Try to establish a dedicated – or at least regular – space in the home for students to do their virtual learning, even if it is a corner of the kitchen table. “It might be helpful to say, ‘This area is where school happens’ – there is something psychological about that routine,” Brayko says.

1. Routine is important. Ask students at home what their schedule of classes is, from checking attendance in the morning and through the day. Particularly as some schools have rotating schedules, this is one-way parents or caregivers can help students ensure they are organized.

2. Take advantage of breaks in the day such as free periods, and before and after school hours to replace the physical activity and social interaction they are missing while not with their peers.

3. Keep checking in with your child about how they are doing, and encourage them to take any concerns or frustrations to their teachers so they can be resolved.

In the short term, as a school in Hong Kong remains online, there will continue to be opportunities to explore creativity and build student resilience and responsibility.

And while Wheatley has been impressed by her students’ commitment to this new way of learning, she is looking forward to returning to regular school: “The best part of my job is interacting with my students in the classrooms and having that relationship. I really miss the face-to-face time with them and my colleagues.”

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Remote teaching creates huge opportunities for effective learning and collaboration outside the classroom. For that, PHI has come out with more than 1200+ e-books keeping in mind the need of students and teachers in the prevailing situation.

PHI Learning E-Books are always available. Access them Anywhere, Anytime on Any Device.

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