Vocational Education and Training (VET) is an important element of the nation's education initiative. In order for Vocational Education to play its part effectively in the changing national context and for India to enjoy the fruits of the demographic dividend, there is an urgent need to redefine the critical elements of imparting vocational education and training to make them flexible, contemporary, relevant, inclusive and creative.

Zephyr is a pioneering initiative with a view to bridge the gap between employment opportunities, skills and knowledge base of the unemployed youth in the country and therefore, helps them get suitable placements. Zephyr is the largest provider of vocational education to School dropouts, ITI Technicians etc.

Under skill development initiative, we have trained over 3500 school dropouts & ITI technicians and they were deployed as Riggers & Technicians.

Zephyr is the first ever training provider in the Telecom domain whose training module for Rigger, Technician & Engineers are accredited by IETE (Institute of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers), Scientific & Industrial Research Organization in the Telecom Sector.

The Coaching Model


Here's an indicator of the power of personalized learning: Even the NBA Atlanta Hawks are using it to focus on player development. Coach Mike Budenholzer focuses on one-on-one sessions to hone particular skills and individualize training beyond the group sessions. Assistant coach Kenny Atkinson says in The New York Times ("Key to Hawks’ Team Play: Nourish the Individual," Scott Cacciola, 3/15/15):

I think the league is really trending toward shorter practices and more quality individual time. It's the difference between being in a class with 30 other kids and getting one-on-one tutoring for 20 or 30 minutes.

Optimizing Effectiveness

Several years ago, the Dallas Cowboys' then-coach Bill Parcells was asked about consistency with player expectations. His response: "I’m consistent in that I treat them all differently." This was in reference to player discipline.

Budenholzer has figured out a way to optimize player effectiveness, solidify team play, and reduce the physical toll on players. He is doing more in less time, and has devised a way to maximize efficiency. And he is meeting the individual needs of his players.

The Times article highlights the improvement of player Kent Bazemore through the careful study of film to analyze shooting technique. In the same article, Bazemore explains:

Every day, it's film. If you miss one, you go back and look at your form. Maybe your feet narrowed. Or maybe you drifted. Once you understand all those little things, the rim gets wider.

In a physical education class, some teachers employ the app Ubersense as a way to have students examine their technique in various sports. In one compelling example that I saw recently at our school, a student broke down his technique in doing squats, analyzed angles and spacing, and made the connection to what he was learning in geometry class about angles. And the student began to own his development.

Areas for Growth

Personalized, individualized instruction has taken hold in many classrooms as a way to promote engagement, focus on competency-based learning, and reach a broad range of learners.

In New York City, the School of One uses data analytics and algorithms for tailoring learning to each student. Each day a student enters the learning space to focus on discrete skills that are areas for growth, much in the way Kent Bazemore tackles his jump-shooting technique with the help of a coach. At School of One, here is how the process works, as explained inThe New York Times ("Reaching Math Students One by One," Tina Rosenberg, 3/13/15):

Each student's daily exit quiz is fed into an algorithm, which produces the next day's schedule for each student and teacher. (Teachers get a preview, and can override the schedule.) If a student has mastered a skill, on to the next one. If not, she gets another day's instruction, this time through a different modality. (The algorithm is aware of which modalities work best for her.) It's an enormous departure from traditional teaching.

There may also be a way to take this model of learning into how teachers grow and develop. Many school districts are shifting back to the use of instructional coaches to help with teacher development and implementation of new skills. Alison DeNisco quotes Jim Knight, director of the Kansas coaching project, in a recent article on the resurgence of instructional coaches: "People underestimate how complex implementation is." Instructional coaches help to pinpoint areas for improvement and provide real-time feedback to aid teacher development, much in the way Hawks' assistant Kenny Atkinson works with his players.

Individual Components

Atul Gawande has written and spoken extensively about the value of the coaching model across different professions. His New Yorker articlehighlights the impact of coaching as a way to fine tune and focus on specific areas for improvement. Gawande writes:

Good coaches know how to break down performance into its critical individual components. In sports, coaches focus on mechanics, conditioning, and strategy, and have ways to break each of those down, in turn.

Schools are at a perfect moment to think carefully and purposefully about coaching for both students and teachers. And the coaching model is an excellent one to examine, as the Atlanta Hawks have discovered.

Does your school practice academic coaching? Please share your experiences in the comments below.


The Art of Self Coaching @ Stanford GSB, Class 3

Published on Apr 17, 2015

A condensed set of slides from Class 3 in my course on The Art of Self-Coaching, Spring 2015 at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Published in: Self ImprovementBusiness

Celebrating National Entrepreneurship Week: 10+ Business Resources for Millennial Entrepreneurs

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor

Published: February 23, 2015

Did you know that nearly a quarter of all new U.S. entrepreneurs come from the 20-34 age group? (source: Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity) And, as more and more millennials express enthusiasm about business ownership, this number is sure to rise. In fact, back in 2011, a nationwide poll of 18-34 year olds found that 54 percent wanted to start a business or had already started one. But faced with the stagnant economy of the time, many were holding back.

Now that that economy is rebounding, entrepreneurship is once again an exciting proposition for young people.

So, what better way to celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week (Feb 21-28) than to showcase all the great resources that help pave the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs, small business owners and job creators! Check them out below:

SBA’s Young Entrepreneur Guide

This one-stop resource includes information about getting started – including a free online business planning tool, training links and more. For example, this free online course Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting your Own Business walks you through the steps of turning an idea into a business reality. It also outlines what it takes to get started – making sure your business is registered, structuring it legally, getting financing and more.

Get help – whatever your walk of life

There are numerous resources and opportunities that can help young entrepreneurs get the foot up they need:

  • SCORE Mentors – Get advice, counseling and mentorship from someone who’s walked in your shoes. Whether you have a question that can be asked over email or could benefit from regular in-person, one-on-one mentoring, SCORE is an invaluable resource. With a network of over 11,000 mentors across the country (all of whom have run their own businesses), SCORE provides free advice that can help you get your business off the ground. SCORE also hosts regular workshops, webinars and all sorts of good stuff!
  • My Brother’s Keeper – Despite the turnaround in the U.S. economy, many millennials are still struggling. One in four are currently out of work and people who grow up in underserved communities face very unique challenges, including higher poverty and unemployment and, in some cases, criminal records. In response to these challenges, the SBA and The White House partnered last year to launch a new initiative – My Brother’s Keeper. The initiative is still in its infancy, but stay tuned for educational in-person and online resources aimed at helping young people harness their talents and learn entrepreneurial basics and financial literacy.
  • Other Resources – Small Business Development Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and Women Business Centers all provide entrepreneurs with free business consulting and training services. Find one near you.

Get financial assistance

If you need capital to start your business, consider these options to traditional bank financing (which can be hard to secure – only 27 percent of small businesses get a loan this way):

Get assistance paying off student debt

If your student loan debt is holding you back from starting your own business, find out how the Income-Based Repayment Plan can help. Designed for federal student loans, this government program can help you lower your repayments.


My TEDx Talk: How I Hacked an Ultramarathon By Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

There will be ups and downs, smiles and frowns”
Snoop Dogg, “Ups & Downs

In September 2014, I ran the Wasatch 100-mile race in Utah, reaching my goal to finish in under 30 hours. The catch is that I didn’t train for the Wasatch ultramaraton due to an injury, and yet I stubbornly (maybe foolishly) decided to run the race anyway.

So how did I survive? I devised an unconventional plan, one based on the principles of entrepreneurship.

At first glance, the only relationship between entrepreneurship and ultra long-distance running is the business metaphor that entrepreneurship “is a marathon, not a race.” But there are deeper similarities, which I had the opportunity to explain in a TEDx talk in Boston. Watch my talk below to hear my story.

The Skills Gap Infographic

Bridging the Gap in Today’s Skill Lacking Economy

The Skills Gap Infographic focuses on the extreme skill gap in today’s economy. Is it a skill gap or education gap? The growing gap between the market places’ current skills and the future capabilities of the marketplace to meet the needs for future development is what is being called the Skills Gap. Organizations and companies in the US and across the globe are noting this every widening gap. Even more disturbing is the large unemployment rate still plaguing the US and other economies. The skills gap, if left unchecked, will have lasting effects on business, the economy, and the world at large.

Top Reasons For The Skills Gap

According to ASTD’s member survey:

  • Skills of the workforce don’t match company strategy, goals, markets, or business models
  • Lack of bench strength in the company’s leadership ranks
  • Less of an investment in training/lack of support for employee learning and development in training/lack of support for employee learning and development

44%: US students believe their postsecondary studies (post-high school) improved their employment opportunities

“New graduates are adequately prepared for entry-level positions”

  • 50% of youth and employers believe the above statement is true
  • 72% of education providers believe the above statement is true

“The main reason students drop out is that the course of study is too difficult”

  • 39% of education providers believe the above statement is true
  • 9% of youth say the above statement is true (affordability is cited as the main reason)

2/3: Education providers that report they are able to estimate the job-placement rate of their graduates

20%: Education providers over estimate the job-placement rate of their graduates compared with what was reported by youth themselves

60%: Youth say that on-the-job training and hands-on learning are the most effective instructional technique

½: Those above are enrolled in curricula that prioritize those techniques

Via: nogre.com

BYOD: What Training Professionals Need to Know

According to TechTarget, “BYOD (bring your own device) is the increasing trend toward employee-owned devices within a business. Smartphones are the most common example but employees also take their own tablets, laptops and USB drives into the workplace.”

What Training Professionals Need to Know About BYOD

The Bring Your Own Device trend (and IT headache) is disrupting business communications and training operations worldwide. According to Mobile Learning: The Time is Now, 98 percent of eLearning Guild members reported owning at least one personal mobile device. Over 70 percent reported using their personal devices to accomplish work-related tasks.

There’s a reason your employees bought their iPhones, Androids, or Windows Mobile devices to work. They feel comfortable on their own devices and are increasingly excited about using them. They feel it makes it much easier to work when they aren’t trying to figure out company-issued devices.

If your company is considering BYOD, there are some things you need to know:

  1. Vive la difference!
    To adapt to a BYOD world, we must be willing to accommodate a much larger variety of devices, screen sizes, operating systems, and browsers. Gone are the days where supporting one browser or desktop computer is enough. Employees may be using any number of devices at work.
  2. Poor or no Flash support.
    Many mobile devices do not support Adobe Flash. If they do, the videos end up clunky and difficult to work with. In a BYOD world, we must adapt our websites and videos to these devices. Converting to or using HTML5 makes your videos more adaptable to most (if not all) devices.
  3. The smart device invasion.
    Millennials are entering the workforce, and they’ve exhibited an unprecedented dependence on personal devices. They use them not only to socialize, but also to research, study, find information, and of course engage with other employees. Their devices might as well be an appendage of their bodies, and they feel comfortable using them everywhere. BYOD companies can leverage this behavior by allowing employees to squeeze in some learning time on the train to work, or to access information and documents while out on a project.
  4. But what about security?
    IT managers wrestle with security issues and BYOD all the time—balancing the advantages and the risks. For secure training video content, be sure the video hosting environment and the player meet today’s security standards.The BYOD movement can offer a lot of benefits to you and your employees. If you’re thinking about making the shift to BYOD, make sure you can create mobile-friendly content viewable on any device. If your content includes video, consider a responsive, mobile-friendly HTML5 player that makes your content compatible

The BYOD movement can offer a lot of benefits to you and your employees. If you’re thinking about making the shift to BYOD, make sure you can create mobile-friendly content viewable on any device. If your content includes video, consider a responsive, mobile-friendly HTML5 player that makes your content compatible on a multitude of different devices and a video platform that ensures your employees have multiple video file resolutions to choose from—to meet real-world bandwidth conditions. (Viddler’s Arpeggio is all that, and more.)

How Competency-Based Education is Changing Mainstream Learning Infographic

The How Competency-Based Education is Changing Mainstream Learning Infographic presents what competency-based education is, what competence based experience looks like, as well as the benefits of competency-based education learning.

According to the How Competency-Based Education is Changing Mainstream Learning Infographic, the most common competency-based field of study are business, nursing, technology and graphic design. Students interested in competence-based programs tend to:

  • quickly complete degrees
  • avoid taking traditional courses in things they already know
  • save money
  • fast track to high-level coursework

A list of competencies achieved can make a great addition to a resume, working in the applicants favor.

Via: www.rasmussen.edu

Alison Provides Free Online Training For PowerPoint And Workplace Skills

When it comes to IT based courses we are all aware of names like Lynda.com, for which we earlier provided you with an overview of various Lynda CoursesAlison is another online training website which not only provides training for topic like Microsoft PowerPoint but also offers online learning resource for sharpening basic and essential workplace skills.

Alison provides certifiable learning for almost every subject that you can think of.  This includes courses related to Business and Enterprise skills, Financial and Economic Literacy, Health Literacy, Personal development And Soft Skills, Languages, School Curriculum and more. You can get started by selecting a training course that suits your needs. For the purpose of this post we will show you how to receive free online training for PowerPoint 2010 via Alison.