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September 01, 2017 Friday 11:18:38 AM IST

Learn Smart, Think Smart, Teach Smart

Cover Story

Without a SMART tag touch nothing seems to be bankable today. Smart kids, smart phones and smart living… everything revolves round that one small adjective. Are we really smart? How fast should we race to catch up with the world’s best brains? In conversation with Pallikkutam were two young entrepreneurs Jithin Raj and Dheeraj T, who developed Cocociti, a startup website.

 

Opening up on a wide range of interests, the Thrissur-based youngsters said technology is only an enabler. Nothing can replace hard work and devotion to work in the pursuit of one’s dreams. Sharing their views with our readers:

 


Does the education system feel the pressure of smart revolution round the world? How does it adapt itself to this change?

 

We believe innovation or revolution has to do more with collective knowledge and advancement of things around us than education. The same schools and colleges have produced geniuses who later changed the world for better or worse. Einstein was not rated a good student by his teachers. But the world looks up to him today. Most of today’s top tech entrepreneurs are either school dropouts or those who rebelled against a conventional learning system. They weren’t exceptional students if you were to rank them on the basis of marks scored. So it’s not smart education but smart learning (what students pursue) that’s important. One has to be thankful for the vast base of information or course content which is just a mouse-click away.

 


Do you expect a paradigm shift in education due to the introduction of smartness to it? What are your dreams about this shift?

 

Yes. Education, people, technology and things around are getting smarter by the day with the advent of internet and connected open knowledge. But quality education is not evenly distributed today. There are gaps that need to be filled. Our dream is not about a super smart education available to any particular class of society but smart education that should be available globally.

 


How should parents, teachers and educationalists prepare for the paradigm shift in education from a “dull” education to a “smart” education? What defines smartness of education environment?

 

Smartness in education has to be the flow of information from the mentor/teacher to students while giving them enough space to discover concepts of their own using interactive videos, live experiments and reading outside textbooks. Technology and teachers should be able to aid smart education. Any intellectual or learning exchange has to be an interactive process and if a teacher just happens to be an enabler, his or her role tends to be limited. Education becomes dull when the system encourages spoon-feeding and capabilities are judged on the basis of marks scored.

 


What is the core of education, which would remain unchanged, in the event of a smart paradigm shift?

 

Teacher-student relationships. Irrespective of technological and instant information innovations, the role of a teacher is priceless. A good teacher/mentor can add value to education and inspire students to do more and find their true passion. Only a teacher can realize the full potential of a student, which technology, probably, will never.

 


How did the concept of Cocociti come up?

 

Cocociti’s vision is to enable collaboration between people. We believe humans can achieve a lot more; together. We are on a mission to help fulfill everyone’s wishes by building a platform to connect people based on their wishes and by helping them with the fulfillment option all inside the Cocociti app/website. All you need to do is share your wish and Cocociti and will share it with the people that matter to you. Cocociti is your wish list for life.

 


How did your education system help you? Were the courses at the engineering college useful?

 

I’m from a management and commerce background. My course in commerce and business aspects helps me a lot today. I’m also into product management. Dheeraj is a computer engineer. We both opted to be out of what we were taught. This proves that you can be good at anything, irrespective of what you have learned formally. You only need to work hard and be passionate about what you’re doing.

 


Are you happy with the app?

 

We are extremely happy and proud of it. When you believe in something and love it, you won’t feel you’re slogging it out. Each day in our office is a fulfilling experience.

 


Have you been recognized for this achievement?

 

We were selected into Rackspace startup programme where we got to use the technology infrastructure of Rackspace to build our product. An IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme too came our way.

 


How about parental support?

 

That’s been the best part of our lives. When we showed our parents we were serious about our work, they believed in us. Hence, a solid parental backing is the basic foundation from where you build on.

 


WHAT’S COCOCITI? HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

It’s a startup website for likeminded folks who love to network. Here’s a platform where you can put up your wishes. You will then be bunched into a particular group where you find others sharing the same wish list. Now it’s up to you to interact with the members in your group and see how you can realize your wishes. Even if wishes don’t materialize


on the spot, you can seek advice from members. Log on to www.cocociti.com for more

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