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CAMPUS
Meal time is momo time at St. James’ School, thanks to Denjen Llama. (Anindya Shankar Ray)

Besides its students and teachers, books and benches, every campus has a small bunch of people without whom the place would just not be the same. For the boys of St. James’ School, tiffin time means a dash to Mrs Llama’s corner.

Name: Denjen Llama.
Age: 55.
Serving momos at St. James since: 1996.

Why students love her: Mrs Llama makes finger lickin’-fantastic momos, say the boys who can’t have enough of her soft and tasty grub. Plus, she’s extremely sweet and serves her platefuls with a lovely smile.

Best compliment: “I do not remember any particular compliment. All the kids here keep saying that they like my momos a lot and that is enough to make me very happy,” says Denjen with a shy smile.

Life beyond the campus: “I live close by, in Ripon Street. Once I’m done selling my momos for the day, I go back home or go shopping for supplies for the next day’s fare. It’s a pretty normal life,” she says.

Mrs Llama on St. James: “Everyone here is very nice, the teachers, the students. The smiles on the kids’ faces when they have my momos is something I will always remember and cherish,” she beams.

A student on Mrs Llama: “Thanks to my friends, I’ve never been able to have a full plate of Mrs Llama’s momos all by myself. They are just brilliant!” declares Aniket Mandal of Class XI.

 

So you thought your iPhone was only for music, videos, games and chats? Well, convincing your folks to buy you an Apple product just got a whole lot easier because now you can use your smartphone to actually get smart!

Apple has launched iTunesU, an Apple in Education service for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that takes interactive education and distance learning to the next level. Notes, videos, course plans, customising your courses, completing assignments, feedback, teacher-student communication, presentations, text books in pdf and other formats, research material, extra reading guidance, student portals or bookmarks — all this and more has been integrated into one application.

Students can interact with teachers via mail, access courses that are not available easily and it is all cost-effective, some of them even free. Lecturers and professors from any part of the world can sign up and start a class that anyone on the Apple network can then access. It works almost like a college, where teachers upload their course material, which is hosted on the Apple server.

The courses on offer range from museums, art, language, film to history, geography, physics and metaphysics, to name just a few. Stanford, Yale, Oxford, UC Berkeley, MoMA and the New York Public Library are among hundreds of institutions that are sharing courses, lectures, videos, books, and other resources on iTunesU. www.coursera.org is another popular web portal offering free courses from the best lecturers and universities of the world.

It offers a clear set of instructions, reading material, course material, teacher guidance and peer conversations, topped off with a clear grading process, making the courses as close to classroom learning as possible. And on offer are all sorts of conventional or unconventional subjects. The feedback mechanism works both ways for these portals. Those who subscribe to a course can evaluate it through various steps and the professors offering it can also rate and track what the “students” are learning and how they are benefiting from the course.