Interview with Mr. Shantanu Kwatra
Mr. Shantanu Kwatra is working as a creative thinker. He is the director of 3Dexter Lab that works for the development of students’ minds. Shantanu believes in creating a whole new environment for students where they can learn new things through the medium of practical learning. Currently Shantanu, an enthusiast, is working on an idea of changing the education sector by integrating technology with the existing classroom learning experience to enhance real time learning. FairGaze got an opportunity to interact with him. Read the excerpt below to know more about Shantanu.
Where did you get the idea to start something like 3dexter?
Being engineers we were always inclined towards new technologies and therefore started working on various new upcoming technologies. We found 3D printing is growing at an exponential rate and therefore it has a very huge scope. Having an experience in the education sector we thought of bringing this technology at the grass root level and introducing it to schools and colleges. We want to create a curriculum to support and assist educational institutes and bring in the element of experiential learning in classrooms using this technology.
Which subjects appealed you the most in your student days?
Subjects that appealed me were Science and Geography.
What formal education you undertook for 3D printing?
No formal education. I am a self taught person.
What were the challenges you faced and who supported you?
Challenges faced were more in getting yourself positioned in the educational sector. Then the challenge was to forward telling and getting your idea approved by the management of schools and colleges.
3Dexter has been established by seven school friends, how you all add value with your talent to the organization?
We all have experiences in different segments and our particular skill set lies in two fields. Someone handles marketing, some handle product development, handles finance, operations and business development. Thus, making the best mix of the team qualities.
In your opinion does the education system in India needs a revamp?
Education system needs to revamp in a lot of ways. Firstly, we have been following a system where our higher education is changing at an exponential rate but the school education is still following the same old process of teaching and also the curriculum supported also has not changed much. Therefore this creates a huge gap and students devalue the school education as it’s not supporting their needs. Secondly, there is a huge lack of experiential learning in schools, students are still learning through textbook medium and digital medium therefore their innovation and experimentation is missing. They are not building on their life skill values and therefore not keeping up with the 21st century skills. Thirdly, I believe our educators need to be more accepting to the new trends in the market and the new needs that are being created. Through their acceptance only we will be able to bring a change, where the students learn everything.
Do you believe mentors are more important than trainers?
I believe both are equally important. One can’t do without the other.
What is your mantra of motivating students?
Just do what you love and things will fall into place.
Do you advocate that students should have future targets for themselves?
Not really. Targets are something which we make so that we can achieve them. I want students to just do what they love. Find their center. Understand their passion and what drives them and just follow it.
How does 3Dexter works for students?
3Dexter works at bringing in new technologies for students and helping them innovate freely. We help them build their life skills like creativity, problem solving, visualization and critical thinking. We teach them a skill of the future which is 3D printing technology and help them to bring experiential learning to their classrooms through subject integration and enhancement.
How important extracurricular activities are in shaping the life of the student?
Any activity which stretches beyond classroom teaching is important even if it’s cooking or cleaning bathrooms.
What are your future plans?
Our future plan is to get in all the schools with our project and change the way students learn things. Our next year targets are 100 schools. By 2018-19 we are targeting 500 schools.