New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Jumpstart, an annual congress of children’s content creators, a flagship project of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s South Asia node, ‘Goes To School’ in its eighth edition this year as it aims to provide a 360 degree view of education in theory and in practice.
“We started off being a series of workshops in 2009 for childrens’ book writers and illustrators. As a result, a bunch of professionals from the world of children’s books — writers, illustrators, educationists & publishers — put their heads together to create a platform for discussions and exchange,” Prashasti Rastogi, Director of the German Book Office here, told IANS.
The German Book Office is the South Asian node of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
“Jumpstart is in constant evolution since its inception. It evolves with the changes in the ecosystem of children’s content — what started out as a literature and publishing focus discussion, has now become a confluence of books, games, storytelling, films, theatre and technology as the world of children’s content is ever expanding.
“Jumpstart is a space for ideas to collide, cross-pollinate and reinvent the stories that bring so much joy and cheer to the children,” she added.
Thus, Jumpstart, to be held here August 2-3 and Bengaluru August 6, travels along the wide and deep interface between education in school and children’s content.
The event will focus on three key areas: the evolution of pedagogy, technology and the teaching-learning transaction and the future of innovation in education.
The principal speakers include Ken Spillman, one of Australia’s most versatile and prolific authors, editors and critics; Florian Sochatzy, the CEO of Munich’s Institute for Digital Learning, Munich; Preminda Langar, whose hallmark is developing a progressive curriculum with social responsibility; Sabina Jain, an entrepreneur in the field of game based learning; Ratnesh Kumar Jhais of the Cambridge University Press, India; Rohit Kumar, founder of Chapter Apps Inc, a mobile publishing company; Amit Kaushik, a qualified economist who has spent 20 years as a civil servant with the Indian government and helped in the roll out and implementation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA); and Harish Doraiswamy of Pearson India.
“Jumpstart is only of its kind platform that belongs to the community of children’s content. It doesn’t involve children but brings together professionals who write, illustrate, create, animate, teach or design for children to ideate and collaborate,” Rastogi explained.
Thus, peer learning, networking, mentorship, international trends and discussion on issues is essentially what Jumpstart facilitates.
Speaking about the role of the German Book Office, Rastogi said it acts as an intermediary between Indian and international creative industries.
“We also promote published works from Germany and Jumpstart has evolved into a stage for facilitation and introducing German or other international as well as Indian artists doing splendid work in children’s space, a stage for peer learning and expert intervention,” she added.
Also, the inter-institutional collaboration extended by the various cultural intermediaries and foreign representations has made the event “an exemplary celebration of the children’s literature world”, Rastogi noted.
“Jumpstart is also a great connecting ground for professionals in children’s publishing as many successful projects have arisen out of our stage. For example, Pratham Books published the ‘What On Earth Wallbook’ by Christopher Lloyd in eight Indian languages, having met with and heard the author at Jumpstart,” she added.
(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)