By: Simrit Kukreja

When Harbaldeep Singh, Founder, and Mentor of Nishkam TV, started teaching kids the Filmmaking and TV Production concepts in the NESSC Gurdwara in Westborough, Massachusetts, little he knows that these concepts would eventually become a topic of discussion at Harvard on the concept of Visual Pedagogy and Media Learning In and Beyond the Classroom. 

Cambridge Institution Group at Harvard organized a talk where Harbaldeep Singh presented the pedagogical approach to the methods of teaching he deployed to teach students the art and science of filmmaking. Harbaldeep Singh said, “Visual pedagogy takes an approach in which teachers take more of a role as a mentor while the learning is centered around the student.” He gave the following presentation attended by many filmmakers and academicians, and entrepreneurs.  

This presentation outlined the concepts Harbaldeep has developed while teaching students, how Nishkam TV (the first non-profit media channel run exclusively by Khalsa school kids) integrated these concepts into the organization’s structure and accomplishments by its students. The main emphasis of the teaching methods is how students can understand that materials learned in class can be used in their everyday life and the future. The program teaches activities like screenplay writing, camera, lighting, sound, editing, acting, and direction, translating to the learning in and beyond the classroom. The program aims to strengthen core skills that kids need later, like writing, public speaking, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, self-confidence, and leadership skills.  

Nishkam TV is a non-profit organization led by students in the New England Sikh Study Circle Gurdwara in Westborough. The students are split into 7 teams based on their skill sets, whether producing, marketing, or even social media. Advisors guide them along the way to a road of what has been a successful organization. Nishkam TV has released 14 short films, more than 350  videos on YouTube and releases a newsletter quarterly. This whole program for students has helped us in numerous ways, and has given us skills, and created a foundation to succeed in life. They weren’t shown at first, but concepts emerged, and they started shaping the Film and TV production team and everything else with it. 

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