THE STAR ONLINE – Teachers take the wheel

Though there is abundant content available online, Malaysia’s educators have been creating their own learning materials to keep students engaged both within and beyond the classroom’s four walls.

 

These teachers have been busy crafting lessons that are tailor-made to their students’ preferences to ensure effective learning.

Education Ministry Educational Resources and Technology Division principal assistant director Dr Wagheeh Shukry Hassan said some teachers have begun to create YouTube videos and activities for learning.

 

Describing the new trend among educators as “simply amazing” during Google’s worldwide “The Annual School” event last month, he said teachers have also been supporting their peers via instant messaging platforms.

 

The ministry, he said, has adopted Google Classroom and Google for Education as the virtual learning platform (VLE) for schools since July last year.

 

Prior to that, schools nationwide were using the Frog VLE for their teaching and learning activities.

 

“Our local Google Classroom has led to the inception of the Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia (DELIMa) platform to help teachers and students fully embrace digital learning, ” he said, adding that teachers are able to create interesting, fun learning activities on DELIMa, which is rich in online resources like webinars, courses and interactive information.

 

Expressing hope that DELIMa will allow teachers to “reimagine learning”, he urged teachers to take on the challenge of relearning and adopting different technologies for teaching and learning.

 

“This means that teachers have to drive change with support from school leaders who have a crucial role to play.”

 

Google Malaysia country head Marc Woo said DELIMa is able to cater to both the online and offline needs of the country’s education system.

 

“With a strong digital foundation, we can do so much more for the teachers and students of Malaysia.”

 

Popular posts

IT began in 2013 with Emira Nabila Ramli using whatever available teaching and learning material she found online to keep her English lessons fun for her students.

 

But the 31-year-old teacher from SMK Pasir Gudang, Johor, was soon developing her own content, which later gained popularity with those she shared it with.

 

Using her own YouTube videos to teach has enhanced her students’ language learning experience.

 

Most of her content is delivered on social media as she is very active on Facebook.

 

Her posts usually attract a strong following, with one live session on essay writing tips, gaining 6,000 views.

 

The session was conducted with GPSBestari, an online portal for teachers, students and schools.

 

She not only provides content for students, but for teachers as well.

 

Emira Nabila recently shared a post giving teachers ideas on how they can conduct their English lessons by demonstrating how she engages with her students.

 

“The comments I received on many social media platforms have made me realise that teachers out there are constantly searching for fresh new ideas to help their students learn better, ” she said.

 

Keep ‘em keen

“AS a teacher, I must create my own content to attract my students’ attention, ” said SJK(C) Choong Cheng, Kedah, teacher Chew Soo Lee, 35.

 

She said her students’ appetite for online content has grown and it became even greater when the movement control order (MCO) came into effect.

 

She first attempted to make her own content like videos, audios, slides and quizzes a while ago together with other teachers from her school.

 

Chew would “test” her material on her own students to see if it was suitable for them and use their feedback to improve her work.

 

Although she and her colleagues created their own material, they felt it was not enough. They wanted to do more.

 

“So, we worked together with all the Chinese primary school teachers in the district to create content for students across Malaysia.”

 

Their efforts went viral as their content, uploaded on Frog Boost and Quizzes, was found to benefit more than 100,000 students.

 

Seeing how much she’s helped improve the quality of education received by other Chinese school students has motivated Chew to develop more learning materials for them.

 

Learn something new

FOR Maxmilliana Fidelis, 25, the need to upskill led to her utilising web tools to create her own teaching materials.

 

“I wanted to provide a learning experience that is not only relevant, but also encourages student empowerment.”

 

The English teacher from a secondary school in Semporna, Sabah, began delving deeper into online resources when the MCO began.

 

“I’ve used content created by other teachers as it saves time without sacrificing the learning experience of my students.

 

“But soon after, I became a content creator for the YTL-Teach for Malaysia (TFM) Learn from Home project.

 

“I love videos, pictures and graphics and these are the kinds of materials I would like to have when teaching in class.”

 

She finds that using visuals has been a powerful learning aid for her students.

 

Her materials, shared on the Frog VLE, has been utilised by other teachers as well.

 

“Finding out that these lessons were also used by my peers made me more confident, and want to contribute more to the teaching community.”

 

Sharing is caring

INITIALLY, SMK St. Mary, Kuala Lumpur, teacher Lee Bee Chuan only used her online teaching materials to benefit her own students.

 

But when she saw other teachers struggling to teach virtually when the MCO came into effect, she decided to make her content accessible to the public.

 

The 44-year-old said sharing materials online opens up more opportunities for her to create engaging and interactive activities for her students.

 

Most of her content can be found on the Frog VLE platform.

 

“As a teacher, I need to always make sure that the content and teaching materials are prepared well before each lesson.

 

“A lesson cannot consist of content alone. It needs to be in a complete set – from lesson outcome to set introduction, notes, enrichment activities up to evaluation or feedback from students.

 

“I normally use videos or short quizzes as my lesson introduction while notes or lesson content can be in slides and Google docs, ” said the Mathematics teacher.

 

Though unsure of the exact number of shares her work has received, she said the number of hits has definitely doubled.

 

“I believe that in the 21st century, teachers need to always make changes in order to adapt to new technologies.”

 

Bespoke content

WHILE there are many teaching and learning material on the Internet, not many allow the content to be duplicated and customised to suit the students varying needs, said SJK(C) Kwong Hon, Kuala Lumpur, deputy headmistress Tan Shin Yee, 37.

 

“So I create my own and try different formats to keep lessons fresh for my students, ” the Google Educator Group Leader said.

 

The Group comprises educators who meet regularly to help each other improve their skills and their students’ academic performance.

 

“I know the power of community. When we are together, we learn, share, inspire and empower each other. I love it.”

 

Currently, her Facebook teacher community group has nearly 14,000 peers supporting each other and sharing over 1,000 teaching materials on all the different subjects.

Posted in Press Mentions, Press Mentions.