On the 16th of May 2016, FrogAsia announced the winners for the 1BestariNet Teacher Awards 2016: Celebrating 21st Century teachers. We appreciate and would like to congratulate these teachers for their awards! For more information, please visit the 1BNTA website.
In this series of articles featuring the 1BestariNet Teacher Awards (1BNTA), we would like to celebrate teachers of the 21st century with stories from their school. Follow us as we uncover the secrets to the success of 21st century schools all throughout our country.
Last week, we had a chat with Pn. Ho Siew Hoon, winner of the 1BestariNet Teacher Awards 2016 for the “Critical Thinking” category. We want to highlight her dedication in encouraging critical thinking and discussion among her students in SMK Seafield, Subang Jaya, Selangor. The following are some snippets from our interview with her!
Pn. Ho, how did your journey with Frog VLE start?
I started using FrogVLE in 2013 and in the beginning stage, my school had a Frog Admin who would encourage us. For me, it started with me being curious about the different widgets available. I learned from FrogAsia’s Youtube Channel and taught myself how to use the different widgets when building my site. It took a lot of effort for me to actually apply it to my site because I wanted to make it useful but still attractive. Even my husband has been teasing me because some nights I stay up to develop my site. It can be a challenge to make time for it but I really enjoy using technology in my teaching.
How did you feel when you found out that you won the 1BNTA award for the “Critical Thinking” category?
I wasn’t expecting to win at all. I was surprised because my submission was totally different from the sample given to me. When FrogAsia called me to tell me that I won, I was invigilating an exam and I had to talk softly. I asked repeatedly whether I was actually the winner. When I shared the news with my husband, he laughed because he thought it was a joke. When I received the official confirmation, he was proud of me despite not believing me at first. .
What were your students’ and fellow teachers’ reaction?
I shared the news with my students and they were so happy with me, especially as the gift was a sponsored trip to Petrosains for the class. I didn't tell people until the official result came in around May. It was then that my headmistress congratulated me officially. I placed the announcement on my site, “Add Maths with Pn. Ho” and some students who have notice congratulated me. I feel very happy and encouraged to continue with the Frog VLE. I just hope that I have more time to make my site more informative and attractive.
Pn. Ho, how has winning this award helped in your role as an teacher?
My students show more enthusiasm and are interested in the materials on my site. They are more willing to collaborate with their classmates when I give them assignments that require discussion and problem-solving. I feel more motivated to continue developing my site. Occasionally, the other teachers who are trying to build their own sites would ask for my help or vice versa. I try to help and we share what we have learnt with each other.
#1 | Spend time developing your site!
As teachers, if we don't spend time creating and developing our sites, how can we expect the students to visit the sites? My headmistress has encouraged the teachers in my school to create sites and she will publicise the most viewed monthly. During my school’s Curriculum Week, the Additional Mathematics Panel created an IQ Puzzles competition which received attention from students from different forms to participate.
#2 | Interesting and informative!
Information can be made interesting! We should try making our sites interesting and embed resources from various other educational websites. If I just give the link and resources to my students, they may not watch or even open it. However, when I embed these links and videos onto my site, we will then watch it together in class and students can rewatch it from my site. Before starting a new topic, I embed an example of application of that topic in real life. This has continuously generated interest and excitement from the student.
#3 | Get students involved!
Encourage students to contribute to the content! It makes developing the site easier and they become more interested when they see their suggestions on the site. For example, for Add-Maths, I asked my student to look for appropriate graphs, videos and Thinking Maps (a widget on the FrogVLE that creates mind maps.). I make it a point to add them to my site if it is applicable and the students are excited to see their work on the site.
Untuk makluman, anugerah ini dianjurkan bersempena sambutan Hari Guru 2016 bagi mengiktiraf guru-guru dan sekolah yang telah menyumbang kepada pelaksanaan Frog VLE dengan cemerlang. Program ini telah mendapat sokongan dan galakan daripada pihak Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM). Pada tahun 2016, sebanyak 6 kategori telah dipertandingkan iaitu 1BNTA for Critical Thinking, 1BNTA for Creativity, 1BNTA for Communication, 1BNTA for Collaboration, 1BNTA for Character dan 1BNTA for the Most Outstanding School. Kategori-kategori tersebut memberi penekanan kepada lima elemen pendidikan abad ke 21 iaitu Pemikiran Aras Tinggi, Kreativiti, Kolaborasi, Komunikasi dan Pembinaan Karakter. Kesemua elemen yang dipacu oleh persekitaran pembelajaran maya Frog VLE ini bersesuaian dengan usaha Kementerian Pendidikan dalam melahirkan modal insan yang madani, selaras dengan anjakan ke 3, 4, 7, dan 9 dalam pelan induk pembangunan pendidikan Malaysia.
On the 16th of June 2016, Perak hosted its first Frog Advocates Conference.
More than 80 Frog Advocate Teachers from all over the state of Perak gathered at SMK Tambun in the outskirts of Ipoh for an entire day to get to know each other even better while trading ideas and experiences.
Organized by FrogAsia’s Regional Implementation Consultant for Perak, Mohammad Fitri Mohd Shukri, the conference was held to show appreciation to all of Perak’s Frog Advocate Teachers who have been utilizing the Frog VLE an important tool in teaching and learning.
The event was officiated by the Ketua Sektor Pengurusan Akademik (SPA), Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Perak Tuan Haji Mohd Rosli bin Ahmad who started the day with a speech where he expressed admiration and appreciation for all efforts put forth by teachers in the audience. In his opening speech, he reminded the teachers, "The future of the nation is in your hands, thus, the effort is towards students' excellence. Additionally, Malaysia's success is a reflection of your effort and perseverance."
One of the day’s highlights were sessions with keynote speaker David Gowling of FrogAsia. In his morning and afternoon sessions, David shared his knowledge on “Supporting Others Through Change” which comes as a result of his many years spent working with top universities in the United Kingdom, guiding lecturers in going through the exact same process. These sessions were made even more engaging with group activities and idea-sharing among teachers to encourage each other in using the Frog VLE more effectively in their own schools.
The day ended with a ceremony to distribute certificates to all advocate teachers who earned the rank of Gold Advocate. Gold Advocates are equipped to carry out their own training sessions with other advocate teachers.
Before leaving, everyone gathered for a photo-taking session in the school hall, and it was amazing to witness how even after a whole day of discussing change and transformation, none of the teachers seemed to be exhausted. This was testament to the ‘Perak Excellent’ culture and its devotion to transformation.