If you feel the digital revolution has impacted your everyday lives, imagine what awaits the future generation as they begin their careers in any given industry upon graduation from school, college or university. The demand for digital literacy and digitally-literate professionals are on the rise, and more so now than ever that schools need to be equipped and prepared to nurture students into the 21st Century.
“I have been an educator for 15 years, and my aim is to nurture a generation of students who are tech-savvy and prepared for the arising Industry 4.0 revolution. Teachers who are still rejecting the concept of 21st Century teaching and learning need to realise how important knowledge and skills in technology are for the future of students,” said Cikgu El Gamillo bin Habibun Tan, a special mention receiver of the Frog Teacher Awards 2018.
What sparked my motivation
Cikgu El Gamillo is currently serving as an officer in the state education technology division (BTPN) of Terengganu. He reminisced how much things have changed since 2010 when he was transferred to Terengganu, “I recall teachers and students having very low understanding of technology and were in dire need of exposure to technology education. I wanted to do something to change that, but it was during a time where ICT facilities and internet access were almost non-existent in schools.”
In 2012, Frog was introduced by the Ministry of Education as a platform that encouraged and supported 21st Century education. “Frog was entirely foreign to teachers and students. It was like an alien spaceship had landed on school grounds and they had no idea what to do with it,” he said jokingly. However, he was determined to utilise Frog to make a change in Terengganu.
Realising the benefits, he made it his mission to educate teachers on how to integrate Frog into teaching and learning.
An advocate of 21st Century education
Cikgu El Gamillo started conducting workshops to introduce teachers to Frog and bring exposure to technology in education in order to drive 21st Century teaching and learning in schools. His efforts gained attention from PPD and JPN, and they were encouraged by his dedication. They began supporting him by inviting teachers from schools in different districts to attend the workshops. Slowly but surely, more teachers came to understand the importance of 21st Century education and started using Frog.
“In 2016, Terengganu was third from the bottom in using Frog. Within a year, Terengganu was one of the top states in Malaysia that was actively using Frog. It was the peak of 2018 when Terengganu gained recognition for the best utilisation of Frog in teaching and learning,” CIkgu El Gamillo said fondly and proudly.
Terengganu also established a strong community of Frog Advocates, known as Terengganu Teacher Advocates (TTA), when more and more teachers started promoting Frog and sharing best practices across the state. A recent event hosted by JPN Terengganu celebrated over 160 teachers who are Frog Advocates, FrogMakers and MOE Coaches for their contributions in training other teachers to adopt 21st Century teaching and learning in schools, and in building Frog Boost interactive lessons.
As a Frog Advocate himself, Cikgu El Gamillo shared, “The formation of this group of teachers has helped JPN to effectively track and monitor how Frog is being used in schools. Through reports and testimonials from our Advocate teachers, we’re able to identify schools that are doing well and are ready to be role models to schools that are still in need of guidance and support. We believe in setting good examples and sharing with one another so that we grow together as a community.”
To continue moving forward with Frog
With Terengganu thriving and advancing steadily into 21st Century education through Frog, Cikgu El Gamillo commended the contributions of FrogAsia to the education of Malaysia, “Through my experience serving in the Ministry of Education, I’ve seen how various educational projects have been formed and executed - none of which were sustainable compared to the Frog VLE. Frog is no longer just a platform; it has grown into an ecosystem.”
The Frog VLE is a cloud-based teaching and learning platform that is made available to over 10,000 government schools across Malaysia since 2012.
He continued, “It took years for us to grasp the concept of Frog and optimise it in schools. But now, we are on-par with the rest of the world! I can’t imagine if Frog is no longer available. We would fall behind because familiarising to new changes would take years again. There are more advantages in using Frog compared to the disadvantages. If there’s a need for improvement, let’s work on it together. There’s no perfect person, similar to how there’s no perfect system. But like how we’re growing and learning everyday, we should also be improving our systems everyday.”
Thank you, Cikgu, for inspiring us with your passion and dedication! Read more about Terengganu Teacher Advocates (TTA) who were recently in the news: Terengganu Juara VLE 2018, Terengganu Education Dept wins VLE Award
We are now in the final round of the Frog Teacher Awards. So stay tuned to our social media channels for the winners’ announcement! Visit www.frogteacherawards.com for more information.