Archive for the ‘21st Century Teaching and Learning.’ Category

Art of getting our education system ready for the 21st century

Thursday, June 14th, 2018
(File pix) Embrace the philosophy of borderless education so that our children can learn to be resilient, creative and wise.

IMAGINE a faith-based school with spiritual and emotional intelligent students who are multilingual, articulate, nimble in coding, proficient in User Experience design and are strong in recalling skills.

Living in the 21st century is both frightening and exciting. We are living in a world where there is no certainty. Just think about this: we invest a lot of money to send our children to a medical school and yet, there is no guarantee that they might even end up being a doctor due to the stiff competition of training contracts.

Then there is that perpetual “change” aka restructuring removing all notion of jobs for life.

Once, the oil and gas sector was so hot that it attached a ringgit sign as a prefix to the names of its workforce. This person smells of black gold. Now, that person could be on some banks’ blacklists to get a financial loan after oil prices slid to the ditch in a swoosh.

Looking at the attributes of the 21st century side-by-side with our existing education system, we then need to ask: is it fit for purpose to enable us and our children to be adaptive, multi-skilled and extremely nimble?

If I were an accountant now, and will be made redundant tomorrow, can I switch jobs to be a data scientist or digital marketeer in a short time? How do I invest in my children’s education that will enable them to be ready to enter into the job market, either by setting up their own enterprises or getting employed by organisations within 12 months instead of 48 months?

How do I educate my children to learn the holy book by heart, its jurisprudence and master jujitsu negotiation skills at the same time?

Can they be a full stack developer as well?

For me, our education system of the 21st century must match the eccentricity, speed and flexibility of the era. There is very little point of shouting “be creative and adaptive” when we carved our education system out of a tablet of stone with steel structure curriculum.

Over the years we have also piled up the system with dated policies, procedures, processes and practice that keep turning the system into a humongous web of confusion and complexity.

Tinkering with nooks and corners will not be adequate. We need to overhaul it by first drawing a picture of the kind of education system that is fit for the 21st century world.

But, how do we reimagine our education system of the 21st century? Three things need to happen:

Understand the attributes of the 21st century world, understand our own aspirations as a country and aligning the education system to match those aspirations point by point.

And it is so easy to misalign.

How well the “new” education system we present to the public depends on who reimagines it, who is allowed to reimagine it and who sits around the reimagining table ― how conventional or unconventional are they? How bold are they? How well can they inject diversity, affordability and sustainability into the system?

Who executes the plan of action? What kind of monitoring and learning system are we going to put in place to prevent misalignment from the aspirations and principles that we set out in the early stage? (The list is, of course, not exhaustive).

As a learning designer, the essence of the 21st century education system is borderless.

Borderless does not only limit to geographical borders. It also means borderless to children regardless their background, age and ethnicity as well contents, methods, platforms, process and tools.

And the very nature of borderless education is eccentricities, injecting elements of play (activating happy and resilient chemicals in the brain — endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin), cooperation, networking and fun.

These are tactile tools to get children excited about learning. They can help make STEM subjects, often regard as “’difficult subjects”, to be more approachable to them. Imagine children from tahfiz schools reliving historical contents of Ibn Batuta travel or resurrecting the momentous debates between Al-Ghazali and Avicenna through virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality technology. They will learn how these extremely articulate scholars mastered both the Quran and mathematics.

They can visit places using Google Cardboard to access 360-degree videos of the Grand Canyon.

Similarly, children in Keningau and Dungun can collaborate in an open forum to solve physics problems using WhatsApp group and share their learning on YouTube.

It will be fascinating to see if children all over the country can get together to translate learning materials together, replicating ― one line at the time.

What about examinations? Debates of examinations or no examinations are fruitless.

Examinations, for years, have been a nightmare to children, parents, teachers and schools alike. Examinations imprison children and annihilate their creativity and imagination.

Borderless education, on the other hand, eradicates the draconian nature of examinations by using real-time assessments. Children are assessed as they play, not for the coveted badge of, “Hey, I’m a genius”, but to check the obstacles they may face in their learning.

By Suziana Shukor.

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Producing self-directed learners

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018
Students, rather than educators, are the central figure in self-directed learning. FILE PIC

EDUCATORS in the higher education sector have an important role to play in nurturing self-directed or independent learners.

They must know how to design programmes that promote self-directed learning, while maintaining educator control.

To succeed, they need to devise learning activities and facilitation strategies according to
the learners’ level of self-direction.

I believe instructional design should be intellectually challenging, but within the learners’ zone of proximal development (the difference between what learners can do without help and what they can’t do).

Educators are responsible for matching the instructional design with the learners’ level of self-direction while prepa-
ring them to advance to higher levels.

Educators are also responsible for guiding learners from their preferred and comfortable learning style to a greater self-directed style.

This can be achieved by initiating a challenging and supportive learning context on a gradual basis, without learners feeling discouraged.

It is obvious then that self-directed learning requires a transformation of educators from an authoritative role to a facilitator of learning.

The rationale is that to promote an active learning approach, educators should acknowledge learners as equal learning partners who make decisions about their learning.

The shift from teaching to facilitating means that learners, rather than educators, are the central figure in the learning and teaching process.

This shift, thus, requires educators to empower learners to take responsibility for and control of their learning.

Educators’ role in supporting learners’ direction of learning has provided new insights into our understanding of self-directed learning.

However, not all Malaysian educators have accepted their role as facilitators of learning.

Instead, they remain attached to their traditional roles of knowledge experts, comfortable with one-way knowledge transmission.

While recognising learners’ role in the self-directed learning context, I would like to highlight the need to blend the conventional mode of teaching with contemporary self-directed learning approaches to ensure meaningful learning experiences for learners.

Most importantly, it is suggested that in fostering self-directed learning:

EDUCATORS should establish a positive and collaborative relationship with learners;

EDUCATORS should recognise learning resources and restrictions in the learning context, as this allows for implementation of self-directed learning; and,

UNIVERSITIES should assist educators to plan their teaching strategies by conducting training programmes and encouraging self-development.


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Are educators ready for Education 4.0?

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

CAN digital immigrants teach digital natives? It all depends on whether digital immigrants are able to break through the digital era and adapt to the changing environment.

In a recent high achievers’ workshop which I conducted in the university, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my students were silent during the break between the workshop sessions. Observing them, I noticed that they were all glued to their mobile devices. Is this what technology has brought for our younger generation?

Born in the late ‘60s, I have had the opportunity to be a recipient of technological change and am able to have first-hand account of the evolving technology in my lifetime. I am what people call part of the generation of digital immigrants. In contrast, my students are what are known as digital natives – persons born during the wide spread of technology who are always attached to their digital devices.

Education in the 21st century is all about embracing digital technology. The Government’s aspiration for our future generation is for them to be tech-savvy. This is living with the changing times.

In the near future, according to a survey, some of the jobs today will no longer be relevant. New jobs will emerge and these will most likely be catering to the digital age.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh recently said that universities have to be prepared to adapt and change their curriculum and delivery so that graduates are able to fill in jobs which are yet to emerge. Technology is moving rapidly and educators have to keep up with this fast pace.

In the Education 4.0 framework, challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) are addressed in relation to the Malaysia Education Blueprint for Higher Education 2015-2025.

It is imperative that students are equipped with ICT and collaborative skills and be interested in lifelong learning. They also need to have critical and creative thinking and communicative skills.

Statistics show that the number of unemployed graduates in Malaysia is worrying. There are many possible causes for this. Employers look upon fresh graduates as liabilities who need to be provided with extra training before they can function adequately in their job.

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Enhancing learning process

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

THE 21st century students are individuals who are technologically savvy as they were born and raised in a technological environment.

It is almost impossible to imagine them living without their mobile phones or laptops.

As technology is the way of living in the 21st century, technology should also be a part of the way they learn.

Many software have been created to cater for the technological growth of the hardware industry and the most famous of it all is social networking. Through social networking such as Twitter or Facebook, people who are disconnected in real life could become interconnected online.

The teaching and learning of the 21st century is no longer practical via chalk and talk alone.

Generation Y understands better with technology as they have grown up surrounded by them. Not only does technology make teaching more interesting, it also makes the process easier and more manageable when compared to conventional teaching methodologies.

In language teaching specifically, the essential skill learnt is communication thus language teaching methodology should not only incorporate face-to-face communication but also include virtual communication.

Communication today involves SMS (short messaging system), chatting, e-mails and most popularly, social networking. In this technological age, teachers should tap into the power of communication and incorporate these tools into language teaching.

Language learning is a skill that needs a lot of practice in order to master the language. It has to be read, written, listened and spoken in order to understand and to be understood.

The question, is whether language learning for two hours three times a week at the school or tertiary level, is sufficient to provide practice for these language skills.

For years, teachers and lecturers have been “fighting” against time to ensure that students gain the maximum knowledge out of the limited classroom time. Lesson plans need to be carried out with military precision to ensure that the students gain the most out of the lessons.

However, the bottom line is that teachers need more time in order to teach and students need more time to learn. Extending class time would provide teachers with more time to teach while students would have more time to learn, practice and adapt to the language skills but this may not be possible with the existing language curriculum in both schools and universities.

It is crucial therefore for teachers to determine the type of classroom activities, which can help prepare students to communicate in real life beyond the allotted classroom time. It is a common perception that students would respond better to technologically enhanced teaching methods as they appeal better to them.

Edutainment is a combination of education and entertainment. Edutainment can be defined as entertainment that is intended to be educational. In edutainment, the teaching and learning process is conducted via a medium that both entertains while it educates. Examples of edutainment mediums are television programmes, computer software, songs, audio files, games, video clips, films, shows, etc. As long as it serves its purpose to both educate and entertain the students, it falls in that list.

Apart from edutainment, this form of education is also known as infotainment or entertainment-education.

Everyone enjoys good entertainment and for most people it is addictive. For example, if you enjoy playing games, you will get more and more excited playing the game especially when you are familiar with it. The visuals and audio will attract you to be interested and enjoy the entertainment that you are into.

In contrast, education that merely uses chalk and talk is extremely boring. Edutainment allows the goodness of education to be presented in the form of entertainment. Technologically enhanced learning will not only appeal more to the students of the 21st century but will also provide greater avenues for problem solving and creative thinking. With proper technology training, teachers will be able to merge active learning and teaching. They will be able to understand and appreciate the power of technology better and incorporate technology to enhance their learning process.

In doing so, teachers will be able to relate to the students better as they are no longer “outdated” or “obsolete” when it comes to technology and they would be able to provide an authentic experience through technology for their learners.

Edutainment is a part of today’s education system because it appeals and attracts the students, which in the end, helps engage them into learning.

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Education Exchange celebrates innovation in class

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
Educators sharing their passion for innovative teaching approaches at Microsoft E2.

IN the era of globalisation and digitalisation, educators bear huge responsibility to deliver new learning experiences and prepare students for the 21st century

Microsoft education vice-president Anthony Salcito said: “What’s happening in the world of education globally today is that policymakers are under pressure to drive economic growth.

“Educators are heroes who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible to transform learning and making a direct impact on the experiences and lifelong skills of students. Teachers’ innovation and expertise is needed now more than ever today.”

He said this at the annual Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) last week in Singapore where 310 creative educators and school leaders from 91 countries gathered for three days to exchange ideas to develop innovative experiences in class.

“It is not only about technology but it is also about how one stretches one’s role as an educator. If you embrace the reality that technology is all around us, you will also embrace your role as an educator is changing and it is not just about delivering content.

“Technology will not diminish the value of teachers but instead leads to more innovative teaching,” he added.

At the opening keynote address of E2, Microsoft Asia corporate external and legal affairs associate general counsel Antony Cook said there is a need to develop a skillset for the demands of the future and education plays a critical role in this endeavour.

He added: “About 26 per cent of jobs will be outsourced or automated but these will be mitigated by 25 per cent growth in new jobs created.

“Sixty-five per cent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. We need to change the way we educate and redefine the way we train our current and future workforce.”

Significant economic opportunity for digital technologies is dependent upon broadening information technology skills and knowledge. Although technology is driving creation of value-added jobs, demand for digital skills is outpacing supply.

E2 celebrates the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success in the digital age.

Four teachers from Malaysia were selected out of 100 to attend E2 this year after submitting their applications to become Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts. They are Wan Azrina Muhamad Zuki (from SMK Kubang Kerian, Kelantan), Mohamad Haniff Hasan (SK Jasin, Melaka), Khairul Azlan Mohd Faizul (SK Ulu Daro, Sarawak) and Nur Hayati Shahrome (Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Kuala Kubu Baru).

To be a MIE Expert, teachers submit lessons that are new, innovative and engaging before working on their own professional development at Microsoft Education Community.

During the event, the teachers participated in the Educator Challenge where they worked in teams with teachers from other countries to create a lesson plan template that included computational thinking. Their lessons were judged based on four categories: communication, innovation, collaboration and equity.


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Being human in the 21st century

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

IN the last several annual meetings of the World Economic Forum, an influential platform for the shaping of the global agenda, one of the biggest questions that has been raised and discussed is about being and staying human in light of emerging trends and technological developments in the 21st century.

It is interesting that despite the world’s sophistication and advances, especially in the West, people still ponder upon these basic questions that had come up as far back as over 2,000 years ago during the time of the ancient Greek philosophers, chiefly Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Consider this fact: in 2016, close to US$1.7 trillion was spent worldwide on arms, but a United Nations appeal for funds to support refugees from the Syrian crisis fell short of its target by less than US$1.7bil.

This says a lot about our state of being human.

It was reported in The New York Times on July 12, 2017 that hundreds of millions of people in China have in recent years turned to religions like Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, seeking a sense of purpose and an escape from the consumerist culture, recognising that the decadence of human beings has destroyed the environment.

This corroborates the important argument by Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, the contemporary Muslim thinker from Malaysia, that despite the positive contributions of science and technology, the modern man does not understand his true self better, and is unable to attain a state of peace and tranquility within himself and in relation to the others.

In the intellectual tradition of Islam – as represented by luminaries such as Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali, Ibn ‘Arabi and many others whose insights contemporary Muslims can still benefit from – the understanding of being “human” is not the same as that of the contemporary Western world, which is derived from the Enlightenment.

In the time of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Western civilisation started to imply that man does not have a spiritual nature in the “soul”, and thus gradually the conception of being human changed as the idea of the soul was suppressed.

Having evolved over centuries, Western thinking and consciousness have impinged on and surreptitiously infused the Muslims’ thinking and consciousness, causing confusion in how they see the nature of man, which is a key element in the worldview of Islam.

This creates a situation whereby, for instance, a Muslim today may be learned in the modern science of behavioural psychology but completely ignorant about the science of the soul as discussed by the early Muslim luminaries in history who sought to treat psychological problems at its roots.

The nature of man, as understood in Islam, postulates that man is both physical and spiritual – that is, he possesses a soul – and the physical is embedded in and serves the spiritual.

Therefore, a man who is true to his natural inclination (fitrah) will voluntarily limit his material desire through the cultivation of virtues and self-discipline in order to realise his higher and truer spiritual aspirations by which he finds his true self and place in the larger order of creation and being.

This is in contradistinction to the psychological assumption of modern economics that man has “unlimited wants”, which assumes that man is restricted to his physical self and materialistic ambition without deeper spiritual substance and higher transcendent aspiration.

It was for this reason that Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al- Razi remarked in his al-Tibb al-Ruhani (The Spiritual Physic), “To rein and suppress the passion is an obligation according to every opinion, in the view of every reasoning man, and according to every religion.”

In the past, when the worldview of Islam was intact, the Muslims as exemplified by men and women of spiritual discernment, understood the idea of being human as the subduing the animal aspect of man (nafs al-hayyawwaniyah) with the rational aspect (nafs al-natiqah), through ascending the stations of spiritual perfections to be a man of adab (a good man), that is, a man who knows his place in relation to others and ultimately his Creator.

Such conception of being human in Islam has seen tremendous success in history. It must be allowed to flourish in the 21st century if we wish to see the virtuous circulation of wealth; the harmonious way of living between man and his environment; the development of creative and innovative technologies that are in harmony with man and nature; and most importantly, conviction about man’s purpose and place in this world.

By Muhammad Syafiq Borhannuddin
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Blended learning models

Monday, February 26th, 2018

TEACHERS say they are willing to increase using online learning platforms if the content was more aligned towards preparing students for examinations.

According to a study done by the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, in the United States, which featured Malaysia as one of its case studies, teachers need the content to match what will be tested in national examinations.

The study, called “Blended Beyond Borders: A Scan of Blended Learning Obstacles and Opportunities in Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa”, focused on how a small sample of brick-and-mortar schools in these countries used online learning to deliver content in novel, more flexible ways.

Christensen Institute director of education research Julia Freeland Fisher says discussions during the school visits – for the study – showed that teachers were still looking for better content to make meaningful use of blended learning, especially for core subjects.

“Any teacher with a 1BestariNet Yes ID can upload their lesson sites to a nationwide repository and share it with teachers across Malaysia, allowing for the pooling of resources and the sharing of ideas and material,” she says, adding that the content is filtered by the Education Ministry to ensure quality.

“Teachers can also use the available content and format them in a way that emulates or support students in preparation for examinations.

“To date there are over 37,000 teacher-created sites covering all national school subjects.”

Yeoh also says that new and relevant content are continuously added regularly and that textbooks and revision books are available on the FrogStore for free.

She adds that there are currently more than 400 textbooks on the VLE and that FrogAsia has partnered with publishers like Penerbitan Pelangi Sdn Bhd and Oxford Fajar Sdn Bhd to provide content aligned with our national syllabus.

“One of our content partners, EduNation, also produces free tutoring videos that are in line with our national syllabus,” she adds.

Another point raised in the report is the use of blended learning models in the classroom.

Blended learning differs from learning in a tech-rich environment, says Freeland Fisher.

She explains that blended learning is a formal education programme where a student learns, partially or fully, through online learning with the student having some form of control over the time, place, path and maybe the pace they learn something.

Data from online learning can also be used to inform and drive a student’s offline learning pathway.

If it was just a tech-rich learning experience, she says technology is present in the classroom but the teacher is still in complete control of the learning experience.

“Students are using the internet to do research, maybe they’re typing their homework on documents and emailing it to their teacher,” she says.

However, the report points out that blended models should not do away with teachers or teacher-led lectures, small group lessons or face-to-face teaching. Rather, blended models offer a new way to teach in classrooms and schools whereby students may interact with content and teachers in a new way.

Freeland Fisher adds that teachers have said that “The facilities and infrastructure are the most difficult part of having a blended programme. The Internet isn’t always reliable, the classroom we use for the computer lab is very small and the all the computers besides the Chromebooks are old and secondhand.”

According to the survey, an overwhelming 77% said Internet connectivity in schools was a pain point when it comes to using technology.

More than half the respondents (55%) believe they needed more professional development in order to incorporate blended-learning into the classroom, says Freeland Fisher.

Yeoh points out that teachers are actively encouraged to take part in the many teacher training programmes such as the Education Ministry Coach Programme, Hubs Programme and Frog Teacher Advocate Programme.

The Hub is a central space established in existing schools, public spaces and buildings, teachers in nearby locations can gather to teach, learn and collaborate with other teachers to improve teaching and learning outcomes using the Frog VLE.

f technology, time and the 21st century

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
Technology and the Internet have altered the way we conduct our lives with computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. FILE PIC

ON the night of Dec 31, 1999, the-then newly-connected world worried about the possibility of computers incorrectly resetting and “relocating” us back to the year 1900. It was believed then that year 2000 (Y2k) could potentially bring about the systemic collapse of power lines, energy grids, irrigation, aviation and financial systems, amongst others. The misalignment of technology with the trajectory of time could be disastrous.

Yet, the dawn of the 21st century did not bring any of those. In fact, it heralded a time of promise and discovery. We were on the cusp of yet another revolution. The agricultural, industrial and knowledge revolutions were being replaced by the Internet revolution. And, the key to this revolution was technology. Now, almost two decades later, we witness how technology and the Internet have altered the way we conduct our lives.

In personal spaces, relationships are now formed through distanced, multimodal, multimedium means of communication. Smartphones have brought unimaginable ways of communicating. Artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), among others, have brought unbelievable changes.

In professional spaces, workers are warned that the nature of jobs will alter dramatically. This is because jobs that have been in existence for the last 100 years are now disappearing. Industry 4.0 has become the catchphrase that encompasses the anticipated alterations in workspaces. The skills that were taught in the 20th century schools and universities are argued to have become obsolete. Children born in this millennium require learning experiences that must match the technology of their time. Smartboards have replaced whiteboards; tablets and the styli have replaced paper and pencils. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) have democratised education. Anyone anywhere with a device and connectivity can learn. In fact, anyone anywhere with a device and connectivity can also teach.

Yet, in the rush to hop onto the technology bandwagon, several questions are less often raised. How does this revolution change human culture? How will the habit of talking to a smartphone alter the way young adults form their self-identity and self-confidence? How will the replacement of smartboards and tablets propel children’s educational attainment? Without these questions, there is the tendency to think of technology only in terms of devices (smartphones, computers), software (apps, programmes) and connectivity (wireless technology, cloud computing).

History reveals that “technology” is not a modern, 21st century phenomenon. The term is derived from the 17th century Greek word “tekhnologia” — meaning it refers to the idea of treating something systematically. Interestingly, tekhnologia is derived from the word “tekhna” which means art or craft. Therefore, the accepted wisdom of what technology means lies in how the systematic application of something that has been creatively crafted, has permeated and significantly altered human lives and cultures.

Technology is fundamentally about human culture.

For our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the discovery of fire was the technological revolution of their time. It transformed the way they ate their food, hunted for animals and kept their dwellings safe. Fire reshaped the way they thought about sustaining lives. But fire, if not properly managed, can also destroy. Thus, the technology of their time had to be appropriated with the culture of their community.

When the technology of writing was invented more than 5,000 years ago, human lives were altered by way of intellectual progress. Although Socrates cautioned that writing would cause the destruction of man’s supreme memory, the community then embraced it. Human memory was transformed dramatically, and in its place, remembering past lives and literature were documented.

In the 15th century, when the mechanical movable type printing press was built, mass printing and wide circulation of reading materials became possible across Europe. Therefore, mass literacy was the technology to be reckoned with. The reading culture took hold.

Reading and writing formed the bedrock of modern education systems. Mass education became the lynchpin that shaped and liberated modern civil societies. And that, is the trajectory from which the 21st century was launched.

Thus, when technology is understood as a construct of history, its “vehicle” — fire, writing, books or smartphones — will be seen to account for only one facet of what it actually is. Much more than the vehicle is the multiple ways in which human behaviour and attitudes appropriate, misappropriate, use and abuse the vehicle.

Technology, therefore, should be seen as the systematic application of creative power which impacts lives and reshapes cultures. Parents for example, must be aware that handing a smartphone to their teenager is both beneficial and risky.

Here, the cultural ways with which families form and sustain familial bonds will be tested. New theories in family psychology must be found to face the new challenges. Teachers who shift from face-to-face to online instructional methods must be confident of pedagogical principles which call for a learning culture that is receptive to human emotions, power relations and contextual differences.

As such, technology can only exist when it is appropriated within a cultural milieu. In order to advance technology, therefore, the sociology and psychology of human behaviour must lie at its heart. Negating this may result in the “vehicle” destroying the fabric of human society. Ultimately, the difficult questions would have to be addressed when taking on these new cultural challenges and changes to ensure the sustainability of the human culture across current and future technologies.

By Dr Chong Su Li

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Modern teaching-learning method in classroom through use of smart gadgets

Thursday, January 25th, 2018
The Parent-Teacher Association (Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) of Sekolah Alam Shah head Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican pose with students after presenting a Placer-X van and iPads to teachers. Bernama pic
By SUHAILA SHAHRUL ANUAR - January 25, 2018 @ 7:52pm

PUTRAJAYA: The Parent-Teacher Association (Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) of Sekolah Alam Shah here today introduced the ‘iPad Waqaf Project’ to empower 21st century learning method (PAK-21) at the school.

Its PIBG head Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the initiative would be implemented through ‘Futuristic Classroom Programme’ which was set to benefit some 830 students and 72 teachers at the school.

“PAK-21 is an important element in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 in preparing students for challenges of the future including the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

“Through this project, each student and teacher will own a tablet and use them during the teaching and learning process in the classroom,” he said.

PAK-21, introduced by the Education Ministry, involved the use of smart gadgets in the classroom. It will also see the use of conventional whiteboard and blackboard replaced with smartboard.

Reezal Merican said through the project students who cannot afford to own a tablet would be given one by the school through contributions by various organisations.

“For those who can afford, we encourage them to contribute more, according to their affordability. We just want each and every student to own a tablet.

“Our concept is ‘no one should be left behind’. For that reason alone, the PIBG will continue to look for funds and contributions including from corporate companies,” he said.

He said this teaching and learning approach would churn out futuristic human capital and elevate the country’s name to higher level.

“This human capital produced in school must grow on par with the development of technology so that no one gets left behind,” he said.


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Classrooms should have CCTVs

Sunday, January 21st, 2018
CCTV cameras can be installed in schools. — File photo

CCTV cameras can be installed in schools. — File photo

THE 21st century classroom should have closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs).

CCTVs are vital devices that need to be installed in every primary and secondary classroom.

The CCTVs will ensure that teaching and learning is maximised in the classroom.

The CCTVs will ensure that teachers enter and leave the classroom according to the time table.

The CCTVs will ensure that teachers teach the lesson and not sit at their table and do their own work .

There have been reports of teachers who give work to their children and then do their own work.

Some teachers have been known to do their tertiary assignments and course work in the classroom.

Some teachers do reports and other school clerical work during lessons in the classroom.

A lesson is usually 30 minutes, 40 minutes, or 60 minutes.

There are some teachers who waste much of the time in the classroom by doing unnecessary work not related to the lesson.

Small children are quite vulnerable to teachers who do not use their teaching time well.

Teachers need to know that the classroom is a divine place where knowledge is imparted to impressionable minds and hearts.

Teachers should leave all their personal and professional problems and anxieties outside the classroom.

Teachers should not enter the classroom with a heavy and burdened heart.

They should leave such baggage outside the classroom.

When they enter the classroom, they should enter with a clear heart and mind to teach the young children. The teachers’ core business is teaching.

The classroom is the teachers’ theatre of dreams.

There are many passionate and dynamic vibrant teachers in schools who go the extra mile to teach children.

They give themselves like a burning candle to illuminate the lives of their charges.

But at the same time there are the deadwood teachers who bring the teaching service a bad name.

Though their numbers are small, installing CCTVs in classrooms will curb abuse and check the teaching and learning experience of children.

The CCTV recordings can be viewed for teacher evaluation.

Classroom observations of a teacher’s lesson by the head teacher, senior assistants and subject panel heads can have its pros and cons.

If the teacher is informed of the observation, the teacher will prepare a wonderful lesson to showcase to the observers.

An impromptu observation can result in authentic, trustworthy and genuine evaluation of a teacher who is hard working.

For a balanced, fair and transparent evaluation of teachers, all classrooms should be equipped with a CCTV which would record the teaching and learning mode in the classroom.

CCTVs in classrooms would not only raise the standard of teaching and learning to a higher level but also solve a lot of disciplinary problems in the classroom.

The teacher’s core business is teaching and that should be the ultimate criterion to determine the teacher’s performance index.

The teacher’s competence and knowledge of the subject matter can be gauged from observing the teacher’s lesson.

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