A firm believer of technology’s role in improving education, SMK Air Molek, Melaka, principal Norsiah Abd Rahman said the movement control order (MCO) is a wake-up call for society to realise the importance of e-learning.
“In these times, online platforms are the only way to ensure teaching and learning are not affected. If teachers cannot teach, students are the ones that will be most impacted.
“E-learning is the future of education. Teachers need to start learning and using technology in the classroom, and parents need to be on-board with supporting schools in utilising digital education tools,” she said.
She added that it is the teachers’ duty to stay updated with technology to enable e-teaching.
Her students have all downloaded FrogPlay Mobile, a gamified app with revision quizzes for every core subject taught in national schools from Year One to Form Five, through the Frog VLE platform, as everyone has mobile phones but not all have computers at home.
Students can access learning resources via FrogPlay Mobile for free.
Through the app, she said their students are encouraged to download and complete quizzes during this time.
“Meanwhile, we ask our teachers to come up with creative ways to encourage students to continue learning using their mobile phones.
“I believe in utilising technology as much as possible to engage and interact with students.
“Technology helps keep them interested and engaged in their lessons, besides helping them be more creative and innovative, and improving learning outcomes,” she said.
SJKT Ladang Elaeis, Johor, teacher Eswaran Balakrishinan shared Norsiah’s sentiment.
He said teachers who have yet to utilise online platforms should use the MCO to kickstart the “e-learning movement”.
“Getting started can be the most difficult step, but you just have to. If teachers stick to traditional teaching methods, they will be expired teachers.
“Time always moves forward, so teachers need to keep updated and follow the trends in online learning,” said Eswaran who has been using Frog VLE since last year to prepare and assign revision material and homework, conduct assessments, host competitions and more.
“Using the app in our school has got students looking forward to learning.
“After lessons, they are always ready to answer quizzes online, while previously, when exercises were on paper, they had lots of excuses, such as forgetting to bring stationery or their books,” he said.
He observed that gamification in education was able to motivate students to be more engaged and excited in online learning.
Attendance for classes and activities has improved since the implementation of e-learning amid the MCO, said Eswaran.
Meanwhile, a parent of a Year Six pupil in Eswaran’s school said she has full confidence in online learning.
The parent, who wanted to be known as Komala, said parents have been asked to log onto the platform everyday to complete quizzes of various subjects.
“My son Suresh enjoys the app a lot and is very motivated by the competitions. He often asks to use my phone to go online and complete the quizzes.
“I am assured that he isn’t doing anything else online, especially as I can check the quizzes he has completed and see which Boost sites have been opened recently,” she said.
She added that gamified and online learning for children who dislike traditional methods of learning is effective.
Suresh used to avoid reading, studying, doing exercises and he would give lots of excuses.
“Now, he doesn’t even hesitate when I ask him to go online to do his revision.
“He has also improved across all subjects after learning online over a period of time.
“With the app quizzes, he is much better at his multiplication tables and can now answer confidently,” she said.
Komala advised parents to spend some time with their children while they attend online lessons.
“I think parents who are still not supportive of e-learning haven’t even seen it or tried it themselves together with their children.”
The YTL Foundation is calling on teachers to nominate children from B40 families to receive free mobile phones and data under its ‘Learn from Home’ initiative at www.ytlfoundation.org/learn.
Each mobile phone comes with a prepaid YES 4G SIM card and a 12-month data plan with 120GB of data in total.
This is in addition to the free YES 4G SIM cards with 40GB of data and free learning resources that has been made available to national school students from March 25.
Among the applicants that stood out was a single mother living in a fishing village in Labuan.
She had sent a photograph of her three children holding their father’s death certificate (pic) along with her application as she was unsure if her children were entitled to the free SIM cards since her husband had passed away.
Like many others in her village, she had recently lost her job due to the MCO.
“This is the story of not just one family. It is the story of many Malaysian families who are largely unseen, who struggle to make ends meet and who are hardest hit during this Covid-19 crisis.
“However, despite their circumstances, their children’s education is a priority,” the foundation said in a press release.