Good teachers leave a significant, lifelong impact on students.
Not only do they impart knowledge, but they also boost the confidence and self-esteem of students whose lives they have touched.
So, it isn’t too far-fetched to think of teachers as influencers.
This was the idea that led to the creation of Edufluencers, a programme by the Education Ministry’s Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU).
Edufluencers – a portmanteau of the words “education” and “influencers” – refer to a group of exemplary teachers who play the role of agents of change in the education sector.
Teachers who are selected to be part of the Edufluencers programme, in turn, will inspire their peers by sharing best practices for innovation and technology in the teaching and learning process.
PADU chief executive officer Radzifuddin Nordin said these shortlisted teachers are among the highly inspiring and creative teachers from all over Malaysia.
“They are great, inspirational teachers who are passionate about the teaching profession. By recognising these teachers as Edufluencers, they are given the space and opportunity to share best practices, new ideas and insights, not to mention spread their positive vibes and aura with other teachers and their followers,” he said.
The idea for the Edufluencers programme, at its inception, sparked off from the discovery of the top 100 best entrants of the 21st Century Learning Teachers Campaign that was held in December 2018.
The selected teachers wowed the judges with their innovations and creativity in their pursuit to motivate their students’ learning interests in an engaging manner.
Along the way, they also managed to win the hearts of parents and the community.
Seeing the impact they had left not only within the education fraternity, the Ministry and PADU felt that these teachers should be given special recognition and a platform to continue sharing innovative ideas and spreading positivity to others. Hence, the introduction of the first batch of Edufluencers in December 2019.
This year, PADU managed to expand the Edufluencers community through yet another campaign, The Search of Edufluencers 2.0.
The programme remains committed to promoting the teaching profession as a dignified vocation of choice.
The Edufluencers programme, said Radzifuddin, is also part of efforts to recognise the role teachers play in making the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 a success.
“This needs to be done through the development of a culture of excellence by 2025. This is what we are doing with Edufluencers,” he explained.
Under the programme, teachers are given exposure to various techniques for improving the teaching and learning process. They are also exposed to the best ways of delivering messages effectively and are part of an online teacher community.
PADU hopes the Edufluencers will positively influence and inspire other educators not only in Malaysia, but also around the world.
“We hope all teachers in the ministry can develop the world-class capabilities required to guide students in achieving success. At the same time, we want them to have fun and gain satisfaction in carrying out their duties,” Radzifuddin said.
Being great together
Among the participants who have been selected for the programme is Stephen Isaac.
The Science teacher at SMK (L) Methodist Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, hopes to create more meaningful learning experiences for his students.
To do this, he makes his students “own” their classroom by incorporating the 21st century learning approach.
Students acquire important skills and values such as creativity, cooperation, critical thinking, and communication during his lessons.
“As an Edufluencer, we are encouraged to always share best practices in the teaching and learning process. I also incorporate these innovations into the activities that are done together with my students,” he said.
The programme has also encouraged Stephen to be more transparent with his teaching methods and experiences on various platforms.
“From time to time, I share my views, opinions and experience on issues related to education and even travel, which I enjoy.
“This is done either physically or in the virtual space through webinars and so on, in addition to social media platforms,” he said.
For Norani Abd Rahim, the Edufluencers programme is a great learning opportunity.
The Malay Communication lecturer at Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Ilmu Khas in Kuala Lumpur said the programme is a great platform for knowledge sharing.
“Outside the education field, people from different professions are sharing their expertise with the public. Therefore, we, as educators, should not be left behind.
“We have pedagogical knowledge and expertise in the education field and are responsible for sharing them with the public.
“Together with other influencers, we can promote quality and impactful educational content for human capital development in Malaysia,” she said.
The Edufluencers programme, Norani added, helps to improve the self-esteem of teachers and build a sense of comraderie among them.
“Edufluencers can help increase the confidence of new, as well as experienced, teachers to try new methods and techniques in pedagogy and innovation in line with the current trends and needs.
The online community created through the programme is also helpful, according to Norani.
“This network of contacts is beneficial for all influencers to get insights and support, and for educational collaboration.
“For example, through this programme, various collaboration activities among Edufluencers can materialise to benefit students, schools and the community,” she said.
Norani also appreciates the boost of confidence she gets from the programme.
This renewed zest strengthens her goal to be a good educator.
“I am more confident to share my content with the positive feedback and support from other Edufluencers.
“We need to provide more educational input, create awareness messages and deliver information that can be used as a guide and reference for all,” she concluded
.What being an Edufluencer means
“We live in a social media dominated world and this programme helps me to prepare for an innovative digital education using online platforms and up-to-date learning applications.
This programme also emphasises the development of digital and creative skills and competencies for teachers in the teaching and learning process.
I hope this programme will continue to recruit more talented teachers to showcase their best practices and to share success stories that can inspire their colleagues.”
– Irma Rahayu Ibrahim, SMK USJ 13, Selangor, teacher
“As an Edufluencer, I equip myself with a lot of information.
I always try to improve my knowledge of teaching and approaching students by taking lots of courses, watching online tutorials and reading articles.
This is because, as teachers, we must always know what our students are interested in.”
– Chelva Letchmanan, SJKT Bandar Mahkota Cheras, Selangor, teacher
“In the Edufluencers community, we share and discuss each other’s experiences and best practices.
We also act as a pillar of support for our comrades. Together, we strive to clear misconceptions among the public and raise their expectations of Malaysia’s education system.
Meeting with teachers from various geographical and cultural backgrounds has widened my horizons.
The wealth of knowledge gained is precious and applicable to lessons conducted in a physical classroom or on a virtual platform, creating a better educational experience for my students and me.”
– Lee Von Li, SJKC Puay Chai, Selangor, teacher