Let teachers decide what digital tools they want

  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 10 Jul 2019

I DIDN’T know what to think when it was announced that Google Classroom would be replacing Frog VLE (virtual learning experience).

I thought about teachers nationwide who had spent countless hours attending workshops and training in order to learn how to use the system.

Though many have claimed to be happy over the discontinuation of the system, I know of others who were shocked and upset. They learned to use the virtual learning system to teach and have seen the benefits and joy it brought to their students. Frog VLE is clearly one of our government’s bravest attempt at connecting all 10,000 schools under one platform.

I think the Education Ministry should allow teachers to decide which learning management system they want to use in their teaching process. There are many free and user-friendly ones that even those, like me, who are not so technology-literate can easily plan lessons using them. Moodle and Schoology are among my two favourites.

Give teachers the freedom to decide which and what technological tools they want to use in their classrooms as long as they use them as and when it is necessary. Let the school’s administrators and teachers work on this decision since they know what is best for them and their students.

The Education Ministry perhaps could relinquish control and let teachers work on this. With the Internet connection coming into schools, to be provided by a few large companies at the last report, I am sure technology would be integrated in the lessons.

Give teachers ample work time to plan, reflect and refine their instructions using technology. Continuous professional development plans by the ministry could perhaps focus on helping teachers to identify what they need to know, what to do in order to know and, most important of all, answer why they need to include technology in their teaching. Why do they need to change their teaching and learning methods?

Unless this is done, it will be tough to get teachers to change their instructional practices.

Of course, we also need to be aware that getting teachers to significantly shift their practices will require a huge amount of time and effort.



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