Learning beyond the classroom

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UNDERSTANDING knowledge and critically applying it, is the way forward for students today.

It was the view shared by teachers who were recent winners of the Guru Muda 1Malaysia (GM1M) Frog Virtual Learning Environment Awards.

They were part of the learning programme that was initiated in government schools and endorsed by the Education Ministry.

The teachers received their awards from Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon at a special cermony held at the ministry’s Technology Division in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am proud that schools in Malaysia can connect and interact beyond the boundaries of the classroom through 1BestariNet,” he said.

Under 1BestariNet, schools under the ministry will have access to the cloud-based learning platform – the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – and have high-speed 4G Internet connectivity.

He also launched the “Learning Beyond Boundaries” concept which is part of 1BestariNet.

GM1M is a programme between the Education Ministry, YTL Communications, and FrogAsia, that aims to engage and up-skill young teachers across the nation with the use of Frog VLE in teaching and learning. It also allows them to have access to learning resources using the Internet.

SJKC Damansara teacher Lew Hui Wen, who was second runner-up in the GM1M Individual Teacher Category, said that there was a marked improvement in her pupils.

“It wasn’t just their academic progress but also their communications skills after they started using Frog VLE.

She said that the online assessments done by the pupils were marked instantly and that allowed them to know their mistakes and learn.

Lew added that her pupils could engage in discussions when they were unable to get the right answers.

“Being a learning platform, it encourages and helps introvert pupils to ask more questions.

This in turn improves their communication skills,” she said.

First runner-up of the Secondary School category, SMK Palong Timur teacher Nur Raihana Abd Halim also shared that her pupils became eager to attend classes.

“They would voluntarily join activities and pay more attention as well,” she said.

Sarawak teacher Liew Lee Joo from SMK Kota Samarahan, who won the GM1M special award, said students could “truly learn” only if they were interested in the subject.

“My students became motivated and enthusiastic with the help of Frog VLE,” she said.

She added that the learning platform brought out the best in her students and it made them voice out their views.

Say cheese: The GM1M award winners posing with Chong (fifth from right) and ministry officials after the event.

Say cheese: The GM1M award winners posing with Chong (fifth from right) and ministry officials after the event.

Nur Raihana shared that her students paid more attention in class,” she said.

Last year, over 5,000 teachers from 2,500 schools across Malaysia were trained in hands-on learning workshops and seminars to use the programme.

It connects about 10,000 schools in the country through the single, cloud-based learning platform.

Besides the pupils, Frog VLE also saw personal growth and progress in teachers, most of whom were aged 40 or below.

“It also opened another window for teachers to share new and innovative ideas on teaching,” said Lew.

“I was able to develop my relationship with students as the programme allowed both parties to leave comments,” said Liew, adding that it was also a platform for them to interact with teachers.

“I found my teaching skills have become better after using Frog VLE,”said Nur Raihana.

She was keen to share the knowledge she acquired with her colleagues and see them progress, she added.

YTL Communications executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong, ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad, Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof and GM1M Adviser Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud were also present at the event.

 

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