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Learning must be a two-way conversation

When I was in my primary and secondary schooling in the 60’s and 70’s, I never knew that there was such as ‘overhead transparency’ or ‘power-point presentation’ or ICT.

Classroom session was more on chalk and talk or the orthodox way that is reading from the textbooks or reading from the notes when I entered college.


Lectures were more delivered by someone from to podium or rostrum. And when ICT era emerged it seems that the ‘savvy’ gains but not the ‘poor’.

By then educators or academics were sent to workshops, courses, seminars on ICT and will always have to face the ‘PowerPoint’ slides till now.

In trying to make use of ‘flipped classroom’, the results don’t fit well as ‘educators’ will have to make time for ‘video sessions’ plus most will have to forked-out their own savings to ensure ‘technology sessions’ are ready to be shared.

Administrators or the speakers themselves still use ‘PowerPoint’ and will always called for us to put-up a fine and splendid presentation but yet they themselves are still using the same old ways of presenting their talks.

There’s no doubt the current pupil and students are said to ICT savvy; but it doesn’t give anything positive in doing on-line learning except that it is much more of a learning platform for them to refer or look for reading and learning materials for their assessment work.

We do have the Vle platform, OLL platform, LMS platform and many more learning platforms and yet we are back to paper and pencil way of learning.

It is common to see the ‘lecturers’ putting up 40-50 slides per session whereas the standard would ask for a-10 slides for sessions.

Even in early in the morning session, the lights will be off as soon as the slide shows are run; it will the same in the mid-noon, afternoon or even evening session.

Some might have an 80-100 slides shown for a 2-hour lecture; some or easy to say provided by members of the group and all the ‘lecturer’ need to do is click ‘next’ button until the number of slides shows ‘The End’.

As a teacher, I am having stiff head and blurring eyes looking at lights shown, but students will be seen very quiet and some may even snore.

In pedagogy, to teach is to look in the eyes of the learner, conversation must be two-way and not listening to a ‘parrot’ or a recorder.

Educators are advised to have their own note or materials too. It will help to bring our own perspective and narrations to the session.

The steps mentioned will make your students stay connected to you rather than readily reading to what was told.

Though we sometime are given good bright classes to work with, we must also remember that not all are gifted.

I would always think to make my students understand and remember what was talked about.

Should a smart and hardworking student of yours couldn’t understand on what you are saying or sharing what will have happened to those who are slow in understanding and grasping you lessons.

It would be wise to think that each lecture as something that you need to share with everyone inside the room.

If one of them seems confused, just take a break to fix things and I think students will appreciate with what you are doing.

Azizi Ahmad New Straits Times Letters 12 January 2019

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