According to a recent survey conducted by the MOE, the number of tablets, computers and laptops owned was only around five to 14 percent of Malaysian school students.
Although almost 80 percent of high school students and about 36 percent of secondary school students have smartphones and access to the internet, it is a major constraint especially when learning is so complicated that it can be difficult to complete assignments
It is undeniable that we have existing technology, and this should not be a problem.
But the fact is, in many cases, we have lost part of the academic year 2020.
Learning online is not impossible, but it can be difficult unless we start to see things differently.
Why is it a problem for teaching to continue on the internet?
The reasons are many, and there is no immediate solution but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
Teaching online requires more than just a level of knowledge or a passing scale of the technology involved.
Educators or teachers must be proficient in information technology (digital literacy).
Unfortunately, many teachers are still incompetent with technology.
Problems that arise in a classroom under normal circumstances can easily be solved, suddenly become more complex when on screen, and can lead to overall session failure.
Knowledge is not the only factor, dedication is important. Educators should be ready, willing and committed.
Online class sessions require more effort, attention, and commitment than face-to-face classes.
Whether you have gained the commitment and readiness from your group of educators, the transition will be complicated: good intentions are not enough.
Students should also be proficient in information technology too.
However, whether you believe it or not, the same students who master Instagram and TikTok often can't perform simple tasks like attaching files to emails or finding options on virtual campuses, or storing files with different names.
We tend to assume that everyone today has computers and smartphones, but we must remember that there are homes without computers or outdated, where internet connection is so slow, inaccessible and where free data is provided expires on the first week of each month.
Maintaining sensitivity to this topic is critical if we do not want to marginalize the entire global community.
For ideal online classes, you must have access to software that enables you to not only create videos and share your screen.
Depending on your subject, you should start by considering the ideal methodology for teaching it online, and then finding tools that you can use.
Never think of an online education as an easy replacement for a crisis, but rather as something that should enhance your experience and learning.
Usually, face-to-face classes still require teachers to talk for an hour while their students take notes.
If that is still your method of delivery then it is expected that it will not work, and it does not make sense.
You should consider other more interactive methodologies.
While your methods in face-to-face classes are not very interactive, consider online, if you want your students to learn, you need to work harder.
As a teacher, you do not need to be more knowledgeable about using equipment than your students, but you must be able to provide them with a reasonable user experience and meet their expectations.
In the new environment, students need clear frameworks and references.
If your primary method of assessing and assessing your students is through examinations, they need specialized tools to monitor students.
On-line teaching and learning will continue to be used; although when movement restriction order was lifted.
Efforts should be made to offer students alternative ways to take classes from home without significant interruption in their learning process.
If you think that teaching and learning online is just laying down the camera and doing what you do in class, or uploading presentations and documents; and then giving students homework to do, you and your students will have problems, because that is not the way to learn, and movement restrictions are not the reason to allow our education standards to fall.
Instead of making 2020 the "year we lose direction", let it be remembered as "the year we learn to teach online." We can do more and better. And as educators, we have an obligation to do so.
Azizi Ahmad The STAR Educate Education 19 April 2020