The stage is set for more online learning and teaching as local schools embrace the latest in technology.
LIKE all school administrators, SMK Convent Bukit Nanas senior assistant Chee Poh Kiem used to draw up a calendar every year for the new academic session.
As a practice, she used to type out her schedule and would then leave some columns blank on the form for the teachers to fill up.
Impressed: Teachers checking out programmes that are available for schoolchildren.-File pic
The information they were required to fill up usually included events and activities that they had lined up for the year.
Chee’s work didn’t end there as she had to check the form once again before submitting it to the school clerk who would put together the information before the school calendar was printed.
Coming up with the school calendar was a tedious process each year, said Chee who has now found a new way of organising and updating her school schedule.
She uses YES’s Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which allows her to organise and update her school calendar and other administrative tasks digitally and effortlessly.
With the help of technology, educators will spend less time on administrative tasks and have more time to plan their lessons. – File photo
“It really saves me a lot of time and energy,” said Chee, who oversees the administration and curriculum at the school.
Schools, without a doubt, are ideal places to effect change in teaching and learning that keeps up with time and technology.
Under the 1BestariNet project, FrogAsia is working with the Education Ministry to provide high-speed 4G connectivity and a cloud-based platform for more than 10,000 schools.
With just a single 1BestariNet Yes ID, administrators, teachers, parents and students can access the Frog VLE which comes with exciting and sleek-looking teaching and learning sites.
The Frog VLE runs on the Google Cloud Platform. So many of the Google Apps for Education — including Google Email, Google Drive — and other quality educational content from providers such as Khan Academy are also available for educators and students to use.
Calendar, assignments, school dashboard are just some of the many exciting features of the web-based learning platform, which can be accessed in school and from anywhere else with an Internet service.
Frog VLE’s simple drag-and-drop site builder allows anyone, even those without any technical expertise, to create and share educational contents.
Terrific tablet: A student using an iPad at a school in Paris, France. — AFP
To help ensure seamless adoption of the programme, the teacher and student engagement programmes will focus on four key areas – enable, inspire, empower and immerse.
Every school is guided through week-on-week checklists, which include activities and tasks.
FrogAsia executive director Yeoh Pei Lou said that the company’s role was to ensure that the programme was implemented in the most simple, fun and engaging way.
“We start by training across the whole range of people in, including the IT teachers, senior assistants, teachers, teacher advisors and students — all of whom make up the school Frog Team.
“We first ensure that schools understand how this is going to help them. Rome wasn’t built in a day so implementing Frog in schools is a step-by-step process.
“We have designed our programme to ensure that schools do the tasks in very bite-sized chunks,” she said.
She said 351 schools had been selected for the Champion School Programme, under which they would be mentored in the adoption and effective usage of the Frog VLE.
The company has also trained 671 Education Ministry master trainers on how to use the Frog VLE platform.
YTL Education chairman Lord Stewart Sutherland said that it was good that the Malaysian education authorities had the foresight and vision to take on the programme.
“Education is not a game of chance, it’s not a gamble. It concerns the future of your children,” he said.
Sharing the fruits of success with one another is an important part of the process when adopting the virtual learning environment in schools.
Just ask SK Taman Putra Perdana headmaster Sukimin Juki who believes that learning through technology would help narrow the gap between schools in urban and rural areas.
“It will help ensure that the rural schools have access to the same materials and are on the same level playing field,” he said.
While most of his pupils come from low-income families in Taman Putra Perdana, Puchong, Selangor, Sukimin said their parents understood the importance of education.
“We can tell that they are very interested and have even asked for a briefing on what the programme is all about.
“We want to continue building the awareness and make sure they are not left out in the new development,” he said.