SOME 600 school administrators from 200 schools in the east coast of Sabah were given an insight into how technology and the Internet could help them teach better in a recent one-day educational awareness event in Tawau.
Previously held in Kota Kinabalu and Beaufort, 1BestariNet Professionalism Day — which is aimed at empowering school leaders to drive forward the use of technology in their schools and to foster more collaboration and sharing of best practices among neighbouring schools — involved participants from Kunak, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau.
1BestariNet, the Education Ministry’s effort in transforming the education in the country by leveraging on the Internet and technology to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban students, made Malaysia the first country in the world to connect all schools nationwide through a single, cloud-based learning platform and high-speed 4G internet connectivity.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, who officiated the state-level event, said in her speech she appreciates and supports the Ministry’s efforts to improve the quality of learning across the country through the 1BestariNet project, in line with Shift 7 of the National Education Blueprint.
“We cannot ignore technology or Internet usage in everyday life and we certainly cannot deny their importance in education. We need to understand how to leverage technology to develop education in our country in general, and particularly in Sabah.
“The Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and the 1BestariNet project provide numerous benefits to schools, such as enabling teachers to create engaging digital teaching resources and share best practices nationwide,” Yap said, adding that to date, more than 2,000 digital materials are shared voluntarily by teachers onto the FrogStore (an online marketplace for educational resources) which are available to educators in 10,000 schools across the country.
“The 1BestariNet project can offer access to quality world-class education to all schools, both in urban and rural communities, which means children will be given equal opportunities and resources regardless of their background,” she added.
Also present were Sabah State Education Department deputy Director Hajah Maimunah Suhaibul, Tawau district education officer Encik Darman Shah Asakil and his deputy Aidul Hadi Karim as well as YTL Communications Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Yeoh Soo Keng.
During workshop sessions at the event, Yap had a hands-on experience with the Frog VLE as well as interacted with educators, heard success stories and best practices from schools that have been using the 1BestariNet and Frog educational facilities.
SMK Majakir, Papar leaders Encik Fareed and Puan Mahani have successfully driven the use of Frog VLE extensively by creating comprehensive teaching and learning sites as well as videos to educate students in a fun yet informative way.
For SMK Agama Mohamad Ali, a rural secondary boarding school, Frog VLE has transformed the way lessons are imparted in a more interactive manner.
Teachers have been using it expansively and now the school has achieved one of the highest total logins (100 per cent) for teachers and students amongst all the schools nationwide.
A total of 10 million 1BestariNet IDs have been made available to students, parents and teachers in 10,000 primary and secondary government schools nationwide.
These IDs give single sign-in access to a suite of educational benefits including access to the Frog Virtual Learning Environment Google Apps for Education and FrogStore.
They now have access to a wealth of digital content including textbooks, teaching and learning videos as well as interactive and game-based learning applications on FrogStore.
LAILI ISMAIL | email@example.com New Straits Time Learning Curve 08 June 2014