ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH COMMUNITY APPROACH ...· ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH

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  • 858 1st International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention

    ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH COMMUNITY APPROACH BY USING INTERNET TECHNOLOGY

    M Amin Alias, 1Terence Chung

    Fakulti Kejuruteraan Elektrik Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

    81310 Skudai, Malaysia amin@fke.utm.my

    1 Professional Education Solutions

    EduMy Corporation Sdn Bhd 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia terence.chung@edu-my.com

    ABSTRACT SMART School that emphasizes ICT approaches in teaching and learning has always been a centre of global attention especially in our country. The Ministry of Education has been allocating plenty of resources to realize this vision to make every school SMART. The paper will highlight the current challenges, steps taken so far, and feedback gathered from different levels of society who are involved directly and indirectly in the education sector. The paper will also discuss the realistic approaches and strategies of how to speed up the ICT Enrichment Drive in the Government Schools by applying current technologies such as education platform, digital media, digital contents, resource sharing and so on in moving one step forward to teach, and learn smart using technology. INTRODUCTION The Smart Schools Since the late 1990s, the Ministry has been putting in considerable amount of efforts and resources to develop the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities in Education. Minister of Education, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, mentioned about making the School SMART through five key criteria namely:-

    a) Computer in Education (KDP) b) Smart School Project c) School-Net d) Teaching & Learning Science, Mathematic in English e) TV Education

    As a result, several developments are implemented over the past few years. They include hardware infrastructure of broadband, access centers, purchasing of PCs, servers, projectors and other IT gadgets as teaching and learning aids, software systems such as Student Information System (SMM), Examination Analysis System (SAP) and Student Discipline System (SSDM) for School administrative aids. However, from researches, all the infrastructures given as a push factor were not fully utilized. The Need For A Different Approach There is a need to create a pull factor, a common platform which is able to effectively influence the educators and students to fully utilize the current infrastructure. This will provide the first step towards the adaptation of ICT in Education. Eventually, the objective is to form an e-Community which effectively connects the teachers, students and parent together, through internet. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and propose the e-School Program (e-SP). This initiative aims to drive the implementation of ICT in Education and more importantly, develop an e-learning culture within the Education System. The Program is fundamental to the formation of the e-Community and consists of the following core elements (Figure 1):

  • 859 1st International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention

    a) A uniquely designed Portal for individual School b) A Learning Management System for e-Learning (LMS) c) A centralized School Management System (SMS) d) A discussion board for community to interact and interest group e) An online technical consultant team for continuous supports

    Figure 1: e-School Program Core Elements BACKGROUND Issue Surrounding the Problem New Direction for Education Embracing Technology As the speed of internet access gets faster, many information and knowledge can be effectively and efficiently acquired online. This, to a great extent strengthen the ideology of self-learning and e-learning, compared to the conventional spoon-feeding approach, and pave the new direction of Education. Heavy Administrative Workload On top of teaching duties, teachers are often loaded with administrative work such as form processing, student information updating, attendance, and so on. Lack of Consultancy Interviews conducted with Principals and Teachers revealed that efforts are constantly put in to improve the ICT development phase. However, they are not aware on how to manage and execute the plan most effectively. This lack of guidelines has significantly slowed down the Ministrys efforts to develop ICT capabilities in Education. Lack of Professional School Image and Awareness Schools are beginning to recognize the need to build a good relationship with the community, and this often starts from good publicity, informing the community about the Schools achievements, news, happenings and upcoming activities. Principals have often challenged the media teacher (guru media) to take charge and design an appealing and interactive web portal to uphold the School professional image. However, the guru media or ICT coordinators are not well trained in web design and hence do not have the expertise required to perform the job. A badly designed website does not contribute to the cause at all.

  • 860 1st International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention Redundancy Works There are numerous redundancies and double jobs done over the past few years, especially in the areas of data entry and data collections. Currently, teachers and clerks will need to re-enter data whenever they need to retrieve them. In addition, individual teacher has to re-compile and re-type questions when they set the exam papers. There is a lack of a common databank to store their work based on Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM). Reports Generation Another heavy workload identified on the teachers is in the generation of reports. To give an illustration, lets assume a School with 1000 students holding examinations twice a year, and 200 students graduate every year; the teachers will need to fill up 2000 times records book (penyata murid) manually by hand (2000 examination records). The administrator on the other hand, will need to manually prepare 200 School leaving certificates, 200 ECA record certificates, only after the teachers have completely gathered the necessary information manually from the graduating students. For Schools with more students, the workload increases proportionally. Yet, all of these data that has been processed with tremendous efforts are not archived electronically. These repetitive efforts have been troubling the Schools and their teachers for years, wasting a lot of time which could have been channeled to more beneficial activities for the students.

    PROPOSAL CONCEPT This paper seeks to address the issues mentioned in background by introducing the following concept: A subscription-based Community-Centric e-School Program (e-SP) which consists of an Education Portal (ExcellearnTM) as the platform. About e-School Program (e-SP) The e-School Program (e-SP) is an initiative which revolves around the concept of Community Development being inculcated within the Schools, with the objective to connect the Schools, Teachers, Students and Parents into a Community and embrace ICT in Education.

    Figure 2: e-Community Key Values of e-School Program The e-School Program offers three key values to all Schools who subscribe to this program.

    a. Shift of culture Users (teachers, students, parents) who are connected into

    this Community will experience a new means in teaching, learning, and obtaining information online in an e-environment, which is available anytime, anywhere.

    b. Real-time access Being a web-based system, it provides an environment where users can come online, login and engage the related functions or services.

    c. Security The user login functions allows School to track the users such as students and teachers making the amendments on the system itself. This prevents any discrepancies in the future unlike a shared folder within an extranet.

  • 861 1st International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention Framework of e-School Program (Two main elements) The framework of the Program can be divided into two main elements. The first element will be the execution program, whereas the second element consists of ExcellearnTM, the Education Portal which serves as the ideal platform to launch the e-School Program. Details of this platform are as follow:- About ExcellearnTM ExcellearnTM is an online and fully web-based Community-centric Learning Management System that brings together all School Management Systems and the Learning Portal. It aims to provide all functions deemed necessary to assist the Primary and Secondary Schools subscribing to the e-SP Program.

    The ExcellearnTM will serve as the platform from which the e-School Program will be executed. The functioning modules under this Learning Management System consists from School portal, e-Services, interactions, feedbacks, eduMall, to forming a Community that connect teachers, students, and parents together.

    The following are the services offered by the Learning Management System ExcellearnTM: (Please refer EduMy Corporation for further details)

    a. Customised School Portal with WCMS (Web Content Management

    System) b. ExcellearnTM Student Portal c. ExcellearnTM Educator Portal d. Web Announcement Board (WAB) e. Homework Reminder and Listing f. E-Quiz Designer g. Online Quiz and Marking h. Assignment Submission and Marking i. Learning Resource Center (for tutors to upload course content) j. E-Report Card (allow teachers to release results online, ease of

    recording) k. E-Attendance Book (tracks the attendance of students) l. E-Alert System (alerts parents with students result and attendance via

    SMS/Email) m. Co-Curriculum Portal that host sites for student interest group n. Discussion Board o. Notice Board System p. Event Management Module

    - Allows School to accept registration online e.g. School Concert q. e-Entrepreneurship Module