KUALA LUMPUR: SJK(T) Ladang Edinburgh in Taman Bukit Maluri is the first Tamil school in the country to fully involve teachers, students and parents in utilising the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform as a primary tool for teaching and learning.
This strong and proactive support from parents and teachers served as a catalyst for the adoption of the programme under the 1BestariNet initiative.
The 1BestariNet project is an effort by the Education Ministry to connect schools across Malaysia to the Internet. YTL Communications Sdn Bhd provides YES 4G connectivity, which enables schools to benefit from the Frog VLE platform by FrogAsia Sdn Bhd.
This leap in learning culture is in line with the seventh shift under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025, which aspires to utilise information and communications technology (ICT) to improve the quality of education.
Headmistress Theresa Ayyakkannu said in March last year, the parent-teacher association (PTA) had an annual-general meeting which included a brainstorming session on the new technology.
“The intention to join the transformation in learning was well-received by parents. Our school has 309 pupils with 25 teachers. Our teachers are young, aged 35 and below,” she said.
Theresa said many parents and pupils were excited to embrace the new age of learning.
She said by using the Frog VLE, the school had also moved towards the digital community and gone paperless, including replacing notices and circulars to parents with online announcements at the school’s very own Frog VLE portal.
Theresa said by going towards the digital path, the school had also managed to record a consistently high Frog VLE login.
“For example, during the weekly evaluation, our school achieved the top 10 rankings for Frog VLE logins among schools at the national level,” she said.
The school was also selected to have a YTL Foundation Frog Classroom makeover that was launched by Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan on March 16.
Besides that, the school was also selected to be in the pilot project for the usage of Altitude smartphones by Yes 4G among teachers.
To aid in learning, she said the school received 41 Chrome Books from the government.
Theresa said with the overwhelming response to this technology, other schools had come to learn from SJK(T) Ladang Edinburgh.
She said 21st century learning had allowed for better time management for both teachers and pupils.
As a science teacher, Theresa is also a tech wizard herself, and leads by example to inspire all teachers to use the Frog VLE.
“Teachers can prepare the teaching materials on-the-go and students will have their time filled with learning activities, even during school holidays or after the syllabus has been completed,” she said.
For example, the school is part of the smart collaboration in learning and facilitating of Year Six pupils for activities post-Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah among selected schools nationwide.
“The pupils are learning in fun ways by answering various questions in Kahoot! and Quizizz involving 2,000 pupils at the same time,” she said.
Theresa said the pupils were further exposed to the usage of technology by utilising Google Slides, Google Sites, Google Sheets and Google Drawings among others. For example, they use Google Maps to explore places of interests.
A Frog VLE teacher, Muhammad Amirul Syafiq Md Yusof said the Frog VLE had shifted the role of teachers to that of a facilitator, thus encouraging independent learning.
“At the Frog Classroom, each subject teacher has to use the classroom at least once a week for a 30-minute lesson,” he said.
Amirul said the students were seated facing each other at the Frog classroom, with its curved tables, creating an environment for teamwork to thrive.
“The teachers can prepare the material beforehand, and upload it to Frog VLE portal where students can gain access to it,” he said.
He said pupils could give explanation about the subject, thus building their sense of confidence in public speaking.
Amirul said the Frog VLE also promoted a spirit of continuous learning as the students could do online revision via FrogPlay.
“Upon completion of the revision, the pupils will unlock a game. With this technology, students can learn and play at the same time,” he said.
He said with Frog VLE, teachers had a large pool of resources as they could also view the content shared by other schools for learning purposes.
An ICT teacher, Valaiyabathi Shanmugam said prior to implementing the Frog VLE, he was selected to be part of Frog Teacher Advocate programme.
“We were given training and exposure on the Frog VLE,” he said.
He said by using the programme, the school was fully in charge of the content that it wanted to share with the public or only among the school community.
He said the Frog VLE made it easier for teachers to carry out their work, such as assignments for homework via the YES 4G phones given to the teachers.
“We can use the Frog Assignment to give homework specific to each class. Students can also upload their homework online, making it easier for marking purposes,” he said.
Valaiyabathi said by doing this, parents were well informed on their children’s homework.
“They can also check on their children’s grades.”
He said as students also liked to take pictures, there was Frog Snap which allowed them to take photos.
“They can give a hashtag for the photos and it will be uploaded to Frog VLE platform page created specifically for photos with the same hashtag. This adds to merriment during celebrations like the National Day and Teacher’s Day,” he said.