Leaping into lead position
By M. Sivanantha Sharma - 4 Apr 2019
SK STOWELL in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, has gone a step further with the full adoption of digital teaching and learning for pupils from Year One to Six.
With this digital implementation, all core subjects in the school will be taught on the Frog Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform in the classroom through Boost interactive lessons from FrogAsia.
Pupils can complete their homework and revise their studies on the FrogPlay gamified teaching and learning application.
The school has been equipped with 18 projectors for all classrooms, as well as a Frog Classroom - a shared 21st century teaching and learning space designed to elevate collaboration and creativity among students.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong, who is also the Bukit Mertajam MP, said he was proud that SK Stowell was leading its peers with the full adoption of digital teaching and learning.
“Education is a means of preparing our children to be better equipped in facing the challenges of the future and I believe it is imperative to start empowering our children right from Year 1.
“It is time for our schools to go fully digital and I would like to congratulate the school for being the first government school in Malaysia to fully adopt digital teaching and learning with Frog Boost.
“I hope this new environment will spark creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication in the pupils here.
“Now every teacher can access readily available teaching and learning content and use it in classrooms to teach besides also assigning homework and revision on the digital platform.
“Teachers who become more inspired through this initiative can also create more content and share all of their materials with other teachers across the country.
“Let this be a role model for other schools in the Penang state and I hope this will inspire more schools to take up this initiative,” he said in his speech when launching the full digital teaching system at SK Stowell on the Penang mainland recently.
Also present were school headmaster Jamil Omar, YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew and FrogAsia executive director Lou Yeoh.
Speaking to reporters later, Sim said he had been approached by many schools in Bukit Mertajam for the fully digitalised system.
He said SK Stowell would be a pilot project, and other schools could send their teachers to SK Stowell to personally experience the system, and if suitable, they could seek to have it extended to their respective schools.
He said the programme would not have been possible without co-operation between the teachers and headmaster.
He said the BM parliamentary office and YTL Foundation, which developed the system, had jointly contributed RM60,000 to set up the system.
Jamil said the senior leadership team from the school attended workshops on the adoption and optimisation of Frog VLE in the school and in turn were now sharing their knowledge with other teachers.
“The teachers themselves find that Boost eases their burden in having to create material as Boost covers all topics and it is so easy to use.
“They are excited to use the Frog VLE and the projectors in the classroom to teach.
“We thank Sim and YTL Foundation for their generous contribution to the school, which is now ready to be fully digital in our classroom teaching,” he added.
Chew, in her speech, said YTL Foundation had been working to improve education in this country since 1997.
“We started by giving scholarships for tertiary education to students in need so they could break through the cycle of poverty and bring hope and transformation to their communities.
“Seven years ago, we started working with FrogAsia to help equip schools and adopt technology in teaching and learning.
“However, we found that most schools did not have classrooms that were conducive for 21st century learning.
“We worked with our architects and design team at YTL and transformed the first classroom at SMK Puchong Batu 14.
“And, after the success of our first Frog classroom, YTL opened the programme to all schools and to-date, we have completed 280 classrooms across all states in the country.
“Our ambition is to have 1,000 of these 21st century classrooms,” she said.
Chew said a study on the impact of Frog Classrooms on Teacher Pedagogy and Student Learning Behaviour and Outcomes was done by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on the impact of the Frog Classrooms.
“The study found that teachers are more creative and innovative in their approach and there is a display of more 21st century learning skills in the classroom.
“The study also has been more of a shift in the role of the teacher to that of a facilitator.
“On the student’s side of the equation, UKM found the classroom to be more learner- centred and there is more self-directed and independent learning and also improved 21st century learning skills were observed.
“Better peer interaction and pupils learning from each other were also noted.
“Therefore, in partnership with Sim and FrogAsia, we are really excited to support SK Stowell in creating a 21st century education environment throughout all classrooms here,” she said.
Chew said through YTL’s contribution of the projectors to every classroom, it was hoped that all teachers and pupils in the school would be able to experience the 21st century education daily.