25 March 2019

Bett is the world’s largest education technology portfolio of event. Covering the breadth of lifelong learning, the series brings together industry leaders, practitioners, professionals and inspirational figures to share ideas on how to support learning together through technology.

Bett Asia is the region’s most important education gathering in Kuala Lumpur. As Asia-Pacific education leaders struggle to build a change culture, they believe 21st century skills are pre-eminent for pupil success. This year, the show’s key theme is ‘Building a change culture to deliver 21st century learning’.

The AUSMAT team comprising of Ms. Vanitha Satchithanadan, Programme Director; Mr. Anandraj Govindaraj, Programme Coordinator (Educational Technology); and Ms.V.S. Giita Silverajah, Chemistry Lecturer were the speakers from Sunway College KL, and their forum was moderated by Mr. Oliver Kee Swee Keat, Programme Coordinator.

The title of their forum was Roadmap to 21st Century Education – Converging Education and Technology for Active Learning. The presenters shared how they had created a change culture among AUSMAT educators to effectively and successfully incorporate educational technology into the classroom and enhance 21st century learning.

The forum topics covered the challenges facing educators in incorporating educational technology into classroom instructions and the design and implementation of the educational technology coaching programme used in AUSMAT.

The forum started with a presentation by Ms. Vanitha. She shared her perspective as a school leader on why AUSMAT embarked on their mission to build a change culture among their lecturers to embrace educational technology to help deliver 21st century skills. Also, she shared some key initiatives for the audience to take away as examples of successful practices.

Mr. Anandraj took the stage after that to share his viewpoint as an educational technology coach. He spoke about the challenges faced by AUSMAT educators in integrating technology into classroom and provided an overview of the coaching model that was implemented together with evidence of the positive impact it had on the teaching and learning experience.

Ms. Giita was the last speaker from the panel to speak and she shared about the advantages in embracing educational technology from the perspective of an educator. She then shared on the teaching strategies and technological tools that she used in her lessons. QR codes, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook, MindMeister, digital inking and ScreenBeam are some of the tools she used in class.

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From left to right: Mr. Oliver Kee Swee Keat, Ms. V.S. Giita Silverajah, Ms. Vanitha Satchithanadan, Mr. Anandraj Govindaraj.

To successfully create a blended and student centred learning environment using educational technology, a variety of tools for different purpose have been adopted such as the use of QR codes, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook, MindMeister, video curation and creation tools, and digital inking. This encourages AUSMAT towards building a 21st century classroom, where lecturers’ role is more of a facilitator to student learning by creating a productive classroom environment and lessons which able to challenge students not only to be prepared for their school exams but also to equip them with skills they need in 21st century work place. The digitalized and collaborative lesson modules are able to develop the higher order thinking skills, effective communication skills, and knowledge of technology that students need in the 21st century workplace.

Over the last two years, AUSMAT lecturers have successfully incorporated educational technology into curriculum delivery to enhance 21st century learning skills. One of the best practices is the use of OneNote Class Notebook as a platform to create online learning materials and collaborative lessons. Besides that, AUSMAT lecturers have also prepared over 500 original video lessons to enrich the learning resources for students. This allows students to learn and revise at their own pace through self-directed learning.

As this year initiative, the AUSMAT team is working towards expanding their 21st century classroom to be more engaging by introducing wireless classroom concept. Now lecturers are free to move around the classroom and interact with their students, while simultaneously sharing content from their tablet on the big screen, drawing the entire class into the material. This interactive learning environment increases classroom participation, enabling lecturers to work more closely with students.

Initially, AUSMAT lecturers had different levels of Ed-Tech competencies when the Ed-Tech coaching programme was introduced. The true success of the coaching model is that the non-digital native lecturers have embraced educational technology and used it effectively in class.

AUSMAT lecturers understand that the key to the 21st century classroom is not only about technology but it is evolved teaching. The success stories above are the results of the support from the head of department as well as the planning and execution of an effective coaching model. The model used in AUSMAT involves the following steps: partnering with school leaders and lecturers, conducting a survey to identify issues or problems facing the lecturers, conducting professional development sessions, co-teaching in classroom, and reflection sessions.

The digital age has influenced and shaped the way our students learn and process information. It is truly an amazing time to be an educator with rapidly evolving technological tools that enable educators to explore and reach out to their students more effectively than ever before! In conclusion, educational technology vision and policies should be strategically implemented to help educators who learnt in yesterday’s classroom to prepare students today for the disruptive digital world of tomorrow.