WHEN I was schooling in the 1960s and 1970s, I never knew that there was such a thing as “overhead transparency” or “PowerPoint presentations” or “information and communications technology (ICT)”.
Classroom sessions were more chalk and talk, and in college, it was the orthodox way — reading from textbooks and notes. Lectures were delivered by the person standing at the podium or rostrum.
But when the ICT era emerged, it seems that the “savvy” gain but not the “poor”.
Educators and academics were sent for workshops and seminars on ICT to learn to employ PowerPoint slides.
In trying to make use of the “flipped classroom”, the results don’t fit well as educators will have to make time for video sessions, plus most will have to fork out their savings to ensure technology sessions are ready to be shared.
Administrators or the speakers still use PowerPoint and will always call us to put up a splendid presentation, but yet they themselves are still using the same old ways of presenting their talks.
There’s no doubt current students are said to be ICT-savvy, but there isn’t anything positive in doing online learning except that it is much more of a learning platform for reference or looking for reading and learning materials for their assessment work.
We do have the Learning Management System, Virtual Learning Environment, Online Learning and many more learning platforms and yet we are back to the paper-and-pencil way of learning. It is common to see the “lecturers” putting up 40 to 50 slides per session whereas the standard requirement is 10 slides per session.
Even if it’s early in the morning , the lights are off as soon as the slide show begins. It is the same for the afternoon and evening sessions. Some may use 80 to 100 slides for a two-hour lecture; some are provided by members of the group and all the “lecturer” needs to do is click on the “next” button until the slides reach “The End”.
As a teacher, I often see heavy heads and blurry eyes staring at the slides and lights, but students will be quiet; some may even snore.
In pedagogy, to teach is to look at the eyes of the learner and conversation must be a two-way process and not merely listening to a “parrot” — a recorder.
Educators are advised to have their own notes or materials too to bring their own perspectives and narrations to the session. The steps mentioned here will make your students stay connected.
Though we sometimes have bright pupils to work with, we must remember that not all are gifted. I make my students understand and remember what has been discussed.
If a hardworking student does not understand what you are saying or sharing, what happens to one who is slow in understanding or grasping lessons?
It would be wise to think each lecture as something that you need to share with everyone in the room.
If the students are confused, just take a break to revise things. I think they will appreciate what you are doing.
Azizi Ahmad, Educator, Institut Pendidikan Kampus Bahasa Antarabangsa, Kuala Lumpur