Educators Need To Adapt Teaching To Remain Relevant In Digital Age

THURSDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2014 12:18

By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Ihwan Hashim

BANGI, 24 Feb 2014 –  Educators such as teachers and lecturers must adapt to stay relevant due to the changing needs of the present generation of youngsters who are nurtured in the digital age.

Educational researcher and President of Mobile World Learning Association Prof Dr Mohamed Amin Embi said today’s children cannot learn by traditional means as they have an unprecedented array of devices at their disposal to find out about the world.

Delivering his keynote address at the International Seminar on Global Education II organised by the Faculty of Education, UKM and University EkaSakti Padang (UEP), Indonesia here today, Prof Amin Embi said it was different 20 years ago when students only had books, libraries and lecture notes to refer to.

“If we teach today’s students the way of yesterday, we will rob them of tomorrow as youths and even young children have information at their finger tips through mobile internet devices, he said wrly.

He advised educators to have empathy for the students and not impose on them.

“Learning is what students do, not what is done to them. Learning should be participatory,” he stressed.

Prof Amin Embi recommended the Flipped Classroom, an inverted method of teaching in which lectures are delivered online outside the lecture halls and the assignments or projects done in the classrooms.

He explained that as the teachers’ role transitions into the mentor stage, educators will be teaching less but the students learning more.

Prof Amin Embi proposed changing the traditional classroom or lecture session into a project-backed programme.

He said students were already starting to  learn the basics through instructional videos online i.e. MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) for free thus making the traditional teaching methods redundant.

Lecturers can always complement online learning and become mentors to students.

Thus educators in public universities have to meet challenges from within and outside and innovations such as the internet has been disruptive enough to traditional teaching methods for lecturers to try new methods to complement the innovations.

Prof Amin Embi is well-known in Malaysia as a professional educator, academic leader and innovator in teaching and learning especially in the area of e-Learning.

He is the recipient of the distinguished ISESCO Science Laureate 2010 for his contributions in Technology (e-Learning). He is also the first recipient of the most prestigious National Academic Award 2006 for Teaching introduced by the Ministry of Higher Education.