LET’S face it. Who didn’t struggle to adapt themselves to the new normal when the first nationwide lockdown was implemented last year? Chances are, you would find many senior educators like myself having a tough time dealing with IT gadgets and e-learning applications.
Parents were not convinced that e-learning could bring out the best of education to their children. Many were against the idea of having “plug in-and-learn” classroom at their home.
But it has been over a year now and we have adapted ourselves to the new normal. Parents are more receptive towards online education.
Students and educators are now more familiar with the gadgets, features and functions of e-learning applications. Some of my students have even become an expert, teaching me back how to use certain functions of Microsoft Teams.
E-Learning: Affect or attract?
The future is mobile. We are now moving into e-learning at our own pace and space. E-learning has created another way of acquiring knowledge without the stress of face-to-face learning in class.
But this may not bode well to some parents who feel it will affect the academic performances of students. For many, the lack of discipline in online learning is slowly turning students to be lazier.
Based on my own experience, online learning doesn’t affect students’ academic performance. In fact, it helps stimulate growth and maturity. Educators just need to inject excitement to their courses, find new ways to interact and engage with the students.
I always throw questions to my students and even inspire them to be active by giving brownie points for those who are active during my online class. To avoid disciplinary issue, I set the rules clearly such as students must switch on their video camera throughout their e-learning session.
Another educator and entrepreneur, Aaron Tan, the founder of Top Scholar Education Group, seems to gain much from online education. His business has experienced tremendous growth after he converted all his physical class into online learning early last year.
Initially, he had 30 students but after he went online, the number of students who took up his English and Malay language classes online charted a whopping 18,000 students within a year.
He attributed his success to out-of-the-box “Simple, Effective and Engaging” (SEE) teaching methodology. SEE emphasises on mindset training, technique and repetition which simplifies impactful method of learning in an effective and engaging manner
For Aaron, his online tuition centre is not the usual education centre but a life-changing experience for students, transforming them to be confident, active and knowledgeable.
In fact, he took a bold approach to make his online education exciting with the support of a live digital team simultaneously – from streamer, designer, animator to video editor. For other education centres, the educators will just log into their own platform or Zoom without a team but Aaron go big in his live session.
E-learning and entrepreneurship
The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the growth of e-learning but will it sustain in the aftermath of the pandemic? I feel that the post-COVID-19 period will continue to see a surge of trainers and educators.
In fact, it is not an over-claim to say e-learning inspire entrepreneurship. Many entrepreneurs have already become self-made trainers, taking advantage of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Streamyard, Webex and other communication platforms available. And they will take it into the next level in the aftermath of the pandemic.
According to Anais Ong, co-founder of UAcademy, online education is becoming more popular for companies to get together and learn remotely courses offered by the academy. It stimulates thinking, discussion and brainstorming whenever they watch their training videos online.
For my WORDerful Learning Academy, collaboration is the way forward. Education centres should not see one another as competitors but as collaborating partners to provide a much more holistic, effective and impactful education for all.
After all, excellence via e-learning is the next big thing. – Sept 26, 2021
Francis Yip is an award-winning writer and HRDF-certified Trainer. He is also the CEO of Franciswriter Dot Com and WORDerful Learning Sdn Bhd and a guest lecturer in The One Academy.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.