What is the best VLE for learning? (Part 2) – Organized spaces

Sunday, May 31, 2009
Link : Brunei Times : Using Technology To Enhance Learning Process

Virtual teaching: Ak Shaiffadillah Pg Hj Omarali talks about the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). Picture: BT/ Al-Haadi Abu Bakar

UTILISING the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) enhances student interaction providing organised spaces, said Ak Shaiffadillah Pg Hj Omarali, a teacher from Pengiran Anak Puteri Hjh Masna Secondary School (Pap Hjh Masna).

In his lecture entitled “Current Trends and Tempos on Using Internet-Based Virtual Environment for Education”, he explores the many forms of VLEs used in education, from elaborate systems such as blackboard, Microsoft Edu and GoogleApps being used by universities to those used on a classroom scale such as Ning and Wiki.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Ak Shaiffadillah spoke of whether the impact of the use of VLEs in the teaching environment made a difference and if technology usage was an advantage.

He said that utilising VLEs was not about making a difference in the course of learning and teaching, but rather making the classroom experience interesting for the students. “It’s about keeping it familiar with the students using a traditional processs so that the learning methods that have been ingrained for the past few decades, such as discovery and inquiry-based learning still have the capacity to be performed in virtual worlds,” he said.

He also said that humans are only humans; they have been learning for many years, but VLEs enhance the experience with technology.

“However, VLEs do entice educators in creating new methodologies,” he said. The importance is on education and not technology in classrooms, he added.

“I used to be a naive teacher and brought technology into the classroom. I realised that it does not make a lot of difference to the teachers, but instead is a burden to teachers in creating this technology,” he said. He said that designing a VLE would take a lot of time, a lot of effort to fix and there is a need to make sure that the VLE is better or on par with traditional classroom methods used.

“I spend a lot of time creating technology that was unnecessary, because you have the same procedure in class, whereby instead of using computers, you use pens and pencils because that is part of technology too ,” he said.

He said that it was all “just a matter of enriching the experience of the students”.

As for the level of students who can utilise the VLEs, he said that it relates more to the learning styles they want to use for their education.

“Nowadays, you have people who are learning at 40 to 50 years old. It’s all about the preference they need during learning. If they prefer using motor skills, motions would be recommended, such as learning from videos,” he said. He also said that technology can both complement as well as enhance the learning and teaching experience. Although technology is enhancing to a certain extent, he said that he does not see technology replacing classroom education.

“If the technology is there, it might hinder the learning, then it really defeats the purpose of learning itself,” he said.

He added, “I would say any learning system would benefit from the technology, provided the technology does not overtake the learning system”. The lecture was given during the 14th International Conference on Education held at Universiti Brunei Darussalam which ended on May 24. (SHR1)The Brunei Times

Some of these views are still applicable though a lot has changed in the past 6 years as VLEs increasingly and perilously teeter towards being academic panopticons. Interestingly, 2014 witnessed the reconsideration of the chalk and talk method and how we have been quick to discount the good elements of the traditional classroom.