** This article was published in THE EDGE DAILY , April 26, 2021

1. Teaching started orally. Then came writing and reading. Teaching became easier. This was followed by books written by experts.

2. All this while teaching depends on teachers. They guide the students, explaining, questioning and answering.

3. But today we have the technology for recording and playback. The teachings by the best teachers can be recorded and played back repeatedly, the whole lesson or parts of it. These can be shown on the screen or on the wall for the whole class to see. Graphs and diagrams can be shown. The expert teacher can explain every part of the lesson. The class teacher can guide, stop the video, reverse it, listen to the expert teachers explaining repeatedly through the recording. The whole lesson can be shown repeatedly and the explanations listened to.

4. The graphs and illustrations would be explained by the recording teacher. The illustrations will be graphic and animated. The picture can be exploded (enlarged) so as to show the parts and how they are put together to form the whole product. The class teacher need not be answering question or explain the whole lesson.

5. With a good teacher recording the lessons on video with illustrations and animation, all the students from all the schools in the country will get the benefit of being taught by the same teachers.

6. This sort of instructions are already available on our computer. You can learn anything you may be interested in. You can learn how to cook anything you like – Malay, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Western recipes. You can produce wood carvings, assemble an engine, take it to pieces, build a house, or an airplane, or a drone etc. etc. You can learn any language, hear the correct pronunciations, hear video characters talking and even answering questions. The recording can be interactive. Like the text-books, the lessons will be prepared by the best teachers and every student will get the benefit.

7. It is about time we switch to recorded video lessons produced by the best teachers in the country and abroad (for English language, science and mathematics in English).

8. Teachers in classrooms would still be needed. But their task is to guide the students as they follow the lessons on the screen prepared by the best teachers. There would be no difference caused by the varying skills of the different teachers as we find now. In fact, as the class teacher guides the students, he himself or herself would learn more. The problems faced or the reaction of the students can be noted by the class teacher and conveyed to the expert teachers who had prepared the lessons. Improvements or corrections can be made. And all the corrections can be put into the lessons for the whole country to benefit.

9. As with the Youtube application, the particular subject can be accessed by typing the desired word. The search would be simple for anything the class wants to know. You do not have to search as in a library. All you have to do would be to type the word.

10. This system is especially useful for teaching languages. For English there is no longer a need to find good teachers. The English language course is available now. One can learn English by following the course. However, I must admit that reading books is still very important for learning the English language. The more books you read the more will you master the way English is spoken. It is not about stringing words together correctly. It is about knowing the phrases the English speakers use.

11. Thus instead of saying “It is raining heavily” the English would say, “It is raining cats and dogs”. Time is expressed by saying “Much water has flowed under the bridge”.

12. When reading a novel, you will come across these phrases. You don’t have to memorise them. If you read a lot you will come across the correct phrases often during your reading. And you will remember them because you are familiar with them.

13. We need to change the way we teach. The new technology will make teaching and learning much easier. I hope Malaysia would think about this idea. Remember the text books. They are written by the best teachers. They help the class teachers to understand and to teach. The electronically recorded lessons prepared by the best teachers are even better than books.

14. We accepted books when they were introduced. We should now accept electronically recorded lessons because they are even better than books.

15. Actually, most of these has somewhat been “forced” upon us due to the pandemic.

16. It had to a degree propelled us to a modern and contemporary way of teaching.

17. All we need to do is to explore and update our methods and keep abreast with the rapidly changing technology.

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