Coming to the second year of looking after the Ministry of Education’s educational videos streaming portal, www.eduwebtv.com reinforced my belief that our teachers are spoilt for choice in terms of teaching and learning materials from the internet. EduwebTV portal so far has assembled well over 3,000 education related videos covering news, curriculum, interviews, magazines and guides. The look and feel of the portal maybe a bit old and cumbersome but if we are revamping it this year.
Historically, eduwebtv is the continuation of the Educational TV (TV Pendidikan) that was introduced in 1972. With the advent of the internet, the Government decided to ride on the now ubiquitous technological vehicle as the medium to deliver content in place of terrestrial TV. Hence EduwebTv took the baton from TV Pendidikan in 2008. Many people still asked me how to log in into eduwebtv and how to register and is there any manual on how to use eduwebtv. On one hand this points to the fact that our promotions were not effective or people have not tried to enter the website. Just like using youtube, you do not have to register or log in to enter eduwebtv site. Just key in the address into your search browser, click and when the site appears, you are ready to use it as you like. No logging in, no ID, no password needed. All very simple. I do not suppose you need a manual to do that. You only need to register if you want to develop your playlist and upload your own materials.
As far as the statistics is concerned, we have still a long way to go to make eduwebtv the source for teaching and learning materials. Despite chalking almost 340 million hits over the last three years, the latest survey indicated that only about 56% use eduwebtv in teaching and learning for the past six months. Time spent on each visit averaging only about five minutes. I reckon, this indicated incidental visits rather than intentional.
The usual complaints that I heard from teachers that they have no time to use materials from eduwebtv for teaching and learning, the internet connection in school is bad and inconsistent, materials provided are not suitable for their students, or worse still they did not know the existence of eduwebtv. I accepted these comments in good faith and we endeavour to improve things this year. Having said that, for schools with the fibre optics connection or ADSL, I can’t see them complaining of bad connections. And of course they can access the site from homes or other places. Teachers have to prepare for their lessons and as a part of their preparations they have to look for materials to enable their students to understand the subject matter better. In my days, I used materials either in the form of realias or printed materials and we spent quite a bit of time, energy and money to prepare these materials. These days the sources from the internet are boundless. All you got to do just Google them and you’ll get them, be it texts, videos or audio. Of course one cannot rely entirely on computers in schools to do this. With limited number of terminals and high number of users definitely it is difficult to do it in schools. With internet penetration reaching 70% and broadband penetration reaching 55%, teachers have to do it away from schools, be it at their home or some other places. After all most people are slowly getting use to using the internet to do their dealings with the government. I cannot see any reason stopping teachers to use materials from the internet to aid their teaching and learning.
Electronic education content has been identified as one of the entry point project (EPP) under the NKEA. I am quite positive that more people would access eduwebtv in time to come. The true challenge is to provide quality content and to empower our teachers and students to use those contents.