Education has been severely disrupted due to the pandemic, but this accelerated the adoption of digital learning with teachers using technology to engage with students at home. To help with this effort, the Ministry of Education has collaborated with tech giants Google, Microsoft and Apple to revamp its year-old digital learning platform DELIMa.
The platform is said to offer applications and services to teachers and students for digital learning. Each teacher and student will be provided with a user ID that enables them to access services such as Google Classroom, Microsoft 365 and Apple Teacher Learning Centre.
Speaking during the virtual launch of DELIMa, Education director-general Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim said the revamp was done to bring together the multiple services and applications from the three tech giants as a single experience for teaching and learning online.
It comes down to a matter for choice for educators as they can opt to use Google Classroom to create classes, distribute assignments and communicate with students. Those who are more familiar with Microsoft Office can use Microsoft 365 as it grants students and teachers access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Microsoft Teams.
Likewise, Apple’s Teacher Learning Centre offers a similar set of tools to educators granting them productivity tools like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, GarageBand and iMovie.
DELIMa will also provide teachers and students access to additional content from the National Library, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), UNICEF and Digi. This would include digital books, media and material on topics such as cybersecurity.
The MOE said it has encouraged teachers and students to use DELIMa, which stands for “Digital Education Learning Initiative Malaysia”, since the onset of the Movement Control Order on 16 March. According to the MOE, DELIMa has an average of 1.7 million monthly active users to-date, encompassing 10,000 schools, 370,000 teachers and 2.5 million students in its system.
With physical schooling still not possible for many students, the MOE said it wants to ensure all students can access education through multiple platforms at home as not all students have the same access to technology. While some may be able to do remote learning via laptops or desktop computers there may be others that only have access to smartphones.
To address this, Dr Habibah said teachers are adopting a hybrid learning approach using a combination of apps to distribute homework and activities. This includes the use of Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams to coordinate classes online and WhatsApp and Telegram to communicate with those who don’t have access to computers.
Dr Habibah added that she was encouraged to see innovative teachers begin to create YouTube videos and activities for learning. She hopes that more teachers will create, collaborate and share through the platform.
“The goal is to empower and to prepare students for lifelong learning and future skills and competencies that they need to be employable everywhere,” she said.