This is part of a series of Educator in Tech profiles, where we capture and share inspirational journeys and words of advice from educators who teach coding or use it to engage students in the classrooms.
In Brunei, a typical classroom setting may still revolve around textbooks and teachers guiding their classes using a whiteboard. But Abdul Walid Misli believes in the transformative power of technology to make lessons more interesting and to better connect with students.
A teacher at Puni Primary School, Walid is always exploring ways that technology can be integrated into the classroom as a learning tool. Besides teaching English and Science, he took up the mantle of motivating young children to learn Computer Science.
Walid said, “I think it's important for students to be exposed to a wide variety of technologies, and let them understand that computers are meant for more than just fun and games. The sense of achievement they gain from using technology can help spark greater curiosity in what they're learning, and help them focus on the skills they need to acquire.”
Recently, Walid adopted the use of Skype in the Classroom to enable his students to communicate with young people in other schools and in other countries, helping them pick up new skills by literally “going beyond” the classroom.
He explained, “Using Skype enabled my students to practise their language and communication skills by interacting with others. One of our projects involved connecting with a school based in Taiwan. My students gained much confidence in holding a conversation in English, while the project also forged friendships and a meaningful cultural exchange between the two schools.”
Apart from Skype, Walid taught his students how to conduct academic research via the Internet, and he hopes to have more opportunities to adopt new teaching methods. As part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) programme, he recently took part in an event where he gained valuable insights into innovative educational practices.
“The event exposed me to many different teaching strategies and approaches available. There is still so much that we can do with technology. I’m really excited to try these out in my classroom and help my students unlock their full potential!” Walid said.
What's next for Walid? He aims to introduce more students in Brunei to technology skills such as coding, which he sees as an important means to enhance their creativity and problem solving approach. And, encourage more schools and fellow educators to make it happen!