By Joanna Gough

The revolutionary tool that is going to change the way teachers interact

Thursday April 26: It’s 3.10 a.m. here. And I’m up with my spicy chicken burger watching a YouTube video of how gender is formed. From this 10-minute animated video I’ve come to understand that l actually have very little knowledge of how chromosomes determine us as human beings. Yes of course I knew there were x and y chromosomes but did you know that the queen of ants has male concubines at her service and that is the only way another queen is born. If she laid eggs they are but another male ant. Slaves by the look of it. And did you know that the Ocellaris fish (Clownfish Nemo) are all male until they mature later and turn into ‘girls’? http://ed.ted.com was teaching me about science. Science that was way beyond what I learnt in the classroom. It was teaching me about LIFE and how knowledge relates to it.

I skipped to subjects on Design, Technology & Engineering. There I found that there was this African American woman, from South Bronx, speaking about ‘Greening the Ghetto’. She spoke about Economics, Research on Social Prejudices and Discrimination that influences the way they live their lives. She was trying her very best to bring her poor Community Neighbourhood the best she could give because she has a big heart. It shows how Design, Technology, without Governmental help in small doses, CAN change the way we live for the better.

I skipped to the subject of Mathematics, I learnt about the Universes, How Folding Paper can get you to the moon and Data Visualization.

ipoh echo issue 143, Ed.Ted.com, joanna goughFascinating Ideas

You’re probably going to question and say that Education is not a 2 or 10-minute video clip, and I completely agree. It’s not about a 2-minute video or a 10-minute video but these videos that I watched at 3.00 a.m., were SO HIGHLY fascinating, that the first thing after the video, I googled. From there I Read, I Searched, I Formulated Ideas and now know much more about the Universe, NASA and Urban & Sustainable Living than I did 30 minutes earlier. Imagine: How else would you get me to be interested in the genetic chromosome mutations of mammals, insects, reptiles and fish?

ipoh echo issue 143, Ed.Ted.com, joanna goughCustomised Lessons

Revolutionary = Ed.Ted.com is TED’s new tool that lets teachers create customised lessons that revolve around web videos. Its Beta site launched in America recently. I immediately checked it out. This site allows for individualistic learning, breaking away from the classroom’s teacher. Students are able to follow at their own pace and study whatever interests them as they like without the limitation of age and years. Imagine a website that changes the way people think, communicate and learn.

As the Malaysian debate continues on education, I would strongly urge parents, PAGE (Parents Action Group for Education) and the public to go online and search the worldwide web with their children to learn about the interests of the world and take education into their own hands.

Check out sites such as http://www.openculture.com/ with free culture and educational information. Or Yale University’s http://oyc.yale.edu/ with their free and open access to Introductory Courses by distinguished teachers and scholars of Yale. Read about Astrophysics, Theories of Literature, Philosophy, Political Sciences and even Religious Studies.

I think it’s come to the realisation of many that the education system is not competitive. The Internet is at your fingertips. It’s time to surf it and Be Who You Want to Be (and not Who You Rely On.)

Here’s the Reality

School is but a social playground, excessive amounts of tuition classes teach you how to pass your examinations. But…who’s teaching you how to think?

As we progress into the 21st Century, we should now acknowledge that PPSMI as one way of changing our education system for the better, is now not the only way. Hack your Education. Make it Yours.

Joanna Gough is an Ipoh girl. She has ambitions to build the next generation of Thinkers. She plans to turn the city of Ipoh into a World of Possibilities’ by the year 2014. Go for it Joanna!

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