Part 2: Become a Wakelet superstar!

While attending a session, I tried to self-study the materials in Wakelet. Normally, I would write my own notes like I did when I self-studied materials for MyDigitalEducator@MOHE program. But multitasking is too much, I guess, so my notes are less perfect.

When I took the Wakelet test, I did not score well. So, I did not get the certificate or badge. I have to try it again.

Moral of the story: Even though it is self-study mode, but I should take note.

Part 1: Become a Wakelet superstar!

I received this email from Wakelet to offer a training session to become a Wakelet superstar. We will be given a badge if we complete the training (plus evaluation). It is interesting! But when I looked at my existing schedule even on weekends, I was stumped by how packed my weekends (this weekend, especially). With a tuition class, a two-day workshop (which I can only attend on Saturday) and a wedding organised by my cousin, I feel I need to slow down, take a pause and reflect.

Perhaps I need a valid distraction like this Wakelet training as I really need to upskill my technology knowledge. I was excited to just start the training when I received a message from my colleague, asking me to replace her for something. Can I use this Wakelet training as an excuse? A dilemma indeed.

There are six modules (including one assessment). It is self-directed study. In each module (five modules), there are more than three materials that we have to self-study.

The Wakelet training could enhance my knowledge in using Wakelet, but the thing that I have to attend is just ________________ (fill in the blank).

We’ve created a self-paced online course that will train you to become a Wakelet pro and help you share the magic of Wakelet with your learning community. The course takes around 30 minutes, and if you pass, you’ll get an official Wakelet Certified Certificate and badge that you can show off to the world! ” (this is taken from the email that I received)

The 30 minutes are for pros. I am not in that category yet.

Part 8 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: Final evaluation before the real one

The deadline for final evaluation before the “real” one is 29 July 2022. My mentor started to evaluate each of us by looking at the materials, activities and assessments in the Moodle one by one. It took him quite a while to check all of our works.

He gave us a prompt reply using WhatsApp. The comments that I received are: 1) Add information relating to the duration of the module, learning mode, targeted learners and requirement of prior knowledge and (2) Add self introduction.

When I created the welcoming remark video, I just mentioned my name. It was insufficient. Alhamdulillah I use Genially, so I just rerecord again the specific slide. I rewrote the script for the video after Subuh and rerecorded that part again while waiting for a sharing session with one of the members in my group.

In a panicky mode, we need extra assistance from each other and in this case, peer support does help to manage our anxiety. Indeed.

Micro credential? What’s that?

I have attended several sessions of briefing about micro credential. It is interesting, but I am not just into it. Why? This is a good example of commodification of knowledge. When I learned about the concept of commodification of knowledge 20 years ago, I could not imagine how it can be actualized but my mentor could foresee it. Reading his works again recently makes me feel scared because the reality is in front of me now. It is daunting.

Having a first hand experience of crafting a simple module for MyDigitalEducator thingy makes me ask myself again “Do I have what it takes to do this?” I am really struggling. I promise myself that I would no longer spend my weekends on creating videos and whatsnot as I am starting to have English tuition classes again starting this July. It is a little project, no grant, no official letter but it is an honor bestowed upon me by the school to make a little difference (if you may call that). I am not an English major but a stint at school for a year was resulted in me having lots of teaching materials that I crafted on my own. I enjoy doing that!

The teachers know and recognize that I am the best person to teach the tuition classes using my materials. Ita said “Kak, bahan yang banyak kau buat dulu tu, kau buat apa sekarang? Kak Imah tanya nak buat lagi tak kelas tuisyen sebab sekarang ni dah macam sebelum PKP. Tak ketat. Hari Jumaat atau Sabtu boleh tak? Budak-budak batch ni ramai yang B40. Tak mampu nak ada cikgu tuisyen yang berbayar macam dulu tu. Budak-budak tu dah tau kau akan ajar mereka. Diorang dah excited” Ita does know my weakest link.

To be honest, I need this in restoring my decreasing faith in myself.

Part 7 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: How important mentoring sessions are to scaffold one’s learning?

Lev Vygotsky proposed that learning is a process which needs social supports from individuals around a person such as parents, peers, and teachers. However, the social support does not stop there, it could be provided and found from society, community etc. at large. In this sense, social supports enable an individual to learn information and skills through the help, guidance and support of a more informed, knowledgeable individual. This is what scaffolding means. According to Vygotsky’s proposition, when individuals who are learning something new receive the support that they need, they will have better chance in understanding and mastering the knowledge or skills that they learn independently in the future.

 For the MyDigitalEducator program, even though I feel overwhelmed with the demands of the program, but I remind myself to take one thing at a time. Having a mentor who closely monitors our progress does help even though some might feel suffocated. In our group, there are some of us who decided to drop from the program due to various unforeseen reasons and circumstances.

This program is demanding in a way that we have to ensure the materials that we develop is not just good enough, but perfect (or almost perfect) to be showcased to others. This is not easy. “Janji buat, janji siap” adage is not applicable in this sense. Being me, I know well better that rather than doing something just for the sake of doing (Janji buat), I would rather not wasting myself to do it on a first place. So, once I have decided to do something, I will commit to it until its completion.

Some colleagues say “Ala, janji siap sudahlah”. I no longer feel annoyed hearing that from them, but if my students ever say that, they will know (or later find out) what I will do.

I am blessed to have a mentor who is willing to sacrifice long hours and even weekends to have mentoring sessions with us. May Allay grant him the best rewards for his efforts.

Part 6 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: I am not alone

There are more than five colleagues from my faculty who are also in this MyDigitalEducator program. But I only discuss ideas with a few of them. Having these few individuals who share their ups and downs with me, makes me feel more confident and motivated to finish the materials needed for the module. It is not easy but I know that I can always discuss things with those who are in the same journey as me.

There are also colleagues from different faculties who I exchange ideas with. We had a few WebEx sessions. I learn to create video using Canva from one of them. She also showed me how to use Quizlet. She mentioned Prof Dr Azidah Abu Ziden from USM. There is a module which Prof Azidah created which is in the MOHE module. I googled her and found few more videos that she has created or she was an invited facilitator.

Some might wonder why do I have time to create this post even though I have limited time to edit my videos. Chill ok? I need to capture this moment as it happens. What I want to emphasize is when doing the materials of this module, I learn a lot about myself and others. I also learn about the importance to unlearn, learn and relearn things or upskilling. It is time consuming. No doubt about that. But it is important for me to push myself to learn video making, craft teaching materials and activities using various platforms (even though I have to subscribe to some of the platforms) and assess my own current skills.

I show some of the videos to former students. As a role model, I know that I need to be competent and thus, be able to teach and guide students accordingly. One of the students said “Dr, don’t you feel bored and tired to learn new things?” I replied “To stay relevant, we have to learn new things every day. If it is not much, at least we learn one or two things every day. Try not to miss any chance of learning new things everyday. But, I learn things according to my ability and stay in the state of flow as proposed by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi. Even though I set my own standard and deadline, I welcome feedback from others. I only feel bored and pressured when people who do not have the skills to make video but force me to do something for them“. This student asked “Does anyone can force you to do things for them?” I just relied “Welcome to ________ (fill in the blank) environment workplace”.

Part 5 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: Video making is challenging but May Allah ease the process

The clock is ticking. Indeed. There will be another round of internal evaluation by my mentor on 29 July 2022 (Friday). He said that we will be given two days to edit or improve our teaching materials and resubmit again by 31 July 2022 (Sunday). Seeing him so concerned and patience in guiding us to complete the materials, I feel that I should not let him down by not giving my best shot. Since there is an ongoing renovation going on nearby, I need to do something to record two videos with no unnecessary background sound aka drilling etc. We don’t want the videos to have such background sound, isn’t it? Unless we want to “pass” the migraine that I have to those who will use the videos (tongue in cheek remarks!) How can I avoid “the noise”?

My solution: I came early. I arrived at UTM before 7am. Alhamdulillah, the traffic was smooth. I woke up a bit early to prepare bento (I plan to complete the two videos as soon as possible before the renovation guys come to work). I remember that my friend told me that we have to prepare a story board and script. I already prepared it yesterday despite having migraine (not as severe as the previous day). I also have prepared the slides in Genially yesterday. I showed it to one of the colleagues who is also in the same MyDigitalEducator program. She gave some comments and ideas on how to improve it as she is used to create videos etc. She is an expert as compared to me but I know it is a phase and with her assistance, I learn some tips and tricks.

She does not use Genially but Canva. Well, Canva has similar features but I am not used to its features. At this time, I have limited time to explore and learn new things as I need to finish these two videos today (to be exact before 5pm). Honestly, I am still exploring the video making features in Genially, so I need to focus my attention and spend time to learn the features.

Also, I need at least one or two days to edit the videos. I plan to submit the teaching materials before Friday. I have a tuition class on every Friday so I do not think that I have time to edit the teaching materials on Friday.

I use Genially to create one of the videos. It is a trial and error method of solving problem. But since I have limited time to find videos in YouTube and whatsnot, so I just focus on try out some features and see the output. Alhamdulillah Genially has the preview features so, I can always immediately preview it. At the moment, I already share the link of Genially in the MOHE moodle. So whatever changes that I make in Genially, I do not have to change anything in the Moodle. This is the only way to save time.

Apache Tomcat

I came early. I arrived before 7am because I want to finish key-in marks and preparing the the CAR in OBE. But what I find is this notification which indicates too many active sessions. So, what is the point of me arriving so early at UTM and cannot get access to the system whereas it seems so many are using the GSMS while at home? I rest my case.

Part 4 – MyDigital EDUCATOR@MOHE program: First internal evaluation

Having a passionate mentor is like having a gyutou knife. It is a dream to have one but it can cause serious injury too with its sharpness. A learner who is like me who needs extra time and lots of efforts to master learning new things can be a nightmare for any passionate mentor. My mentor had decided to have a quick evaluation before we submitted our materials (deadline is on 30th July 2022). Even though he is not feeling well yesterday, but he made a point to have one-to-one session with us. I was the third person to be evaluated. So after seeing the first two people getting their feedback, I know how serious my mentor is.

When it was my turn, I showed him the downloadable checklist first before I showed him my lesson plan and materials in MOHE moodle. He gave constructive feedbacks which I would use to implement. One of the feedbacks is I should omit the links to the materials in the checklist. His justification is students will use the links in the checklist without accessing moodle. My thought is still in the MCO mode in which I used to give such checklist to students who had difficulty to access elearning. This module is not for such students. I overlook this aspect.

The second feedback that he gave is I should use embed display setting for the materials. I tried it several times to no avail. This is one good example of a struggle that I have to overcome. I will try to watch again the related videos to learn about this. A quick solution would be to bug one of my friends to teach me (she gave a talk before about elearning stuff and she knows elearning better than me).

Another thing that he suggested is to have an opening or welcoming video with a short instruction. I am thinking to use Genially with the voice recorded mode. I need to learn to do that. I have tried once but I am not satisfied with the recorded video. My laptop is a bit slow when converting video to MP4 so using an online video recorded video is an option that I have to consider as the only option now.

I lamented to one of the seniors. He advised me “Just do the things within your ability. If you have to learn something new, learn at your own pace. If somebody pressure you to do something that beyond your ability, just ignore it. Just ignore it until it is no longer relevant. But if you must do it and do not have any other choice, just deal with it“. With a chuckle he said “Masa tu la nak pening kepala“.

I try to convince myself that this is just a phase. Indeed. But I am starting to feel helpless. This is not good. Knowing the severity of learned helplessness, I need to do something to avoid myself falling into that situation.

Note: What is learned helplessness? It is a term coined by Martin Seligman and Steven Maier to describe a condition that occurs when we face uncontrollable situation continuously (repeatedly) and despite our best efforts to find solution, we face failures or negative outcomes. This will lead us to stop trying to change the circumstances or the situations even when we have the ability to do so. In this case, our judgment about our ability is being clouded by the negative assessment of our efforts based on the negative outcomes of the uncontrollable situations.