Photo by Filios Sazeides on Unsplash

It’s safe to say that gamification has become a cliché in education over the past ten years thanks to the increasing call to make learning “fun”. Or are we actually “making fun” of learning?

Drawing the essense from game-based learning (learning driven through games which may or may not be developed for learning purposes), gamification in its simplistic understanding is the use game elements (game mechanics) in non-game contexts. …

Photo by Jordan Encarnacao on Unsplash

I know how it feels when as a(n) teacher/educator, you are losing more control than ever, due to the need for remote/online teaching. In fact, students are feeling the pain too. Engagement, as much as we want to “pretend it’s all good”, is a huge challenge in a culture of distractions especially when those distractions occur at home.

But mind you, these distractions are not merely about “being lazy to get Internet access” or “students would rather watch Netflix”, we are actually in a period where financial and family issues are affecting more people than ever. …

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

I know I have repeated this many times, but we have to accept the fact that the shift to 100% online learning was made at a very short notice although it is nothing “new” in terms of tools and implementation. Schools and insitutitons of learning have been introduced to the same tools for quite some time, in some sense they are just repackaged in a different form (fancier to appeal to pandemic panickers I guess). Plus, we have been talking about 21st-century learning pedagogies and future-ready curriculum for some years now. In fact, what is “new” is the change of…

Credits: Chirapond Eyan (My ex-student who took a course with me in 2015)

“If it matters to you, you’ll always find a way”

The reason why I begin my post with a photo of my ex-student Chirapond Eyan is because she is a perfect example of the quote above. The photo was a screenshot of her video sent to me via WhatsApp as part of the 1-minute speaking activities that I told my students to do during the mid-semester break. It was just to help them improve their confidence in using the English language on a daily basis. As you can see, she recorded the video at her kampung, surrounded by trees with…

Photo: Lucasfilm / Disney

It was about 20 years ago when I ventured into online learning by creating the first forum-based community for my school. Backed by only a 128Kbps-connection at that time, regular updates and discussions were held although not many were able to participate — in fact there were only like 50 of us out of hundreds. But the learning community thrived and we were able to even connect with other students from other parts of Malaysia and around the world. We benefitted, but only a handful of us.

That was the beginning of the mantra “Online learning is going to change…

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

It’s not really accurate to say how students can do online banking, online shopping, but can’t do the same for online learning. Why? Banking and shopping are optional things, which they can choose not to do when there is no access.

But when you say online learning is the only way, you’re technically making it compulsory, hence students (especially those without proper connectivity at home) will be left out. They will be frustrated by the fact that they couldn’t load certain materials/content properly or participate actively. Even now I have received text messages from students in remote areas that say…

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

It was a disappointing day to begin with, when many ditched your class for something else that they thought were more worthy of their time and efforts. It strikes me a lot this semester, knowing very well, I am no longer the educator I used to be. My passion in teaching is still there, my willingness to spend hours in designing learning activities is still there and my eagerness to see positive changes in students’ progress is still there. But somehow, something is lacking. That “spark” that I constantly cling onto, is missing.

And today is the day, I received…


It used to be easy
to go through each day
to thrive joyfully
to end with "Okay".

It used to be illegal
to put things on hold
to survive with minimal
to close with "So-so".

But life teaches us well
to place values in happiness
to seal greed and envy in the cell
to cherish with gratefulness.

So, let go of the clueless dream
that was never yours to begin
as time allows you to redeem
the passion that lies within.

Photo by Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash

You sat alone, searching
for something to hold on
for someone to whisper
“Carry on”.

Your solitary thoughts
tangled with doubts
of a path with no ending
and so unforgiving.

Yet, you must not let go
of your fragile hands
even if your strength is low
even if nobody understands.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

You were so quick
to defend who
you pretended to be.
Every flaw you picked
every hope you slew
pure signs of insecurity.

You were so quick
to judge without
a glimpse of empathy.
Every soul you tricked
every word you shouted
was a death penalty.

You were so quick
to be on a mission
to hide your inability
to kill your own wrong
of egoistic self,

Yet, I’m rising strong.

Chuah Kee Man

A striver by choice, a survivor by chance. Educator | Researcher | Coffee Addict #unimas #edtech #elearning

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store