Training for Educators in Indonesia is growing significantly as we are developing our school & curriculum system with our new ministry of education.
This is the best time for Indonesian education to step out their comfort zone to absorb a lot of relevant and fast-developing education trends. As we can see, we have a lot of teachers, students, administrators, education enthusiast training, seminar, workshop which discuss many different topics from curriculum, educational technology, national exam, and many more.
This is good signal for our educational quality improvement. However, We don’t just want to create something that are eventual, but we want to initiate changes that are sustainable and continuous which not only support educators needs at the event, but also after the events. This is several challenges that we need to overcome to design sustainable educators’ training in Indonesia.
1. Educator’s Passive Mindset
In most training, Indonesian educators often become an object of training which are pushed to absorb a lot of new thinking, knowledge, and skills. Educators sometimes are seen as blank paper who just need to sit, listen, and learn everything from the trainers. One way communication from trainers to educators made educators made us simply as someone who just need to practice what have been taught and designed by trainers. Just do what Trainers said and everything will be fine. In reality, that’s never happen. After training, we face a lot of challenges and problems to implement what we have learned. Then at that time, we are alone because we have no sustainable follow ups after training because we have no connection and support from the trainers, right? At the end, we become inferior teachers and lack of confident to learn and implement new technology.
Encourage Educators’ Engagement.
We are not simply trainer’s object. We are not blank paper. We should not only simply listen and do what trainers said.
We should be active subject of the training. We should reveal our true background and needs. We should listen, share, and modify what we have learned contextually.
This is absolutely not easy but I think it’s worth a try. We need to involve our training participants to learn, share, inspire & empower each other by becoming volunteers, trainers, and planning team. By involving them into the training, you listen to their needs, explore their diverse opinion and perspectives, and engage them actively into developing what we learn in the training and form sustainable communication and collaboration.
Believe me, Trainers should also learn from their training participants through feedback, discussion, and presentation. Building sustainable collaboration is one of the best ways to motivate each others.
How do we create sustainable participation and collaboration?
1. Open for trainers team, planning team and volunteers team before the workshop:
Google Forms is one of the best way to BLAST the registration stuff.
2. Follow up educators who are interested to learn, share, and support the training.
Send them Email, add their G+/Social Media, Hangout with them to know their passion and interest, Learn and share from their contextual perspectives, and support each other.
3. Share your plan, ideas, and resources for training. Ask their ideas & opinion.
Blast your resources using Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms) via Email.
4. Run the next training TOGETHER as a team & acknowledge them.
Build Google Sites and put their name and contribution on the sites. Use Google Drawing to design their certificate of Appreciation/Participation to value their contribution. Actively collaborate with them to build resource & support center .
5. Interactive sustainable support and communication
Maintain dynamic two ways of communication to amplify your participants’ voice. Use Google Docs as participants worksheet that could be easily shared to anyone, Use Google Forms to collect their background knowledge and feedback before and after the event, Encourage collaboration among participants by designing slides that consist their action plan for their school. Use Google Hangout to check each other learning progress and motivate each other.
2. No-Resources Center
Print, copy, and paper had always crucial part of training. We used a lot of hard copy to:
1. Schedule of event
2. Registration Form
4. Material Presentation
5. Additional Information/Resources
6. Post Event Survey
You can imagine how much paper we printed out just for one training for all participants.
Easily broken, lost, difficult to access and share, and of course NOT Go Green. Then, it’s actually not SUSTAINABLE because all paper & print work only for you and yourself. How about the others?
How do we create easy, effective, and efficient Resource Center?
We need to ONE STOP SERVICE which enable participants, trainers, and everyone to put everything there. Therefore, we need to have online resource center that could be easily accessed, maintained, and shared.
1.Google Sites is one of the best ways to keep all the resources together because you can:
2.Put schedule of event and embed it to Google Sheets.
3.Embed Registration Form & Post Event Survey using Google Forms.
4.Provide online worksheet using Personal Google Docs.
5.Share Presentation Materials at your Google Slides
6.Prepare 1 Public Google Drive folder so the participants can involve to learn & share with you.
Here’s example of Google Sites where you I put every training materials there:
3. Lack of Technology Infrastructure
Slow and unstable internet access & technology is common problem in Indonesian education. It’s really BIG problems here which sometimes discourage educators to get a lot of meaningful opportunities to learn, share, and collaborate. It’s also hinder teachers to learn technology because they have lack of technology infrastructure at school. No support. No facility. That’s it.
How do we facilitate the effectiveuses of technology?
1. Start using simple technology.
Don’t wait until your government improve your internet speed then you learn. Let’s start creating something small from our current technology. If it’s possible to communicate Video Chat, use other things to communicate. I believe Hangout, Facebook, and Whatsup chat still could be used to facilitate communication and collaboration.
2. Inspired creative uses of limited technology
We need to have meetups, workshop, training, and chats about how we can uses limited internet access and technology facility to start innovation in education. Just always remember, we need to make training very contextual so if the situation is not supporting, find other topics that we can easily implement in Indonesia.
3. Change Mindset Technology as Learning Tools.
Don’t teach educators to depend on technology and make technology become learning outcomes. Technology IS NOT our ending goals. They are just tools. Bring back the focus of training to encourage educators use technology for tools achieving simple goals for better education.
4. Collaborate to start Changes
In the end, we need to push to make our internet and technology better. Find partners, sponsors, government, and people who can support your infrastructure needs by collaboration. It’s time to open ourselves to start a change for Indonesian education. Collaborate with different schools & institutions would be the most brilliant ideas !
4. Cultural Barriers
Language & cultural barrier is often happened when the trainers/participants come from very diverse background (multiple countries). We have different perspectives and interpretation on how we see our education and class. The lack of language skills have caused trainer and trainee do not understand each other. Sometimes, the topic become too abstract and the approach is fail because it’s only fit with certain types of cultural context. The different cultural context often hinder educators from getting the applicable things they can do at their school. It caused them to learn theory without never practicing it at their local needs.
So should we only learn from the people with the same culture? Absolutely not!
We should open our mind (both trainers & trainee) to learn from each other !
How do we bridge this cultural barriers?
1. Understand Each Other language & culture.
Trainer & trainee need to learn similarities and differences among the school background and needs. I have to admit we need to learn the language and culture so that we could understand people better. The trainee need to learn English but at the same time I think trainer should also learn our local language to make it more contextual. This is how we build Empathy to understand each other.
2. Start simple & small communication
Practice small and simple is the key. Forming Google+ Communities and other Social media for facilitating discussion and resources sharing will be great ideas to learn from each other. Communicate using personal chat/hangout and Gmail would also be great to keep sustainable interaction with teachers from different culture. Follow each other social media like Google+ and update our cultural stuff and local education issues would be great start to connect people. Then, Hangout video chat would be fantastic ways to grow confidence among teachers to learn and share from each other.
3. Initiate Collaborative Action
In the long run, educators from different culture and background should initiate creative & collaborative simple action. Start online tweetchat, resources center, blog, collaborative workshop would be amazing opportunity to overcome your cultural barrier. If we have specific target together as a team, I think we will be motivated to maintain sustainable communication among the people. This is exactly what happen to me and Craig in which we start small simple action to lead Google Educator Group events together from our unique two different cultural perspectives.
In the end, I always believe the committed educator’s great hunger and passion to learn and share will overcome our biggest challenges in Indonesian education training:
1. Passive Mindset
3. Limited technology access
4. Cultural barriers
1.Appreciating people with active engagement and communication,
2.Starting online collaborative resources
3.Spreading simple uses of technology for learning, and
4.Initiating interaction that lead to action
will cultivate sustainable learning and training experiences for life-long learner educators in Indonesia.
Let’s reimagine the way we do training for educators!