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Teachers On TikTok Are Taking Virtual Learning To The Next Level

Teachers On TikTok Are Taking Virtual Learning To The Next Level

TikTok sees rise in educational content and launches campaign to appreciate teachers.

Anne Dorall

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As our country practiced social distancing guidelines over the past year and adopted home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) over several periods of time, the nation’s teachers had to adapt to a new medium of teaching and look for more creative ways to engage their students. For many teachers, TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile videos, became a surprise tool that allowed them to deliver educational content in an easily understandable manner and win the hearts of students nationwide – one sticker challenge at a time.

With most people confined to digital means for their work and education needs, 2020 saw the rise of the ‘micro-learning’ trend where people sought out bite-sized learning content to consume at their convenience. This was when the locally-driven #TikTokGuru hashtag saw an explosive growth in traction and became one of the top hashtags in Malaysia of 2020 with over 4.5 billion views. In just under a year, 10,000 #TikTokGuru videos were created by educators who wanted to share their knowledge and make learning fun.

Sir Asai’s short TikTok videos help students learn English easily.
(Credit: TikTok)

Of the various educational topics, Mathematics was the most popular category with teachers such as Fathi Hussein or @mathsanova recording up to 200k views per video as he broke down various math problems in an easy and engaging manner. Language educators such as Sir Asai or @sir_asai have seen similar success and even helped to popularise a spinoff hashtag challenge #EnglishCheck.

Is it possible to learn math on TikTok?

Debbie Soh Kim Lian, also known as @cikgudebbie, is a math teacher from Pusat Tuisyen Sohor Shah Alam who observed that students’ passion for learning decreased after the pandemic as schools were closed and they had lesser face-to-face communication with teachers and their friends. There was also a period of adjustment during the initial days of the MCO and not all students had a conducive at-home learning environment. 

@cikgudebbie

Free 2 markah. #spm #kssm #student #fyp #tiktokguru #learnontiktok #jombelajar #tuition #maths #tutorial #simple

♬ original sound – cikgudebbie

She took to TikTok a year ago without knowing much about the app beyond that there was a huge audience of students on it and was pleasantly surprised to discover the creative format of the videos made learning fun and motivated students to explore and engage further. 

E-learning removed geographical obstacles and my videos were able to reach many students from various parts of Malaysia compared to a traditional classroom. I never expected my Math videos could actually help students pass and get better grades, just by watching them on TikTok.

Cikgu Debbie Soh on how the platform helped her reach her students
Cikgu Debbie teaches math to students through the app.
(Credit: TikTok)

What about science?

Norhailmi Abdul Mutalib, on TikTok as @cikguhailmi, a science teacher at SMK Jerlun in Kedah also explored TikTok after he was worried that students might miss out on learning time due to the switch to e-learning. He observed that while everyone, from teachers to students and parents, were taken offguard by the pandemic, they quickly adapted to the changes the education system faced.

@cikguhailmi

Yeay baru sampai. Awak belajar Kimia tak dulu? 🤩 ##kimia ##periodictable ##acrylics ##tiktokguru

♬ Anugerah – Muhammad 🦋

Norhailmi discovered from his students that the younger generation was interested in TikTok with its fast-paced and shortform videos, and decided to try out the platform. He soon found that TikTok was able to effectively attract students’ attention and keep them engaged with learning. 

Norhailmi explained that TikTok allowed him to be more flexible in his teaching and cater content to a wider audience.

Watch science experiments straight from your phone!
(Credit: TikTok)

I am using TikTok for educational purposes through two types of approaches. The first is to create interactive science content that complements school lessons by using interesting features in TikTok such as trending sounds, effects and stickers. The second is to ask High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions for students to think critically during their lessons.

Cikgu Norhailmi on teaching through TikTok
Cikgu Norhailmi keeps his TikTok fresh so that students will stay interested.
(Credit: TikTok)

Cikgu jaga cikgu

As teachers started recognising the potential of TikTok as a learning tool, Norhailmi and a group of other teachers decided to collaborate and created a telegram group named EduTikTok Malaysia to support other educators who are exploring TikTok as an alternative teaching platform. The teachers would trade advice and share their best practices so that other teachers were able to replicate it based on their own localities. 

Debbie and Norhailmi are only two of the many selfless educators who are shaping the future of our nation through their passion and commitment. To give gratitude to the educators of Malaysia, TikTok Malaysia is hosting the #SelamatHariGuru campaign this month to spotlight the best teachers in our lives.

From 21 May to 6 June 2021, TikTok users can spotlight their favourite teacher with the #SelamatHariGuru hashtag and share their appreciation to the dedicated teachers who supported continuity of education despite the pandemic. TikTok Malaysia will also run the Anugerah #TikTokGuru awards to crown the most inspiring educator on the platform. Teachers just have to continue sharing educational content on TikTok under the #TikTokGuru hashtag and they will stand a chance to win special Education Kits with tools and tips that can level up their teaching game.

As the success of #TikTokGuru has proven, TikTok has the potential to become a limitless classroom in your palm and a great tool to supplement your everyday learning needs. Download or open the TikTok app now and keep on learning with #TikTokGuru.

TikTok is available for free on iOS and Android via the Apple Store and Google Play Store respectively.


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