Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Learning

As an online student…. in MITx’s 6.002x

From what that was my first experience in online learning – the MITx initiative by no less than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, course 6.002x – Circuits and Electronics!

By good grace of the lecturer Anant Agarwal and his assistant Lorenzo, you get to see how electronic engineers define the world based on their EECS ‘playground’ assumptions, del phi b over del t equals zero and such. But still, the concept I’ve learnt so far is akin to a revision of basics – Kirchhoff’s laws of the voltage loop and the current node law.  I was kinda getting lost when he mentioned about the Maxwell equations though, those are sadly not in the A-Level Physics syllabus – lucky we had the EECS playground! Haha! 

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You can even see what happens if you take a pickle to use as a resistor! XD

Yes learning is fun but this online course is a full fledged, serious course too – complete with problem sets and labs to complete, and even midterm and final exams! But the most important of all, it’s free! Anyone can join if you think you have a decent education background to be able to cope with the coursework.

As a teacher… in a tuition centre

This is learning on a very different scale. In the end, I decided not to wait for the ideal job of teaching Add Maths, Physics and Chemistry SPM and settled down in a tuition centre, expecting to do administrative jobs. No sooner after I came and I was assigned several classes, mainly to teach English! Me, English.

Well, so that’s my game plan now – while waiting for students to come in and ask ‘Do you offer Physics, Add Maths tuition?', I take over the responsibility of teaching PMR English to the students in my former school just opposite the centre.

Teaching, in a way, taught me several things too – that a teacher must really really have encompassing knowledge of the subject (mainly because of over-inquisitive students and/or exceedingly hard exercises lol) Other than that, a teacher, even a tuition teacher, should also try to excite the student’s interest in the subject he/she teaches, apart from going through the usual stuff. In line with my own philosophy of learning, we should not just study to pass exams, but as humans we want to know more, inquire and ask questions on the environment around us, be it scientific, economic, or even aesthetic.

And there’s a load of kids in the centre – in good times, they’re like angels; cute, innocent and fun to talk with. But when they see red over something-we-adults-will-never-know, then all hell breaks loose. Kids these days I noticed are also often spoiled by their parents, giving rise to an ‘I-Am-King’ mentality and we teachers are servants bowing to their every command.

But still, I am glad to be a tuition teacher, one that I hope in my efforts can raise their marks (as per parent’s expectations to keep my job) and also raise their interest in the world around them :)

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