What is Telegram?
Telegram is a mobile application that allows users to communicate among them using mobile gadget and computer. Find out more about Telegram at https://telegram.org/. You can also download and install the app into your smartphone, PC, Laptop, IPad, or Tab.
Why do I choose Telegram for teaching and learning?
Whatsapp is my first mobile communication app that I use in my smartphone. I also use Viber that has similar facilities that Whatsapp has.
I have been using Whatsapp and Viber to communicate
with family members, friends, and general people. A bonus about these two apps is that I can call people overseas using the phone facility in both Whatssap and Viber without paying any cents.
However, for the purpose of teaching and learning, I prefer to use Telegram in my courses for the following reasons:
- Multiple platforms: smartphone (OS, Android), PC, Laptop, IPad, Tab, Web
- Compatible file format: jpg, audio, movie, pdf, excel, word, powerpoint
- Large files transfer
- Grouping facilities: 1000 members, access to old/past messages, members add members
- Better storage capacity and management
- Better memory system and management
- Better security with the encryption
The first two reasons are the most important for me as a teacher. I can run Telegram easily on my laptop when I engage with my students for a blended learning mode and flipped learning mode. All incoming and outgoing postings or messages that are posted can be displayed on multiple platforms concurrently.
I believe that learning process does not stop within the four walls of a classroom. The learning process can be extended outside the classroom. They can still engage in the learning process in the Telegram as they are interacting with the the teacher and among them.
Some people asked if there is any learning engagement and leaning time when I use Telegram. The answer is YES. All postings made by my students and I are recorded on the phone screen. An analysis of frequency on students’ postings/responses and the amount of each student’s writing can be carried out to assess and monitor his or her performance in the course.
I started to use Telegram in my courses at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in early September 2014, and later conducted a 5-day workshop on Guest Lecture Series Program at Yogyakarta State University in October 2014 https://jsuworkshop.wordpress.com/. Between 2015-2016, I had conducted 4 workshops on how to use Telegram for teaching and learning at UKM, and one at the SOLLsINTEC 2015 at UKM https://sollsintec2015.wordpress.com/category/g-conference-schedule/
How do I use Telegram in my teaching and learning?
I use Telegram to conduct a flipped learning mode before the class meeting, during the class meting, and after the class meeting. How do I run the flipped learning? Before the class meeting, I would rather post something for them to read or ponder to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally on the selected topic. Sometime they are asked to provide responses immediately in Telegram. This pre-learning activity will trigger and reactivate their schema, i.e., existing knowledge, and therefore, increase students’ interest and awareness so that they are ready for the face-to-face class meeting. When they come to the class, they will be guided in a discussion on the posted messages in Telegram, and later engage in a problem solving activity that will reinforce what they have learned before the class and during first hour of the class.
I can use Telegram when I cannot meet my student in class especially when I am not on campus for other academic activities such as attending seminars, workshops, and meetings. Thus, I do not need to cancel my class if I cannot meet my students on campus due to other academic activities or bad weather conditions. This is called blended learning whereby the teaching and learning activities will take place synchronously and asynchronously in a virtual mobile platform.
I have been using Telegram for the following teaching and learning activities
- Forum – whole class discussion
- Open ended question
- Group project report
- Listening practice
- Pronunciation practice
- Speaking practice
- Writing practice
- Audio input/feedback
- Video input/feedback
- Problem solving
- Content/materials sharing
- PowerPoint presentation
I find interacting with students using Telegram is faster and easier compared to using web-based forum.
The following slideshow illustrates how I used Telegram in a language proficiency course.
An action research was carried out in the language proficiency course at the end of the semester. Here are the results what were presented at a Research Seminar in Penang 21-22 October 2015.