“We created a learn-from-each-other environment.” – Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman, Malaysia 

Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman
Geography Teacher
MRSM Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephens
Sandakan, Malaysia

When Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman began his career as a Geography teacher, he felt the stress most new teachers feel: How could he best manage his classroom, and make sure his teaching skills were the best they could be for his students? Then in August 2016, Bin Othman was selected as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE), and his world changed dramatically. 

“This program has been a priceless gift for me,” says Bin Othman. “I learned a lot of new and meaningful things from MIE Experts from all over the world, especially how to integrate technology in the classroom. Before I joined this program, I only knew about PowerPoint and Word. Now, I use Office Mix, Sway, OneNote, Minecraft, and Skype. Even better, I get this priceless knowledge for free by joining the “Hack The Classroom” event, tweetmeets, and the Microsoft Educator Community.”  

Not only has Bin Othman’s teaching transformed, so have his students. “There is a lot of transformation in my classroom. Students have become more engaged,” he shares. “We created a ‘learn-from-each-other’ environment.” 

One example of this is Bin Othman’s “S-to-S” activity: “Selfie-to-Sway”.  

“My students often ask me to take a selfie photo with them,” he tells us. “I’ve found that many of these students are passive students in the classroom, and are not really engaged with my lesson. One day, I came up with an idea to create a classroom activity integrating selfies with Sway.” 

Bin Othman’s objective was to encourage his students to collaborate with each other, and to develop their collaboration skills using something fun and on-trend. Students would take a few selfie photos that related to a specific topic, and then organize the photos and information into Sway.  

“I have found that students are really engaged with the activity, and participate actively,” says Bin Othman. “Besides that, I am really impressed with the magic of Sway, because it is not just an interactive presentation tool, it also enables students to collaborate with each other within the same Sway. It’s allowed my students to personalize their learning and makes lessons more meaningful and effective.”  

Connect with Bin Othman on his Microsoft Educator Community profile page 

About Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman 

  • Educational background:  Bachelor of Social Science (Geography), Diploma in Education 
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology:  Surface Pro, Office Mix, Sway, OneNote, Minecraft, Skype in the Classroom 
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates 
  • Website I check every day:  Microsoft Educator Community and Twitter! 
  • Favorite childhood memory:  Picking Fiddlehead fern and wild mushroom with my mother and sister 
  • Favorite book:  Alien Menchari Chinta – Ramzah Dambul
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