When we're talking about the ACE of the Month, we're choosing an Assemblr Certified Educator (ACE) with the most remarkable growth along their journey. And somehow, this month's ACE of the Month really fits that description well.

Let us introduce you to Mohd Fadzli Bin Ishak, our September's ACE of the Month. Based in Johor, Malaysia, Fadzli is now working as an Assistant Director at Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Johor (Johor State Education Department).

His previous experience as a primary school teacher has brought him to his recent position—focusing to manage 46,000 teachers and 600,000 students in total. It's a much bigger responsibility compared to his previous job.

On his ACE journey

When Fadzli discovered Assemblr in 2019, his journey with Assemblr has been full of exciting experiences. Once, he even encountered a funny episode yet brought him into the joy of sharing.

"I joined a seminar and there should've been one presenter who would present about the use of augmented reality (AR) for education. However, the presenter was absent. I was appointed right away to cover and present about the technology instead," said Fadzli.

Once he found out that Assemblr has opened an educator community, he then decided to send an e-mail to apply as an ACE member. That's how Fadzli officially got accepted in 2020.

With 12 years of experience as a teacher, Fadzli has been familiar with educator communities and has become a part of them as well, such as the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE).

"When I joined those communities, I could connect with a lot of educators, and I think ACE can provide the same benefits for me. We can share the same ideas, AR lessons, and also report bugs in the community," Fadzli said on his reason for joining ACE.

Aside from being highlighted in Assemblr's social media accounts in 2020, Fadzli was deeply impressed when his webinar invitation to our Chief Creative Officer (CCO), Anita Yustisia, got accepted.

"Usually, most companies didn't connect with the teachers who used their products or apps. However, Anita and Assemblr keep on paying attention towards us as teachers and accepting what we need."

For Fadzli, whatever he does—both on his prior experience as a teacher and an ACE member, he always emphasizes it on his students for the sake of their benefits. That's his sole motivation to keep moving forward.

"I don't want to leave them behind. I want my students not only to become users, but I also want them to create a better world," he continued.

His experiences with EdTech

Fadzli has been familiar with EdTech ever since 2010, but he only used it all by himself. However, that moment when he got promoted as the head of the IT Department on his school transformed the way he perceived everything.

"At that time, I had this colleague of mine, and he told me, 'You have all the knowledge, but you never share it," he said. "Frankly speaking, I was a little bit skeptical. But when I started to share my knowledge about EdTech with others, it's like something new to me."

Apparently, that one sentence from his colleague became a turning point for Fadzli. He started to be more active to spread the use of EdTech for schools. In 2020 alone, he has trained about 6,000 teachers—a remarkable achievement, indeed.

Whenever he made use of EdTech in classes, he always made sure to bring new technologies to his class activities.

"As teachers, we need to keep learning and bring various technologies like AR, VR, and many more to our students. If it's not us who brings it, then who else will do it? We're the ones who have the power to expose them."

Ever since the pandemic era, the use of EdTech has practically become critical. Basically, it's essentially needed for any class activities, especially in times when online learning emerged. That's also what happened in his country, Malaysia.

In general, EdTech has already been widely implemented in schools—thanks to the Malaysian government that supports this whole movement. They even provide educator communities and portal access, which allows them to use EdTech platforms for free for their online learning activities.

"This whole pandemic situation is somehow a 'blessing in a disguise'. It enables us to learn whatever we want. Think about it—prior to the pandemic, webinars were not common, but now they're basically everywhere," Fadzli told us about his view on EdTech.

However, what concerns him is the time when the pandemic will be over. "Hopefully, they don't revert to the traditional way of teaching. We've already sped up the transformation, so I personally don't want to set back. This transformation brings many benefits for students as well."

Securing educational sponsorships

When Fadzli used to be a teacher, he also attracted a lot of sponsorships. Before getting promoted to work under the government, he made sure that his school secured the spots for several sponsorships, including from Microsoft.

From what he's experienced, he believes that securing sponsorships is made easier when the school is popular, especially if it has prominent achievements. Being a Microsoft Showcase School awardee, his previous school was also able to gain remarkable accomplishments; thus helping it to secure several sponsorships.

Fadzli and his colleagues as the Microsoft Showcase School awardee | Photo: Microsoft Malaysia News Center

If you're looking to follow his road, Fadzli shares a few tips that might be useful. First off, you need to highlight your school and its achievements—you should never highlight individuals.

"You need to think outside of the box. Instead of thinking, 'What will I benefit from this?', think of it more like, 'What will my students benefit from this?' The key is to keep focusing on your students."

Despite all the technical aspects and thinking processes, on the bottom line, Fadzli also believes that your attitude matters. In short, you need to be bold. "You want those companies to sponsor your school and fund it, right? If you're too shy, you will never get that sponsorship."

If you're looking forward to opening up new opportunities for your teaching activities, register yourself as our Assemblr Certified Educator (ACE)! Get ready to improve your skills and earn your perks. 😉

In Assemblr EDU, we believe that everyone can transform education to be more fun and interactive, using augmented reality technology. Interested to unveil more possibilities for your learning activities? Download Assemblr EDU now, available in App Store and Play Store!