To provide confidence to educators that they are taking the right steps in adopting technology in education, it is good to know that during the last few years, progressive countries in the Asia Pacific region have formulated state policies and strategies to infuse technology in schools. The reason for this move is not difficult to understand since there is now a pervasive awareness that a nation’s socio-economic success in the 21st century is linked to how well it can complete in a global information and communication technology (ICT) region. This imperative among nations has therefore given tremendous responsibilities on educators to create an educational technology environment in schools.
And since it is understood that the state policies will continue to change, it is helpful to examine prevailing ICT policies and strategies of five progressive states/city, namely New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
New Zealand 2001 ICT Goals and Strategy
( Web link for more a detailed document)
Government with the education and technology sectors, community groups, and industry evisions to support to the development of the capability of schools to use information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning and in administration.
It forces schools to be:
· Improving learning outcomes for students using ICT to support the curriculum.
· Using ICT to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of educational administration.
· Developing patnerships with communities to enhance access to learning through ICT.
· Infrastructure for increasing schools’ access to ICTs to enhance education.
· Professional development so that school managers and teachers can increase their capacities to use ICT.
· An online esource center with a centrally managed website for the delivery of multimedia resources to schools.
· A computer recycling scheme
· A planning and implantation guide for schools
· ICT professional development schools/clusters
Australia IT initiatives
In the adelaide declaration and national Goals for schools, information technology is one of the eight national goals/learning areas students should achieve. Students should be confident, creative and productive users of new teachnologies, particularly ICTs, and understand the impact of these technologies on society.
The plans for achieving the and national goal fo IT are left to individual states and territories with the Educational Network Australia (EdNA) as the as the coordinating and advisory body. Across the states and territories, the common features to planning, funding and implementation strategies are:
· Fast local and wide area netwoks linking schools across the state and territory
· Substantial number of computers in schools, ensuring adequate access
· Continuing teacher training in the use of teachnology for instruction
· Technical support to each school
· Sufficient hardware and software
· Digital library resources
· Technology demonstrations as models for schools
Malaysia Smart School-Level Technology Project
Technology plays many roles in a Smart School from facilitating teaching-and-learning activities to assisting with school management. Fully equipting a school includes;
· Classrooms with multimedia, presentation facilities, e-mail, and groupware for collaborative work.
· Library media center with database for multimedia courseware and network access to internet
· Computer laboratory for teaching, readily accessible multimedia and audiovisual equipment
· Multimedia development cente with tools creating multimedia materials. Computer studies as a subject
· Studio/theatette with control room for centralized audio-visual equipment, teleconferencing studio, audio, room, video and laser disc video room.
· Teachers’ oom with on-line acess to courseware catalogues and databases, information and resource management systems and professional networking tools, such as e-mail and gruopware.
· Server room equipped to handle applications, management databases and web server
· Administration offers capable of managing databases of students and facilities, tracking students and teacher performance and resources, ditributing notices and other information electronically
Singapore Masterplan for IT in Education
The masterplan has four key dimensions;
Curriculum and assessment
· A balance between acquisition of factual knowledge and mastery of concepts and skills
· Students in more active and independent learning
· Assessment to measure abilities in applying infomation
· Development of a wide range of educational software for instruction
· Use of relevant internet resources for teaching-and-learning
· Convenient and timely procurement of software materials
· Training on purposeful use of IT for teaching
· Equipping each trainee teache with core skills in teaching with IT
· Tie-ups with institutions for higher learning and industy partners
Physical and technological infrastucture
· Pupil computer ratio of 2;1
· Access to IT in all learning areas in the school
· School-wide network, and school linkages whough wide area network (WAN), eventually connected to Singapore One ( a broadband access service for high-speedy delivey of multimedia services on island-wide basis
Hong Kong Education Program Highlights
Government raise the quality of school education by promoting the use of IT in teaching and learning. The IT initiative are;
· On average, 40 computers for each primary school and 82 computers fo each secondary school
· About 85,000 IT training places for each teachers at four levels
· Technical support for all schools
· An Information Education Resource Center for all schools and teachers
· An IT coordinator for each of 250 schools which should have sound IT plans
· Computer rooms for use by students for normal school hours
· An It Pilot Scheme to povide schools with additional resources
· Review of school curiculum to incorporate IT elements
· Development of appopriate software in collaboration with gvernment, the private sector, tertiary institutions and schools
· Exploring the feasibility of setting up an education-specific intranet