Dig­i­tal class­rooms into re­al­ity

> With the lat­est in ed­u­ca­tion so­lu­tions

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ - BY BERNARD CHEAH

I Nan ef­fort to push ed­u­ca­tion with tech­nol­ogy, Mi­crosoft Malaysia and the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Ministry are on a jour­ney to help trans­form the ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions into dig­i­tal cam­puses.

With tools like Of­fice 365, Win­dows 10 and Skype, Mi­crosoft Malaysia Public Sec­tor Group gen­eral man­ager Nik Ariff Nik Omar em­pha­sised that tech­nol­ogy will play a big­ger role in trans­form­ing the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems in days to come.

“We want to em­power the na­tion – through the gov­ern­ment agencies, teach­ers, stu­dents and the com­mu­nity with tech­nol­ogy.

"We fore­see 21st cen­tury ed­u­ca­tion evolv­ing rapidly with tech­nol­ogy at the fore­front to nur­ture stu­dents and equip them with life and work skills to com­pete glob­ally,” he said.

He also said that it was cru­cial for the ed­u­ca­tion in­dus­try to op­ti­mise the tech­nol­ogy and to have ac­cess to it so that grad­u­ates would have good qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

“With mil­len­ni­als mak­ing up ap­prox­i­mately 62% of the work­force in 2015, to­gether with in­creased ac­cess to tech­nol­ogy such as mo­bile, and cloud, there is a high de­mand for dig­i­tal con­tent and ex­pe­ri­ences through var­i­ous apps and online plat­forms.

"With these tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances, we are en­abling and cre­at­ing new sce­nar­ios and ex­pe­ri­ences for both teach­ers and stu­dents alike, cou­pled with dif­fer­ent modes of en­gage­ments.

“This nat­u­rally lends to shifts in teach­ing and learn­ing,” he said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence re­cently.

Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Ministry In­dus­try Re­la­tions Di­vi­sion di­rec­tor As­soc Prof Dr Arham Ab­dul­lah, who was also present, noted that Mir­cosoft's ef­fort in pro­vid­ing such tech­nolo­gies is in line with the Malaysia Ed­u­ca­tion Blue­print 2015-2025 and that the move by Mir­cosoft cov­ers three of 10 Shifts of blue­print – which in­cludes Holis­tic, En­trepreneurial and Bal­anced Grad­u­ate, Holis­tic, En­trepreneurial and Bal­anced Grad­u­ate and Glob­alised Online Learn­ing.

"Through this, we want to co­op­er­ate with our in­dus­try part­ners like Mi­crosoft to en­hance our grad­u­ates' em­ploy­a­bil­ity as well as to up­date the teach­ing and learn­ing with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy," he said.

Arham added that the move would also help de­velop Mas­sive Open Online Courses (MOOC) which would ben­e­fit both public and pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties.

He also noted that there is a need for proper in­fra­struc­ture, like in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity, to en­sure such plat­form can be car­ried out.

At the same press con­fer­ence, Asia Pa­cific Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy & In­no­va­tion se­nior lec­turer and tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist Dr Kalai Anand Rat­nam shared how these tools are be­ing used in the class­rooms in the univer­sity for the past three years. He also demon­strated how he in­ter­acted with the stu­dents us­ing tools such as Skype, OneNote and Of­fice 365 for Ed­u­ca­tion.

"For ex­am­ple, I set up an ice­breaker task with the stu­dents through the pro­gramme, and the stu­dents can tell me more about them­selves through it – and they can also send videos to me," he said.

Kalai also noted that he could send out de­tails of the course through this sys­tem to each stu­dent as well.

He also said that the tools used would help over­come chal­lenges faced by the class­rooms, in­clud­ing time man­age­ment, de­sign­ing a 21st cen­tury cur­ricu­lum and set­ting up a vir­tual class­room.

Nik Ariff.



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