Singapore, 13 May 2008 | For Immediate Release
Imagine immersive learning environments that can mimic different kinds of scenarios in the classroom. Without having to visit the Singapore Zoo, Science students can, for example, immerse themselves in a 4-Dimensional (4D) environment and observe a lion’s behaviour, record it and share the information with fellow students. Such highly immersive and interactive solutions will soon be a reality for Singapore’s pioneer batch of FutureSchools, when fully implemented by 2012.
Announced today by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Ministry of Education (MOE), four consortia have been selected to design and deploy next generation infocomm-enabled solutions for five FutureSchools, namely, Beacon Primary School, Canberra Primary School, Crescent Girls’ School, Hwa Chong Institution and Jurong Secondary School.
Following IDA’s Call-for-Collaboration (CFC) in May 2007, the four consortia were selected from 20 proposals by an evaluation committee comprising members from the IDA, MOE and the FutureSchools, based on their innovative solutions for the schools and their proven track record. The CFC seeks to form strategic collaboration with infocomm partners to accelerate the development of the five FutureSchools, which will be done through next generation technologies that support the schools’ innovative teaching and learning programmes. An S$80 million investment over a period of four years (from May 2008 to May 2012) will be contributed by the IDA, National Research Foundation and the industry.
The four successful consortia are:
- Consortium led by Civica and comprising the following members: G Element, Heulab, Learning EDvantage, Microsoft Singapore and Playware Studios.
Civica consortium’s solutions for Jurong Secondary School are centered on an interactive 3D learning environment that supports the school’s unique brand of problem-based learning, called Problem-Based Learning-Authentic Learning. The proposed virtual environment is unique and innovative in its use of problem-based learning scenarios to challenge students to work collaboratively with peers to solve problems.
- Consortium led by Hewlett Packard and comprising the following members: Amdon Consulting, ASKnLearn, Heulab, Inchone, Microsoft Singapore, Pearson Education South Asia and Zepth.
Hewlett Packard consortium’s proposal for Crescent Girls’ School (CGS) is based on an integrated physical and virtual learning environment. Students can take interactive field trips, and access learning resources and tools such as games, virtual reality learning content and interactive digital textbooks. Such learning tools are designed to support the school’s integrated curriculum and project-based learning approaches. The tools also enable the school’s students, teachers, administrators and parents to interact and contribute to the students’ progress both in and outside the classroom.
- Consortium led by SingTel and comprising the following members: ACP Computer Training and Consultancy, Heulab, Learning EDvantage, Microsoft Singapore, NCS and Playware Studios.
SingTel consortium’s proposal for Canberra Primary School leverages 3D educational games with simulations, interactive digital media and mobile learning applications. The games are designed to support experiential and inquiry-based learning. As students participate in the games, they can role play, collaborate in decision-making situations and learn problem-solving skills. In addition, students can immerse in real-world scenarios in a 4D laboratory equipped with multi-sensory tools. Thus, students will enjoy rich learning experiences which are anchored in both the real and virtual worlds.
- Consortium led by ST Electronics (Training and Simulation Systems) and comprising the following members: Addest Technovation, FIF Technologies, Microsoft Singapore, Sky Media, Temasek Polytechnic and Vantage Portal Systems.
ST Electronics (Training and Simulation Systems) consortium’s proposals will be implemented for Beacon Primary School and Hwa Chong Institution (HCI).
The proposal for Beacon Primary School is centered on an interactive 3D Virtual Learning Environment called Beacon World. Learners can immerse in 3D learning environments that challenge their understanding and deepen their learning. This environment is designed to support the school’s customised curriculum and key programmes to develop pupils holistically. Beacon World positions Beacon Primary as a forerunner in the use of 3D immersive learning environments as it features the integration of the 3D environment with the school's learning management system, creating a unique and innovative learning experience for Beacon’s students.
The proposal for HCI includes the Hwa Chong Nexus (HCnX), a virtual campus designed to facilitate independent learning and collaborative explorations. Leveraging the school’s established partnerships both locally and internationally, the HCnX enables different groups of independent learners to conduct advanced research with local and overseas peers as well as expert-mentors in a safe and secure learning environment. Advanced communication tools and collaborative platforms bring HCI students together with mentors and peers overseas to form global communities of learners.
The FutureSchools@Singapore programme seeks to develop up to 15 schools which will serve as pathfinders for the wider Education and Learning community in Singapore. The FutureSchools will lead the way for other schools in providing possible models for the seamless and pervasive integration of infocomm into the curriculum and pedagogy for engaged learning in schools.
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of IDA said, “IDA's collaboration with MOE and industry brings together partners to harness infocomm innovatively and effectively for engaged learning, and to keep our education system relevant in preparing students for the future. This builds on IDA’s iN2015 Masterplan’s efforts for the Education and Learning sector to use infocomm to develop potential schools into peaks of excellence and spearhead the transformation of the education sector. The industry brings its expertise and experience to develop next generation solutions that will further enhance learning and teaching in schools.”
Dr Koh Thiam Seng, Director, Educational Technology Division, MOE said, “The use of technology in each FutureSchool is anchored on the school’s envisioned teaching and learning approaches. The FutureSchools, together with MOE and IDA will work closely with industry partners to develop the technology solutions which support these teaching and learning approaches. With these partnerships, we are poised to see further innovations in our educational programmes, to create a more enriching and engaging learning experience for our students.”
From as early as 2010, the Next-Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) will support infocomm-enabled learning networks, such as FutureSchools@Singapore, and others. Capable of delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps and beyond, the Next Gen NBN offers pervasive ultra-high speed connectivity that will enable rich interactions via various modes (i.e. video, voice, images and text) between the students and learning partners for community improvement.
JOINTLY ISSUED BY INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE AND THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing info-communications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.
Lena HAN (Ms)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
DID: +65 6211 0649
Fax: +65 6211 2227
Charis HAR Poh Yin (Ms)
Corporate Communications Executive
Corporate Communications Division
Ministry of Education
DID: +65 6879 6124