23 Sept 2015 - The IDA PlayMaker Programme, launched by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), will be introducing a suite of technology-enabled toys to preschool centres to enrich the learning experience for the children fostering creativity, problem solving and confident learning. The programme will pilot with 160 centres as a start.
Singapore, 23 September 2015 | For Immediate Release
The IDA PlayMaker Programme, launched by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), will be introducing a suite of technology-enabled toys to preschool centres to enrich the learning experience for the children fostering creativity, problem solving and confident learning. The programme will pilot with 160 centres as a start.
In an increasingly technology-rich environment, young children are progressively more exposed to various technology devices for communication, leisure and learning. This results in growing concerns from educators and parents about excessive screen time and the lack of kinaesthetic and social interactions. However, there is no denial that these tools provide much enriched information and experiences to the children. There is a need to harness technology to provide more positive learning.
The IDA PlayMaker Programme will offer child-friendly, technology-enabled toys that promote tactile and more kinaesthetic experiences. These toys help children to explore and find creative solutions. Guided by adults, children will acquire abilities like logical thinking, reasoning, sequencing, estimation and inventive thinking. The toys also encourage children to work in small groups. Through collaboration, they develop social and communication skills.
“As Singapore becomes a Smart Nation, our children will need to be comfortable creating with technology. We are very excited that our Playmaker programme gives children the tools not only to have fun, but also to experiment and problem solve together, building up their confidence and creativity,” said Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman, IDA.
The Playmaker programme is also in line with the Infocomm Media 2025 recommendations, where industry recommended more efforts to explore how to introduce younger children to tech, with the goal of developing a can-do spirit needed in innovation.
As part of a holistic approach to the integration of the toys, IDA will be investing $1.5m for the 160 pilot preschool centres to be equipped with the technology-enabled toys, ongoing tech support, as well as workshops for educators to understand how to integrate them into the existing curriculum. IDA had also previously conducted a three-month Proof-of-Concept for the IDA PlayMaker Programme with Preschool Learning Academy@Temasek Polytechnic (PLAY@TP) in January 2015. These learning experiences will be shared with the pilot preschool centres. As the technology-enabled toys advocate maker-centred learning through play - learning by doing and learning through repeated attempts to problem solve – PlayMaker seeks to spark the imagination of young children and help inculcate creativity and confident learning.
Located within the Jurong Lake District Smart Nation test bed, the Yuhua PAP Community Foundation (PCF) centre is the first of the 160 preschool centres to introduce PlayMaker’s toys to its children.
“Children are natural explorers with a high level of curiosity. These technology-enabled toys further cultivate their curiosity and provide the children with numerous opportunities to see their ideas and imagination come to fruition,” said Mr Victor Bay, CEO, PCF.
The IDA PlayMaker Programme will be piloting in January 2016. A review of the pilot will be conducted with an aim to offer PlayMaker to all preschool centres in Singapore.
IDA will be exhibiting and showcasing PlayMaker at the Early Childhood Conference and Carnival 2015 on 25th and 26th September, 2015 at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.
ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
The mission of the IDA is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg. Follow IDA on Facebook and Twitter.
For media clarifications, please contact:
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
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