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0 Smart School
Early in our age, the time where we will enter a whole new world; the formal education world, we were so happy and eager to face it. A, B, C…,1, 2, 3… Starting from kindergarten, we learn and learn until the time passed. Basically, the formal education will end in university as we had faced primary and secondary school. But, we must always remember, learning process has no time limit. In order to build a very conducive and effective educational systems, the ministry had took a lots of initiative to make sure the educational systems are relevant and will give maximum impact to the students, society, religion and country. As time passed by, variety of transformation occur in our educational systems including the base of education, the syllabus and also the method of teaching. Based on the nation’s drive that is to fulfill Vision 2020, Malaysia intends to transform the educational system as the age had change to technology age. The ministry had taken the initiative to create new brand and type of school; introducing… the Smart School. Smart School was conceptualized by Ministry of Education in 1996, under leadership of the then Chief Director of Education, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Wan Zahid Wan Mohamed. Smart School is a learning institution that has been systematically reinvented in terms of teaching learning practices and school management in order to prepare children for the Information Age. It also equips the student to be life-long learners. This is due to the Vision 2020 that focus for sustained, productivity-driven growth which can be achieve only by technologically literates and critically thinking work force prepared to involve entirely in the global economy of 21st century. Smart School has its own qualities in order to give more holistic outcomes and products. These qualities include the philosophy that says all students can learn if taught, coupled with high expectations for all students. It also has a broad curriculum that concern on the different capabilities and needs of all students. Besides, the school atmosphere is very conducive for learning process and it involve an on-going assessment that will give better instruction. Smart School also provides strong and professional principals and teachers which will then contributes
in the success of the school. In giving the support, a high level parents and community also involve.
The Differences Between Smart School and Normal National School
Smart school and normal national school have the differences. We can see the differences if we take a look at the characteristics and components contain inside. As we know, smart school has more focus on the technology usage in all aspect including teaching technique and the management systems. The smart school teaching and learning environment will be shaped in four main areas, which each will be the main elements of smart school. The elements involve are curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and teaching materials. In Smart School, the curriculum is designed to help students to achieve overall and balanced development. It includes the variety aspect in life such as communication, cognitive, affective or emotional and physical or social. These kinds of aspects are very important and useful in having a real perfect life and the same time, to have better future. The curriculum considers the integration of knowledge, skills, value, correct use of language and attitudes suitable for the Information Age. The students will be ensured to have equal access to quality learning and will be allowed for self- paced learning across grade. The learning outcomes are intended to explicitly state for the different levels of ability. By this method, the students are exposed with critical and creative thinking skills in solving problems, rich in values and having holistic learning promoted. So, they will build variety capabilities and interest in them that can be used in facing future life. As to have balance in all learning process, the focus is not only for the curriculum but also include the co-curriculum. Smart School co-curriculum programmed will involve the activities that can reinforce classroom learning and also cultivate the concepts of schooling fun and interesting activities that give moral input such as community services, cultural activities, religious activities, uniformed body activities, subject related activities, social activities,
recreational activities, sports and games. This is because students not only need academic, but they also need these kinds of activities to give them valuable experiences and skills. The pedagogy involves in Smart School is the appropriate mix of learning strategies to ensure mastery of basic competencies and promotion of holistic development. It is not the examination based orientation. It gives the encouragement of learning activities to promote creativity and experimentation with content independent subjects while maintaining sufficient rigout in content dependent subject. This mean, the overall learning process is towards studentcentered learning activities with increase in age and maturity which will then allow the student to show their real performances. The classroom atmosphere is compatible and suitable with different and variety teaching-learning strategies. This style of learning will be more interesting, motivating, stimulating and meaningful for students. So students will not feel bored in class. Their mind, spirit and body will involve fully in the learning process. Therefore, maximum knowledge can be absorbed by students. The other component is the assessment for the student. Assessment is very important in order to know how the understanding of a student about the topic taught by teacher. In Smart School, the assessment involves a significant departure from traditional assessment systems. The method used is a holistic approach, involving all aspect and not only focus in the achievement in examination. It is also an element-based and criterion-referenced type of assessment. The assessments also use the method of learner-centered which allows students to participate fully in the learning process. As the usage of technology is very important, the assessment is handle by on-line and will be conducted in various forms. Most important, it is an on- going assessment, so teacher can get to know the development of the student entirely. These methods can assure the quality of a student as students will learn throughout the year, not only learn for examination. The teaching time will also becomes more flexible and learner- friendly. Besides, teacher can get a clearer picture of student’s achievement, readiness, progress, attitude, and learning style. At the same time the National Philosophy of Education can be fulfilled. A student which has a very high quality and credibility can be born. In the other hands, teaching materials is also one of the important components that exist in Smart School. A good teaching material will gives a good result in student’s performances. The Smart School teaching material involves the material that meets the circular and
instructional needs. All the contents are up-to date, accurate and relevant to be used. Besides, the teaching material is also cosmetically and technically adequate. This involves the quality of the material used which are in high quality in all types such as video, graphic, audio, layout, animation, color, font and so on. This is so important to give clear and comprehensive teaching. The method will also involve the usage of technology such as Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Projector, computer and also internet. In order to make sure the instrument used will functioning perfectly and make the teaching process become smooth, the instrument provided is user-friendly that will come with manual and guides. Teachers are encouraged to learn about handling these kinds of instrument. The teaching material is also made to give cognitively challenge for student that can attract and motivate them to learn and give active participation. The material will combine the best of network-based, teacher-based and also coursework material. So, students will get wider information in their lessons as the material accommodates different of student’s needs abilities which will then increasing the student’s capabilities. Furthermore, the students will take the responsibility for managing and directing their own learning. The teaching material is also based on the high quality sources including internet, edunet and classified printed directory.
3.0 The Goals And The Objective Of The Smart School. 3.1 Goals Provide all-around development of individual (intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual). To build the IPES element in every school student, government by Ministry Of Education should provide abroad curriculum for all students. The element of this curriculum must be included with all-rounded aspect including technology based, human capital development and towering personality of highly capable individual. Teacher also needs to teach value and languages across curriculum. From this learning, student can learn something new and provide high thinking skill to them. Consequently, it can emphasis their thinking skill. To provide opportunities to enhance individual strength and abilities. To enhance individual skill, the effective and consistency method must be doing to support this development among student. Provide electives in the curriculum, by providing more electives subject like
information technology, agronomy, engineering, economic and others. Teacher also can allow for vertical integration (virtue express class), toward their student. It also help to promote critical thinking in the classroom, processes such as group investigation and jigsaw groups promoted open-ended, cooperative learning. Making real-life issues and problems that they could research and discuss with a clear statement of expected outcomes and a sample helped. Daily journal writing was a tool to gradually improve writing skills. To increase participation of the stakeholder. Stakeholder are most important role in order to maintain the successfully of school development. This can be doing by creating awareness of what happened in schools. Other than that, this role actually can contribute toward parent role in school. This can be seen by parent’s involve in parent and teacher society or PIBG. In addition, it will enable easy and speedy communication with the school using technology. In this way, parent can observe their child development in school especially in their study progress. It also can provide opportunities for stakeholder (e.g. parent, community) to participate in school programmed. Democratise education. This principle can be said by provide equal access to learning opportunities. That mean a disable and handicap student will enjoy their learning as normal student with same facilities in the school. By provide different abilities, style and pace of learning, student will more understand in their learning and make the learning process will be more easily. Produce a thinking and technology-literate workforce. Teacher plays an important role to teach thinking across the curriculum toward their student. Properly designed, learning materials inspired by modern technology and delivered by modern technology add value to a teaching environment in which contact hours are limited. But balancing between the potential of technology and the careful grooming and attention students sometimes require is critical. Technologically inspired teaching materials should create a “cognitive apprenticeship” and use story telling to convey messages in powerful, attention-getting ways. They should help develop underlying thought processes such as critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving. Technology can do other things as well. New materials delivered via the Internet that help with the repetition necessary for developing reading, writing, and listening in English can eliminate drudgery for educators and can be entertaining.
3.2 Objective The objective of Smart Scholl is as one step jumpstart toward the MSC. It also one step doing by Malaysian Government through their planning to transform education system to highly achievement in curriculum and co-curriculum and be in same stage with highly achievement country in this sector like United States, Japan, and Britain. To prepare the citizens for information age through an innovative education delivery process. Building knowledge based economy are important value to produce the citizen that own very high thinking skill. It also contributing to the growth of the ICT industry by developing new method and techniques of creating new ideas and concept about developing of technology and from that it can creating a pool of talent resulting a high value job creation.
4.0 The roles played by the teacher, student and parent to achieve the goals and the objective of the smart school. 4.1 Teacher The Planning and the preparation of learning activities. A good teacher should know how to organize content and how to translate into activities and exercise in the classroom. In order to complete this objective, teacher should know how to designing instructional material and resources and assessing student learning in the classroom. Designing instructional material is the most important step for teacher to start teaching in the classroom. Instruction represents the methods teacher use to present the content to students. States and districts identify effective instructional practices and purchase instructional material. In the classroom, teacher will faced many different characteristic and abilities of student. This kind of student can be classifies as the diverse learner. Meeting the diverse learning needs of students can be a challenge for teachers. Designing effective lesson plans is the best course of action to meet this challenge (Kaméenui & Simmons, 1999). Many of this student will need
accommodation that are documented in their Individual Education Plan (IEP). This accommodation did not alter the content or the intended outcome of instruction (Beech, 1999). They are adjustments in how information is presented or the way the student responds.Teacher may find it easier to incorporate the accommodations as there are developing lesson plans rather than waiting until the end. Often the accommodations needed by one student will benefit other learners in their class. Assessing student learning is the process where the teacher gather information and make decision about how well their student have learn about the skill and concept in their lesson. This assessment are important to help teacher know their student learn and how effective their lesson in the class. Aligning the assessment procedures with the learning objective and activities maintains the focus of the lesson. It will make it easier to communicate with students about expectations for the lesson. This data can be used to provide information about changes that can be made to strengthen thier lesson. It will also provide information about skill areas in need of further instruction and practice for individual students. Do assessment by the teacher are same with making an instruction, when it deeply involve students in the making process. The principles of assessment for learning (Chappuis, Stiggins, Arter, and Chappuis, 2003) can help make testing look more like teaching. Some examples of what teachers can do when applying those principles and involving students in the assessment process include, keep students connected to a vision of quality as the learning unfolds, continually defining for students the learning expectations; Use daily strategies in the classroom that require students to think about their own progress, communicate their own understanding of what they have learned, and set goals to close the gap between where they are now relative to the intended learning and where they need to be in order to meet standards; Provide students descriptive feedback linked directly to the intended learning, giving them insight about current strengths and on how to do better next time, rather than evaluative feedback consisting only of marks and letter grades; Engage students in activities that teach the skills of self-assessment, helping them collect evidence of their own progress; Gather accurate information about student achievement on a regular basis in the classroom using high-quality, accurate assessments for learning (Stiggins, Arter, Chappuis, and Chappuis, 2004).
Managing a technology enriched environment.
Teacher need to know how to delineate the kind of classroom interactive that establish a comfortable and respectful classroom environment needed to promote a culture for learning. By doing this, teacher should have the skill and knowledge to managing classroom procedures and able to create an environment of respect and support in the classroom. Managing classroom procedures is the process that includes the classroom agreement, classroom cues, home base seating, moving into group, material distribution and turn in and anchor activities. Creating an environment of respect and support contain two basic approaches, teacher interaction with student and student interaction. For teacher interaction with the student, the main objective to be aim is teacher can demonstrate genuine caring and respect for individual student and student can exhibit respect for the teacher as an individual beyond that for the role. For student interaction, the aim is student can demonstrate guanine caring for one another as individual and student.
Delivering effective instruction Teacher should know the method how to outline the ways in which teacher should organize and present the content and the role to assume and encouraging their student to take change of their own learning. In this ways, teacher should know how to facilitating student in cognitively stimulating activities and utilizing technology for effective instruction. To facilitating student in cognitive way, teacher should know how to perform it as stimulating activities. In order to do this, teacher should understand the basic principle of cognitive. Cognitive principle is how information is stored, retrieved, and represented (Atkinson and Shiffin, 1969), it also a point to the important of helping student develop well through the connected knowledge structure. In other word, this stimulating activite can be assume as interactive activities, mean that student in the classroom will undergoes interactive experience in applying has been learned should be, to the greatest extent possible, presented in realistic content. When carefully designed, quizzes and interactive exercises can provide unique and valuable opportunities for learning through
exploration and discovery. The key to this enhanced type of performance testing in incorporating student-centered activities involving manipulating of object to solve problem (i.e., working directly with the content rather than answering factual questions that only require rote learning). Problem centered learning help to instill learning experiences that are intrinsically rewarding, relevant, and enjoyable for the student (Wilson, Jonassen, & Cole 1995). Utilizing technology for effective instruction can help teacher perform well in the classroom and deliver their lesson effectively. Properly designed, learning materials inspired by modern technology and delivered by modern technology add value to a teaching environment in which contact hours are limited. But balancing between the potential of technology and the careful grooming and attention students sometimes require is critical. Technologically inspired teaching materials should create a “cognitive apprenticeship” and use story telling to convey messages in powerful, attention-getting ways. They should help develop underlying thought processes such as critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving. Technology can do other things as well. New materials delivered via the Internet that help with the repetition necessary for developing reading, writing, and listening in English can eliminate drudgery for educators and can be entertaining toward student in the classroom
Handling professional task. Teacher should spell out a wide range of roles associated with being an educator. These responsibilities range from self reflection, the maintenance of records and other paperwork as well as interaction with the families of students and the larger community. To enhance this, teacher should know communicating skill with colleagues and parent and selecting use of effective technology –based resources.
4.2 Parent Parent plays an important role as personal charge of children’s. To be the personal charge, parents should learn experiences monitor children’s progress guide, motivate and counsel
children. Other than that they also need to support all school activities. Parent also plays a role as resource persons and they are experts in their own area. To aim these roles, there a few skill and knowledge should be learned by a parent. There is ability to access school public domain database, ability to counsel and motivate their children, and ability to understand educational process. When parent are completely master in these ability, they will enjoy and utilise the ready access to school and relevant school information to forge a close relationship with the teachers and the staff. This relationship will enriched the children’s educational experience because their parent participant in school. Consequently, parent will always informed and made to feel they are part of the school community will readily contribute cash, materials or services to help initiate projects that will enhance their children’s learning experience. If this were to happen on a large scale, the government’s financial responsibilities will be eased so that resources could be directed to schools in poorer localities. They also play a critical role in delivering education and developing balanced and holistic students. There is a need to increase the participation of parents in educational processes such as in teaching-learning, development of educational materials, assessment, etc. These will make a student’s learning opportunities stretch beyond the classrooms. Parents also can be educational resources, and in the process benefit themselves as their own learning needs become a life-long endeavor. Research has also shown that children are more successful in school when parents are involved in their education. The roles and responsibilities of Smart School parents must be widely acknowledged and accepted, in order to create significant buy-in for parents to assume a much stronger role in the Smart School education process. There are a number of strategies that can be adopted to increase the participation of Smart School parents both in the delivery of education as well as in the supervision of children outside of school.
4.3 Student To achieve the role of Smart School, student need to reap the benefits of self-paced learning, learning away from school and making learning a creative and enjoyable experience. Student should take this opportunities to provide themselves with knowledge and all other material that being teaching in the school. By making learning creative and enjoyable, the
adaptation of the subject toward themselves will be easier and making learning process in easy for them.
The Knowledge and Skills of the Teacher Needed Teachers play an important role in order to make sure the Smart School initiative will be
held smoothly and at last will end with flying colors. To make the dream come true, teachers must be equipped with the knowledge and skills related to the teaching process. As the Smart School environment is full of technology usage, teacher should be exposed with the technology information and knowledge. Teachers need an intensive training on information technology skills and technology integration into classroom instructions to encourage the thinking and creativity of the students. Teacher should not fear to use the technology and must realize that change is needed to face the millennium era. Teacher have to utilizing the technology for effective instruction as the technology will help a lots on better understanding especially for the topic involving imaginations. A comprehensive teacher education for best practice in technology supported learning will be critical to the success of the Smart School initiative. Teacher need to have a continuous learning to keep abreast of development in their professional practices and to be confident with technology. Teachers can also trying to improve their skills by exploring the technology world on their own. If they are no idea at all in operating the technology stuff, they can join any course that provides the lesson related to it. Teacher should also capable in creating environment of respect and support. This can make the students to involve in the learning process without any fear and feeling of humble. Students will have the lesson in a happy and conducive atmosphere as the teacher and other student keep on supporting them. To get better result, teacher should show good attitude and example to the students, so they will give full cooperation to the teacher. In order to give the students wider information, teacher must be good in selecting the effective resources. The usage of internet and other technology facility should be taken as and advantages. The information searching process will be easier and teacher can make the
comparison for all the information earned to select the best and trusted one. Teacher also can go beyond portal usage for using application such as planning and scheduling of lesson online. This can make the work accomplish in more systematic ways. On the other hand, teacher should have the skills in assessing student learning and managing the classroom procedure. Assessing is important to let teacher know the capability of the students, so teacher can create their own lesson planning to improve the student’s achievement and performances. Teacher must strive for continuous education even if the student decided to pursue for non-academic career such as athlete or singer. The student will be more confident as the teacher try very hard to make them understand a subject. As the result, they will give their best effort in improving their performances. So, the learning process becomes more effective as the achievement of student increase. As the teacher becomes one of the important people in implementing Smart School, teacher should be the one who are familiar with the technology and skills related. A paradigm change should be taken in order to achieve a great success. Nothing is impossible in the world. Most important is to try and give full commitment, focus and effort. Then just wait for the success in future. Believe it or not? It depends on you- the teacher.
Issues Related To Smart School Implementation Since 1999, the educational world and system having some improvement after the
implementation of smart school in the chosen school all over Malaysia. Smart school is hoped to be the platform in order to build the development of the students in all aspect. The goal in fulfill the Vision 2020 is also hoped to be helped by the implementation of smart school. Until 2008, there are 88 apprentice school of smart school that had been chosen. The school was choosing based on criteria needed. In the early stage of the smart school implementation, many of people give wrong perception about smart school. Most of them expect that smart school is only for the students that have good qualification and excellent academic result. Some of them think that smart school is the chosen school for gaining 100 percents excellent result in academic. It is true as all school in
the world especially Malaysia hope for the same; students get excellent result. Smart school is not a school to place and assemble the clever and excellent students all over Malaysia. Instead, the objective is on upgrading the school for the technology equipment to let the students learn in a sophisticated and modern environment. This is due to the world of information age that exists in this period. But, for the smart school that was originally a science or boarding schools that need the students who are excellent as based on the school policy. In order to play the role in spreading the information about the exact functions of smart school, a lot of initiative had been taken. For example, Multimedia Development Corporation – Perbadanan Pembangunan Multimedia (MDeC) had organized the tour to a few smart schools in Sarawak to observe the development of the school after implementing smart school. Based on the visit, they found that the school use the technology provided wisely. Teachers apply it in their work such as using software of “PowerPoint” and interactive whiteboard in presenting their teaching. Students use the facilities of internet to search for extra information in their lesson. However, there are a few problems for the school to face. The numbers of computer are limited and are not enough if being used in the same period. They have to give the priority to the students who will face examination such as PMR ( Penilaian Menengah Rendah) or SPM ( Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia). Besides, the electricity is often stopped. When the electricity managed to be link again, it will gives problem to the equipment as the electricity over provided, the equipment such as computer will be broken. But, as the visit was done, the solution will be taken. Based on the success in implementing stabilization as the benchmarking smart school 2006 and 2008, Ministry of Education in collaborating with MDec make the model that helped to implement smart school for rural area. They focus on 50 schools around rural area in Malaysia. For the starting stage, 15 schools will be chosen as smart school. It is targeted that in the end of 2010, 10 000 of schools are upgraded. They also target for 500 schools will get 5 stars and the rest will get at least 3 stars. So, in order to achieve that goal, a campaign was launched that is the “ Senang Dengan ICT” ( easy with ICT) campaign. This campaign gives the information in detail about ICT and its benefits. It encourages people to involve in ICT world. On the other hand, in 14 Mac 2008, Malaysia be the host of the meeting of Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organization (SEAMO) and the Commonwealth Ministry of
Education Conference in 2009. From the event, Malaysia gets the feedback and opinion about implementing smart school. Besides, ministry also gets the input, responses and criticizes from the International Smart School Conference, experience from other country and by forum. Some of the feedback is to ensure the basic infrastructure is provided sufficiently and in a good condition such as for the electricity sources and the suitable systems. So, the goal in achieving success in educational field will be realized.
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