Educational Technology in the Asia Pacific Region To provide confidence to educators that they are taking the right

steps in adopting technology in education, it is good to know that 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 compete 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 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 (Weblink for more a detailed document) http://www.tki.org.nz/ict/ Goal Government with the education and technology sectors, community groups, and industry envisions to support to the development of the capability of schools to use information and communication technologies in teaching-and-learning and in administration. Strategy It foresees 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 partnerships with communities to enhance access to learning through ICT. Focus areas • Infrastructure for increasing schools’ access to ICTs to enhance education • Professional development so that school managers and teachers can increase their capacity to use ICT. Initiatives • An On-line Resource Center with a centrally managed website for the delivery of multimedia resources to schools • A computer recycling scheme • A planning and implementation guide for schools • ICT professional development schools/clusters Australia IT Initiatives (http.//www.deet.gov.au/schools/Adelaide/text.htm) In the Adelaide Declaration on 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 technologies on society. The plans for achieving the national goal for IT are left to individual states and territories with the

such as e-mail and groupware. e-mail and groupware for collaborative work • Library media center with database for multimedia courseware and network access to the internet • Computer laboratory for teaching. teleconferencing studio. video and laser disc video room • Teachers’ room with on-line access to courseware catalogues and databases. Computer studies as a subject • Studio/theater with control room for centralized audio-visual equipment.Educational Network Australia (EdNA) as the coordinating and advisory body. distributing notices and other information electronically Singapore Masterplan for IT in Education (http://www. the common features to planning.edu. Fully equipping a school includes: • Classrooms with multimedia.my/smartschool/) Technology plays many roles in a Smart School from facilitating teaching-and-learning activities to assisting with school management. management databases and web servers • Administration offices capable of managing databases of students and facilities.kpm. thinking and communicating Learning Resources • 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 Teacher development • Training on purposeful use of IT for teaching • Equipping each trainee teacher with core skills in teaching with IT • Tie-ups with institutions of higher learning and industry partners Physical and Technological infrastructure . tracking student and teacher performance and resources. audio room. readily accessible multimedia and audiovisual equipment • Multimedia development center with tools for creating multimedia materials.moe.sg/iteducation/masterplan/welcome. • Server room equipped to handle applications. Across the states and territories. presentation facilities. funding and implementation strategies are: • East and local wide area networks linking schools. ensuring adequate access • Continuing teacher training in the use of technology 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 (http://www.htm) The masterplan has four key detentions: Curriculum and assessment • A balance between acquisition of factual knowledge and mastery of concepts and skills • Students in more active independent learning • Assessment to measure abilities in applying information. across the state and territory • Substantial number of computers in schools.ppk. information and resource management systems and professional networking tools.

and 4 of university) and abolishing "banding" in secondary schools is running into opposition. 3 of senior high. the government initiated the NET scheme to recruit 750 native English teacher/coordinators (NETs) for the public schools by the early years of the twenty-first century. The two potential changes most often debated are eliminating the total reliance on citywide.info. and their need for more flexible and creative problem-solving skills.• Pupil computer ratio of 2:1 • Access to IT in all learning areas in the school • School-wide network and school linkages through wide area network (WAN). Hong Kong has begun an intensive campaign to promote "biliterate and trilingual" skills in the curriculum. All the schools now teach Mandarin as a standard course. The first change has been to require most public schools to use Cantonese as the teaching language in primary and secondary schools. Officials believe that students are more comfortable learners when they are taught in their native language. Another major reform movement in Hong Kong's educational system involves languages. The IT initiatives are: • On average. however. The third language requirement comes with the handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. educators realize that they have the opportunity to retain and increase the numbers and quality of English speakers so that Hong Kong will remain a center of international finance and trade.000 IT training places for teachers at four levels • Technical support for each schools • An information Education Resource Center for all schools and teachers • An IT coordinator for each of 250 schools which should have sounds IT plans • Computer rooms for use by students after normal school hours • An IT pilot Scheme to provide schools with additional resources • Review of school curriculum to incorporate IT element • Development of appropriate software in collaboration with government. eventually connected to Singapore One (a broadband access for high-speedy delivery of multimedia services on island-wide basis Hong Kong Education Program Highlights (http://www. With Hong Kong's heritage of English as the language of commerce. The government has taken steps to open up the curriculum. but moving to the American 6-3-3-4 system of education (6 years of primary. To accomplish this goal.hk/emb/eng/prog_high/schoolprog. 40 computers for each primary school and 82 computers for each secondary school • About 85. the language spoken in most of China. the private sector. 3 of junior high. Mandarin. is a Chinese dialect not understood by most people in Hong Kong. with its broad span of offerings.gov.html) Government aims to raise the quality of school education by promoting the use of IT in teaching and learning. The government provides extra funding for schools who hire NETs. standardized examinations for placing students and switching to a more open curriculum that resembles the American model of education. tertiary institutions and schools • Exploring the feasibility of setting up an education-specific Internet The most prominent feature in Hong Kong life and culture is the tension between the people's traditional Chinese respect for authority and conformity. .

To accomplish this. and 117 social studies courses for students. 146 language courses. 75 percent of the teachers had finished basic information technology training (IT). In the spring of 2001.html#ixzz1dZcOkTgR . Ultimately.Education. and Language StateUniversity. Another prominent feature of the IT crusade is the online learning tool for public schools and life-long learning projects called Hong Kong Education City. Hong Kong's success is tied to its people's ability to gather and manage information. Read more: Hong Kong .com/pages/625/Hong-KongSUMMARY.The reform that is succeeding with little opposition is the campaign to extend education and use of information technology (IT) from primary schools through universities.Summary . The Secretary for Education and Manpower Branch reported that by May 2001 all public supported schools would have computers. the e-class site listed 294 science courses. In addition. the government wants all publicly supported schools to teach 25 percent of their curriculum through the Internet.com http://education. Available. Schools. 123 art/music/physical education/vocational/library courses. The goal is to have 75 percent of all teachers trained at the intermediate level by 2002-2003. all secondary and almost all primary schools had Internet access by the spring of 2001. As a city without any natural resources. the government has instituted a comprehensive training program for all teachers. By late 2000. and the plan is to supply each primary school with 40 computers and each secondary school with 82 computers.stateuniversity.