Singapore was one of the first countries in the world to have a national strategy to roll out ICT to all schools. The masterplan was launched in 1997 as part of the Singapore government’s “Thinking Schools, Learning Nation” vision, to prepare students to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. The first phase was focused setting up the basic infrastructure for schools and training of teachers in the use of ICT.
In 2002, a second masterplan was introduced, this time focussing on bringing about improved learning and increased engagement through the use of ICT. In 2004 a five year collaboration between MOE and Microsoft began – “Backpack.NET” was designed to enhance students’ learning experience through the use of Tablet PCs, ‘digital ink’ and other emerging technologies.
Materplan 3, launched in 2008, aims to achieve greater engagement of students to encourage more self-directed questioning and learning.
The main programmes in Singapore include:
- BackPackLIVE!: After the successful implementation of BackPack.NET, the MoE signed another 4-year of collaboration with Microsoft. The current phase aims to explore and scale ICT practices among teachers.
- Heuristics Online Learning Agent (HOLA): This provides students with “virtual buddies”, and promotes self-directed learning via Instant Messaging
- MyCLOUD: An interactive and virtual platform for Chinese language learning
- Microsoft School Technology Innovation Centre (STIC): World-class learning laboratory for educational institutions in the Asia Pacific region to enhance their use of ICT
- Cyber Wellness Student Ambassador programme: To educate students on good netiquette and potential dangers in cyber space
(Thanks to Horng Shya Chua)