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Singapore’s 21st century classrooms with 3G smartphones

Zafar Anjum | March 29, 2012
A few tech and phone companies are helping prepare students in a primary school here for life in a fast-changing and highly connected world.

Two IT majors, along with two phone companies, are helping create a 21st century classroom experience for Singaporean students using 3G smartphones.

The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE), together with Qualcomm and Microsoft, has launched the WE Learn mobile education project.

The chosen school in Singapore for this experiment is Nan Chiau Primary School, an MOE-designated Future School in Singapore. Tasked with pushing the frontier of technology, it is leading the way with a 21st century classroom that implements the MOE's framework and serves as a model for primary schools throughout Singapore and Asia.

"The project will demonstrate how the latest wireless technology can be used to transform learning from a traditional, teacher-centric model to a student-centric, inquiry-oriented and collaborative framework where 24x7 access to resources in and out of the classroom allows students to acquire and practice 21st century competencies," said the two technology companies in a statement today.

With a grant from Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative, the WE Learn project is providing 3G-enabled Nokia Lumia 710 smartphones. SingTel is chipping in with the mobile broadband connectivity via its 3G wireless network. This programme will work with the help of a mobile learning platform (MyDesk) and educational applications developed by University of Michigan; and Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.

"With 3G smartphones and connectivity, our students have 24x7 access to educational content, Web-based resources and collaborative learning tools," said Chun Ming Tan, principal of Nan Chiau Primary School. "These tools give students the means to take responsibility for their own learning and enable teachers to provide individualised mentoring."


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