New tools for learning

Dr Wee showing a screen shot of the application, flanked by Yeoh (second from left) and SRJK (C) Choong Wen headmaster Wong Shee Fatt. Lim is on the left .

PUPILS at SJK(C) Choong Wen now have access to the nation’s first Chrome Lab, which is housed in their school in Kuala Lumpur.

Launched last week at the school’s premises by Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, the Chrome Lab is designed to have an “open concept” to promote collaboration between students.

It is also fully-equipped with Yes 4G Chromebook units and mobile Internet.

The lab, which was designed and fitted by EduSpec Holdings, has an open layout and the pupils sit on hexagonal tables. The company’s chief executive officer Lim Een Hong says this will allow the pupils to have face-to-face discussions while they work.

“It is truly an environment built for inspiration, creativity and collaboration with pupils nationwide,” he said in his speech.

YTL Group executive chairman Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay said that due to the availability of resources on the Internet, there were huge opportunities for learning.

“We need to make sure that our students are not left out but instead they will be able to tap into these resources to make learning better and more engaging,” he said.

While Chinese vernacular schools in Malaysia already have computer classes, with these Chromebooks, teachers will be able to take the pupils out from the classroom as the devices are wireless and therefore, extremely portable.

Pupils will also be able to make use of FrogAsia’s cloud-based Frog Virtual Learning Environment and Google Apps for Education.

YTL Power executive director Datuk Yeoh Seok Hong said that “having a cloud-based technology negates the need for bulky servers in the lab itself”.

All the information will be stored at main servers elsewhere. This also means that the Chromebook operating systems will be able to undergo constant updates, ensuring that users have the latest versions of the software.

“Also, there will be no more viruses,” said Seok Hong.

Dr Wee said that this was in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025.

“Introducing our nation’s pupils to the exciting field of ICT is an obvious step in modernising the Malaysian education system,” he said.

He added that he hoped to see more schools follow in the footstps of SJK(C) Choong Wen.

Dr Wee reiterated that this was not part of the 1BestariNet project that was included in the blueprint.

However, he said that the syllabus would still be based on the Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (KSSR).

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