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EED502/05 ICT in Education

Implimentation of ICT for Teaching and Learning

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EED502/05 ICT in Education

Unit overview

Unit learning outcomes

5.1 ICT Policy Planning and Implementation

Introduction ............................................................................................................. 4
Learning outcomes .................................................................................................. 5
ICT Policy Planning ................................................................................................ 5
Summary ............................................................................................................... 13
Self-test 5.1 ............................................................................................................ 14
5.2 Diversity and Inclusion


Introduction ........................................................................................................... 15
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 16
What is Diversity? ................................................................................................. 17
What is Diversity ................................................................................................... 19
A Role for ICT ...................................................................................................... 19
What is Inclusion? ................................................................................................. 24
Multiple Intelligences ............................................................................................ 30
Summary ............................................................................................................... 33
Self-test 5.2 ............................................................................................................ 33
5.3 Learners in Remote Locations


Introduction ........................................................................................................... 34
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 36
Strategies to Reach Remote Communities Using ICT .......................................... 36
Malaysian Approach to Introducing ICT in Rural Schools ................................... 38
A Malaysian Case study ........................................................................................ 41
Distance Education ................................................................................................ 42
Summary ............................................................................................................... 43
Self-test 5.3 ............................................................................................................ 43
5.4 Educational Management Information System


Introduction ........................................................................................................... 44
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 44
Establising EMIS challenges and issues ............................................................ 45
EMIS development major shifts ......................................................................... 47
EMIS emerging technologies ............................................................................. 49
EMIS experiences............................................................................................... 56
Summary ............................................................................................................... 61

EED502/05 ICT in Education

5.5 Emerging Trends in Education


Introduction ........................................................................................................... 62
Learning outcomes ................................................................................................ 63
Future Trends of Education ................................................................................... 63
Learners of the Future ........................................................................................... 67
Teachers of the Future ........................................................................................... 68
Classrooms of the future........................................................................................ 70
Schools of the Future ............................................................................................. 71
Summary ............................................................................................................... 74
Self-test 5.5 ............................................................................................................ 74
Summary of unit





EED502/05 ICT in Education

Unit overview
Our countrys approach to the application of ICTs in education has
received much praise internationally. Guided by the nations ICT
vision, the Ministry of Education embarked on an ICT
implementation programme in schools, colleges and universities
through the National Strategic ICT Road Map (see Unit 1.2). This
plan had, among other things, the following objectives:
1. Building a united Malaysian nation.
2. Accelerate and enhance human capital.
3. Empower national schools.
4. Bridge the education.
5. Enhance the status and capabilities of the teaching profession.
6. Upgrade the excellence of the educational institutions.
In this section, we will consider some of the broader issues and
challenges relating to policies, planning and implementation that
nation and their institutions have to consider as the ICT intrusion
into its schools and classrooms become increasingly pervasive with
each passing day.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Unit learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
1. Describe policy issues and implementation strategies to introduce
ICT in the school environment.
2. Analyse the value and usefulness of ICTs in reaching out to
remote areas.
3. Explore the options for developing community networks in
promoting innovations through technologies in education.
4. Describe the application of MIS in education management.
5. Explore the emerging technology trends of their implication for
the future education.

5.1 ICT Policy Planning and Implementation

Investments in ICTs to improve the quality of education in our schools,
colleges and universities requires vast sums of money in hardware,
software, content development and skills enhancement of both teachers
and learners. Such huge investments require not only careful planning but
also thoughtful implementation. Both at the national and institutional
level policy makers and implementation managers must have a clear
vision as to the purpose, outcomes and impact for such huge investments
to be made. They also need to understand the contextual complexities of
the educational ecosystem of the communities into which the introduction
high technology is planned, a social and educational commentator called
Neil Postman (1995, 192) in his book The End of Education said that
Technological change is not adductive; it is ecological. A new
technology does not mere add something; it changes everything.1 As
more and more sophisticated technologies come into play, their disruptive
tendencies have to acknowledged and provisions made at the planning
stage to ensure that countries not only receive substantial return on their
investment through social good but also individuals benefit through
personal development
A balanced and sustainable road map towards ICT for education is very
dependent on a nations ICT ecosystem. We are very fortunate in our
country that we developed a clear defined roadmap for such a purpose

Neil Postman [1995]: The end of education Redefining the Value of School.
Vintage Books, New York, USA. [pp. 192]

EED502/05 ICT in Education

(see Unit 1.2). This ICT roadmap seems to have provided for the orderly
introduction of ICTs in all of the social sectors including education on a
planned basis. In this section we will consider the various parameters that
require addressing as governments and their institutions embark on
developing policies and implementing plans for the use of ICTs in
educational systems. ,.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Explain ICT policy planning for education.
2. Describe concerns that must be factored in ICT policy planning.
3. Discuss the challenges in implementing ICT policies.
Section 5.1 will focus primarily on ICT policy planning and
ICT policy

Technology for Education: Potential, Parameters
and Prospects in Haddad and Dexler (2009)

ICT Policy Planning

You may recollect in unit 1.2 we looked at Malaysias National ICT
Strategic Plan with its road map. In that Road Map much emphasis was
given to education. As a follow up to the road map, the Ministry of
Education in association with the MSC designed an ICT Policy
framework for education for our country. The policy framework has four
major thrusts, which are as follows:
1. The first policy for ICT in education is based on the Government's
recognition of knowledge as a necessary basis for sustainable human
capital development. The Policy therefore seeks to define the roles of
all parties in the new partnerships of the public, private and
community sectors required to drive the far-reaching changes needed
to achieve knowledge for all in the new Information and Digital Age.
2. The second policy for ICT in education focuses on deploying ICT as
an enabler for education through four main pillars of delivery
human capital, budget, digital learning resources and infrastructure.
3. The third policy for ICT in education focuses on the adoption of
value-added management tools and advanced concepts from global
best practices such as total cost of ownership, public private
partnership, lifecycle approach and central programme management.
4. The fourth policy for ICT in education focuses on the special
education group including juveniles, aborigines, and students with
special needs to give them equal opportunity as Malaysia progresses
towards a high-income nation.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

That policy framework identified five major pillars as the mission of the
MOE. These are:
1. To continuously develop ICT as an enabler for education.
2. To cultivate the culture of embracing 21st century skills among all
stakeholders in the education ecosystem.
3. To streamline and optimize the process through which the benefits of
ICT in education can be fully leveraged.
4. To monitor and provide reward and recognition for outstanding
performance in the use of ICT in education.
5. To promote the creation and sustainability of an environment
favourable for invention of new ideas, creations and solutions
through the use of ICT as an enabler in education.
Read the Vision, Mission and Policy objectives of MOEs ICT in our
educational system. This policy statement was developed in association
with the Multimedia Super Corridor and is considered as the basic
framework guiding the nations use of ICT in our schools.
Reading 5.1

Source: Policy on ICT in Education Malaysia 2010

The aspirations expressed by our government are not too dissimilar from
those of many countries in the world. It is guided by our belief that the
future well being of communities can only be guaranteed by the
communitys knowledge of and ability to use ICT effectively.
In one of its recent reports the Asian Development Bank remarked that
information literacy sustains the health and robustness of any
knowledge dependent society as it empowers individuals in all walks of
life to seek evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve
their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. (Asian
Development Bank 2009) Over the last thirty years we have begun to
believe and even accept that technology has the potential to vastly
improve our lives especially in the way we deliver education. But
experience tells us that this has not been the case. There are those who
would argue that educational standards have slipped rather than improved
(What is your view as a practicing teacher?). If expectations have not
been met is it because the promise of ICT has been overstated or is it
something else in the ecosystem that has inhibited teachers and learners
from making full use of the potential and promise of ICT.
Potential of any innovation is not met automatically. It requires
thoughtful planning driven by clear policy directions at the national and
school level. Increasingly many ASEAN countries have put in place
policy documents that spell out their approach to intensifying the use of
ICT within their educational systems. The Asian Development Bank
( published a short review on Good Practice in
Information and Communication Technology in Education in 2009.
Please take time to read this publication before proceeding further.

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Read the report on Good Practice in Information and Communication

Technology for Education from the Asian Development Bank. Answer
the questions listed below:
Activity 5.1

1. List four important issues that must be addressed in designing a

national ICT policy for education:
a. _________________________________________
b. _________________________________________
c. _________________________________________
d. __________________________________________
Suggested Answers:
a. Identify and define a purpose for the introduction of technologies
in schools and have a clear view of the cost of introduction and
the recurrent coast of maintenance of the ICT infrastructure.
b. The training of teachers in the effective use of ICTs in the
c. Ensuring teacher training curriculum reflects the effective use of
ICTs for teaching, learning and communicating.
d. Continuous professional development of serving teachers who
are not only familiar with the technologies but are also adapt their
classroom behaviour to better exploit all of the potentials of
Global experience dictates that there are at least six or seven factors that
must be considered in establishing a successful ICT plan for education. In
their book Technology for Education: Potential, Parameters and
Prospects (2009) Haddad and Dexler provide a lengthy description of
these issues. Below we present a somewhat abridged version of that
1. Educational Policy: Technologies are supporting tools; they cannot
fix bad practice and neither can they reduce the negative impact of ill
thought and managed educational systems. Therefore nations and
their schools have to make choices about national goals and
objectives, their approached to achieving those goals and the
methodologies they adopt and the role of teachers and expectations of
students before technology solutions are considered. In the context of
our country, as an example, if teaching is telling and demonstrating
and learning is memorizing and regurgitating, using multimedia, the
web and other tools and facilities will not have the desired impact of
improving the learning environment. The effectiveness of ICT
depends on policy elements that demand teachers work
collaboratively, students enquire, search, discover and turn

EED502/05 ICT in Education

information into knowledge and use that knowledge to further

enhance their skills or understanding.
2. Approach: Our classroom environments and the overwhelming
control of curriculum by a central authority often work against the
full use of the freedoms that technologies present. By and large our
educational environments still limits us to use the technologies
almost in the same way as the chalk and board. Examples include
putting on screen what can be found on the page of a book, using
material from the Internet to support conventional teaching
practices, and employing didactic software to rehearse basic skills.
This merely replicates existing learning methods in technological
form. If ICTs are to fulfill their potential, innovation and change are
called for at all levels of the school environment. And that requires
a far reaching review of teaching policies and methods. The
challenge, therefore, is to rethink learning objectives and teaching
methodologies, and to align learning technologies with them. It was
never satisfactory merely to be efficient in helping learners to achieve
mastery of content and basic skills, but the issue has now become a
vital one. As knowledge in itself becomes a perishable item, the
ability of learners to think independently, exercise appropriate
judgment and scepticism, and collaborate with others to make sense
of their changing environment is the only reasonable aim for
education. Perhaps the most profound shift is from systems of
teaching and supervision of learning to systems of learning and
facilitation of learning. These shifts will be difficult in different ways
for both rich and poor school systems. In advantaged communities,
change is an upheaval for established authorities, systems, and
capacities. In disadvantaged communities, the infrastructure must be
put into place along with serious attention to pedagogy. There is also
a basic difference between using technology as an add-on to make the
current model of education more efficient, more equitable, and
cheaper, on the one hand, and integrating technology into the entire
education system to realize structural rethinking and reengineering,
on the other. It is the difference between a marginal addition and a
radical systemic change.
3. Infrastructure: The application of each technology falls over a wide
spectrum, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. It is important,
therefore, to identify the most appropriate, cost-effective, and
sustainable technology and level of application for the different
educational objectives. Then the whole prerequisite hardware
infrastructure needs to be in place with the supporting elements, such
as electricity, maintenance, and technical services. In the case of
computer infrastructure, questions about what is appropriate are more
complicated and should include the following considerations:

EED502/05 ICT in Education

a. Where and how should computers be distributed, connected, and

used in schools? Different educational and institutional objectives
are served by different configuration options: computers in
classrooms, on wheels, in computer rooms or labs, or in libraries
and teachers rooms. Should computers be stand-alone or
connected to form a network? If the latter, which network option
is the most cost-effective: peer-to-peer, client/server, or thinclient/server? Finally, should computers be connected by wiring
the classroom or school, or should they be wireless?
b. Turning computers into powerful communication tools requires
access to the Internet; however, getting a school online,
particularly in a developing country, is not a straightforward task.
First, schools need to figure out why they need to connect and to
what. The next problem is communication infrastructure. In many
areas, it is either nonexistent or expensive to use. Some forms of
terrestrial wireless and satellite technologies are being introduced
that do not require installation of wired line networks and are
ideal for remote and isolated areas. Finally, schools need to find
out whether they have the resources, beyond the initial
investment, to cover connectivitys operating costs.
c. Computers are not dying of old age; however, every so many
years they need to be replaced because they cannot handle new
operating system or application software. This creates a major
problem for schools and national governments with limited
financial resources. In fact, school systems spacing the
introduction of computers over a period of time longer than the
life of a computer will never be able to cover all of their schools.
Some organizations are trying to address the problem by
providing software packages that can be run on any computer,
from a 286 to the newest dual core i7.
d. ICTs in schools require supporting infrastructure that includes
electricity, communication, wiring, and special facilities. Just as
countries are experimenting with wireless connections, some in
Africa and Latin America are using solar energy to run computers
(and radios) in remote and isolated areas
4. Skills: People involved in integrating technologies into the teaching/
learning process have to be convinced of the value of the
technologies, comfortable with them, and skilled in using them.
Therefore, orientation and training for all concerned staff in the
strategic, technical, and pedagogical dimensions of the process is a
necessary condition for success.( In Unit 2, you would have read
about the professional development of teachers)
5. Budget: Acquiring the technologies themselves, no matter how hard
and expensive, may be the easiest and cheapest element in a series of
elements that ultimately could make these technologies sustainable or
beneficial. Computers, in particular, need highly skilled and costly
maintenance to operate most of the time. Yet, in almost all cases,
schools invest in buying and networking computers but do not budget
sufficiently for their maintenance and technical support. It is

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important, therefore, to plan and budget for the total cost of

ownership. Elements contributing to the total cost of ownership
a. acquisition of hardware and software;
b. installation and configuration;
c. connectivity;
d. maintenance;
e. support, including supplies, utilities, and computer training;

retrofitting of physical facilities; and

g. replacement costs (in five to seven years).

6. Integration - The success of ICTs in education depends on how they
are introduced into the system. Here are some strategic options:
a. ICTs may be used as an additional layer of educational input,
which leaves the current system intact but adds hardware and
software for enrichment. The problem here is that both students
and teachers may not take the additional materials seriously or
know how to relate them to the current program. Also, this may
not realize the full potential of, and, consequently, returns from,
b. ICTs may be treated as an integral part of the existing
instructional system. Under this option, the process involves
articulating learning objectives, translating objectives/standards
into teaching/learning activities, producing multimedia curricular
materials, training staff, establishing a distribution
communication network, assessing learning achievement, and
evaluating the program. Here, ICTs are not a substitute for the
classroom setting; rather, they enhance the role of the teacher as a
facilitator and the role of the student as a learner.
c. They can be a structured multimedia program that covers a
particular coursesimilar to a textbook-plus that is followed by
all students in all schools in the same way. Many publishers have
evolved their textbooks into packages of printed (or digital) text
plus related slides, videos, audiotapes, and CDs.
d. They can be multimedia modules that are constructed in a
flexible way so as to serve as building blocks of different
curricula and teaching practices. Here, each module is broken
down into educational sub-objectives to be met by specific
technologies, such as video, animation, simulation, real-life
exploration, etc. Not only can the modules be put together in
different ways, the sub-modules can be reconfigured to form
different versions suitable for different teaching styles and
learning needs.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Implementation of challenges
The Malaysian approach to embedding ICTs firmly within our
educational culture has been through the creation of Smart Schools.
In the previous units, you were introduced to our concept of smart
schools as well as a study of these by scholars at UKM and
UNIMAS. The Malaysian approach to the creation of the Smart
schools has all the hallmarks of orderly planning which follows a
seven stage circle. These are:
1. Stage 1: The creation of a national ICT policy with specific goals
2. Stage 2: Embedding the ICT for Education with the national
3. Stage 3: Clarifying the national curriculum in response to the
technology environment
4. Stage 4: Identifying appropriate technologies and approaches to
meet the curricula demands
5. Stage 5: Build the capacities of both the teaching staff as well as
administrators involved in the programme
6. Stage 6: The implementation of the programme
7. Stage 7. Carry out periodic monitoring and evaluating progress.

Figure 5.1 A flow Chart of Planning Approach to ICT introduction in

Source: Policy on ICT in Education Malaysia: a report by MSC and Frost
and Sullivan (2010) extracted from on 30 June,
In 2010 the Malaysian Super Corridor Agency jointly commissioned a
review of MOEs ICT POLICY and progress and with a consulting
company called Frost and Sullivan. Read the preamble section of this
report as your next activity. You are encouraged to brief through the
entire report to further strengthen your understanding.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Read the Preamble section from pp 2-7 of the Policy on ICT in Education
Malaysia report by Frost and Sullivan.

Reading 5.2

Activity 5.2

It is likely that you would have had personal experience yourself or know
of someone who may have gone through a planning experience in
emplacing ICT in schools. Describe your or your associates experience
how you/your associate regarding the seven (a-f) described above.
Discuss your impressions with your course mates or tutor on
a. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------b. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------c. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------d. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------e. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------f.


The Ministry of Education has been pursuing a policy of both introducing

and inculcating an ICT receptive environment in all National Type
Schools. Many have praised the MOE for its efforts. In 2010, one of its
officers presented Malaysias country report on ICT in our school system.
You are encouraged to read this report following which you may wish to
compare your personal experience with those listed by Dr. Shamsuddin in
Table 4 as described in his paper Integrating ICT in Teaching and
Learning: Country Report: Malaysia (Activity 5.3).

Activity 5.3

Read the article Integrating ICT in Teaching and Learning: Country

Report: Malaysia by Dr. Shamsuddin Hassan of the MOE, in the year
2010 at a UNESCO conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Using the table
below relate your experience in the classroom to Dr. Shamsuddins
account of the MOE is implementing it ICT integration in schools in our
Dr. Shamsuddins Policy View

Your Classroom Experience

Can you think of reasons if and why there is a difference between the two


EED502/05 ICT in Education

While policy initiatives such as those described by Dr. Shamsuddin bring

about change in educational systems such changes, unfortunately, such
initiatives does not seem to benefit all. It is not because policy initiatives
by itself discriminate but personal, community and infrastructure
differences can marginalize some and benefit others.
In the next two units we will consider how individuals and institutions
attempt to ensure that benefits brought about by the use of ICT can be
made inclusive by the creativity of teachers and schools.

Section 5.1 considered the important issues and challenges that planner of
ICT policies and implementers of those policies have to consider
ensuring success. Careful and thoughtful planning will take account of
both the social and infrastructural milieu into which technologies are
brought in. They include at least six elements which include: policy,
approaches taken to implement, infrastructure, skills, budget and a clear
plan for integration. The educational systems in Malaysia has benefitted
from a well constructed National ICT Roadmap which permitted the
Ministry of Education to move forward with their efforts through a seven
stage planning and implementation cycle. Such a cycle provided for
monitoring and evaluation of ICT projects to learn from past mistakes as
new roll outs are embarked on.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Self-test 5.1
If you are asked to design and implement an ICT facility for your school
name at least four key items which in your view will be critical factors for
a successful introduction:
a. ____________________________________________
b. _____________________________________________
c. --------------------------------------------------------------------d. ---------------------------------------------------------------------Suggested Answers: :
a. A clearly defined policy for the use of technologies in school.
b. Strategies to mobilise the financial and infrastructural resources
required to establish and sustain the ICT facilities.
c. Resources for the training and continuous regular retraining of
d. A well thought out strategy to integrate ICTs to existing
structures and practices.



EED502/05 ICT in Education

5.2 Diversity and Inclusion

Teaching in a Malaysian School presents many challenges to a teacher
none greater than the sheer diversity of his or her students. This is
probably true for teachers all over the world. The twenty first century
teachers are expected to cope with these diversities in a sensible and
sensitive manner. Our nations commitment to equity for all, demands
that our educational efforts, must be inclusive to all of our countrys
citizens. These diversities not only relate to the size, shape, gender, race,
and colour but also different learning abilities, styles and behaviours.
This section of Module 1 will be engage you in considering how ICTs
support teachers like you cope with diversity and inclusion in the
classroom. We will look at this challenge in four parts. They are
presented in table below.

Text Resource

What is

Multicultural Education:
Managing Diversity in
Malaysian Schools

A Role for

Diversity In The
Classroom: Bridging
Difference And
Distance Through
Using Flexible
Technology to Meet the
Needs of Diverse
Learners: What
Teachers can Do
Collected Wisdom:
Strategies and


Media Resources

EED502/05 ICT in Education

Resources for TAs

What is

Ten questions on

Mia Farah inclusive

The Inclusive Classroom

Confluence Volume 5
inclusive education
differently abled

Emerging Perspectives
on Learning, Teaching
and Technology
Chapter 9 - Multiple
intelligences and
learning styles

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Define diversity and multiculturalism.
2. List the major types of diversity in todays classroom.
3. Explain the major types of multicultural issues in todays
4. Explain how the salad bowl versus the melting pot theory
directs behavior.
5. Illustrate the world of diversity and multiculturalism.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

What is Diversity?
When you walk into your classroom the next time, pause for a minute and
consider the following:
1. How many of the children in your class are girls and how many are
2. How many are Malaysians of (i) Malay origin, (ii) Chinese origin and
(iii) Tamil origin?
3. How many children are of the Islamic faith and how many are nonMuslims?
In almost all of our national type schools, especially in the urban and
semi urban situations you will encounter the range of diversities that you
yourself would have experienced in your classroom. An appreciation of
diversity in the classroom adds value to the service you provide to your
students in very meaningful ways especially as they grow up to play
their role as useful citizens in a multi ethnic and multi racial society.
Before we proceed further in defining a role for the technologies in
managing diversity in classrooms, such as the ones we encounter all over
our country, it may be helpful to consider what diversity is and what it is
Very often people have a tendency to use the terms diversity with
multiculturism interchangeably. There is a difference between the two.
While this difference is not clear cut (the reason why people use them
interchangeably), the first i.e., multiculturism denotes the bigger or macro
situation (reflecting the nature of entire communities) while diversity is a
bit more specific in other words the micro situations reflecting individual
traits). Diversity can exist without multiculturism. For example if you
were to visit a Tamil school situated deep in an Indian community the
chances are almost all the children in that school may belong to one
cultural group say Tamils. But enter classroom in that school you will
soon find out that the children may belong to different genders, have
different physical attributes, belong to different religious faiths and
demonstrate different abilities and skills. Such classrooms present a range
of diversities.
Those who study diversity in classrooms identify a number of specific
issues that requires understanding by and respect from teachers. These
can be broadly classified under the following categories.
1. Gender: While many of our schools are gender segregated some are
co-educational in character. If you are a teacher working in a co
educational school you are expected to be sensitive to the needs of
the two genders in the way you handle your curriculum.
2. Ethnicity and race: Malaysians deal with ethnicity and race on
almost a daily basis. While our national leaders attempt to build a
nation that is colour blind through campaigns like 1 Malaysia the
struggle to mould a nation of one people is hard and requires support
from every Malaysian. Teachers play an important role in this
3. Age diversity: in most our classrooms is not a critical issue. Children
enroll in their first primary class when they reach the age of seven


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and from there move forward together at the start of every academic
4. Socio-economic status: this is an issue that is very critical in the
average Malaysian urban classroom. While educational policies, such
as uniforms, help in reducing obvious differences other disparities
such as family wealth for tuition classes, learning materials, co
curricular activities and technology tools make significant differences
to a childs learning environment. How does a teacher cope with
these disparities?
5. Religion: this is both a sensitive subject and one that create
pedagogical challenges. Malaysian teachers need to have a
tremendous sensitivity to religious norms, practices and beliefs. This
is not a subject to be avoided but that should be treated sensibly when
it relates to curriculum
6. Language: while Bahasa Malaysia is the national language and the
medium of instruction in our schools children with their own other
tongues with their linguistic traditions expect those traditions to be
respected. Besides respect teachers are also expected deal with
children who need more attention as they struggle with Bahasa as
well as English for certain subjects.
7. Learning styles: teachers who are most successful in their
classrooms are those who appreciate the different styles of learning of
children from different cultures. Some cultures promote independent
learning while others have as strong inclination towards heavily
supported learning cultures.
Before you proceed further with this lesson, I would like to you to read an
article by Prof. Najeemah Mohd. Yusof on Multicultural Education:
Managing Diversity in Malaysian Schools and when you are done
reading make a list of all the traits of diversity found in a typical
Malaysian Classroom. Against each trait also describe what each item on
the list means to you as a teacher.

Activity 5.4

I would like you to engage with your peers in this course using the
WawasanLearn on your experience of dealing with the diversity in your
classroom every day. Please note since you are sharing experience, there
are no right or wrong answers to this activity. After you have gone
through this exercise I suggest you read the article by Najeema Mohd
Yusof on Multicultural Education: Managing Diversity in Malaysian
Schools (2008).2 Consider if Prof. Najeemahs descriptions of the
challenges confronting Malaysian teachers are valid. List down below
the points you are in agreement with her and those that you dont.


Najeemah Mohd Yusof [2008]: Multi Cultural Education: Managing Diversity in

Malaysian Schools. Malaysian Education Deans Council Journal: [v.2]


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(e.g) Gender

I must be sensitive to language that shows a

gender bias say chairperson instead of

What is Diversity
A Role for ICT
It is very likely that for a number of reasons many teachers, in our schools,
often overlook the unique traits of each individual student. This is not just a
Malaysian phenomenon teachers worldwide exhibit this tendency. Why
do you think this is the case?

Please spend about ten minutes reading the experience of one teacher from
North America who shares her views on the subject.
Reading 5.3

Leslie Harris in the story above found the use of on-line conversation as a
way of encouraging students from different racial and cultural backgrounds
to encourage full participation and engagement on topics that many of
them would have found uncomfortable in a face to face discussion. Her
view and caution was that the Computer Mediated Instructional (CMI)
environment led to more frank and forthright conversation and her caution
was for teachers to moderate in such a way as not to kill the discussion but
to manage it in a way that it does not get out of hand.
From your experience of the on line social media, in our country, do you
think online discussions are managed sensibly and sensitively?

Reflection 5.1



EED502/05 ICT in Education


Suggested Answers: Blogging through the social media is a big and

growing phenomenon in our country. However most on-line discussions
are either on political issues, the few that concern themselves on social
issues (mostly by NGOs) also invariably sink into ethnic related morass.
Very few moderators of on line discussions exhibit tendencies that tend to
be socially incorrect. I have refrained from naming blogs in my response
simply because it may be improper either legally or politically.
With increasing availability of personal computers and affordable
connectivitys teachers in our schools have tools to use in coping with
diversities in their classrooms. The instances of such utilization are yet to
become common place. But as we becoming increasingly aware of the
many ways in which individuals learn and as policy makers become
familiar with the potential of the technologies there will be increasing
expectations that the classroom will become a supportive environment for
all learners. Early during his presidency, President Bush of the USA
declared that a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for his country. One
outcome of the policy was to make classrooms accessible to every learner
regardless of their individual traits. Technological tools became an
important part of the classroom environment.
Read the article on Using Flexible Technology to Meet the Needs of
Diverse Learners: What Teachers can Do by Lisa Wahl and Julie
Reading 5.4

Consider some of the main points from the article:
1. Technology can support differentiated instruction different
individuals encode information through different stimuli (e.g.
auditory and visual). Teachers can take differentiated approaches to
best exploit an individuals strengths. Many technology resources to
support differentiated instructions are already available in schools
e.g. word processors, graphics software web resources through which
students can gather, respond to and benefit from at their own pace.
Some of the tools that are available include:
a. Talking Text e.g. Appleworks
b. Web Resources these are increasing in numbers all the time
c. Graphic Organisers - .e.g maps
d. Word processors
2. The Future promises even more technologies to support teachers
confronted with children approaching learning with different abilities
of styles. Between the time when authors wrote the article and 2012
a lot more technologies have become available. Smart phones and


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iPads and touch screens present even greater options, as are voice
synthesizing and recognition technologies.
3. Movement towards Universal Design, which calls for all computerbased learning materials to be flexible enough to support all
The Table 5.1 below illustrates ways in which teachers have used
technologies in addressing diversity in the classrooms to support
personalized learning.

Technology Bases

Non Technology based



LMS or email push

flyer, email, or phone

Overview session


traditional classroom








Self-paced learning

Query resolution



workbooks with "ifthen" decision tables

face-to-face meeting
with expert



print test

Collaborative session


role-playing with peers




role-playing with peers

Feedback and closing



traditional classroom


Table 5.1 Different ways in which teachers have used ICTs to support
Extracted from P. Valiathan in Blended Learning Models,
Before we move on to the next section read the conference paper on
Challenges of Learner Diversity in Malaysia: Policies, Practices and the
Way Forward by Tan Sri Hj. Alimuddin bin Mohd. Dom a former
director General of Education.


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Activity 5.5

I want you to create a Checklist of the General Principles from Tan Sri
Alimuddins paper. After having done that compare your checklist with
that of the checklist below. What do you think are the gaps in your
checklist as well as our countrys position on diversity in the classroom?
(One example has been worked out for you.)
Checklist of the General Principles governing the treatments of diversity
in Malaysian Schools.

Governing Principles/Guidelines from


(e.g) Language

Respect all languages while using the

National Language for instruction (Gap
No specific guidelines in handling
language deficiencies)

General principles
1. Treat students as individuals whose identities are complex and
For example, you can ask open-ended questions to solicit students'
reports of their experiences or observations without calling on a
student to speak for his or her race/gender/culture. Also, learning to
pronounce all of the names correctly shows respect for varied
2. Encourage full participation while being aware of differences which
may influence students' responses.
For example, you can make eye contact with everyone, increase your
wait time to include less assertive and/or more reflective students, ask
questions that draw out quieter participants or challenge dominant
students in small groups, or talk with students outside of class to
provide encouragement.
3. Vary your teaching methods to take advantage of different learning
styles and to expand the repertoire of strategies tried by each student.
For example, you can foster peer relationships with in-class
collaboration, include concrete examples whenever possible, use
visual or dramatic presentations, or value personal knowledge and
experience when students share it.
4. Promote a respectful classroom climate with egalitarian norms and


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acceptance of differences.
For example, you can encourage student projects involving diverse
perspectives, discuss guidelines or ground rules for good
participation, and monitor language use for implicit assumptions,
exclusions, or overgeneralizations.
5. Be aware of possible student anxiety about their performance in a
competitive environment such as Carnegie Mellon's but try not to
All students - including those whose personal or cultural histories
may include being a target of stereotypes and discrimination - need
clear standards and evaluation criteria, straightforward comments on
their work delivered with tact and empathy, and early feedback so
that they can change their learning strategies or get help if needed.
Avoiding common problems
1. Avoid highly idiomatic English.
Idioms are especially confusing for non-native speakers of English or
any student who may have been raised in another country or another
region of the U.S. While the expressions may be colourful, many
students may miss an important concept if the phrase in unfamiliar
(e.g. "once in a blue moon," "between a rock and a hard place").
2. Provide some linguistic redundancy.
Many students, particularly non-native speakers of English, benefit
from both seeing and hearing language (e.g. through the use of the
blackboard or overhead projector) and from hearing key ideas stated
in different ways.
3. Use diverse examples rather than ones which assume a particular
background or experience.
Examples that come easily are often those which come from our own
experiences. Make sure you aren't consistently assuming all your
students share that experience. For example, notice when many of
your examples are based on cultural or regional knowledge, hobbies
favored predominantly by one gender, or political or historical
knowledge unfamiliar to those from other countries.
4. Don't assume that students who don't talk don't know the material.
Being quiet in the classroom and not "showing off" are considered
respectful in many Asian cultures. For some women and people of
color, silence in the classroom may have been learned in response to
negative experiences with participation (e.g. being interrupted by
others, not getting credit for their ideas, having others talk to them in
a condescending or dismissive way).
5. Watch the type of humor that occurs in your classes to be sure it


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denigrates no one.
A surprisingly large number of jokes involve putting down people
who are different in some way and who may already feel marginal
because of those differences. For more about classroom humor, see
page 30 of Collected Wisdom.
Source: Freeland, R (1998)
Extracted from (Accessed 18 May 2012)

What is Inclusion?
The term inclusion has a special meaning in the education of children.
UNESCO in its explanation of the term is fairly clear. It states that
inclusive education as a process of addressing and responding to the
diversity of needs of all learners through increasing participation in
learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion from
education and from within education. The demand for inclusive
education by implication would also mean that there are people excluded
either becaues of personal circumstances or other barriers. Who are these
people. UNESCO again: Exclusion does not only refer to the 75 million
children for whom access to education is denied or those who drop out
before completion. It also happens every day to those in schools who are
segregated or discriminated against due to social condition, ethnic
origin, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, or other
individual characteristics or capacities. If policies, contents and teaching
approaches are not adapted to the diversity of the students, they will not
have the conditions to learn effectively the skills that will allow them to
be successful in work and life.
The desirable goal is for the whole education system to facilitate learning
environments where teachers and learners embrace and welcome the
challenge and benefits of diversity. Within an inclusive education
approach, learning environments are fostered where individual needs are
met and every student has an opportunity to succeed. The interpretation
of this explanation often gets somewhat massaged to suit particular
circumstances and regions.
In early 2011UNESCO addressed the question of inclusive education by
presenting 10 questions on the subject for its member states to ponder. I
have listed below in Table 5.2 the 10 questions and UNESCOs response
to those questions.
1. Beyond the
figures, what do
we know about
the excluded?


UNESCO Response
Exclusion has many faces. Despite real progress
since 2000 towards universal primary education,
72 million children are still not enrolled at all in
school. More than half are girls. Seven out of ten
live in sub-Saharan Africa or South and West
Asia. Poverty and marginalization are major
causes of exclusion. Households in rural or
remote communities and children in urban slums

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have less access to education. Disabled children

suffer from blatant educational exclusion they
account for one third of all out-of-school
children. Working children, those belonging to
indigenous groups and linguistic minorities,
nomadic children and those affected by
HIV/AIDS are among the vulnerable groups.
Some 37 per cent of out-of-school children live
in 35 states defined as fragile by the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development, but these do not include all places
facing conflict and post-conflict situations. In
every case children are at enormous risk of
missing out on an education.
2. Research on outof-school
suggests that
many countries
are now
access to school
but not ensuring
decent education
quality. Why?

Once you identify who the excluded are and

why they are not in school, strategies can be
developed to get them into school and keep them
there. The challenge is to implement policies
and practices to overcome the sources of
exclusion. It is necessary to look at what
happens in and out of school from childrens
daily reality in their homes and communities to
what happens when they go to school: what they
are actually learning and in what conditions.

3. How does

Efforts to expand enrolment must be

accompanied by policies to enhance educational
quality at all levels, in formal and in non-formal
settings. We have to work on an 'access to
success' continuum by promoting policies to
ensure that excluded children get into school
coupled with programmes and practices that
ensure they succeed there. It is a process that
involves addressing and responding to the
diverse needs of learners. This has implications
for teaching, the curriculum, ways of interacting
and relations between the schools and the

4. What are the

principles of


Inclusion is rooted in the right to education as

enshrined in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. A number of
treaties and normative instruments have since
reaffirmed this right. Three deserve specific
mention. UNESCOs 1960 Convention against
Discrimination in Education stipulates that
States have the obligation to expand educational
opportunities for all who remain deprived of
primary education. The 1966 International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights reaffirms the right to education for all
and highlights the principle of free compulsory
education. Finally, the Convention on the Rights

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of the Child, the most widely ratified human

rights treaty, spells out the right of children not
to be discriminated against. It also expresses
commitments about the aims of education,
recognizing that the learner is at the centre of the
learning experience. This affects content and
pedagogy, and - more broadly - how schools are
5. The notion of
inclusion is still
often associated
with children
who have special
needs. Why

6. How does
education need
to change to

7. How do
curricula need to
change to
improve learning
and encourage
the inclusion of
all pupils?


Too often programmes targeting various

marginalized and excluded groups have
functioned outside the mainstream special
programmes, specialized institutions and
specialist educators. Too often the result has
been exclusion second-rate educational
opportunities that do not guarantee the
possibility to continue studying. In developed
countries, the move towards more inclusive
approaches is often complicated by the legacy of
segregated or exclusive education for groups
identified as difficult or different. But there
is increasing recognition that it is better for
children with special needs to attend regular
schools, albeit with various forms of special
support. Studies in both OECD and non-OECD
countries indicate that students with disabilities
achieve better school results in inclusive settings
The overall goal is to ensure that school is a
place where all children participate and are
treated equally. This involves a change in how
we think about education. Inclusive education is
an approach that looks into how to transform
education systems in order to respond to the
diversity of learners. It means enhancing the
quality of education by improving the
effectiveness of teachers, promoting learningcentred methodologies, developing appropriate
textbooks and learning materials and ensuring
that schools are safe and healthy for all children.
Strengthening links with the community is also
vital: relationship between teachers, students,
parents and society at large are crucial for
developing inclusive learning environments.
An inclusive curriculum addresses the childs
cognitive, emotional and creative development.
It is based on the four pillars of education for the
21st century - learning to know, to do, to be and
to live together. This starts in the classroom. The
curriculum has an instrumental role to play in
fostering tolerance and promoting human rights
and is a powerful tool for transcending cultural,
religious and other differences. An inclusive
curriculum takes gender, cultural identity and
language background into consideration. It

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involves breaking gender stereotypes not only in

textbooks but in teachers attitudes and
expectations. Multilingual approaches in
education, in which language is recognized as an
integral part of a students cultural identity, can
act as a source of inclusion. Furthermore, mother
tongue instruction in the initial years of school
has a positive impact on learning outcomes. In
Zambia, for example, mother tongues are used
as a medium of instruction for the first three
years of schooling with positive effect.


8. Teachers have a
influence on
learning. Yet
their status and
conditions in
many countries
make it difficult
to promote
inclusion. What
can be done to
improve their

The way teachers teach is of critical importance

in any reform designed to improve quality. A
child-centred curriculum is characterized by a
move away from rote learning and towards
greater emphasis on hands-on, experience-based,
active and cooperative learning. Introducing
inclusion as a guiding principle has implications
for teachers practices and attitudes be it
towards girls, slow learners, children with
special needs or those from different

9. Is inclusive

It is inefficient to have school systems where

children are not learning because of poor
quality. Schools with high repetition rates often
fail to work in preventive ways. The expenditure
incurred by schools when students repeat a grade
would be better used to provide additional
support to those who encounter difficulties.
Several cost-effective measures to promote
inclusive quality education have been developed
in countries with scarce resources. These include
training-of-trainer models for professional
development, linking students in pre-service
teacher training with schools and converting
special needs schools into resource centres that

Adequate pre-service and in-service teacher

training is essential to improve learning.
Moreover, policies must address their status,
welfare and professional development. But there
exists not only a severe teacher shortage,
especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South and
West Asia, but a lack of adequately trained
teachers. This shortage has unfortunate
consequences for the quality of learning. A new
curriculum cannot be introduced without
familiarizing teachers with its aims and contents.
Assessment can help teachers to measure student
performance and to diagnose difficulties. But
teachers need to understand the value of good
assessment practices and learn skills to develop
their own

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provide expertise and support to clusters of

regular schools.
Exclusion starts very early in life. A holistic
Comprehensive early childhood care and
education programmes improve childrens well
being, prepare them for primary school and give
them a better chance of succeeding once they are
in school. All evidence shows that the most
disadvantaged and vulnerable children benefit
most from such programmes. Ensuring that
adults, particularly mothers, are literate has an
impact on whether their children, and especially
their daughters attend school. Linking inclusion
to broader development goals will contribute to
the reform of education systems, to poverty
alleviation and to the achievement of all the
Millennium Development Goals. An inclusive
system benefits all learners without any
discrimination towards any individual or group.
It is founded on values of democracy, tolerance
and respect for difference.
Table 5.2 Ten questions on Inclusion
10. Does inclusive
education lead to
more inclusive

The Malaysian view on the subject is somewhat muted. Tan Sri Hj.
Alimuddin, the former Director General (that you may read in the last
section) stated that Inclusion in Malaysia is the process of placing
students with Special Education Needs (SEN) under the Ministry of
Education responsibilities into mainstream classes to be educated
alongside their mainstream peers of the same age group or otherwise,
with or without additional support, and within the present school
system. He went to say further, Inclusion in Malaysia is more of
functional integration rather than total inclusion (acceptance of
students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream classes
without conditions). Two types of inclusion is being practiced, ( I ) full
inclusion, i.e. students with SEN are being placed fully in mainstream
classes, and (ii) partial inclusion, i.e., students with SEN are being
placed in mainstream classes for certain subjects only. Prior to inclusion
especially in the early part of their formal education, students with SEN
are being equipped with the necessary basic skills and knowledge, so as
to enable them to cope with mainstream learning. Only those who are
perceived able to cope with mainstream learning would be included fully
or partially. Thus, students with SEN are being prepared for inclusion as
opposed to inclusion without conditions. (Alimuddin bin Mohd. Dom.

Alimuddin bin Mohd. Dom [2008] : Challenges of Learner Diversity in Malaysia:

Policies, Practices and the way Forward. Paper presented at the International


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This view as expressed by the former Director General of Education

clearly places some conditions on including differently abled children
with others. There is however a school of thought that condition placed
on such children to be part of mainstream goes against the principle of
fair access. Such children are expected to acquire skills that will enable
them to cope with the challenges in say mainstream classes.
I want you to watch this video Mia Farah inclusive Education. Discuss
with your peers this video in the context of the policy speech by our
former Director General of education (Activity 5.5) through
Activity 5.6

What do you think are the gaps in our nations policies on the subject
especially with reference to questions 4-9 in Table 5.2 above as a
member of UNESCO are we meeting the principles enshrined in
UNESCOs declaration on inclusion?
This question merits a detailed and an open honest discussion which
Malaysians often shy away from [I am one of them]. It will be fair to say
that as country we try very hard in all of our policy design to be as
inclusive as we can afford or wish to. In practice our inlusivity falls short
of the UNESCO declaration. For example with big classes it is often
challenging to cater for learners of different learning styles or those with
learning difficulties; our systems are not set up to detect undelying
problems confronted by children who may have one or another kind of
learning difficulties. We all can hope as we invest mor and more into
using technologies to support teachers in classromm many of such
challenges can be handled.
Malaysia is not unique in confronting the challenges of inclusive
education. Throughout the world , especially in response to the
International Convention of the Rights of the Child education systems
have been considering and adopting strategies that are meaningful in
integrating differently abled children as well as children of different
language, ethnic and religious backgrounds on to mainstream provisions.
It is in this context that ICTs have begun to find a role. Many of the
technologies that you and I use daily have been improvised to support
different types of learners. Along the new technologies have also been
In a recent conference/workshop held in India experts gathered to
consider innovations in technology that could help teachers to develop
Conference on the Education of Learner Dicersity. 26/08/08, Putra jaya,


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pedagogies to support children with different abilities. These were

documented in a publication titled Confluence V of the Ministry of
Human Resource Development India.
We would like you to read pp 3-20 and 56-59 of Confluence V. These
chapters describe the various forms of Learning challenges and the
technological tools available to address them.

Activity 5.7

From your reading, use the table below to list all disabilities that teachers
encounter in classrooms on the left column and on the right column the
technologies that are available for teachers to support children with
learning difficulties.
Learning difficulties

Assistive technologies

We would like to view the following video on how a school district in N.

America handles inclusivity.
Inclusive Classroom - a North American Case study

Multimedia 5.1


Multiple Intelligences
In the last video (Multimedia 5.1) you watched, did you notice teachers
treating that each child as individuals and responding to their different
learning styles? Pause for a minute and reflect on how children approach
learning in your class. Does each one of your pupils approach learning
differently? Perhaps your classes are big and you are in a hurry to
complete the syllabus, which gives you little time to observe how each
child approaches his or her learning. But having an appreciation of
learning styles can help a teacher assist their pupils far more effectively
than not knowing much about them. Refer to your previous units to
refresh your memory on learning styles.


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List down the three types of Learning styles that are most obvious.
Describe them in one sentence for each style.
Style 1 _____________________________
Activity 5.8

Style 2 _____________________________
Style 3 ______________________________

Suggested answer:
Essentially in any classroom a teacher can observe three obvious styles.
These are:
1. The Visual Learners are those who learn through seeing. Such
children normally sit in front of the class observe the teachers body
language and facial expressions to understand what is being taught.
Pictures, video lessons, gaming, diagrams, picture books are all
preferred tools for such individuals. These learners also tend to take
copious notes to absorb the information.

2. Auditory Learners are those who learn through listening. Children

who fall into this group of learners learn best listening to a lecture,
participating and listening to discussions. Auditory learners are
sensitive to tonal changes in speech such as pitch, nuance, speed
among other signals. You may notice some children in your class
read aloud to themselves to grasp what is being taught. Look out for
those who carry tiny recording devices these are you auditory
learners. They have to hear to learn.
3. Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners are those learners who learn through
doing, touching and feeling. These learners learn best through a
hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around
them. For them sitting down and listening for long periods of time is
tiresome and boring. The tendency to be distracted is strong among
these individuals.
Observations of learning styles led Howard Gardner, a Professor of
Education at Harvard to propose the Theory of Multiple Intelligences
(MI) around the early 80s. This theory recognizes that learning can take
place in many different forms and Prof. Gardner initially proposed seven
types of intelligences which were later expanded to nine. These nine
intelligences are:



Linguistic intelligence ("word smart")


Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")


Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")


Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")


Musical intelligence ("music smart")


Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")

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Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")


Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")


Existential intelligence

Prof. Gardner reasoned that the traditional view that intelligence is based
on IQ tests was much too narrow as it relied on the cultural or traditional
norms of linguistic, mathematical and logic by which western society
measured abilities. A new more holistic measurement of a persons
capabilities would look beyond a persons literary and numerical abilities.
More and more educators tend to lean towards Gardners theories as they
approach the education of especially gifted children.

Activity 5.9

Please read Chapter 9 Multiple intelligences and learning styles of the

prescribed open textbook Emerging Perspective on Learning, Teaching
and Technology by Orey et al on Multiple Intelligence. This chapter
deals in some detail both the theory and their implications for teaching
and learning as well as role for technologies in managing MI in
classrooms. After reading Chapter 9 write in your own words the traits of
each one of the intelligences and the appropriate technologies that can be
used to support learners with such traits. One example has been done for






These learners think

conceptually in logical
and numerical patterns
making connections
between pieces of
information. Always
curious about the
world around them,
these learners ask lots
of questions and like
to do experiments.










Problem solving
Computer Aided
design programs
Strategy game

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Finally to wrap this section I want you to watch this short video which
summarises Gardners theory of multiple intelligences.
The Inclusive Classroom

Self-test 5.2
Provide examples how ICT can play a role in inclusive education.
Suggested answers:
1. Using electronic dictionaries and encyclopaedias supported
with pictures and diagrams to enhance vocabulary.
2. Using voice recognition input system as alternative to
avoiding frequent spelling mistakes.
3. Screen Reading Software or Text to Speech: Software used to

convert Text on the computer screen into spoken words. Used by

the totally blind and others that has trouble reading even magnified


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5.3 Learners in Remote Locations

In Unit 1, we considered the many aspects of the digital divide such as
access to appliances, connectivity, skills, training and infrastructure among
others. Despite the digital divide educational systems worldwide have
resorted to a variety of strategies to bridge the divide. In the case of
delivering good quality education with ICT support the challenge for
nations has been to overcome three major difficulties. These are:
1. Geographical isolation and poor infrastructure such absence or low
quality electric and telecommunication services, poor conditions for
the acquisition and maintenance of hardware.
2. Size of schools and non availability of specialized staff.
3. Cultural conditions of rural communities which normally lack
technological resources and professional isolation of teachers.
In this section, we shall look at strategies both here in our country as well
as other countries around the world in addressing these difficulties. In Unit
5.1 of this unit we considered the ICT policy objectives for use of ICT in
education in of our. If you recollect one of the thrusts of the policy is
for ICT in education (to focus) on the special education group including
juveniles, aborigines, and students with special needs to give them equal
opportunity as Malaysia progresses towards a high-income nation. As part
of that arrangement our present Minister of Education recently declared I
have decided to come up with a rural education transformation plan which
will focus on rural schools and improve their academic standing. The
transformation plan envisages the development of:

Teaching staff: whether teachers' expertise can meet school needs;


Facilities: whether school buildings are comfortable with wellequipped labs and infrastructure;


Quality of education: how subjects, especially core subjects, are



Resources: the allocation for rural schools might be increased

depending on the need; and,


Parental role: a study may be conducted on the students' home

environment and the role of parent-teacher associations.

Source: New Straits Times (2012) Plan to transform rural schools,
Malaysia is considered to be ahead of many countries in the manner in
which it has taken on the challenge of the digital divide to support
learning in remote communities. Remoteness is not necessarily


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determined by barriers of distance alone. There are other forms of

barriers as well. Can you think of other barriers to using ICT? In this
section (5.3), we shall look at strategies that have been found to be
helpful in using ICT to support learning of remote, isolated and
marginalized communities. We shall also consider Malaysias approach
to the challenge.

Text Resource

Media Resources

Strategies to
reach remote
using ICT

Technology in Schools:
Education, ICT and
Knowledge Society

Computer Assisted Learning

with Dell in China's Poor Rural

Chaprter VII Rural

Schools: A Special Case

approach to
ICT in rural

Technology in Schools:
Education, ICT and
Knowledge Society

A Malaysian
case study

Work with Computing

Systems: Bridging the
Digital Divide the EBario and E-Bedian



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Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Describe the challenges of taking ICT to remote locations.
2. Evaluate Malaysian approaches to using ICT in remote locations.
3. Describe the practice of distance education.

Strategies to Reach Remote Communities Using ICT

The learning experience of children in remote locations has been a cause
of concern for both political and community leaders of most countries
whether developed or developing. These concerns have been given
expression by international development agencies like UNICEF,
UNESCO, the World Bank and the Asian development bank among
many others including many international NGOs, which have a special
interest in education. In the year 2000, many these agencies came
together to develop a major global effort to bring Education For All [EFA
2000] of the worlds children. One of the many strategies proposed by the
meeting was to use ICTs extensively. We would like you to watch the
video programme Bridging Earth and Sky of a study by Stanford
University of the USA in introducing ICTs in rural schools in China.

Multimedia 5.2

Watch the video by REAP which is a Stanford University Programme to

bring innovation to education. This video is about a REAP experiment
with Computer Industry Giant DELL to take ICTs in rural areas in China.
Click at this link to view the video:
Besides financial resources the concerns expressed through the video also
spoke of the quality of education in remote areas. The quality of a childs
learning environment is determined by a number of criteria. Can you
name a few that you are familiar with?
It is generally accepted that there is no universally accepted or used
definition of quality in education. Many would argue that there are three
basic components, which could be used as indicators. Each one of them
in turn would be assigned subcomponents. For examples some authorities
would consider the context of the school (school leadership, discipline,
vision and mission), teachers (qualifications and experience, academic
skills, work assignments, professional development) and the classroom


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environment (curriculum and its content, learning resources, technology,

class size).
Rural and remote schools often fare poorly in comparison to urban
schools for a variety of reasons. It is in this context that governments
have adopted a number of ICT based strategies (most of which address
the need to improve access to quality pedagogy, learning resources, and
professional development). These ICT based strategies include some or
all of the following:
1. The identification and deployment of appropriate technological tools
that fits the rural environment. This would mean installation of
electrical and data networks with electrical stabilization, maintenance
regimes for the equipment, security to protect the equipment.
2. Access to the Internet and the World Wide Web such as radio-based
wireless solutions or satellite - based solutions.
3. Technical support to maintain and service computers and other
communication devices.
4. Content provision in digitized format - while content at school level
should conform to national curriculum it is also necessary to take into
account rural cultural sensitivities. Non urbanites are steeped in
tradition and their sensitivities to language, religious attitudes and
other cultural elements of content have to be carefully looked into.
There is also a need to consider the special needs of rural children
when using commercially available curricula content.
5. Community involvement in enculturising rural populations to ICT is
an important aspect of introducing ICT to rural schools. It is
necessary to involve community leaders in the planning as well as
deploying ICT in rural schools. Their ownership of the technologies
would mean sustainability can be assured.
6. Inducting and training rural teachers and school administrators to use
the technologies. The downside of not doing so will result in big
investments in the technologies creating white elephants that
seldom gets used. Investment in staff training is seen as an important
part and parcel of successful introduction of ICT into rural
Can you think of any other considerations that should be given when
introducing ICT to rural communities generally and their schools
particularly? As you think about this I suggest you read an extract from a
report prepared through a grant from the World Bank in 2004 for the
Government of Chile in South America. The report both analyses the
challenges and considers strategic solutions.
Read Chaprter VII Rural Schools: A Special Case of the report on
Technology in Schools: Education, ICT and Knowledge Society by
Hepp and Hinostroza.
Reading 5.5


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Malaysian Approach to Introducing ICT in Rural Schools

A significant number of Malaysians live in semi urban and rural areas.
Among these the extreme rural populations are mostly located in the East
Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak; some inhabitants of West
Malaysia also live in remote locations. In many of these locations electric
and telecommunication infrastructure is still poor. Consequently schools
in such locations are wanting in adequate facilities for teaching and
learning. The Ministry of Education is aware of these problems and the
ICT policy for education enunciated by the MOE is inclusive in its policy
approach. Implementation of the policy is somewhat inadequate which
prompted the current Minister of Education, Tan Sri. Muhyiddin to
declare his rural education transformation plan.

Activity 5.10

I want you to research more on the Rural Education Transformation

Plan announced by our Deputy Prime Minister and discuss with
your course mates and tutor, the preparedness, strengths and
weaknesses of the plan based on the reading of the report on
Technology in Schools: Education, ICT and Knowledge Society by
Hepp and Hinostroza (et al) (2004).
MOEs transformation plan includes a significant role of ICT. This is
evidenced by an arrangement between the Ministry and the Multimedia
Super Corridor enterprise, which created or planned to create 15 Rural
Smart Schools in the country (MSC Malaysia 2009).


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Rural Smart School Programme

Based on a decision made during a meeting between MDeC, the YB
Minister of Education (MoE) and the higher management of MoE on
23 September, 2008, the meeting has agreed for MDeC to accelerate
the making of all schools smart, focusing on the 50 rural schools. For
Phase 1 in 2009, 15 schools have been selected for the implementation
of the smart school programmes.
The objectives of Rural Smart School Programmes as the following:
1. To provide the schools with an end-to-end on-site smart school
solution integrating ICT-based content and innovative tools in the
teaching and learning.
2. To develop the smart school implementation models for different
categories of rural and under-served schools i.e. Sekolah Jenis
Kebangsaan Cina, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil, Sekolah
Felda, Sekolah Orang Asli, Sekolah Agama, Sekolah Menengah
Harian and Sekolah Rendah Harian.
The implementation is based on the findings from previous pilot
projects and the making of 88 benchmarked smart schools, which
shows that the 1 size fits all model is not suitable for implementation
of smart school programmes in all schools. There is a need for
specific models for different types of schools in the effort to make all
schools smart. The implementation approaches as the following:
1. To create a conducive learning environment.
2. To innovate the teaching and learning process.
3. To reduce management workload, increase productivity and
improve professional development of teachers.
4. To increase students' interest in learning through innovative and
creative learning methods.
5. To provide professional support for the implementation.
(Extracted 1 May 2012)
The Rural Smart Schools programme is a laudable effort by the MOE to
bring about change in our schools far removed from urban locations.
Innovations of this nature are not without difficulties and critics will
claim that the technologies can only be a solution if attention is also paid
to the other issues such as teacher preparedness, curriculum and content
as well as local autonomy in the way teachers can use the technologies to
enhance the quality of the learning environment. Integration of ICT can
promote significant changes in the practices of teaching and learning and
can have benefits for students who are underachieving in school or are
disaffected or excluded by school.


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In an interesting study carried out in Australia, on taking learning

technologies to disadvantaged groups, researchers highlighted the
following potential benefits that could be accrued to learners as well as
teachers.(Blackmore, Hardcastle, L, Bamblett, E and Owens, J 2003).
1. A shift from teacher centred to student centred learning that leads to a
focus on individual difference and need;
2. An enhanced, even new, capacity for authentic tasks and problem
solving that has more relevance to a wider range of students;
3. Changing what we understand as learning outcomes to be more
broadly inclusive of cognitive, social and affective outcomes such as
improved achievement, motivation, self concept and changed
attitudes to school and school work;
4. Making the processes of learning inextricable from the product, with
multimodal processes and multiple products, that value a range of
differences and learning styles and that are about improvement and
5. Capacity for students through word-processing and processes
underpinning web development to edit, revise and produce high
quality work;
6. Capacity of self paced computer based skills development in
foundational literacy and numeracy to supplement other teaching
strategies, imparting students with a sense of competency;
7. Improved motivation and organisational skills for students who have
difficulty with basic study practices;
8. Development of metacognitive skills that provide learning scaffolds
for learning as students make links e.g. invisible connections between
text and images in web page development;
9. Reduced anxiety and safer environment for students to take risks with
learning through possible anonymity of learning communities;
10. Authentic problem solving more likely to engage students with
learning difficulties through multimedia dimensions with modelling,
design features, data bases;
11. Development of multiliteracies that incorporate a wider range of
human skills and attributesvisual, aesthetic, oral and aural
through the multimedia capacities of ICT;
12. Enhancement of student sense of self esteem and confidence resulting
from the capacity of ICT to produce quality cultural products to a
wide range of audiences; and Capacity to develop cultural
inclusiveness through working with local and global communities
both virtually and face to face.
All of these benefits can be achieved if policy makers come to terms with
three guiding principles, which are (i) the nature of a more inclusive
curriculum, (ii) a pedagogy that responds to individual needs and learning


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styles and (iii) assessments that further recognizes a wider range of

student interest and capacities.

A Malaysian Case study

A study carried out by researchers from Universiti Sarawak Malaysia
(UNIMAS), was reported in the year 2004, on establishing a rural ICT
facility to provide basic telecommunication infrastructure to overcome
challenges in providing the community and schools with internet
connectivity. This study highlights some of barriers and challenges the
research team encountered in creating the facility. The research team
describes the remote areas as follows.
The areas are Bario and Bedia. Bario, the home of the Kelabits is
slightly 1000m above sea level in the interior of Sarawak. It is about
400km to the South East of Miri and covers an area of about 5km radius
of beautiful mountains, valleys and padi fields. The journey from Miri to
Bario takes about an hours flight using a Twin Otter plane. There was
only a daily flight from Miri to Bario, but since October 2003, MAS has
provided a twice-daily flight. By land, the journey may take 4-5 days to
reach Bario from Miri.
There are about 1000 Kelabits living within the 5 km radius of the center
the small town with shophouses. The Kelabits are mostly farmers
planting both wet and dry padi and are well known for their fragrant
Bario rice. Long Bedian is another remote area situated about 500km
from Miri. It is the home of the Kayans, another indigenous group in
Sarawak. Long Bedian can be accessed either by boat (on the Baram
river) or by land (through logging tracks). By boat, one has to take a 25
minutes flight from Miri to Marudi and from Marudi to Long Lama, a
journey of about 3 hours by longboat before preceding another 2-hour
journey by four wheel-drives through logging tracks. By land, the journey
to Long Bedian from Miri takes about 5 hours through logging tracks.
The Kayans in Long Bedian are mostly farmers while some are involved
in operating small shops. Others work in logging camps driving timber
trucks and cranes.
Telecommunication infrastructure in Bario and Long Bedian were very
basic before the implementation of the ICT project by UNIMAS. The
community depended solely on the unreliable radio call to communicate
with the outside world. Radio calls were limited to certain hours only and
conversations were made public as anybody with the right equipment can
listen in on the conversation. Public utilities such as 24-hour electricity
supply and treated water are not available in both these places and the
community relies on generator set or solar power to generate electricity
for their basic needs. In Bario, the generators are provided by the
government to supply electricity to school, clinics and other public
facilities for limited hours due to the expensive cost of fuel. On the other
hand, in Long Bedian, the electricity supply comes from the village
generators and the village folks pay for the cost of fuel (cost of fuel in
Long Bedian is lower given its accessibility to Miri by road). Because of
the insufficient power for telecommunications equipment, Radio Channel
Services (RCS), a half duplex communication system was then the only
available means of communicating to the outside world. Mail takes days


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or even weeks to reach these remote places and up-to-date newspaper is a

luxury. The lack of communication systems has been the major
drawbacks to the development in both these places. The school children
were already disadvantaged both economically and socially, and have had
little or no exposure to the outside world. The community folks
occasionally received news from families and friends through mail or
from any relatives returning home for a holiday. (Extract from a paper
titled Bridging the Digital Divide the e-Bario and E-Bedian
Telecommunication Framework by Zen, H, Hamid, K A, Songan, P, Yeo,
A W and Gnaniah, J)
You are presented a case study describing the project, the challenges in
establishing them, the benefits that that were accrued and some lessons
learnt. Please spend time reading the case study and answer the questions

Case Study 5.1

Read the case study on the e-Bario project extracted from Khalid, H M,
Helander, M G and Yeo, A W (eds) (2004) Work with Computing
Systems, Kuala Lumpur: Damai Sciences. In general, this paper discusses
the absence of ICT infrastructure in the remote areas of Sarawak. In your
reading, try to identify the role of ICT in reaching the Bario community
and the challenges faced in this attempt.

Distance Education
The practice of Distance Education driven by ICT is a 20th century
innovation that has successfully created a niche for itself as an
educational provision across the globe. In higher education alone millions
(estimated in Asia to be around 12 million) of adults are enrolled in
programmes of study through distance education (DE). You are a typical
DE learner. Like you some 20-30,000 working adults in Malaysia are
registered to undertake formal study leading up to a qualification in one
of Malaysias many DE providers.

Give five reasons why you chose this form of studying for a Master in
Education degree when you had other choices:
1.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Activity 5.11

2. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is no one single definition of DE that captures the variety of

practices of this provision. However over the years DE practitioners
seemed to have converged around a working definition as follows:


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Distance education - the delivery of learning or training to those who are

separated mostly by time and space from those who are teaching or
training. The teaching is done with a variety of "mediating processes"*
used to transmit content, to provide tuition and to conduct assessment or
measure outcomes. (Commonwealth of Learning)
While as a provision distance education has been mostly applied in
Higher Education, the use of the method has also found a place in pre
tertiary education through Open Schools, Correspondence Schools,
Radio Schools or Home Schooling.

In this section, we looked at the attempts made to connect remote learners
to the larger community through the use of ICT. In this process, we
analysed some viable strategies of using ICT in reaching the remote
communities which led us to appreciate how ICT is being introduced in
Malaysian rural schools. An excellent example that reflects this is the ebario project in the secluded areas of Sarawak. Finally, we explored the
subtle integration of ICT in distance education which emerged as an
effective alternative in providing educational provisions to rural areas.

Self-test 5.3
Explain one challenge faced in implementing ICT-based teaching and
learning in rural areas.
Suggested answers:
One of the many challenges faced in implementing ICT in rural
areas is the lack of proper infrastructure support. This is primarily
due to the difficulty of providing power supply to rural areas. A
good example reflective of this concern is the vast geographical
locations in the remote areas of Sarawak where hills and jungles
seem to present a challenge in constructing the electrical poles
that provides the power supply.


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5.4 Educational Management Information

Information and communications technology has been transforming
education at different levels. One level where the ICT has been playing a
key role for over the last three decades is in the management and
allocation of educational resources and providing data on students and
teachers often referred to as Education Management Information System

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:

1. Explain the concept of Educational Management Information

System (EMIS) and its use for educational decision making.
2. Describe the major shifts that have taken place in the
development of EMIS during the last two decades.
3. Explain how the emerging new technologies have been used
increasingly in the development of EMIS.
4. Identify relevant aspects of EMIS development and issues
therein in real experiences of establishing and using EMIS.
This section is made up of five parts. They are tabulated below:

EMIS Challenges
and Issues

Lishan Adam (2011) How Can Holistic Education
Management Information Systems Improve
Education?, Exploring ICT and Learning in
Development Countries.

-Major Shifts


Hayan Hua (2011) EMIS Development in a New Era,

Exploring ICT and Learning in Development

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EMIS Emerging

Shaem Bodo (2011) EMIS opportunities and

challenges for mobile data collection and
dissemination, Exploring ICT and Learning in
Development Countries.

EMIS Experiences

Lovely John (2011) Information Systems in Africa

(and elsewhere), Exploring ICT and Learning in
Development Countries.
Azlinah Mohamed, Nik Abdullah Nik Abdul Kadir,
Yap May-Lin, Shuzlina Abdul Rahman, and Noor
Habibah Arshad Data (2009) Completeness
Analysis in Malaysian Educational Management
Information System, International Journal of
Education and Develoment using ICT, vol. 5, no. 2.

Establising EMIS challenges and issues

UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) has
been conducting research as well as developing capacity in nation states
to establish policies and systems for good governance and effective
decision making in education. IIEP in its introduction to its course on
Educational Management Information Systems says the expansion of
education systems has been accompanied by an emergence of multiple
levels of decision-making. While the former trend increases the amount
of data to be handled, the latter implies the multiple levels where data are
demanded. Efforts towards decentralization have also contributed to this.
There is now an increasing demand for developing Educational
Management Information Systems (EMIS) and for data uses to monitor
progress and evaluate outcomes.
EMIS is established with the purpose of collecting and integrating all
information with regard to planning and management activities in
education from various sources. Specifically the operations involved in
the organization of EMIS are collection, processing, storage, retrieval,
analysis and dissemination of data.


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Read the following short introduction to EMIS written with the purpose
of discussion on some related issues.

Reading 5.6

Lishan Adam (2011) How Can Holistic Education Management

Information Systems Improve Education?, Exploring ICT and Learning in
Development Countries.

The article starts with a definition of EMIS by Tom Cassidy which is

reproduced here:
Educational management Information System (EMIS) is a system for the
collection, integration, processing, maintenance and dissemination of data
and information to support decision making, policy-analysis and
formulation, planning, monitoring and management at all levels of an
education system.
What does this imply? This implies that EMIS does not only refer to the
technology and database software needed for all activities in the
educational system such as recruiting, hiring, placing, and supporting
teachers and providing the necessary logistical support in terms of
buildings, furniture, maintenance, instructional materials, training of
staff, student demographics and placement but also the processes and
culture of using this information for taking all decisions related to
planning, monitoring and management at all levels.
EMIS is undergoing some transformation at the technical levels.
Originally the EMIS was based on the creation of educational statistics
for planning at the central level. However with more and more
decentralisation of decision making EMIS also involves decentralization
of educational data at school, district and regional levels. The more
schools, colleges and universities are empowered in handling and using
their own data and the more these institutions adopt open standards and
harmonized coding system, the better for data integration, control and
usage at national levels.
If one look at the development of the EMIS in the last decade you will
find that the technology and tools have improved thanks to developments
in information and telecommunication technology. What has not changed
much is the use of EMIS for planning and decision making due to a
number of reasons. These include lack of ownership and culture of
information seeking and use. Other challenges range from lack of
capacity at school levels, inadequate communications infrastructure and
lack of resources to scale up successful EMIS programmes
The author raises the following issues related to EMIS and its


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1. What are the major trends in the EMIS environment in terms of

adopting tools and technologies such as mobile and wireless
platforms and distributed databases?
2. What were the key challenges in implementing an integrated and
decentralized EMIS?
3. What were the most critical success factors of the implementation of
EMIS so far?
What should policy makers and donors do over the next ten years to
improve the collection, organisation and use of educational data and
information at all levels?

Consider the questions raised by the author above.

Reflection 5.2

Reflect on this individually and also with your colleagues and peer group.
You might be arriving at some answers to these questions. The following
sections will attempt to focus on these questions to certain extent.

EMIS development major shifts

In the last two decades developments in Computer technology has
revolutionised the efficiency of information gathering and management,
we have been witnessing a steady and impressive progress in EMIS
development in education sector in almost all developing countries.
Although the development has been uneven, most can claim an
accomplishment of achieving the goals of improvement in collecting
annual school census and producing statistical yearbook on education.

Read the following article to know more about these developments.

EMIS development in a new era:
Reading 5.7

You would have read in the article about the recent trends in the
development of EMIS. What are the major shifts in the development. Let
us reiterate that here.
1. From computer-based to internet-based development
EMIS data application today is completely internet-based (sometime
intranet-based), accessible through a portal website of the concerned
Ministry of Education. The technology network allows data to be
directly entered from schools, rather than through district or regional


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Although the ability of data reporting is still far behind the ability of
data collection in most countries, the internet-based EMIS
development has drastically shortened the collection cycle, made the
collection process easier with less data errors, and surely enables a
possibility of letting data be accessible to all levels.
2. From reporting on national statistical aggregates to reporting on subnational or even grassroots level disaggregates
With more disaggregated data, we see many forms of school or
district report cards that are produced by many EMIS centers. These
are the report cards to individual schools or districts. Schools for the
first time see their performance (on multiple education indicators)
against their district, regional and national averages.
Parents and teachers may now be empowered with the school
performance information to engage in school improvement planning
process and inform their lesson plans. Smart reporting becomes the
key to the EMIS development in the new era.
3. From school-based development to student-based development
Tracking students during the life time of schooling is now possible
without too much burden of organizational management. Two
decades ago, such attempt tried in several countries failed miserably.
But today it is for the first time possible. Although this does not mean
tracking students on the daily basis (such as daily attendance) at
national level, it can significantly identify student academic needs
and provide needed services. The real value of the student-based
EMIS development is to enable the school value-added assessment.
4. From data control to data share
In todays era, the single most important aspect of measuring the
success of EMIS development is to see how widely available the
managed data is in all forms to all people. Absolutely, there should be
no discount or compromise. The best practice is to make data
downloadable from website in all forms for all users and EMIS
management in fact promotes the awareness of the availability. The
old mindset of data control is totally behind the times. Quality of data
can be easily and quickly revealed if it is made available to all users.

Do you think the above shifts in EMIS development happened in

Malaysia? Discuss this with your colleagues.

Activity 5.12

You would have found that the there are differences and similarities!
Now you attempt to answer the following questions and see to what
extent you have internalised the shifts in EMIS development and how that
has impacted effectiveness of planning and management of education.


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Check your progress 5.1

1. What are the major shifts of development with regard to EMIS in the
developing countries during the last decade?
2. How do these developments improve educational planning and
Suggested Answers
1. The major shifts of development with regard to EMIS in the
developing countries during the last decade are:
a. Shift from computer-based to internet-based information
b. Shift from reporting on national statistical aggregates to subnational or even grassroots level disaggregates.
c. Shift from school-based to student-based development.
d. Shift from control of data to share of data for development.
2. The shifts that happened in EMIS development helped in making
available and share aggregated student-based data for appropriate
decentralised just in time decision making at different levels thereby
improving the planning and management in education.

EMIS emerging technologies

One of the measures of an efficient education management information
system (EMIS) is the extent to which data collected are accurate, timely
and up-to-date. This is important for making decisions regarding proper
allocation of per-capita funding to schools, effective monitoring of
learner enrolments and attendance, addressing emerging institutional
issues, and providing appropriate information to support planning.
Traditionally, collecting EMIS data in the field is still largely paperbased, with increasing use of technology such as email and web-based
modes in the dissemination and transmission of questionnaires. However,
the significant growth continuously being experienced in the mobile and
wireless technologies calls for a paradigm shift in governments
educational planning strategy, to start thinking of investing more into
mobile technologies as alternative or complementary tools to EMIS.

Read the following article titled:

Shem Bodo (2011) EMIS Opportunities and challenges for mobile data
collection and dessimination, Educational Technology Debate.
Reading 5.8


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The above article presents how recent technological development such as

internet and mobile technology can facilitate the timely collection of data
from the resources.
Laptop computers and handheld devices such as Personal Data Assistants
(PDAs) and mobile telephones (smart phones) have the potential to
improve the collection and dissemination of EMIS data and information.
Possibilities of integrating such systems with advanced communications
systems such as mobile Geographic Information System (GIS) combined
with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology can also be explored.
Technology is also important in educational planning during and after
emergencies as PDAs and mobile phones can be used to collect data,
often in challenging circumstances. For example, they can be combined
with GPS to help in locating affected schools and in school mapping.
Additionally, data collectors can communicate directly with head teachers
via email or text message during such situations and the head teacher can
send the requested data to the data collectors PDA or smart phone (IIEP,
Figure 5.2 explains how mobile technology can make data sending easy
and fast. The fact that mobile reach and use has increased considerably in
all countries it makes it possible to collect data from schools and teachers
from even distant and remote places on regular intervals. Sending
messages by SMS can be a very cost-effective but just in time provision
which can revolutionalise the data collection in an EMIS network.

Figure 5.2 Data sending and receiving through mobile technology

Emerging trends and best practice examples in EMIS

It appears that limited research has so far been conducted on the potential
of wireless technology for educational use in developing countries. And
although the scope and coverage in the collection and dissemination of
EMIS data can be improved using web services and wireless
technologies, widespread use is yet to be realised, possibly due to the
newness and unexplored capacity of this technology in terms of the
collection, processing and dissemination of significantly large amounts of
educational data and the challenges that would characterise its use.


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However, there are some success stories, especially in Africa, relating

directly to education.
Dias and others (2010) found that the use of short message service or text
message (SMS) coupled with several open-source tools on mobile phones
by para-social workers in Tanzania enabled them to report summary data
on orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) to relevant government
officials in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
A project launched in Kenya lobbied policy-makers, technologists and
educationists to support the development of a targeted bulk SMS system
for in-service teacher training, and explored the possibility of running
much of the countrys schools statistical returns off SMS (Traxler and
Dearden 2005). The projects initial exploratory results concluded that
SMS is a viable and innovative technology for improving EMIS
operations in Kenya. For example, mobile phones in each school could be
used and head teachers would send a standard format message each week,
perhaps giving pupil numbers by age and gender, to a specified phone
The University of Jyvaskyla in Finland reports that it conducted a pilot
study on the use of mobile phones to collect EMIS school-based data in
Ghana. The study covered 35 head teachers and 21 education statisticians
from two districts in the Ashanti Region. They demonstrated how mobile
phones could be used to gather faster, easier, simple, cost effective and
reliable school-based data for educational planning.
The Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda tasked the Agile
Learning Company in 2010 to design and develop a new decentralized
national EMIS covering 81 existing districts, and 17 newly created
districts. The Uganda project, whose implementation will continue into
2012, also covers the piloting of a school-based EMIS application in
selected schools for the purpose of reviewing its ability to enhance school
management and link critical school data directly from schools into the
national EMIS-GIS.
Rwandas Ministry of Education also contracted the same company in
2009 to develop a similar solution for the countrys schools and
universities. And its National Examinations Council tasked the company
in 2008 to develop a registration and SMS-based online results
management information system the latter enabling students to query
the database by SMS for their examination results. A similar initiative is
proving effective in Kenya where the government has partnered with
local mobile service providers. The software has also been successfully
piloted in countries such as Mauritius, Botswana and Swaziland.
Tomlinson and others (2009) investigated the feasibility, ease of
implementation, and the extent to which community health workers with
little experience of data collection could be trained and successfully
supervised to collect data using mobile phones in a large baseline survey
in Umlazi suburb, South Africa. The project deployed a web-based
system that allows electronic surveys or questionnaires to be designed on
a word processor, sent to, and used on standard entry level mobile
phones. They found out that the benefits of mobile technology, combined
with the improvement that mobile phones offer over PDAs in terms of


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data loss and uploading difficulties, make mobile phones a feasible

method of data collection that needs to be further explored.
Opportunities and challenges, success factors and barriers to wider
dissemination and take up
Recognising the great potential of mobile devices for collecting education
data in developing countries, the Academy for Educational Development
(AED) has created a software package of applications, called GATHER,
which can be downloaded to mobile phones, PDAs, laptops or other
electronic devices. It enables cost-effective and efficient data collection,
analysis and reporting. It can create data collection instruments,
immediately transmit data to other devices or databases, and perform data
analysis. Such technology has the potential to offer educational planners
quick and efficient access to important information which is especially
important in times of emergency.
Innovative programs are also available for collection and dissemination
of crucial health, social and political data over mobile devices. One
solution, writes Verclas (2009), is Mobile Researcher which allows long,
complex surveys to be conducted. A web browser is used to design a
survey questionnaire and analyse the data. Already, the application is
being used for the collection of baseline data in household surveys,
patient interviews and healthcare facility audits. Applications such as this
can also be used in EMIS as its effectiveness is evidenced by the number
of case studies where it has been used (such as the Saving Newborn
Lives project in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa; the Education
Sector Support Programme in Kano, Nigeria; the Philani Mentor Mothers
Project in the Western Cape, South Africa; Emergency Relief and
Rehabilitation in Zimbabwe and the National Information System for
Social Assistance initiative launched in 2011 by Lesothos Department of
Health and Social Welfare).
Accompanying opportunities with mobile technologies, such as the ones
highlighted above, are the challenges. These range from cost and
complexity to dynamism, security and lack of adequate resources in the
Ministries of Education, especially in the units where EMIS is anchored.
For example, mobile handheld devices have limitations such as small
bandwidth, small screen display, colour resolution and limited application
Africa still lags behind when it comes to fixed (wired) broadband:
although subscriptions are increasing, a penetration rate of less than 1%
illustrates the challenges that persist in increasing access to high-speed,
high-capacity Internet access in the region (ITU 2010). The good news is
that most of these are being overcome by improvements in technology
(Vckovski 1999), making collection, processing and dissemination of
large amount of data increasingly possible (Kraak 2002). With many
offered open source solutions, the development of such mobile GIS
platforms is also becoming more affordable. And there is also the issue of
accuracy: a quantitative evaluation of the accuracy of data collection
using mobile phones by Patnaik, Brunskill and Thies (2008) in India
revealed error rates of 4.2% for electronic forms, 4.5% for SMS and
0.45% for voice.


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Albeit with some limitations such as varied backgrounds and training of

participants, the study suggests that some care is needed in deploying
electronic interfaces in resource-poor settings. Further, it raises the
possibility of using voice as a low-tech, high-accuracy, and cost-effective
interface for mobile data collection. Other challenge considerations relate
to compatibility, acceptance of electronic signatures and inefficiency in
the entire statistical data chain the latter being core to the quality of
EMIS data and information being disseminated and used, whether using
mobile technology or not.
However, individual organisational or institutional constraints are factors
that are likely to ultimately influence the adoption, or not, of a given
technology. Effective policies and legal frameworks, proper ICT
infrastructure and equipment, financial and human resources, training,
public-private-partnerships and joint collaboration with development
partners are some of the critical factors that can bring success in
unleashing the untapped but promising potential of mobile technologies
in EMIS on the African continent.
1. Can mobile technologies be of effective use in the EMIS system?
Give reasons to your answer showing research evidence or field
a. Yes or No

Check your progress 5.2

b. Reasons:

2. What are the opportunities and challenges, success factors and

barriers to wider dissemination and take up
a. Opportunities:

b. Challenges:

Suggested Answers:


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a. Yes
b. Use of short message service (SMS) supported by several opensource software on mobile phones by para-social workers in Tanzania
helped them to report summary data on orphans and vulnerable
children to relevant officials in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
The application is being used for the collection of baseline data in
household surveys, patient interviews and healthcare facility audits in
several countries in the Sub-Saharan African countries.
a. Opportunities: Applications, called GATHER created by the
Academy for Educational Development (AED), can be downloaded
to mobile phones, PDAs, laptops or other electronic devices to enable
cost-effective and efficient data collection, analysis and reporting.
b. Challenges: These ranges from cost and complexity to dynamism,
security and lack of adequate resources in the Ministries of
Education, especially in the units where EMIS is anchored. Mobile
handheld devices have limitations caused by small bandwidth, small
screen display, colour resolution and limited application capabilities.
Low bandwidth and low penetration rate are still major issue in many
Reflections based on experience
Results from surveys undertaken by the Association for the Development
of Education in Africa (ADEA) Working Group on Education
Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS) on the status of EMIS in
most sub-Saharan African countries indicate some progress towards the
use of ICT in EMIS operations e.g. the use of desktop computers and
servers, email and internet, as well as availing EMIS data and information
on the Ministry websites.
There are also innovative initiatives such the use of optical character
recognition (OCR) and mobile laptops in the data collection and
capturing processes in few countries such as The Gambia and South
Africa. Significant progress has been made in putting in place relevant
national policies and frameworks that regulate the use of ICT in these
countries. However, there is a general weakness in the flexibility of such
policies to adapt to the changing environments that match the dynamism
of technology this affects their implementation and enforcement.
Apart from the use of SMS by EMIS personnel in following up on
questionnaire returns, and by learners in finding out about their
examination registration and performance, there appears to be little
experience in the use of mobile and wireless technology within the realm
of EMIS in the Africa a position that can be reversed with solid
partnerships with the private sector and development partners.


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Against the backdrop of constant evolution, mobile technologies are

proving to be useful in EMIS operations, with advantages and limitations
when compared to conventional methods. Therefore, even as the relevant
stakeholders in the education sector grapple with how best to use these
technologies, either to supplement or replace the conventional methods,
they must not lose sight of issues such as the application development
process, standards in data collection, database integration, accuracy,
security and quality of data.
In anticipation of the large quantities of data from the EMIS census and
surveys, it is crucial to ascertain the capability of the mobile technologies
to be used. For Africa, a successful integration of mobile technologies
with EMIS therefore necessitates putting in place effective policies and
legal frameworks that are alive to the dynamic nature and yet-to-beexplored potential of these technologies. A robust ICT infrastructure and
equipment, coupled with continual capacity building, adequate
resourcing, solid partnerships between governments, the private sector
and civil societies are also key ingredients, in addition to effective
collaboration with funders and development partners, and networking
with the rest of the world so as to be in synch with globally-set standards
and benefit from global innovations.
Has mobile technology made a major difference in the timely collection
and reporting of education data for effect planning and management?

Reflection 5.3

Problems and barriers in African countries in this regard have been

explained by the author based on several research and surveys. Are these
problems present in Malaysia too? Reflect with your colleagues and peer
1. What are the major recommendations given by the author for
improving the use of technology such as mobile devices in the
collection and reporting of date with in an EMIS context?

Check your progress 5.3

1. A successful integration of mobile technologies with EMIS in Africa
a. Putting in place effective policies and legal frameworks that cater
to the dynamic nature and yet-to-be-explored potential of the new
and emerging technologies.
b. Setting up a robust ICT infrastructure and equipment
c. Continual capacity building of personnel involved in the use of
new technologies
d. Adequate resourcing including solid partnerships between
governments, the private sector and civil societies
e. Effective collaboration with funders and development partners,
and networking with the rest of the world so as to be in synch
with globally-set standards and benefit from global innovations.


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EMIS experiences
Let us look at experiences of establishing EMIS one in the African
context and the other in Malaysia. This has been reported by two different
authors- the African experience is summarised and the issues in
establishment of EMIS is highlighted by John Lovely (2011). The second
experience is from Malaysia where the authors (Azlinah Mohamed et al.
2009) report a research study on the data completeness of Malaysian
EMIS. The two experiences looks at two aspects of EMIS establishment
and both contribute to the understanding of EMIS establishment in
different ways.
Now, let us look at the African experience.

Read the following article titled:

Lovely John (2011) Information Systems in Africa (and elsewhere),
Exploring ICT and Learning in Development Countries.
Reading 5.9
What are the highlights of John Lovely's article?
1. Procuring hardware and software for EMIS is very time
consuming and most users find it difficult to fully grasp a paper
based system specification. This is equally true whether the user
is based in Africa, New York or London. Often the development
of the EMIS is coinciding with the introduction of radical
changes to the Education System itself and hence it is quite likely
that the requirements will themselves have changed by the time
the EMIS is implemented. This approach to software
procurement is likely to lead to a solution that does not represent
good value for money.
2. With usually a single budget line for EMIS in large scale
funding, there is often a desire to include everything in the
specification. This in turn will lead to a longer
specification/development/installation cycle which in turn further
increases the risk that the requirements on the ground will have
changed before the system is delivered.
3. Another problem indicated in the article is that of the nature of
technology being proposed. Current practice would (for example)
expect that delivery relies upon access to the internet and on high
speed communications and this often overlooks technical
difficulties on the ground or upon unreasonable expectations of
what will be delivered in the future.
4. Finally, there is often a sustainability problem, in that the
recipient is often unable to afford to pay for the necessary support


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for the system. Donors will agree to cover the capital expense of
the system development but will not agree to cover the total life
cost of a system.
What are the solutions?
What could be the solutions for the issues raised in the above paragraphs?
1. An EMIS system will typically consist of a database and
application software. However, attention should also be given to
the users of the system. The establishment of an EMIS Home
Unit should be the first priority before any specification or
development of an EMIS should commence. This must be staffed
by people with a wide knowledge base. They must fully
understand the education system (and be aware of the changes
proposed to the education system that will probably be happening
in parallel with the EMIS development).
2. There should also be staff who have technical (IT) skills. These
staff must be able to make decisions on behalf of the Ministry of
Education. Indeed they must be empowered and relieved of other
duties (or at least supported).
3. RAD (Rapid Application Development) technology offers an
alternative approach to systems design and development. Rapid
Application Development was a response to non-agile processes
developed in the 1970s and 1980s, such as the Structured
Systems Analysis and Design Method. RAD technology unlike
previous methodologies took less time to build.
4. Another problem was the assumption that a methodical
requirements analysis phase alone would identify all the critical
requirements. Ample evidence attests to the fact that this is
seldom the case, even for projects with highly experienced
professionals at all levels.
5. The developer and the end user can sit together and look at actual
screen and report layouts. This will give the end user a much
better feel for what will (and will NOT!) work.
6. In the new model, the development of the specification is taking
place in conjunction with the system and database development.
Of course, this changes the nature of consultancy that is being
delivered by donors. Now the consultants must be able to provide
classical needs analysis but must also be able to develop and or
configure computer software.
7. There is then the issue of the scale of the developments. Rather
than specifying a complex system in a single shot that attempts to
deliver everything to everybody, a better approach is to deliver
components in manageable sections. These need not mean that a
fully functional system cannot be delivered in this way, it simply
means that users (and donors) are seeing benefits along the way.
Of course this may mean that it becomes harder for the donor to
pre-define a budgetary figure for application development. This
approach is now being adopted in the development of a Tertiary
EMIS system in Botswana and it is believed the that this will
give a better experience for the system users and a more relevant


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Yes, you would have identified a few problems and solutions. Can we
generalise these to other regions also?
Do we find these problems in Malaysia too?

Activity 5.13

Discuss with your colleagues and tutor and examine whether some of
these problems and solutions can be found in the Malaysian context or
not. Reflect on what could be the problems in the Malaysian context
You would have most probably found that Malaysia is a different context
with regard to technology development, availability of funding and also
extent of IT and education capacity available. Never the less some issue
are the same in both developing and developed world!
Let us now attempt to understand the data completeness and quality in the
EMIS developed by the Ministry of Education Malaysia
Read the following article.

Reading 5.10

Azlinah Mohamed, Nik Abdullah Nik Abdul Kadir, Yap May-Lin,

Shuzlina Abdul Rahman, and Noor Habibah Arshad (2009) Data
Completeness Analysis in Malaysian Educational Management
Information System, International Journal of Education and
Development using ICT, vol. 5, no. 2.
The abstract of the article says that the Education Management
Information System (EMIS) plays a significant role in helping the
education policy-makers, decision-makers, and managers in Malaysia to
make timely and good decisions. This requires high quality data to be
made available to relevant people. However, EMIS has been plagued
with data quality problems. Education data is important for the purpose of
macro level administration and management. These data include staff
emoluments, teacher deployment, school development, decision making,
policy analysis, and evaluation that were gathered through the State
Education Department from schools throughout the country. Since data
collection involves the processes of importing, merging, and exporting at
various levels, factors such as lack of facilities and skilled staff, or even
data manipulation errors can affect data quality. The study aims to
measure the EMIS data completeness using custom tools and to identify
possible causes for EMIS data quality problems. Analysis indicates that
EMIS data completeness has achieved the desired level of completeness
targeted by its developers. Practical suggestions for improving the quality
of EMIS data collection are presented.
While the entire article provided a good study report on Malaysia's EMIS
set up by the Ministry of Education we will make an attempt only to look
at its basic structure and identify some of the problems faced by the
education system.
The EMIS Database Structure
In general, for every EMIS data collection exercise, four categories of
data are collected. They are Basic School Information, Basic Teacher


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Information, Basic Non-Teacher Information, and Student Enrolment

Information. The basic structure of EMIS database contains 28 data
tables, and 91 domain codes tables.
1. Basic School Information category consists of 15 data tables. The
main data table is TSekolah. This table contains basic profile
information of a school. The primary key for this table is KODSEK,
which is the school code. The school code is assigned by the EPRD
when a request for school registration is submitted to the MOE. The
code is used as the key identifier for every government school in the
country. Other tables contain information about school land areas,
buildings, classrooms, quarters, and other facilities, including toilets
and parking lots.
2. Student Enrolment Information category consists of three data
tables. The main data table isTEnrolmen1Jad. This table contains the
number of students per class and classes information in a school.
Other tables contain information on the number of students with
specific conditions.
3. Basic Teacher Information category consists of nine data tables.
The main data table isTGGuru. This table contains basic personal and
service information of a teacher. The primary key for this table is
KPUtama or the Identity Card Number, which is also the key
identifier for every citizen of the country. Other tables contain
information about teacher academic and professional qualifications,
subjects taught, in-service training, co-curriculum activities,
allowances, and responsibilities at school. The four tables used here
(TGBElaun, TGBKelulusanAkademik, TGBLDP, and TGBTarikh)
are also shared tables used to store the same information for nonteachers.
4. Basic Non-Teacher Information category consists of five data
tables. The main data table isTBBGuru. This table contains basic
personal and service information of a non-teaching staff. The primary
key for this table is KPUtama or the Identity Card Number. Other
tables are shared tables with Basic Teacher Information category as
described previously.

Through observations, discussions, experiences, and feedbacks from

school level, some of the difficulties identified were:
1. The EMIS data was not regularly used in decision making processes
at all levels in the education system.
2. Insufficient commitment from the top management.
3. Insufficient co-operation and collaboration among the various levels
and across CEDs in the education system.
4. Lack of basic supporting facilities at school level.
5. The EMIS application software and database problems (either in its
design, user-friendliness, or other technical issues).


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1. What are the four basic categories of information contained in the

structure of Malaysia's EMIS set up by the Ministry of Education?
Check your progress 5.4

2. State the major issues faced by the education system in using EMIS
in Malaysia according to the article referred in this material

1. The four basic categories of information contained in the structure of
Malaysia's EMIS set up by the Ministry of Education are:
a. Basic school information category
b. Student enrolment information category
c. Basic teacher information category
d. Basic non-teacher information category
2. The major issues faced by the education system in using EMIS in
Malaysia based on the article are:
a. The EMIS data not being regularly used in decision making
processes at all levels.
b. Insufficient commitment from the top management.
c. Insufficient co-operation and collaboration across CEDs in the
education system.
d. Insufficient basic supporting facilities at school level.
e. EMIS application software and database problems.


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In this section, you learnt about the concept and purpose of developing an
Educational Management Information System (EMIS) in effective
planning and management of education in a country. You saw that varied
applications of technology for EMIS development has been one of the
major shifts in EMIS development in addition to others. There have been
major challenges and opportunities in the setting up of EMIS in the
developing countries as seen in the Sub-saharan African countries. You
also learnt about use of EMIS by the education system in Malaysia.
While Malaysian experience may not show the extent of challenges in
other developing countries, it also has its own issues and problems which
will have to be addressed.


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5.5 Emerging Trends in Education

You and I know that predicting the future is risky business. But there are
people around us who are able to envisage future events based on trends,
observation and analysis. Such clever people try and make intelligent
forecast in business, finances, relationships and society in general simply
by observing certain things and interpreting them in the right manner. By
observing changes in demography, technologies, labour markets,
information production, distribution and growth a whole school of
futurologist are making predictions on educational trends of the future. In
this section, we shall examine some of these predictions of trends as they
are influenced by educational technologies. The section is presented as
five segments dealing with one or other aspects of the educational

Text Resource

Media Resources

Future trends
of education

The Future of Learning:

Preparing for Change

Ken Robinson: Changing

education paradigms

Learners of
the future

Teachers of
the future

Framework for 21st

century learning

Rethinking Learning: The

21st Century Learner

21st Century Teacher

A Vision of 21st Century


Teacher Education and 21st
century Skills

Classrooms of
the future


Characteristics of a 21st
Century Classroom

Microsoft Vision of the

Classroom of the Future


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Integrating Technology in
the Classroom

Schools of the

Planning for 21st

Century Technologies in

Designing Schools for 21st

Century Learning

Project Classroom:
Transforming Our
Schools for the Future


Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you should be able to:
1. Explain the influence of educational technologies in directing the
future trends of education.
2. Discuss the role of learners, teachers and classrooms of the future.

Future Trends of Education

Malaysias population structure and the speed at which the country is
urbanizing, the demand of better quality, schools, classrooms and
teachers will continue to preoccupy all those who have an interest in the
well being of our country and its young people. The national strategies
for higher education and pre tertiary education and that Tun Abdullah
Badawi our former Prime Minister and more recently Tan Sri Muhyiddin
the current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education launched to
reflect not only the expectations of the people but also takes into account
international developments concerns and trends on education. In almost
every developed and developing country trends in education are closely
allied to social, especially employment trends. It is the case in our
country as well the employment and employability of our young people


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either out of school or university is an important measure of the

efficiency of the system
Through a series of interesting discussions educators and other social
scientists recorded their thoughts on which direction education and
training will take between 2020 and 2030. It is seems to me that a 5-10
year horizon is about the most sensible long term picture that mortals can
paint; beyond that the crystal ball becomes somewhat opaque. I am
reproducing below the findings of the European group. Please read this
short brief completely since vocational training is becoming almost as
important in Malaysia as it is elsewhere.

European View on Formal Education and Training in

Future School Education: In 2025, schools will remain the main
providers of learning opportunities for the young generation. The
existing, physical and formal structures of school education, including
standardised degrees and testing procedures, are expected to remain
intact. However, schools will have changed significantly with respect to
pedagogical strategies. On the one hand, learning and teaching
processes will have become more flexible in addressing and
implementing individual needs and preferences. On the other hand,
schools as institutions will have started to integrate external learning
resources and practical learning opportunities. Technology is
considered to be a facilitator for both of these strands, driving change.
Teachers and Trainers: Personalised learning strategies and increased
institutional flexibility, transparency and openness will go hand in hand
with a change in teaching practice. There is strong consensus among
experts that the teacher role is changing and in the future teacher will
be mentors and guides, while learning processes will become selfregulated, personalised and collaborative. However, it is underlined
that teachers will actively engage in learning processes and will remain
vital actors. They will not be replaced by ICT, nor will they become
external observers or coordinators of the learning process.
Early School Leaving: Experts believe that early school leaving can
most effectively be prevented by following personalised learning
strategies and integrating real life experiences in school education. For
those who do drop out, there will be more learning opportunities than
today, possibly supported by technological innovation and by
mechanisms supporting the recognition of informally acquired skills.
Inclusion and social integration of migrant children: On the whole,
experts are optimistic as concerns the capacity of school education to
integrate migrant children, to implement multicultural learning and
teaching strategies and to better assist migrant children in the
acquisition of the language of the host country. Technology is seen as a
key factor in facilitating language acquisition and helping children
develop their identity at the crossroads of two languages and cultures.
Future Training Strategies for Employment and Career Development
Entering the labour market: Experts coincide that, in the future, the
current gap between formally acquired skills and competences and


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labour market needs will not disappear on the contrary, it will widen.
However, they expect that both education and training institutions and
the labour market will have started reacting to the increasing
discrepancies. Education and training institutions will have to enter into
dialogue with industry and adapt curricula and syllabi accordingly, and
the labour market will consider implementing its own testing and
training schemes. However, given the increasing dynamics of
international markets, neither strategy will manage to completely close
the gap.
Re-entering the labour market: Experts believe that, in the future more
and more often people will want to (or need to) enter job fields without
possessing relevant formal qualifications. They emphasize that, to
respond to this trend, informally acquired skills and non-professional
experiences will have to be recognised. While formal qualifications will
remain important, practical skills training, whether or not connected to
a degree, will be more important to prepare people for a entering into a
new job field.
Re-skilling those who have low qualifications: Experts agree that
people with low qualifications will continue to face difficulties in finding
and maintaining employment. While attaining formal qualifications will
remain vital for grasping new employment opportunities, informally
acquired skills will be better recognised and mechanisms will be put in
place that will allow people to obtain formal recognition for their
professional expertise.
Re-skilling later in life: Experts expect that, in the future, all European
citizens, including those with high skills, will have to face up to the fact
that their expertise could become obsolete and that they might have to
start a completely new career late in their professional lives. It is
similarly uncontroversial that, in reaction to the increased flexibility of
industry and labour market, there will be a variety of opportunities for
re-skilling and changing professional profiles. However, opinions
diverge on whether practical training alone, without formal
qualifications, will be a viable option. Experts are equally divided on
the question of whether older workers will face difficulties in requalifying for a new job, although a very high minority objects to this
Career development and professional relationships: What stands out
from the expert feedback is the strong belief and expectation that, in the
future, professional relationships will change: hierarchies will flatten,
an open approach between older and younger workers will prevail and
training needs will be openly and collaboratively addressed. In parallel
to this process, privileges and benefits currently associated with
seniority and experience will be challenged. Competences will become a
more important criterion for promotion than seniority.
(Extracted on 02 May 2012 from:


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In the context of this course on ICT and education it is important to

remember that while social trends will determine the provisions and
quality of education it will be the technological trends that will influence
the practice of teaching and the behaviour of learning. This will require a
paradigm shift in the provision of education in all sectors. A leading
advocate of this shift is Sir Kenneth Robinson, an Englishman, who is a
popular speaker on the subject worldwide. I would like you to listen to
him through the video below.
Watch and listen to Sir. Ken Robinson speaks on a Paradigm Shift in
Learning on TED TALKS. Extracted on 02 May 2012 from

Multimedia 5.4
Having watched the video can you summarise in five statements the
paradigm shift that Ken Robinson has been speaking about?
1. ------------------------------------------------------

Activity 5.14

2. --------------------------------------------------------3. -------------------------------------------------------------4. ---------------------------------------------------------------5. ---------------------------------------------------------------6. -----------------------------------------------------------------Suggested answers:


The ability for learners to make and create content is core to the new
world of learning, particularly in the digital realm.

The opinions of peers matter greatly in a digital environment; adults

can seem irrelevant.

The three big policy issues for kids in a digital environment are
safety, privacy and copyright.

The vision is always going to be tempered by how you measure


The capacity for self-assessment and peer-driven assessment could

become a key of student proficiency.

We have to get past the debate of content versus skills.

Its a high-stakes time to do this work.

None of the language being used to describe new forms of learning

resonates beyond those who have drafted it.

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The Common Core could be a platform on which people outside the

system can innovate and from which people in the system can adapt.

Informal ways to certify competency could replace formal


Throughout this course we have seen how technologies are shaping the
way education is delivered. If this trend continues what will be the look
of a classroom in 2030 and what will be the look of Learning and or
teaching? Through the next three short videos in the succeeding
discussion, we will take a look at the future.
We will explore what all of this mean as we envisage the educational
(mostly) school ecosystem of the future in the next three sections. I wish
to share this future through a number of videos. It is important that you
view these videos as well as work on the textual material.

Learners of the Future

It is somewhat ironical that children who enter school today are probably
savvier in the use of the technologies than many of their teachers. A
teacher may have an iPhone or an iPad but it is the child who uses the
gadget not just to view a movie or chat with her friends. In all likelihood
he/she is probably active in the social media world, produces videos
(albeit of a modest kind), explores and demonstrates her capacity to
search for and assemble information to form a coherent narrative, plans
an outing with her friends all just in time. The potential and range of
applications available to the child seems almost bottomless. My
granddaughter who is barely ten years old makes music on her iPad using
software called Garage Band while I have problems composing a text
message!! So how would a future student look like and behave.
Read the text on a Framework for 21st Century Learning extracted on
02 May, 2012 from
Reading 5.11

Reflect on its implications for teaching and teachers which we will

consider in the next section.
In many ways technology has removed the barrier of time and
location from learning. For the learner of the future the classroom
become a part of their play and social life setting them free to
explore the information and knowledge universe at their own pace
and to remake it. A group of educators were interviewed recently
on the nature of learning and learner that the teaching profession
should prepare themselves. That next video I wish you to see
presents some of their views.


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Watch the video Rethinking Learning extracted on 02 May 2012 from

Multimedia 5.5

Before moving on the next section, reflect on the following statements

and indicate whether you agree or disagree and why.

Reflection 5.4





Learners of the future do not

need teachers
Learners of the future should
learn co operatively with their
Learners of the future must
possess technological skills
Learners of the future cannot
be just rote learners

Teachers of the Future

If the learner of the future is someone who is tech savvy, learns together
with her peers, adapts to new environments comfortable and quickly
because of her abilities to communicate, curious, wants instant feedback
and creative what kind of teacher would fulfil the needs of such a learner,
her parent and community?
One view that is gaining ground of such a teacher is that he or she is an
adaptor, a good communicator, a visionary, someone who works in
collaboration with other teachers, continues to be a lifelong learner. Read
what it all means in the next activity as well as watch the video Learning
to Change and Changing to Learn.
Read the brief description of the 21st Century Teacher extracted on 02
May, 2012 from
Reading 5.12

Note: If you have Internet access now, you can click on the link above to
view a video clip about learning to change-changing to learn at the end
of the page.
Globally educators are exploring big ideas around teaching in the 21st
century. Already some teachers in some schools are not just exploring


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these bid ideas using the technologies that are available to them today.
Watch the next video that shows what is already being done.
Watch the video A Vision of the 21st Century Teachers extracted on 02
may 2012 from

Multimedia 5.6

There is a view that is also expressed that if wish to see new type of
tech savvy and teach able teachers in our schools the starting point
for this change must take place at our Faculties of Education and
Teacher Training Colleges. I would like you to hear what some
teacher trainers have to say on the subject in the video presented
Watch the video on Teacher Education and 21st century Skills at, accessed 5 May 2012.

Multimedia 5.7

In the following section, we will explore what the classroom of the

21st century will look like but before moving on to the unit what
are you reactions to the following views? Give your reasons.
Reflection 5.5

Teachers of the future must
be full competent to apply
technology tools in their
Teachers of the future need
not be experts in the subject
matter they need to
excellent mentors
Teachers of the future must
work in collaboration with
their peers and learn from
each other
Teachers of the future must
regularly update their skills
in technology





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Classrooms of the future

You and I know how much technology has changed our lives over
the last 10 years; most would consider this intrusion of
technologies has been a force of good, most of the time. Those of
you have played or watched children play computer games,
watched movies such as Lion King or Avatar or even have grown
up with Star Wars and Star Trek cannot be but truly amazed at the
technological feats. But have you noticed how little has changed in
the environment of our classrooms. Technology will permit us and
I mean literally permit us to beam a teacher from thousands of
miles into our classrooms (at a cost of course) in a holographic
image. Changing the classroom in this technological sophisticated
period is a doable feat. Malaysian efforts at establishing SMART
SCHOOLS are one such effort. More is possible as the next video
from Microsoft showing its vision of 21st century edu-topia.
Watch the video Microsoft Vision of the Classroom of the Future on extracted on 02 May 2012.

Multimedia 5.8

The Microsoft classroom is a few years away but teachers for a

new generation of students must have the skills to manage such a
environment. The 21st century classroom is both student and
teacher centered. Whilst student explores the universe from their
classrooms Teachers become mentoring and nurturing the
creativity of the children. Please read the article in the next activity
as group of educators describes the future classroom.
Read Characteristics of the 21st Century Classroom extracted on
02 May, 2012 from
Reading 5.13

As the classroom changes, so the role of teachers changed too.

They become mentors who help young people navigate the mostly
amazing and but sometimes dangerous world of the web. You may
recollect from the earlier units on theories of constructivist learning
that an aspect of the learning process is built on acquired
knowledge. This future, and in some countries the current state of
the classroom environment, with its technologies, permits such
learning. Some teachers from Queensland, Australia share their
experience in such classrooms, in the next activity.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Watch the video on Integrating Technology in the Classroom

extracted on 02/05/12 from

Multimedia 5.9

Before you move on to the next unit respond to the set of

statements set out below with reasons for your response.




Reflection 5.6

Classrooms of the future will

make teachers redundant
Classrooms of the future are
expensive to the public purse
Classrooms of the future is
a meaningless dream in poor
Classrooms of the future
does not fit well with Asian
traditions of teaching and

Schools of the Future

From the preceding sections as well as the earlier units it would be
clear that the 21st century globally networked school will be quite
different from the schools (even the mart schools) that we inhabit
today. By and large most of the schools that have integrated
technology currently into their classrooms have done so on a
piecemeal basis as when funds become available. Those schools
and colleges that are being built, today, may be a little luckier and
from the planning stage onwards the technologies would have
featured quite extensively. Such schools will be the models for
others that are being newly built and those that are being renovated
to accommodate the needs of the learners and that of the teachers
and administrators. Networked schools will require total
digitization of every aspect of the school from security
consideration to the management of its curricular development. The
visual below shows the circle of needs of a fully well functioning
digitized school of the future.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Figure 5.3 The circle of needs of a fully well functioning digitized

school of the future

Jeff Utecht is a educational technologist, consultant and author and he
also runs a blog called the thinking stick.
Jeff Utecht is currently working as the Technology and Learning
Coordinator at the international School of Bangkok. Jeff Utecht declares
that he is constantly looking for ways to improve education for students.
Arising out of a number of blog postings in The Thinking Stick, Jeff
Utecht recently released an e-document titled Planning for 21st Century
Technologies in Schools. This is an excellent primer for all those
interested in building a 21st century school. Jeff Utecht has generously
made the book available under a Creative Commons license. For your
next activity I want you to read this book of about 21 pages. It is full of
very useful information and advice.

Read Planning for 21st Century Technologies in Schools and describe in

no more than 5 sentences the following terms or ideas or practices that Is
presented in the book.
Check Your Progress 5.5

Source: (Accessed on 3 May 2012)

1. Course Management Systems :

2. School Portal:


EED502/05 ICT in Education

3. Programme Integration:
4. Open Access:
5. Ubiquitous Access:

Now that you have some idea as to the how and what are appropriate
ways to incorporate Technologies in the school of the future how does
that translate into a building (of a school of course) appropriately wired in
the 21st century i.e. NOW. For that we need to get into the head of an
architect who designs such buildings. I would want you to watch the
video suggested in the following activity. It is presented by Mr. Randall
Fielding, AIA, Chairman and Founding partner of Fielding Nair
International, an architectural firm (
Click on the title Designing Schools for 21st Century Learning to
watch and indicate your view on the four statements in the box below
giving reasons:
Reflection 5.7


Schools of the future must
have a clear vision for the
use technology in their
Schools of the future require
total system integration to
use technology in their
Schools of the future is a
meaningless dream in poor
Schools of the future will
become less humane





EED502/05 ICT in Education

Reading 5.14

Read the following article by Rosen (2011) on Project classroom:

Transforming our schools for the Future which focuses on her
reflections on some issues that she believes is plaguing the
educational system. You are encouraged to relate your reflections
of this article against that of the author.

This section took a step towards the future of teaching and learning to
scrutinise the emerging trends in education as a resultant of the promising
exponential growth of ICT in the field of education. We looked at the role
of learners, teachers and classrooms in these emerging trends in

Self-test 5.5
Explain the role of the teachers in the classrooms of the future.
Suggested answers:
In the classrooms of the future, teachers take on the role of a facilitator
who facilitates the learning process. Teachers will guide students to
access and assess the Internet for information that can be used effectively
to enhance their understanding of subject content. Teachers will also
shoulder the role of technologist who implements and manages the
integration of technology in the teaching and learning process.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Summary of unit


This course was designed primarily to facilitate and enhance students

understanding on the role of Information Communications and
Technology (ICT) in education. In the first unit, we deliberated the means
to appreciate the purpose of ICT in our daily lives such as Internet
banking, e-commerce and professional development courses facilitated by
the Internet. We also looked at the influence of technology in curriculum
planning, innovation in instruction and the opportunities they present for
research and development in education.
In the second unit, we analysed the theoretical basis of learning designs in
which we focused on the various theories, approaches, principles and
domains in bringing about conducive learning environments. In this
effect, we also scrutinised the means technology provides in encouraging
and sustaining meaningful interactions among students and instructors
through the various representations of computer-mediated instructions.
The unit ended with discussion on some of the challenges associated with
the utilization of ICT in teacher training and professional development.
In the third unit, we explored how the exponential growth of ICT resulted
in improved hardware and software such as the microprocessor which
claimed tremendous success in enhancing the likelihood of using ICT as
tools for leaning resources. Following this, we discussed some potential
benefits and challenges associated with the use of ICT as learning
resources in the teaching and learning process.
In the fourth unit, we reflected further on the use of ICT as a visualisation
tool to augment the delivery of instruction in the various field of
humanities, teaching of mathematics and teaching of science and
technology. Subsequently, we delved into the potential of educational
games for purposes of teaching and learning.
In the final unit of the course, discussion was channelled towards issues
on planning and implementation of ICT policies. In reference to these
issues, we the opportunity to study the relevant concerns such as the role
of diversity in inclusion, utilization of ICT to access learners in the
remote areas and emerging trends in education.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Content Attributions
Adam, L (2011) How Can Holistic Education Management Information
Systems Improve Education?, Exploring ICT and Learning in
Development Countries,
Alimuddin bin Mohd. Dom (2008) Challenges of Learner Diversity in
Malaysia: Policies, Practices and the way Forward, paper presented at
the International Conference on the Education of Learner Dicersity, Putra
jaya, Malaysia.
Asian Development Bank (2009) Good Practice in Information and
Communication Technology for Education, Manila, Philippines.
Azlinah Mohamed, Nik Abdullah Nik Abdul Kadir, Yap, M L, Shuzlina
Abdul Rahman, and Noor Habibah Arshad Data (2009) Completeness
Analysis in Malaysian Educational Management Information System,
International Journal of Education and Develoment using ICT, vol. 5, no.
Blackmore, Hardcastle, L, Bamblett, E and Owens, J (2003) Effective Use
of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Enhance
Learning for Disadvantage School Students, Department of Education,
Science and Training, Australia.
Dias, M B, Nuffer, D, Velazquez, A, Teves, E A, Alismail, H, Belousov,
S, Dias, M F, Abimbola, R and Hall, B (2010) Using mobile phones and
open source tools to empower social workers in Tanzania, Information
and Communications Technology for Development, ICTD2010, 13th16th December 2010, Royal Holloway, University of London,
Educational Origami (2011) 21st Century Teacher,
Freeland, R (1998) Collected Wisdom: Strategies & Resources for TAs,
Pittsburgh, PA: Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon.
Frost and Sullivan (2010) Policy on ICT in Education Malaysia,
Haddad, W and A. Draxler (2009) Technology for Education: Potential,
Parameters and Prospects, UNESCO, Paris and Academy for
Educational Development, Washington, D.C.


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Harris, L (1996) Diversity in the Classroom: Bridging Difference and

Distance Through Computer-Mediated Communication, The Chronicle of
Higher Education: Almanac, 43(1).
Hayan Hua (2011) EMIS Development in a New Era, Exploring ICT and
Learning in Development Countries,
Hepp, P, Hinostroza, J E, Laval, E and Rehbein, L (2004) VII. Rural
Schools: A Special Case in Technology in Schools: Education, ICT and
Knowledge Society, World Bank Education Advisory Service,
Learning account (2008) Characteristics of a 21st Century Classroom
Lovely, J (2011) Information Systems in Africa (and elsewhere),
Exploring ICT and Learning in Development Countries,
Ministry of Human Resource Development India, Confluence V, 3-20;
MSC Malaysia (2009) Rural Smart School Programme,
Najeemah Mohd Yusof (2008) Multicultural Education: Managing
Diversity in Malaysian Schools, Malaysian Education Deans Council
Journal, vol. 2,
New Straits Times (2012) Plan to transform rural schools,
Orey, M (2001) Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching and
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) Framework for 21st Century


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Postman, N (1995) The end of education Redefining the Value of

School, Vintage Books, New York, USA.
Redecker, C, Leis, M, Matthijs Leendertse, Yves Punie, Govert Gijsbers,
Kirschner, P, Slavi Stoyanov and Bert Hoogveld (2010) The Future of
Learning: New Ways to Learn New Skills for Future Jobs,
Rosen, K (2011) Project classroom: Transforming our schools for the
Shaem Bodo (2011) EMIS opportunities and challenges for mobile data
collection and dissemination, Exploring ICT and Learning in
Development Countries,
Shamsuddin Hassan (2006) Integrating ICT In Teaching And Learning:
Country Report: Malaysia, paper presented at The Regional Workshop
on Integrating in Education in the SEAMEO Member.
TED TALKS (2010) Robinson, K - Paradigm Shift in Learning,
UNESCO (2011) Ten questions on inclusive education,
Utecht, J (2008) Planning for 21st Century Technologies,
Valiathan, P (2002) Blended Learning Models,
Wahl, L and Duffield, J (2005) Using Flexible Technology to Meet the
Needs of Diverse Learners: What Teachers Can Do, WestEd, (copy right reserved)
Youtube (2008) The Inclusive Classroom (Short version),
Youtube (2009) Designing Schools for 21st Century Learning,
Youtube (2009) Integrating Technology into Classroom,


EED502/05 ICT in Education

Youtube (2009) Mia Farah inclusive Education,
Youtube (2009) Teacher Education and 21st Century Skills,
Youtube (2010) A Vision of 21st Century Teacher,
Youtube (2010) Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner |
MacArthur Foundation,
Youtube (2011) Computer Assisted Learning with Dell in China's Poor
Rural Areas,
Youtube (2011) Microsoft Vision of the Classroom of the Future,
Zen, H, Hamid, K A, Songan, P, Yeo, A W and Gnaniah, J (2004)
Bridging the Digital Divide- the e-Bario and e-Badian
Telecommunication Framework in Work with Computing Systems in
Khalid, H M, Helander, M G and Yeo, A W (eds) Work with Computing
System, Damai Science, Kuala Lumpur,