Nan Chiau Primary School, Qualcomm and Microsoft Collaborate to Build 21st Century Classroom with 3G Smartphones in Singapore

Nan Chiau Primary School, Qualcomm and Microsoft Collaborate to Build 21st Century Classroom with 3G Smartphones in Singapore

Date
Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Media Type
PR newswire (Online)

With Support from Nokia and SingTel, Mobile Education Project Helps Prepare Students for Life in a Fast-Changing and Highly Connected World

Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless Reach(TM) initiative, Nan Chiau Primary School and Microsoft today announced the launch of the WE Learn mobile education project, which uses 3G smartphones to create a 21st century classroom experience for Singaporean students. The project will demonstrate how the latest wireless technology can be used to transform learning from a traditional, teacher-centric model to a student-centric, inquiry-oriented and collaborative framework where 24/7 access to resources in and out of the classroom allows students to acquire and practice 21st century competencies.

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The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) is working to better prepare its nation's students to thrive in a fast-changing and highly-connected world by promoting the development of self-directed learning and collaborative learning skills in its third Master plan for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education. Nan Chiau is an MOE-designated Future School in Singapore. Tasked with pushing the frontier of technology, it is leading the way with a 21st century classroom that implements the MOE's framework and serves as a model for primary schools throughout Singapore and Asia.

With a grant from Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative, the WE Learn project is providing 3G-enabled Nokia Lumia 710 smartphones enabled by Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) processors; mobile broadband connectivity via SingTel's 3G wireless network; a mobile learning platform (MyDesk) and educational applications developed by University of Michigan; and Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, which all software for these smartphones is built upon, to 350 third-grade students and their teachers at Nan Chiau.

"With 3G smartphones and connectivity, our students have 24/7 access to educational content, web-based resources and collaborative learning tools," said Mr. Tan, principal of Nan Chiau Primary School. "These tools give students the means to take responsibility for their own learning and enable teachers to provide individualized mentoring."

The National Institute of Education of Singapore is assisting teachers with the development of customized curriculum in English, Science and Chinese that leverages the benefits of mobile, Internet-connected, learning devices and provides students with new learning opportunities that are not possible with paper and pencil.

"We co-design technology enabled lessons with the teachers and provide professional development to teachers that enable them to enact lessons using smartphones. It is critical to empower teachers to orchestrate the transformed classroom to support students' personalized learning," said Professor Looi Chee Kit of the National Institute of Education.

All smartphones are equipped with MyDesk, a next-generation mobile learning platform tailored to leverage the capabilities of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. MyDesk enables each student to access his or her assignments, relevant websites that contain podcasts, textual material and video clips and educational applications, such as concept mapping, drawing and animating, to practice both self-directed and collaborative learning. Files created by the Nan Chiau students on their smartphones are backed-up and synchronized to a cloud-based Teaching Management System, providing each student an electronic portfolio that parents can review and teachers can access for grading and feedback purposes. Undergraduates at the University of Michigan are building the mobile learning platform (MyDesk), many of its applications, the Teaching Management System and an always-visible, digital Class Message Board.

"Microsoft's vision is to help expand the power of education for all individuals through personalized learning. That is why Microsoft partners with education communities around the world to deliver a relevant and effective scalable set of technologies, services and programs that focus the contributions of many on improved learning outcomes for the individual," said Ms. Jessica Tan, managing director for Microsoft Singapore. "Encouraging the use of technology to enable innovative methods of teaching and learning will address the needs of the next generation of digital native learners to become savvy citizens and leaders of the future."

"Smartphones are becoming a part of everyday life and we are excited that the students at Nan Chiau can now enhance their learning outside the classroom with the use of our Nokia Lumia 710 smartphones," said Neil Gordon, vice president of Sales for Nokia Southeast Asia. "The ability to do everyday tasks faster, like accessing the Web, capturing information or viewing content from anywhere makes Nokia Lumia an ideal tool for mobile learning."

"SingTel seeks to play a key role in transforming the education landscape by integrating ICT into teaching and learning," said Mr. Lee Kai Hock, vice president of SingTel Business Marketing. "We have been instrumental in leading many strategic education ICT projects, such as the Future School (Singapore) and other e-learning digital media projects, and are excited to contribute to the success of the WE Learn project, empowering the students to learn anywhere, anytime."

"The WE Learn project is putting the power of computers into the pockets of tomorrow's innovators, engineers and inventors," said John Stefanac, vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Southeast Asia and Pacific. "This project demonstrates how 3G connectivity can transform education to enable a student-centric learning model that is available anytime, anywhere and easy for adoption worldwide."

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

Source: Qualcomm Incorporated; Nan Chiau Primary School; Microsoft

Source: PR newswire (Online)