Thursday, February 21, 2013

Laptops In Place of Textbooks For Pupils

WHEN Deputy Prime Minister  Muhyiddin Yassin visited the Daphne High School in Mobile, Alabama last month, he observed the students' learning style and was pleasantly surprised that they were using laptops and had excluded textbooks.
Read the NST report HERE.
Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said this was an innovative education process that Malaysian schools could emulate given that Internet and broadband facilities have been extensively installed in schools.
The school is a top-performing school.

Muhyiddin was impressed with the students' thinking skills and creativity.
He said they seem to be "independent and have good communication skills"
"When I asked them questions, they answered with confidence and without fear.
"When they came up to the rostrum to talk, they knew what exactly they wanted to say.
"It shows the level of the school's excellence, and the attitude and skills are factors which we must develop among our students."
Impressed, he said the ministry was considering providing laptops instead of textbooks to all students.
When I posted this on my FB page, I said that this is good but needs to be studied carefully. The US education system is so different from ours. Besides, it is just one school although using of laptops in schools is in practice across the globe.
There was a lot of response which was good for debate.

Before I touch on the laptop programme, let me just say here that those students who displayed confidence etc...they are typical of American students. Not peculiar to Daphne.

So, basically, I agree that we cannot be left behind. Providing laptops for students is not new (the Terengganu E book project in 2008) , but the laptops are for not in place of textbooks but to complement and enhance learning

I feel we have to put a lot of things in place first, repair here and there, overhaul here and there, decide to do away with textbooks and then implement this laptop-in-place-of-textbook programme. basically it is revolutionising learning.

My worry is that we are so good at launching, implementing but not sustaining. Also there have been cases of ambitious projects gone wrong.

My sister pointed out that we should make sure that there is zero-crime on the streets if we want our kids to be carrying laptops in their bags.

University students have been known to be targets of snatch thieves because it is known that they have laptops in their bags.

You don't fix the crime rate, our school kids will be easy targets of criminals. 

You cannot deny that this will enhance learning because it has been proven in many cases.

In fact, in the US, they're already migrating from laptops/netbooks to tablets...

So, yes..embrace the future, but fix our shortcomings first, then learn, at least from the Terengganu experience and  from the best practices elsewhere.

 Anyway, I decided to give my two cents worth in my Saturday column. Read it HERE.


Anak Jati Perak said...

Instead of launching another new e-learning project, perhaps the MOE should make unannounced visits to boarding schools to check out the living conditions the students are placed in. I don't think parents are asking for luxurious style of living condition but staying in a cramped dorm of 24-26 students with worn double-decker beds and half-length closets is wanting.

manmanlai said...

I have nothing much to say about Muhyiddin's ideas.Basically they are good ideas.Like the gomen giving laptops to the minorities in East Malaysia where majority of receivers have no excess to electricity.

Another way of rewarding their cronies who are suppliers of these laptops to the East Malaysians.Besides where have our education standards gone,but downhill to the hilly-billies since the English standards was cut down to one or two subjects.

And American students school hours are average six and a half hours.

bludy busy misybodies said...

Nuraina,you are right.The criminals thugs,robbers and mat rempits will have a celebration party.Robbing students of their hard earned laptops.Courtesy and no thanks to Mr Moo.

the gaffe guy who know's said...

After four years as Education Minister what has DPM Muhyiddin brought to the education system.He brought along with him a bunch of lembus from NFC.Hehehe.

Anonymous said...

Who is to be blame for the rampant high crime rate in the country.

First let us ask who is in charge of the country.Of course the Umno/BN GOM.So the Umno/BN GOM is to be blamed for the high rampant crime rate.

Second who do the Umno/BN GOM appoint to look after law and order in the country.The PDRM and the IGP.So we blame the PDRM and the IGP for the high rampant crime rate too.

better days are ahead said...

Nuraina, please tell your sister,all her friends,all your friends and friends of all friends that things will be better after the April elections.The good for nothing irrelevant ruling regime is overdue for a changeover of the guards.

Another Crony laptop scheme? said...

First there was the RM1 billion tender from SKMM to supply 1 million laptop at Low Yat price.

These enriched the foreign suppliers and the Chinese dealers.

Maybe the ex SKMM CEO got pittance for his effort or more the SPRM should investigate.

The justification? The one line policy " The SKMM shall provde nationwide broadband access".

Yeah right. But the stupid SKMM or Education Ministry havent heard of Negroponte or those 100 laptops effort for schools.

Instead of uisng 1 billion to develop Malay tech companies or universities, 1 billion flowed out so easily.

Now some people are rubbing their hands at the prospect of thousands of laptops for school children when what is needed is good nutrition for Malays children so as not to grow up mentally retarded like the pre merdeka generation.

What is needed are sports facilities. New tables, music rooms, equipment. Unless these are already outsource to some body wife.

When will UMNO leaders learn. We can see thro these so called projects.

They are only to enrich the Chinese and Indians suppliers.