Next-Gen tech for Singapore schools

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The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) have selected four consortia to design and deploy next generation infocomm-enabled solutions for five FutureSchools.

Under the consortia, imaginary immersive learning environments would be created that can mimic different kinds of scenarios in the classroom.

Without having to visit the Singapore Zoo, science students can, for example, immerse themselves in a four-dimensional (4D) environment and observe a lion's behaviour, record it and share the information with fellow students, the IDA said.

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Such highly immersive and interactive solutions will soon be a reality for Singapore's FutureSchools, when fully implemented by 2012, the IDA claimed.

The five schools include Beacon Primary School, Canberra Primary School, Crescent Girls' School, Hwa Chong Institution and Jurong Secondary School.

Following IDA's Call-for-Collaboration (CFC) in May 2007, the four consortia were selected from 20 proposals based on their innovative solutions for the schools and their proven track record.

The CFC seeks to form strategic collaboration with infocomm partners to accelerate the development of the five FutureSchools, which will be done through next generation technologies that support the schools' innovative teaching and learning programmes.

An S$80 million investment over a period of four years (from May 2008 to May 2012) will be contributed by the IDA, National Research Foundation and the industry.

The FutureSchools will lead the way for other schools in providing possible models for the seamless and pervasive integration of infocomm into the curriculum and pedagogy for engaged learning in schools, IDA said.

“IDA's collaboration with MOE and industry brings together partners to harness infocomm innovatively and effectively for engaged learning, and to keep our education system relevant in preparing students for the future,” IDA Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Tay said.

This builds on IDA's iN2015 Masterplan's efforts for the education and learning sector to use infocomm to develop potential schools into peaks of excellence and spearhead the transformation of the education sector.

“The FutureSchools, together with MOE and IDA will work closely with industry partners to develop the technology solutions which support these teaching and learning approaches,” MOE's Educational Technology Division Director Koh Thiam Seng said.

The IDA said that from as early as 2010, the Next-Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) will support infocomm-enabled learning networks, such as FutureSchools.

Capable of delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps and beyond, the Next Gen NBN offers pervasive ultra-high speed connectivity that will enable rich interactions via various modes

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