Archive for the ‘Educational Technologies’ Category

Learning to be safety-savvy online

Sunday, October 8th, 2017
Education Director-General Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yuso

Education Director-General Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yuso

With more youngsters accessing social media, the Government is introducing online security in schools to create good digital citizens.

INTERNET users are getting younger with every click, and the Education Ministry wants to make sure that children from as young as six, are protected from growing online threats.

The ministry, says its director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, is introducing an Internet safety, online ethics, and time management module, for Years One and Two students.

The objective of the first module, Dr Khair explains, is to ensure that pupils:

> Practice Internet usage rules and ethics.

> Ask their parents, or teachers, for consent before using the Internet, computers, and other mobile devices.

> Follow age-restriction rules when opening social media accounts.

> Can differentiate, and evaluate, the sustainability of content, or materials, on websites and social media.

> Know about personal information safety, and understand the effects of disclosing personal information in cyberspace.

> Can identify healthy communication in cyberspace.

> Respect the privacy of others.

> Understand the need for, and abide by, the Internet usage timetable set by parents at home, and by teachers in school.

Other module topics are on cyberbullying, social media, and digital citizenship.

“The modules, to be accessible online by students, aim to strengthen digital resiliency, foster good digital citizenship among schoolchildren so that they know their roles and responsibilities, promote a safe and healthy digital lifestyle, and guide students in understanding the day-today digital risks like cyberbullying and cybercrime, when they go online,” he says, adding that the modules will be piloted in selected schools once ready.

The pilot study is to allow a review of the modules’ feasibility in terms of student understanding, content relevance, competency of teachers, and infrastructure readiness of the schools.

“The results of the pilot test will be useful in improving the modules,” explains Dr Khair.

CSM, he says, was entrusted under the 11th Malaysia Plan to investigate the level of cyber security awareness among primary and secondary students nationwide.

A six-month survey was conducted last year to obtain baseline information on the level of cyber security awareness among students, and to do a gap analysis of ICT education in schools. The results were used to prepare lesson modules to raise cyber security awareness among students.

“The modules will be of great benefit as they provide structured content with guided activities for students, teachers and parents.

“When the modules are implemented, students will not only gain new knowledge, skills, and information, but they’ll also be entertained. It’ll take education beyond classroom walls,” offers Dr Khair.

Teachers and parents, he says, can use, adapt and adopt, the modules to suit their needs. Parents can also monitor their child’s progress through formative and summative assessments derived from the modules.

Cyber security and cyber safety awareness, he says, is part of digital learning. “Learning nowadays is facilitated by technology, or by instructional practice, that makes effective use of technology. This is true across all areas, and subjects.

“There’s a wide spectrum of learning that uses technology. From blended and virtual learning, and game-based learning, to accessing digital content, collaborating locally and globally, participating in online communities, and creating and expressing new ideas and innovations, we turn to technology.

“So, our task is to ensure that students have the knowledge, and skills, to protect themselves, and to be responsible when online.”

While there are no plans to teach cyber wellness as a subject, Dr Khair stresses that cyber safety, and ethics, are already embedded within the ICT curriculum in primary and secondary schools.

Read more @

Need for teachers to keep up with new technologies.

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

EDUCATION is evolving at a very much faster pace. The current education landscape demands educators to be equipped with teaching methods, techniques and strategies to meet the needs of the 21st century learners.

Deputy Rector of the Institute of Teaching Education Malaysia, Dr Rusmini Ku Ahmad, said that learners today needed to be equipped with communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creative skills to be competitive global players in a highly challenging world.

She was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) 2017 at the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

The three-week course which ended recently, saw both local and international participants in attendance. Dr Rusmini said for this year, the course focused on Online English Language Teaching (ELT) for trainers.

“I believe that through this programme, we can also create professional learning partnerships between the participating countries and ELTC.

“I am confident that such partnerships will yield numerous technology benefits beyond the tangible outcomes and output of this programme.

“We expect this programme to enable participants to implement the skills learnt into their own practice and to disseminate what they had learnt to other ELT practitioners in their respective countries,” she said.

Read more @

Technology, disruptions and the geek economy

Friday, September 29th, 2017
(File pix) Malaysia is experiencing an increasingly geek economy. Malaysians are among the highest users of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram applications. EPA-EFE Photo

THERE are old questions that resurface when we talk about technology and innovation: Will new technology and innovation change the employment structure and the way we work? Will the latest technology result in unemployment and create growing inequality, the world is now witnessing? How does innovation and technology square with Malaysia’s political economy? Are we technology laggards? How can the state cope with technology and innovation?

There are two effects of technology and innovation. The first is that new technology is disruptive; it replaces labour with capital. This means that new technology could see more people being unemployed or forced to seek new ways to gain employment. The second is that technology brings new capital into the economy. This will create new demand for goods and services and produce new jobs and business models.

There are some of us who are less sanguine about the impact of technology and innovation on society. The pessimist among us think that the collapse of the old economy will create widespread unemployment. The mismatch of skills generated by new technology would produce new social, political and economic challenges.

To be fair, these could be true. As it is, new technology and innovations are creating fewer jobs than jobs being displaced. Traditional jobs are now at risk because of technology. Technology has taken over some parts of the jobs carried out by lawyers, financial analysts, librarians and journalists. The commercialisation of 3D printing and advances in biotechnology could also mean that manual jobs would be threatened with obsolescence.

The optimists among us, however, think that we are better off embracing technology given our dexterity to adapt even when innovation changes the way we work, live and play. History has proven that humans have managed to negotiate difficult turns in fortune and adapt to the harshest of environment. We have avoided the Malthusian trap because new technology has forced us to come up with new things and learn new skills. The optimists believe that new technology will release new ways of living, create new employment and produce more prosperous, informative and knowledgeable society.

More recent phenomena give reason to be positive. Take the case of the agricultural sector in America. Agriculture used to take up 90 per cent of employment at the start of the 19th century. Now, the sector employs only two per cent of American workforce but without disruptions to its political economy.

More recently, the late Steve Jobs released the ubiquitous iPhone that would prove to be a game changer. The iPhone changes radically how the economy is structured. In releasing the iPhone, Apple, provided a collaborative platform when it invited outside application developers to create applications for the iPhone. That triggered a deluge of applications that are friendly to both iPhone and Android phone users. So amazing was the growth of the global application economy that by 2015, the global application economy generated US$100 billion (RM420 billion) in revenue. Such development has generated a whole new economy — the geek economy. The Uberatisation and Grabisation have changed or disrupted transportation, logistic and services industries. Alibaba and Instagram have become convenient platforms for shared or collaborative economy. Blockchain and bitcoins are now the talk given their scalability.

The huge development in technology has given new set of challenges to governments. The disruptiveness posed by technology are forcing states to find new ways of thinking to make sense of the changes and how best to facilitate, regulate and adapt to an increasingly geek economy. Is Malaysia ready for such so-called fourth industrial revolution?

Two reasons to be optimistic. First, thanks to a growing economy, Malaysia is creating a new generation of Malaysians that breathe the Internet. We are seeing a new generation that is highly adept and dependent on the Internet, so much so that Malaysia is experiencing an increasingly geek economy. Malaysians are among the highest users of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram applications, where numerous transactions and employment are being generated. Grab has its roots in Malaysia.

The recently launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) could be an important collaborative or shared platform that should be harnessed to unearth new services and employment.

Second, Malaysia’s open trading economy naturally ties it with the latest development in the global economy, inevitably making Malaysians natural adopters of the latest in globalisation trends. The growth of the past years and the openness of the economy have unintentionally geared up the young to be Internet ready and savvy. When viewed from a bigger scheme of things, Malaysians are well poised to take advantage of new advances in technology.

But, there is more to gaining an edge. Countries that offer the best of Internet infrastructure and technology would be among the leading pack of innovative states. Smart applications, smart cities and the continued pursuance of various collaborative applications require that we constantly change  our mental model when it comes to technology, innovation and new forms of employment.

By Dr Abdillah Noh.

Read more @

Cyber threat: Are we ready?

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
It is fallacious to dismiss the government’s effort in improving the effectiveness of cyber security in Malaysia.

IN 2016, CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) reportedly detected attempts of intrusions in several local servers some of which belong to Malaysia’s Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) — government agencies, financial institutions and universities.

It means that Malaysia could not hide from malicious acts in the cyber domain, and moreover, Malaysia has been listed as among the main countries susceptible to cyber threats, according to a study by International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

In response to growing trends of securing critical infrastructure, Malaysia has gradually shielded its CNII with more systematic protection in multiple ways, which are in tandem with the National Cyber Security Policy (NCSP).

First, as part of the government’s initiative to bolster cyber defence, the National Security Council (NSC), in collaboration with CSM, organised the annual coordinated simulation exercise, X-Maya, to assess the cyber security emergency readiness and preparedness of CNII agencies against cyber attacks.

This year’s exercise also witnessed the utilisation of the National Cyber Coordination and Command Centre (NC4), a national level state-of-the-art cyber security centre devoted to confronting cyber threats and crises. The exercise also highlighted the importance of communication between agencies to ensure effective measures are taken against the cyber threats.

Second, in keeping with the government’s consistent reinvention of its cybersecurity programme, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, had, in June, announced that the government will endeavour to introduce a new legislation, the Cybersecurity Act 2017. The new legislation would empower the National Cybersecurity Agency (NCSA) to act as the “mother agency” coordinating all efforts against cyber threats faced by the country. Employing NCSA would complement the role of the NSC as the highest security agency in the country.

The new legislation could positively address legal measures on managing common forms of cyber attacks and not just be limited to content-related offences. This far-reaching legislation would address the illegality of malicious acts in cyberspace with proportionate penalties.

Arguably, the legislation is essential to deal with the multifaceted nature of the increasingly sophisticated cyber threats that are not just content-related. In addition, given the dynamics of cyber threats, it may increase the risk of conflict with national security priorities, such as censorship, surveillance and other probable measures over computer networks, which could supersede civil liberties of its perpetrators.

Incidentally, most governments in the world face the complexities of balancing the different aspects of state security risks.

Third, earlier this year, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced the establishment of the Armed Forces’ Cyber Defence Operation Centre (ATM CDOC), which will be under the purview of Defence Intelligence Staff Division (DISD). ATM CDOC is entrusted with monitoring, preventing, controlling and analysing cyber threats, with primary functions of securing the national defence system.

Currently, ATM CDOC operates incognito, and it was promoted by our defence minister as the most advanced cyber operation centre among Asean countries.

Fourth, the government has
elevated efforts in securing the cyber domain at international and regional levels by participating in various processes. This includes the inaugural Asean Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC) in Singapore last year.

The AMCC highlights extensive compromise between Asean member states, as an agreement was reached on the value of developing a set of practical cybersecurity norms of behaviour in the Asean region to ensure a secure and resilient cyberspace.

Discussion at the regional level is important as it is also intended to improve regional understanding of cyberspace, from finding common lexicon to setting the norms. It is important because routine misperception of the word “cyber” is one of many reasons why most countries do not have a common framework to discuss cyberspace.

Furthermore, the outcome of those processes could lead to a comparative study of approaches of states in the region and ultimately, yield a better sense of shared priorities and divergences among the states. Cyber threats are a serious impediment to bolster and achieve a safer cyber environment.


Read more @

Industry 4.0: The future is here

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Malaysia cannot afford to lag in a world facing swift, exponential change driven by technological innovation.

AS early as the 6th century BC, Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted this certainty: the only constant thing in the world is change.

Since then, the world has undergone tremendous changes.

Today, it has segued into yet another monumental era – the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, the name given to the latest evolution in the digitisation and automation of manufacturing processes.

It incorporates advanced sensors, machine-to-machine communication links, 3-D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and cloud computing technology.

These cyber-physical platforms monitor factory processes and make decentralised, self-governing decisions, leading to “intelligent” or “smart” factories.

Industry 4.0 covers the entire value chain, including suppliers, procurement, design, logistics and even sales, resulting in higher productivity and flexibility.

There is less wastage or storage, better monitoring and maintenance of machinery, and improved security and safety.

The first industrial revolution started in the late 18th century with the shift from human or animal power to machines run by water or steam.

The second occurred between 1870 to 1914 with the introduction of electricity, and the rise of the steel and oil industries, triggering the era of mass production of goods and vehicles.

The third significant shift began in the 1960s with the entry of the first programmable logistic controllers and early versions of computers, boosting automation and control of production lines.

This spurred the extensive use of computer networks, and the eventual birth of the Internet changed the world in ways that no one could have imagined.

Industry 4.0 is a German strategic initiative mooted in 2011 under its High-Tech Strategy 2020 and adopted two years later.

It is aimed at revolutionising the manufacturing industry, by switching from centralised to decentralised networks under which connected equipment and devices communicate with each other to analyse and respond to information received.

In the United States, the term “Internet of Things” (IoT) is used for networks of computers, scanners and other devices collecting and dispensing information to end-users in homes and companies.

Application of the IoT in manufacturing is referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things, or just Industrial Internet.

In Britain, the preferred reference is Fourth Industrial Revolution, while in Russia, it is “Advanced Manufacturing”.

China has its “Made in China 2025”, which has a broader scope to bridge the gaps and uneven matches between the quality and efficiency of its rising number of manufacturers.

There is much confusion over these interconnected terms. What is clear, though, is the global acceptance of this significant technological advance.

Sadly, Malaysia has been rather slow to embrace it, compared with Vietnam or Thailand which already have Industry 4.0 policy frameworks.

The Malaysian Government is still in the process of formulating the National Industry 4.0 Blueprint, which is expected to be ready before the end of 2017.

The cost of adopting Industry 4.0 is the main reason for small and medium industries’ hesitance.

Many prefer to keep their foreign workers, rather than to invest in automation and IT.

As a result, Malaysia is regarded as stuck at the level of Industry 3.0 in terms of manufacturing technology.

In May, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said 65% of jobs in Malaysia could be lost because of technological advancements.

“We are unable to catch our breath because the world is moving at a fast pace with the digital economy,” he was quoted as saying.

According to Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) chief executive Datuk C. M. Vignaesvaran Jeyandran, most of the 15 million Malaysian workers in the private sector need to be upskilled or trained to be multi-skilled to meet requirements under the increasing digitalisation of workplaces.

Read more @

Need for change to remain relevant and competitive

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
NSTP Kuching Branch Manager and Advertisement (East Malaysia) Senior Executive Venitia Samue (second left) and The New Straits Times Press (NSTP) Advertising Department General Manager Jeannie Leong having a group discussion after the seminar. Pix by Goh Pei Pei

KUCHING: Digital transformation has become a must for businesses to move forward as well as to stay relevant and competitive in the modern world.

The New Straits Times Press (NSTP) Advertising Department General Manager Jeannie Leong said the organisation had shifted the delivery platform, focussing on digital first, print later as newspaper remains the core business.

“We can’t totally get rid of the print as there are people who prefer to read newspapers. Hence we are offering readers our content on various platforms, including social media such as Facebook, Instagram as well as the online portals,” she said.

Speaking at the NSTP’s seminar on digital advertising here, Leong said there was a need to embrace the changing environment whereby technology had become part of daily lives.

“We are here to introduce you (participants) the beauty of digital advertising whereby we can customise a client’s campaign direction, targeted audience, display and content,” she said.

More than 90 participants from government agencies, corporate groups as well as Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participated in the seminar.

Meanwhile, Digital Sales Advertisement Senior Executive Mohd Muzainy Chik Mustafa shared several ideas on how digital advertisement works.

Based on information gathered by the group, more than 90 per cent of the viewers used mobile phones.

“Thus it’s important to design a website that’s mobile-friendly as most of the people own at least a smart phone that can go online in the modern era. It’s weird when you are not connected with internet these day,” he said.

For those who were interested to create a video for their products, Muzainy said a maximum of 30 seconds would be the most ideal length.

“People are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis. Therefore digital advertising offers more options to the clients. It could be news on the portal, video, Facebook live or even just a picture in Instagram,” he said.

A participant Norhasyimah Ahmad Merrican, who is a SME for beauty and food industry, said she had benefited from the event.

“I’m aware of the trend whereby SMEs kick-start their business online and there are successful online entrepreneurs. But I don’t have much knowledge on how to do it (online business) and where to start,” she said.

” I came here to learn and it was a very useful seminar. I am planning to focus on e-commerce as I am confident that my products have the potential to go global.”

By Goh Pei Pei

Read more @

Use Of Technology Vital For Better Grasp Of Stem Subjects – Abang Jo

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

KUCHING, Aug 28 (Bernama) — The use of technology must be given a strong emphasis in the teaching and learning of STEM subjects in Sarawak schools in order for the state to be able to create a solid foundation in science and technology.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said computer and internet technologies had become the primary aid in the study of STEM subjects in schools which Sarawak education system should capitalise on.

“Students need to do well in science and mathematics as these subjects are the foundation to internet and computer technologies upon which Sarawak’s future hinged on,”he said when addressing the people in SMK Temenggong Oyong Lawai Jau at Long San in Upper Baram, Miri yesterday.

Abang Johari made a flying visit to Long San to launch a tuition programme that was initiated by the Temenggong Dato Lawai Jau (TDLJ) Education Trust Fund after launching the biennial Baram Regatta in Marudi earlier in the day.

He was happy to note that the 600-odd students at the school were provided with tablets to help them in their studies and that the students had shown signs of improvement in their grasp of science and mathematics.

Abang Johari also thanked the two volunteers who had close connection with the Silicon Valley in California, United States for helping out to bring the tuition programme to the students at the school.

He said all that would be needed was for the school to have a 24-hour supply of electricity and good internet connection for the students to have full access to internet services in the remote Kenyah settlement.

“I have instructed the Miri Resident to study how a mini-hydro power plant at the village be redeveloped and combined with solar energy to produce a 24-hour hybrid power supply,”he said.


Read more @

Don’t be replaced by a robot: Prepare yourself for the future of work

Sunday, August 27th, 2017
More than 200 courses are now being offered by all 20 Malaysian public universities through Malaysia MOOCs.
By adam brimo - August 23, 2017 @ 12:00pm

“A NATURAL leader”, “compassionate”, “critical thinker”, “entrepreneurial”, “responsible”, “has confidence in themselves and pride in their country”.

Who wouldn’t want to be described in such a way? Who wouldn’t want their children or students to exemplify these values?

From Sydney to Shah Alam to Shenzhen —no matter where you are from, we all aspire to develop the right balance between knowledge and skills, ethics and morality. We all strive to give our families the best possible quality of life and the benefits of our most difficult experiences.

In higher education, these values are known as soft skills. They take years to develop and are difficult to measure, yet they are the foundation to a civilised society and a requirement for a knowledge-based economy.

This is especially so as automation and robotics transform the world. These soft skills are becoming the main differentiator — not just between graduates — but between people and computers.

So, how do we safeguard ourselves from being replaced by robots?

As a parent, you can foster a sense of curiosity in your child from an early age by sharing ideas, learning about philosophy and history, and by reading books instead of only watching TV. You can also lead by example — by using more positive language and “looking on the bright side”, and by being a self-directed, lifelong-learner yourself.

When your child is close to completing secondary school, keep an open mind and encourage them to explore subjects and degrees offered by not just universities, but also the polytechnics and community colleges. Some of the world’s most successful CEOs, artists and entrepreneurs studied social sciences, languages or engineering. Andrea Jung studied literature, Jack Ma was an English teacher and Marissa Mayer studied science.

In the future, jobs will favour a responsive and flexible individual — someone who is able to draw from a wide range of knowledge, experiences and technical skills to solve problems. This then requires a more wholesome and multi-disciplinary approach to education.

For the first time in history, people of all ages are able to join university courses from across Malaysia and around the world for free — they are called Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs for short.

More than 200 courses are now being offered by all 20 Malaysian public universities through Malaysia MOOCs — an initiative by the Ministry of Higher Education, and the world’s first national MOOCs programme — to over 270,000 people from around the world.

You can now enrol in short courses to learn about Sea Turtle Biology from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Introductory Japanese from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), English in the Media from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) or Computer Programming from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTeM) — all without first enrolling in a university degree.

Have you studied a few MOOCs and would now like a university degree?

The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) recently launched the world’s first MOOC credit transfer guideline, called APEL(C), which enables you to get up to 30 per cent of a degree through MOOCs or up to 70 per cent of a degree through your prior work experience. Thanks to this programme, you no longer have to study every subject at university to earn credit towards your degree — your prior experiential learning counts!

As a university or polytechnic student, you, too, should equip yourself for the future of work. You can look for opportunities to be more active and involved by joining a society, tutoring your fellow students, volunteering on campus, or by helping out in your local community. Creativity and innovation comes from having a wide variety of experiences and this is the best time of your life to do just that.

More than ever, getting straight A’s alone won’t guarantee you a great job — your academic skills must be matched with industry experience and an entrepreneurial mindset. Your experiences and contributions to the community won’t go unnoticed. These experiences are now being recorded at universities nationwide to produce your Integrated CGPA or iCGPA — which is a holistic measure of both your knowledge and your soft skills.

As a teacher, you hold an important role in society and in your community. Although some people might think that technology will replace teachers, that is not the case — teachers are more critical than ever.

By Adam Brimo.

Read more @

Use Of ICT Devices Not Throughout Classroom Session In Schools – Mahdzir

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

BUKIT KAYU HITAM, Aug 10 (Bernama)–Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has stressed that the teaching and learning process in the school classroom will go on as usual although students are allowed to bring along their ICT devices like tablets and netbooks to school from next year.

Mahdzir said allowing students to bring along these devices would just be a supplementary measure for students to do reference work during the teaching-learning process in an interactive way, and not using the devices all the time.

“I wish to emphasise that it is not the Education Ministry’s intention that students must learn through these devices, No. The teaching-learning process in school will go on as what it is currently. (The devices are) just an additional means of learning for those students who bring the devices to school.

“And it’s usage is not from 7.45am until 2pm. Perhaps for two hours but and we have finalised this yet, whether two or three hours and at which time (these devices can be used) ,” he said after opening the 5th Kedah Scouts Jamboree and International Brotherhood 2017, here, last night.

Mahdzir was recently quoted as saying that the ruling and circular on the use and type of ICT devices allowed for students to bring to school were being drawn by his ministry.

Earlier, on April 18, Mahdzir announced the proposal to allow students to bring ICT devices to school where their usage would be to ease the teaching-learning process in the classroom, according to the time and subjects determined by the ministry.

However, he said, the ministry so far would only allow such devices (tablets, notebooks) and not the mobile phone, to be brought along to school by students.

Mahdzir said usage of ICT devices had been allowed since quite a while back for high-performing fully residential schools, and international and private schools.


Read more @

Parents: Lift ban on phones if laptops and tablets are allowed.

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Parents want mobile phones to be allowed in schools because many laptops and tablets have similar functions anyway.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education chairman Mak Chee Kin said it would be difficult for teachers to impose a selective ruling because the line between phones and devices such as tablets was becoming increasingly blurred.

“I find this (exclusion of phones) silly! Will teachers have to check before classes that the device isn’t a phone?” he asked.

On the Internet infrastructure available in schools, which would be necessary for devices that needed WiFi or other network facilities to go online, Mak said not allowing phones would put even more pressure on schools’ broadband capacity.

“How about the Internet connection? Even now, teachers are fighting for broadband. It will become even more pressing once students need the Internet as part of their lessons,” he said in response to Education Minister Datuk Seri Mah­d­zir Khalid’s announcement that students will be allowed to bring mobile devices such as laptops and tablets to school, but not mobile phones.

Parent Action Group for Educa­tion Malaysia chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said disallowing phones was irrelevant because many other devices now had apps that gave them similar functions.

She said international schools already allowed their students to use phones in class, though most were kept too busy with schoolwork to spend time on their phones.

She added that it came down to engaging students, not restricting some devices over others. But some teachers said they would prefer if students were only limited to bringing laptops or notebooks to class.

One teacher said that unlike laptops, mobile phones and tablets could easily be hidden from view.

“When they open the laptop, we can see what the students are doing,” he said.

He added that it was easier to prevent students from accessing undesirable sites as they would be limited by the school’s Internet connectivity.
Read more @