Archive for the ‘Educational Technologies’ Category

King extols responsible use of communications technology

Saturday, December 7th, 2019
The King added that higher education institutions must undergo various transformations in order to prepare graduates to face the challenges of the new digital age.

PEKAN: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today called on Malaysians to use modern communications technology responsibly.

His Majesty said that new digital technologies and communications systems should not be used to exploit issues in ways that could be detrimental to national unity and harmony.

“The act of spreading slanderous, false news and statements that could threaten national harmony and unity is irresponsible.

“I call on the people to be more responsible and to respect the harmony of the country. Modern technology should be a tool for (enhancing) the well-being of the people and to create success, not to destroy the country,” he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said this at the DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia’s sixth convocation ceremony here, where 686 graduates received their Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Also present were DRB-Hicom Berhad Group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar; DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia vice-chancellor Datuk Professor Dr Omar Osman; state secretary Dr Sallehuddin Ishak; and state police chief Datuk Abd Jalil Hassan.

The King added that higher education institutions must undergo various transformations in order to prepare graduates to face the challenges of the new digital age.

He said that the advent of the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) will have an impact on a world in which technology and information systems will replace humans in many jobs.

“Higher learning institutions should offer multidisciplinary courses in technology as well as the application of inter-personal skills, communication, teamwork and leadership,” he said.

His Majesty, who is also the chancellor of the university, also touched on words of wisdom posted on the wall of the hall, which encourages students not to give up in their endeavours and to keep on going despite facing numerous failures.

“I hope this reminder will be used as a guide for young people not to fear failure… but to look at it as an opportunity to achieve more successes,” he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also congratulated all the graduates, their parents and the management of the university today, a day when 18 graduates in the first Master’s degree programme group received their scrolls.

The King then highlighted the successes of the university, which now offers 45 foundation, diploma, degree and post-graduate programmes – with a speciality in the automotive eco-system – which he described as a “proud achievement” after the institution was upgraded to university status in Oct 2015.

“I have been informed that the university has introduced virtual campus experiential learning which allows students not to be on campus physically to participate in learning sessions.

“The university has also launched an academic programme, through work-based learning via a partnership with the Composite Technology Research Malaysia, that will provide (more in-depth) exposure to the latest technologies,” he added. – Bernama

By Bernama.

Read more @ st.com.my/news/nation/2019/12/545669/king-extols-responsible-use-communications-technology

Connecting classrooms for global learning via Skype

Thursday, December 5th, 2019
Hafieeszath Abdul Malik (left) and Tabitha Anne Ramesh (right) showcasing how to cook fried rice to Microsoft Education vice president Anthony Salcito (on screen) while being joined by Isaac Jeremiah from home.

Sekolah Kebangsaan Tiara Permai, Kuala Lumpur Year Four pupil Isaac Jeremiah has been missing out on school since the beginning of the year. He is constantly hospitalised due to lungs malfunction.

Despite ongoing treatments and long stays at the hospital, learning does not stop for Isaac. He has joined lessons via Skype in the Classroom by Microsoft with his other classmates from home with the help of his teacher, Basir Wahab.

“By leveraging Skype, Isaac is able to meet his friend and be a part of the class virtually.

“I usually informed his parents earlier on before setting up the class to include Isaac in the PdPc (teaching and facilitation). His friends have been missing his presence in class and we know that he misses going to school as well,” said Basir.

SK Tiara Permai started using Skype as part of learning and teaching tools in 2015 spearheaded by teacher Fadzillah Mohamed Osman.

It has become a platform for pupils to go on virtual field trips, experience new cultures, hear from guest speakers and learn from other students, educators and experts from around the world.

The school recently selected to have a livestream with Microsoft Education vice president Anthony Salcito in a Skype session in conjunction with Microsoft Global Learning Connection formerly known as Skype-A-Thon.

Thmed “Open hearts. Open Minds”, the annual event makes it possible for students to virtually travel around the world and connect beyond the classroom.

During the session, the kids demonstrated how to cook nasi goreng, a local dish of fried rice, before proceeding to have a chat with Salcito about Malaysian culture and their experience using technology in education. Appearing alongside his mother on Skype, Isaac also had the opportunity to join the session from his home.

Chatty twelve year old Hafieeszath Abdul Malik clammed up when Salcito appeared on the screen during the livestream.

“Despite many practices we had for the demonstration, I still get butterflies in my stomach going live on Skype. After a while, I eased my nervousness and started talking calmly.

“I am proud that we were able to show Anthony how to make fried rice with my friends,” he said.

Fadzillah Mohamed Osman (sitting, second from right) with the pupils during the Microsoft Global Learning Connection.

Another Year Six student Tabitha Anne Ramesh said she enjoys interacting with friends all over the world via Skype.

“I remember when I had my first Skype session, it was overwhelming. A lot of us refused to talk but now, we can’t wait to have more interactions with friends from other countries.

“Speaking to my international friends, I have improved my confidence and English proficiency. I believe my classmates feel the same way. It was a truly enjoyable learning experience for all of us.

“It is exciting as we get to learn about others’ cultures and traditions while showing them our own. Our Skype friends from South Korea mailed us a box full of souvenirs and ‘ramen’. Now we are preparing our gifts for them,” she said.

Fadzillah explained that she utilises Skype in embracing the 21st century learning.

“My first Skype session was with a primary music school in Balatonboglar, Hungary. They introduced our students with Hungarian children’s songs – Suss Fel Nap and we also taught them to sing Rasa Sayang song.

“It is not only about fun learning. The sessions have piqued students’ interest in learning Geography. They became curious about the countries we were Skyping with so they started to ask about their capital cities and attractions,” said the Music, Visual Arts and Moral education teacher.

Other than collaborating with schools across the globe, Fadzillah added that the school also had a chance to connect with the local fire and rescue department.

“Instead of inviting the firefighters to our school, we took a virtual tour to the fire department which gave the pupils a more holistic exposure. It was a good session to teach the topic of occupation as we saw some pupils were inspired to be firefighters,” she explained.

To date, Fadzilah has held close to 200 Skype sessions. Previously, Fadzillah utilised the school library for their sessions but the school renovated an empty room and turned it into an exclusive Skype classroom.

On top of Skype, Microsoft provides other online learning platforms — Teams and Flipgrid. Teams is a hub for collaboration where students and teachers can share files and communicate. Meanwhile, Flipgrid enables students to share their voice via short videos allowing them to reflect, discuss and showcase what they are learning.

By Murniati Abu Karim.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/12/545062/connecting-classrooms-global-learning-skype

Giving students the tools to experiment

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Students taking part in the Young Innovators Challenge.

“WHAT is your name?”, I asked. “Muhammad”, whispered the young boy wearing a jubah, who was representing his tahfiz school at the recent Young Innovators Challenge. When I asked him to tell me more about his project, Muhammad began to shyly describe the security device he and his team mates developed to protect his school from intruders. However, as he continued to explain to me the intricacies of the system, he couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for the project as his face grew visibly more animated and his voice became more confident. His excitement for the project was both endearing and contagious, and I was eager to see the other innovations on offer.

I didn’t have to look far. In the next booth, Usha was already a clear winner as the project lead of another security system. I listened in rapt attention as she went into detail on the sophisticated security device her team developed specifically for gated communities. Her team’s security device would enable visitors to be tracked from the point of entry at the guard house until they exit. The choice of a gated community as a focus reflected the demographics of her school’s student body, which she added was lucky to be able to enjoy coding, robotics and programming lessons at private learning centres as an after-school activity.

One encouraging shift I noticed was that girls are no longer strangers in science competitions. Speaking to a petite innovator who confidently explained to me the details of her electronic flag raising device in perfect English, I thought perhaps years of efforts to encourage young women to pursue their interests in science have finally paid off. This self-assured young lady also shared with me how technology has made the process of learning more efficient, fun and intuitive, declaring she learned to speak English and Korean, thanks to the Internet.

Not being very scientifically minded, I was impressed that she and her two team mates enjoyed coding and programming as hobbies, but I was disheartened to hear that they cannot pursue their interest much further as science is not offered after Form Three in their school.

The challenge held earlier was refreshing because it was inclusive and diverse, bringing more than 200 students from 22 schools in Selangor ranging from national schools, national religious schools, international schools, vernacular schools and tahfiz schools together to celebrate their creativity and creations. The excitement in the air was palpable, generated by students who had a keen curiosity for innovation with many of them seizing the opportunity to experiment and invent without being boxed in by rigid curriculum and learning methods.

Ironically, these young inventors were given the space to explore and innovate simply because their teachers didn’t know enough about coding and therefore couldn’t “instruct” or “direct” their students. This is not a criticism of the teachers, and indeed they were very supportive of their students. While coding is taught (under the Asas Sains Komputer and Reka Bentuk & Teknologi subjects) in schools, teachers find it a challenge to catch up with technology which changes at a pace that few can keep up with. To prepare for the Young Innovators Challenge, the students and teachers were supported by the secretariat, Chumbaka, which offers coding, programming and STEM programmes at their centres, and by the students of the engineering faculty at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam.

When we read countless articles on Malaysia not being able to move up the value chain in manufacturing or that we are still stuck in IR3.0 while the world is accelerating towards IR4.0, we must look for answers to this conundrum.

The answers lie with our young generation, whether they are in vernacular schools or national schools. Being young, they are not able to suppress their natural curiosity to learn and explore. The Government and teachers can stimulate learning by giving them the tools and space to experiment and innovate. These tools can be inexpensive, such as using open-source embedded systems and software.Teachers should also feel comfortable stepping back and be facilitators and not “teach” a prescribed curriculum to students. It is no wonder when I learned that the Education Ministry has introduced coding in schools, I cannot help but fear if the rigidity of the teaching and learning methods or curriculum that characterise our national schools will curb the students’ inquisitiveness and steal their enthusiasm. My mind also wonders about the petite young budding scientist I spoke to and whether her interest in STEM, clearly ignited by this competition, will be sustained or just simply fade away after Form Three when there is no science stream in her school.

Another thing that struck me about the challenge is that we can use a common interest to bring all Malaysians of various demographic groups, race and religion to engage and speak to each other, in a common language of coding. This diversity, from the varied participation of schools, the organising committee and the panel of judges, should be celebrated.

I urge the Government, the Education Ministry and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia to provide stronger collective support to offerings of alternative approaches to the teaching and learning of STEM and technology, if indeed we are to produce innovators and scientists of the future.

The challenge is an annual programme that aims to catalyse maker movement in secondary schools. It has been held yearly since 2013 and has so far involved more than 5,000 students. This year, the state-level competition for Selangor was hosted by UiTM Shah Alam under the sponsorship of Yayasan Sime Darby and Malaysian Technology Development Corporation with Chumbaka as the competition secretariat.

by TENGKU AZIAN SHAHRIMAN
Read more
@ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/12/01/giving-students-the-tools-to-experiment#ptuyIUJkkQTOa0gJ.99

Preparing communicators for a digital future

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Mobile technology has changed the way we communicate today.

MOBILE technology has changed the way we communicate today. With more than five billion people around the world currently owning a mobile device – half of which are smartphones – one would be hard-pressed to imagine a time when mobile phones were not part and parcel of everyday life.

Whether it’s WhatsApp chat groups, subscribed Twitter feeds or Facebook live broadcasts, the rise of social media means that communication is no longer a one-way street. Not only are people able to obtain information instantly and in different forms, but they generate content as well.

“Technology has made the way we consume information more visual, such as the use of memes to make sense of things. In some ways, digital and social media have made it easier for lots of people to express themselves and be heard. Still, there needs to be an understanding of who gets to say what, the power dynamics inherent in contemporary forms of communication, ” said Monash University Malaysia’s School of Arts and Social Sciences Communication and Media Studies Assoc Prof Emma Baulch.

Universities have to continually reassess programmes to ensure the course content is relevant and effective.Universities have to continually reassess programmes to ensure the course content is relevant and effective

Why theory matters

As educators of the future workforce, universities have to continually reassess programmes to ensure the course content is relevant and effective in producing graduates that are market-ready and well equipped to tackle digital disruptions that come their way.

According to Baulch, instead of focusing on the technical know-how of the latest in communication technology, Monash University Malaysia’s new Bachelor of Digital Media and Communication (BDMC) course aims to build a strong foundation in media and communications theories, albeit with a digital focus.

The new BDMC course aims to build a strong foundation in media and communications theories, albeit with a digital focus.The new BDMC course aims to build a strong foundation in media and communications theories, albeit with a digital focus.

“This course sits within an arts school, so there is an emphasis on theories and concepts that look at digital within a social context. We look at how digital shapes society, which fits in with universities’ historical role in developing theoretical and conceptual knowledge around contemporary developments, ” she said.

Understanding how digital media sit within a broader context of history gives students a greater appreciation of what makes digital unique so that they can better figure out how new technologies shape the future and forge social change, Baulch added.

“We talk about how to develop critical thinking when engaging in a digital environment rife with misinformation. We also provide an understanding of the particular ways digital content circulates. If you understand how content becomes viral, you will then understand the possibilities digital environments present for things like corporate communications or crisis communications, ” she said.

Multiple career pathways

A communications degree is not just reserved for media professionals, said Baulch. Potential careers BDMC students can look forward to include public relations, corporate communications, marketing, advertising, policy development, HR, management, research, editing and writing.

“We are training people to have knowledge and skills that are transferable across different sectors and industries. Social theories are important to this skill set. They afford a critical reading of the way things are in the world, and how they might be changed. Without critical knowledge, tasks requiring leadership or management skills become very difficult, ” she said.

Through the course, students learn research skills essential to cultivate critical thinking and to become agile thinkers. There is also a strong emphasis in developing written and oral communications skills, as well as skills in group work.

“You need to think for yourself and be flexible if you’re to keep up with the changes in digital environments, ” she said.

The course also includes a professional practice stream in which students undertake a digital research project with an NGO and undergo an internship for practical experience and exposure.

“This stream is strongly supported by our industry partners who provide vital input on industry perspectives and needs, ” she said.

A Monash degree gives students “international mobility”.A Monash degree gives students “international mobility”.

Having a Monash degree gives students “international mobility” because the Monash brand is globally recognised

Established in 1998, Monash University Malaysia was the first Monash campus outside Australia. The Malaysian campus has approximately 8,400 students from 78 different countries. Monash University has 60,000 students internationally and a community of over 380,000 alumni living in 155 countries.

With over 100 partner universities worldwide, Monash students can opt for international mobility schemes as part of their course.

While there is a lot of hype over pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the digital age, mastering communications is still pertinent. “Digital communications is now part of our every waking moment. Nearly every individual on the planet has a mobile phone. Those with an understanding of the social and cultural challenges and possibilities of digital change will be among those to shape the future, ” said Baulch.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/11/22/preparing-communicators-for-a-digital-future#c6o0oqlmR378r4Il.99

Technology and the road to education, training

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

The promises of the digital world are everywhere. We use apps to help us learn a language, manage our money, lose weight, sleep better. We sign up for online professional certificate courses and stream thought-provoking lectures; firms increasingly conduct training via platforms and parents use digital tools to prepare children for the classroom.

This trend shows no signs of slowing: the global E-Learning market is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025, up from $107 Billion in 2015, according to Forbes Magazine. In the United States alone, the Yale Tribune reports, over 6 million college students have enrolled in some form of distance or online education.

The great promise of all this technology is that it will allow us to improve our performance and, ostensibly, ourselves. No longer must you have the good fortune of economic and social capital in order to gain access to premium-branded learning opportunities. Anyone with a WIFI signal, the desire for self-improvement, and the enrollment fee can take advantage.

Still, as the number and uses of these tools increase, we must stop to ask: How will we decide which brands to use, and how will that affect our performance?

Perhaps the old aphorism, “You get what you pay for,” applies. Indeed, we know from past research that products bearing premium brand labels can increase perceptions of efficacy and improve consumer performance relative to lesser-branded equivalents. This is described as a marketing placebo effect. For example, exposure to Apple logos has been shown to increase consumer creativity, writing with an MIT-branded pen leads people to see themselves as more intelligent and perform better on math tests, and using a Nike-branded putter can improve a user’s golf score.

Yet, new research by my colleagues and me in The Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that, in the case of premium-branded performance and learning experiences, the process can work in reverse. That is, despite identical products, the branded experiences that consumers perceive to be of higher status may counterproductively impair performance. Nevertheless, users are willing to pay more for these identical products.

Our experiments suggest an interesting mechanism: When the prestige of the premium brand creates a power dynamic that renders the consumer “subordinate,” and the brand as “master” of the performance domain, this may improve subjective outcomes (feeling prepared and willingness to pay) but simultaneously lower objective outcomes (scores and performance). This paradox, found across several domains, illustrates reverse placebo effects of branding: poorer performance when using highly-esteemed brands.

These findings raise important questions about societal implications. One could imagine that premium-branded product experiences hold great appeal to people who are performing in fields where they seek to bridge a status gap to gain greater access. The fact that our participants repeatedly experienced lower objective performance while at the same time feeling subjectively better-prepared and willing to pay more, is greatly concerning. The mere presence of a brand name that evoked a dominating “master” consumer-brand relationship dynamic created this unintended and undesired effect.

Does this mean that the promise of digital learning and training is squandered? Of course not, there is great value in investing in oneself via training and education, and we need more, not less, inclusivity in the rarefied air of high-status institutions. Nevertheless, our research suggests that the nature of the user’s relationship with the brand moderates the product’s efficacy. In order to experience true benefits, the user must not see the brand as a “master” of its domain (and its user), but as a tool to serve them.

But when a user’s orientation toward the brand is subordinate in nature (even unconsciously), the brand becomes the master and, as a result, people experience lower performance.

A new dawn has risen in a digital world with unprecedented access to the educational and training options that were previously only accessible to a few. Understanding whether we are bridging the digital divide means that we need to examine the unconscious barriers to gaining the full benefits of these tools. If we fail to understand how our relationships with these brands affect their efficacy, instead of lifting everyone up, we will, in fact, be leaving people behind.

by Renée Richardson Gosline, PhD via Psychology Today

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/292/technology-and-the-road-to-education-training/

Will Big Data make us wiser?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

WHAT skills will be needed to survive and thrive in the 21st century? Last month I spoke about this at a conference in London, at the end of which I booked an Uber to take me to the airport. With the Extinction Rebellion protest in full swing outside my hotel room window, causing a huge amount of traffic chaos, Uber informed me via the app that they would be adding a 50% surcharge to my fare. Faced with the alternative of hauling my luggage to the tube, I had little choice but to agree to pay it.

Uber is one of the giant technology companies that have embraced the use of big data, technology and artificial intelligence to grow and create value for its stakeholders and customers. The company uses dynamic pricing whereby computer algorithms, using big data and running on high performance computers, automatically impose surcharges on rides from areas with high customer demand. This way, the company can encourage more drivers to fulfil the demand and make more money in the process. This can have unfortunate effects; in both the Sydney terrorist attack in 2014 and the London terrorist attack in 2017, Uber started charging very high fees for rides from downtown Sydney and London, respectively. The algorithms were doing exactly what they were designed to do, obeying the supply and demand rule. In both of those cases, faced with a backlash from its customer base and the community at large, Uber was obliged to apologise.

In the two examples above, what was missing was human judgment. A human would have easily recognised that people fleeing a terrorist attack is totally different to usual supply/demand imbalance, and might, for example, have seized a promotional opportunity and offered free rides.

As we live in the age of Big Data, we need to understand how data is generated and how it can be used to serve society. Our activities generate data, every Facebook update, social media like, online payment, Google search or Waze-assisted journey creates data. Because the amount of data collected is huge, it is called big data. On its own, data is a nothing but a “raw material” and just like any other raw material, it needs to be further processed and refined by data scientists before it can become useful. The first step is to convert data into information, then using the information to create knowledge and hopefully transforming this knowledge into wisdom that can be used to enhance human judgment.

Increasingly, algorithms using big data are managing many aspects of our lives from our security, energy and sewage systems all the way to the stock market.

Recently, the Education Ministry indicated its intention to use algorithms to stream secondary school students into subject specialties. Algorithms that use big data are very efficient and they, most of the time, do a great job at making our lives better. However, these algorithms can have their own biases and weaknesses. In 2010, in what was dubbed the Flash Crash, algorithms buying and selling stocks (to each other) in what is called High Frequency Trading caused the stock market to lose US$1trillion (RM4.23trillion) within 36 minutes forcing market regulators to halt trading to allow for market recovery.

Equipping the data scientists with the skills and insights that will empower them to design, build and operate systems and algorithms that put the human interest at the heart of their performance, is of utmost importance and urgency.

More young people are seeking to study data analytics and artificial intelligence, realising that these skills are heavily sought after. But many of the degree programmes available to them are still stuck in the 20th century, rather than preparing them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Besides issues of judgment, two of the main challenges faced by data science education today are policy and privacy. Graduates need to leave university well versed with issues of privacy, and able to develop solutions with privacy at their centre. How should we enable these graduates to navigate these and other policy-related matters, and advise policy makers on the best possible ways to harness the opportunities this data age is bringing while mitigating the challenges that accompany it?

I believe that the answer is through designing academic and professional programmes that equip graduates with a holistic set of capabilities. Not only do they need to master technical competencies, that will enable them to build failsafe and robust technical systems, but they also need human skills, such as humility and wisdom, so that they can question their algorithms and make sure that they are delivering what is needed in the 21st century.

At Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, we inculcate human skills in our students through our flagship EmPOWER Programme that develops them not only with academic and technical skillsets, but also with the necessary mindsets that will enable them to see data for what it is, raw material that needs to be developed to serve humanity.

Using big data to enable national development and benefit local communities is not inevitable. This requires the development of a generation of data professionals and policymakers who understand the importance of remaining human at a time when artificial intelligence and algorithms seem to be the way of the future. Human traits such as wisdom, judgment and emotional intelligence are even more important to ensure our success, prosperity and happiness in the 21st century, in the age of big data.

by PROF MUSHTAK AL-ATABI

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/11/03/will-big-data-make-us-wiser#dHKPcJlEAWhgeQOx.99

Learn to benefit from tech

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Gobind visiting Sunway University’s iLab before the talk.

THE Communications and Multimedia Ministry is making sure that all schools are wired up with Internet speeds suitable for future-driven content.

Conventional jobs are being taken over by machines. We will have to look at re-skilling a huge section of society and the workforce so that they can keep up with the change, its minister Gobind Singh Deo said.

“We’re going to have different jobs in future. There’s an urgent need for us to figure out and re-configure our education system. That comes under the Education Minister but my ministry is responsible for building the infrastructure,” he told StarEdu before the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (Asli) “Towards Media Freedom and Combating Fake News in Malaysia” talk at Sunway University on Sept 26.

He said education is key to Malaysians benefiting from Internet connectivity and the ministry is looking at how it can bring education, in respect of technology, to schools.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), he said, has come up with MyDigitalMaker – a programme that brings computer programming, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, to classrooms.

“It gets students excited about technology and what it has to offer. We’re building on that now. Many people have approached us asking if we are prepared to expand the programme, so MDEC is looking into that.”

He said the ministry is also hoping to bring some international programming schools here.

“We’ve looked at different programming schools around the world. I’ve seen a few that are very exciting.

“Hopefully we can bring them to Malaysia because computer programming schools are popular these days. We’re not going to say who they are now because discussions are ongoing but I’d like to see more focus on connectivity and e-learning systems in our education system.”

He said education in technology isn’t just limited to the young – it’s across the board. Even those with degrees and are already working, and the elderly, need to learn how they can use tech to their advantage. If given connectivity and infrastructure, they can use tech to improve their livelihood.

He said conversations about what tech can do and how people can use smartphones and devices like tablets and computers in a way that benefits them, must take place. Besides using these devices to surf the Internet, watch videos and go on social media, the public must look at how tech can improve their lives.

In the past, prices of broadband were very high, so the ministry’s push to make sure prices come down and speeds go up was to enable more people to start using broadband.

We are moving to a time where everybody will be dependent on technology. People need to be connected, he said.

“I envision a Malaysia in which we have quality broadband and connectivity across the country. And if you have access to the Internet, you’ll need to know how to use technology to your benefit. So infrastructure, technology and education are equally important.

“For example, look at e-commerce platforms – how do you learn about fintech and the different areas which will impact your daily lives using the Internet. That’s what MDEC is trying to do,” he said, urging telcos to find more ways of assisting different communities such as the disabled.

The ministry, he said, is in discussions with telcos on sponsoring educational programmes or providing facilities for these groups to have better access to technology.

“I met a group of people who were using e-commerce to run businesses. That initiative was run by a non-governmental organisation and it was very useful because many people with different abilities came, learned how to trade online and were able to make a decent amount of money from it.

“I’ve asked some of the telcos to see whether they can assist by scaling up important programmes like these and maybe even offering tuition classes to educate the public,” he said, adding that the companies have been very supportive.

By CHRISTINA CHIN
Read more @ h
ttps://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/10/06/learn-to-benefit-from-tech#y5keWmbvirYUpQqZ.99

Learn to benefit from tech

Monday, October 7th, 2019

Gobind visiting Sunway University’s iLab before the talk.

THE Communications and Multimedia Ministry is making sure that all schools are wired up with Internet speeds suitable for future-driven content.

Conventional jobs are being taken over by machines. We will have to look at re-skilling a huge section of society and the workforce so that they can keep up with the change, its minister Gobind Singh Deo said.

“We’re going to have different jobs in future. There’s an urgent need for us to figure out and re-configure our education system. That comes under the Education Minister but my ministry is responsible for building the infrastructure,” he told StarEdu before the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (Asli) “Towards Media Freedom and Combating Fake News in Malaysia” talk at Sunway University on Sept 26.

He said education is key to Malaysians benefiting from Internet connectivity and the ministry is looking at how it can bring education, in respect of technology, to schools.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), he said, has come up with MyDigitalMaker – a programme that brings computer programming, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, to classrooms.

“It gets students excited about technology and what it has to offer. We’re building on that now. Many people have approached us asking if we are prepared to expand the programme, so MDEC is looking into that.”

He said the ministry is also hoping to bring some international programming schools here.

“We’ve looked at different programming schools around the world. I’ve seen a few that are very exciting.

“Hopefully we can bring them to Malaysia because computer programming schools are popular these days. We’re not going to say who they are now because discussions are ongoing but I’d like to see more focus on connectivity and e-learning systems in our education system.”

He said education in technology isn’t just limited to the young – it’s across the board. Even those with degrees and are already working, and the elderly, need to learn how they can use tech to their advantage. If given connectivity and infrastructure, they can use tech to improve their livelihood.

He said conversations about what tech can do and how people can use smartphones and devices like tablets and computers in a way that benefits them, must take place. Besides using these devices to surf the Internet, watch videos and go on social media, the public must look at how tech can improve their lives.

In the past, prices of broadband were very high, so the ministry’s push to make sure prices come down and speeds go up was to enable more people to start using broadband.

We are moving to a time where everybody will be dependent on technology. People need to be connected, he said.

“I envision a Malaysia in which we have quality broadband and connectivity across the country. And if you have access to the Internet, you’ll need to know how to use technology to your benefit. So infrastructure, technology and education are equally important.

“For example, look at e-commerce platforms – how do you learn about fintech and the different areas which will impact your daily lives using the Internet. That’s what MDEC is trying to do,” he said, urging telcos to find more ways of assisting different communities such as the disabled.

The ministry, he said, is in discussions with telcos on sponsoring educational programmes or providing facilities for these groups to have better access to technology.

“I met a group of people who were using e-commerce to run businesses. That initiative was run by a non-governmental organisation and it was very useful because many people with different abilities came, learned how to trade online and were able to make a decent amount of money from it.

“I’ve asked some of the telcos to see whether they can assist by scaling up important programmes like these and maybe even offering tuition classes to educate the public,” he said, adding that the companies have been very supportive.

By CHRISTINA CHIN
Read more @ h
ttps://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/10/06/learn-to-benefit-from-tech#Q7mX4lQrfPdEywWl.99

Print media has to adopt interesting features, digital paper is the future

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

New Straits Times Group Editor Rashid Yusof (centre) speaking to participants at a talk at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) campus in Pekan, Pahang. -NSTP/Muhd Asyraf Sawal.

PEKAN: Print media still remains the platform for authentic news and continues to adopt old-fashioned journalism practices.

Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) Senior Publication Officer, Muhammad Azli Shukri said despite massive reforms in journalism with the emergence of social media, people still have faith in mainstream media, including newspapers to provide authorised and genuine news reports.

He said a challenge the mainstream media is facing now is to make their content attractive to entice readers and lure youngsters.

“Traditional mainstream print media still practises the five Ws and one H (who, what, when, where, why and how), so on most occasions, readers will have all their questions answered. However, social media only provides quick updates and at times, many questions are left unanswered.

“These days, news articles should be accompanied with colourful graphics which will make the presentation of a report more attractive and allow readers to have a quick read. Including videos and audio with online news articles will certainly provide readers with better understanding,” he said when met after a talk by New Straits Times Group Editor Rashid Yusof at UMP’s Pekan campus, here, today.

Azli, who handles the publication for UMP’s in house research, admitted the younger generation no longer read lengthy news articles and preferred to only understand the gist of a story.

“This is where graphics, video and audio related to a certain topic will be useful. They will watch the video, listen to the audio and read the graphics to have a quick understanding. A news report accompanied by attractive pictures, graphics, video and audio will be able to attract more readers.

“I find the print media have become more creative lately in presenting their ideas. Besides the news report, they have detailed graphics along with other opinions… a catchy front page lay-out will also be able to attract readers,” he said.

Meanwhile UMP’s Industrial Management faculty senior lecturer Dr Puteri Fadzline Muhamad Tamyez said she subscribes to the digital (Epaper) edition to keep herself updated with the latest in local and global news.

“I usually sit between meals or before going to bed to read newspapers including NST, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia. I find my day incomplete if I do not read the digital version of the newspapers.

“I never trust social media and have even deactivated my Facebook account. News shared on social media cannot be trusted and remains unverified, and at times raise more questions than answers,” she said, adding that digital newspapers are set to become a must-subscribe in the future.

Puteri Fadzline said she is surprised that these days, both the young and old blindly share news through social media without verifying its contents.

UMP’s public relations and media officer Mimi Rabita Abdul Wahit said the campus continuously encouraged its undergraduates to cultivate a reading habit.

He said students are advised not only to read materials related to their studies but also various sources of mainstream newspapers to ensure they are kept up-to-date.

Meanwhile Rashid said it is important to continue cultivating the reading habit especially among youngsters as many seem to keep their eyes glued to their smartphones these days for updates from social media which sadly ends up as unverified news.

He also encouraged university lecturers to share their research findings in newspapers as it could help disseminate vital information to readers.

“There might be people who can benefit or find the respective piece of news on a certain topic interesting. Do not assume readers may not find it beneficial, instead share whatever gained during the study (research) and let them (readers) judge for themselves,” he said.

By TN Alagesh

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/09/524544/print-media-has-adopt-interesting-features-digital-paper-future

E-learning to kick off next year

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Fun day out: Maszlee (with sunglasses) together with officials, teachers and differently abled children at the launching of the Merdeka Special Charity Run held at Xtreme Park in Pasir Gudang. — Bernama

PASIR GUDANG: Teachers in Malaysia will soon be able to teach their students through recorded materials from other outstanding teachers from next year onwards as part of the Education Ministry’s e-learning initiative.

Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the method will be introduced in schools as soon as possible as part of the ministry’s effort to speed up e-learning.

The Simpang Renggam MP pointed out that the method has already been tabled to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad several months back, and it was intended to ensure teachers would not be confined to their classrooms when teaching.

“We have several platforms that are currently being developed, and this is Dr Mahathir’s aspiration.

“The ministry is trying to start this programme next year and would make the announcement when the time is right, and maybe Dr Mahathir will officiate it,” Maszlee said when met after officiating the Merdeka Special Charity Run held at Xtreme Park here yesterday.

In a recent visit to Japan, Dr Mahathir was quoted by Bernama as saying that the government was looking into the possibility of using recorded lessons by selected teachers to be shared with other schools.

The method was aimed at, among others, simplifying and enhancing the quality of teaching back home, he said.

“We are trying to simplify teaching because (not all) teachers are the same, so what we want to do is make use of good teachers, record their lessons, and use the recorded lessons for other schools where teachers will guide the students,” he said.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/09/09/e-learning-to-kick-off-next-year#W6hIXb2mQGVqTJ3E.99