BETT Asia Conference in Singapore

I was told that my name was selected to go to Morocco as a part of team to reciprocate a science technology engineering and maths (STEM) implementation visit by the Morroccan team last year. I thought nothing of it after that info came through as the ministry had in past made last minute decisions for approval. Even though the trip is partially funded by National Science Academy (ASM). I was too busy to think about it with the impending visit to Singapore at the behest of Microsoft is also in the pipe line. As it happened the trip to Singapore was approved a day before the traveling date. It was fully funded by Microsoft Malaysia, and I reckon with that came the quick approval.
The conference was a fruitful one. We had the opportunity to share the many facets of implementation of ICT in Education in not only Asian countries but in South America as well. The VP for HP regaled us with a story of how the Bolivia implemented the 1 student 1 device initiative. Not unlike the effort that we are trying to implement in Malaysia. Lesson learnt: It has to be a holistic effort by the Government, involving the Education Ministry, the Production Ministry and other agencies. It is still early stage yet. And to reduce price, the Production Ministry allow local companies to set up local productions facilities.

American international school, Singapore
American international school, Singapore

Microsoft took us to an Exchange event in An American International School. It is a USD300m facilities with all the trappings of a top notch school. I wonder how much the parent had to fork out to enable their children to be sent here. As it is in many facilities in Singapore the school is merely 100m away from the MRT station. I reckon this is part of Microsoft attempt to showcase their prowess in the computer in Education world.
Among the interesting activity that took place is the “Mystery Skype” session between two schools. The organizer would set up a skyping session between two schools. Neither school knows what the other is and its location. They have to pose a series of YES or NO questions to the opposite school in order to guess the location of the opposite school.I saw the two participating schools actively discussing possible questions to ask, rapidly consulting the google maps, atlas, and their teacher. A very lively session. I guess this is what they called learning is fun. I just hoped the content of the learning is equally well absorbed by the students. Learning is no longer the purveyor of the teacher. Dr Sugatha Mitra, in his Hole in the wall experiment in India said, student will learn by themselves even without a teacher.
Mystery Skype session
Mystery Skype session

The highlight of the event was the announcement of the Microsoft 150 showcase schools. Malaysia did not do that bad. Three of our schools were selected and given the plaques of recognition. Congratulations to leaders of Sk Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, SMK Sg Pusu, Gombak and SMK Abd Rahman Talib, Kuantan.
So now to enliven the motto “expect more, do more and be more”.
Showcase schools award winners
Showcase schools award winners

from windows phone-dec14 264

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