As Information and Communication Technology (ICT) becomes an integral part of our lives, educators have been re-examining their beliefs of epistemology and pedagogy, resulting in some dramatic reforms. The effects are nowhere more keenly felt than in Asia, with its large 600 million K-12 students, and challenges in providing equal access to educational opportunities.
So what are the latest educational technology—or ed-tech—trends that have been dominating the education landscape in this region?
- Coding in the classroom
While ICT literacy is being incorporated into school curriculum at different levels, ranging from teaching basic productivity tools to using Skype to collaborate with teachers and students located continents away, the demand for deeper integration of ICT into education continues to rise.
Malaysia recently announced that coding will be introduced in primary school curriculum as a pilot project this year. Australian ministers have also endorsed a curriculum that will teach computer coding in Year 5, and programming by Year 7. In 2015, the annual coding literacy campaign Hour of Code saw close to 2,000 schools in 17 countries organise coding workshops.
- Proliferation of game-based learning
Using computer games to teach enables students to construct their own learning according to their learning styles and pace. Additionally, the novelty of playing digital games has the potential to generate high levels of engagement and motivation, with the process stimulating long-term retention through practical experience.
Last year, we learnt about how Indonesian teacher Muhammad Zulham designs ICT tasks to have students utilising smartphones and other technologies to build games. We also recently collaborated with Code.org to develop a Minecraft-inspired coding tutorial that introduces players to basic coding within a fun and familiar environment.
Pro Vice Chancellor of Learning and Teaching at Murdoch University Sara de Freitas said that games, through the use of tools like augmented reality and haptics, enable multi-modal learning. At EdTech conference Bett Asia 2015, she highlighted how immersive learning experiences help deepen learning.
- More private courses in game design, animation, and motion graphic design
Doing household errands for pocket money may no longer appeal to the 11 year-old. Chief Executive Officer of Animation and Gaming School MAGES Institute of Excellence, Neeru Bahl, sees many children coming through the doors of her school in Singapore, and predicts that it may not be long before a child can earn a living entirely through building apps.