Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), through its Wireless ReachTM initiative, Nan Chiau Primary School and Microsoft today announced the launch of the WE Learn mobile education project, which uses 3G smartphones to create a 21st century classroom experience for Singaporean students. The project will demonstrate how the latest wireless technology can be used to transform learning from a traditional, teacher-centric model to a student-centric, inquiry-oriented and collaborative framework where 24/7 access to resources in and out of the classroom allows students to acquire and practice 21st century competencies.
The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) is working to better prepare its nation’s students to thrive in a fast-changing and highly-connected world by promoting the development of self-directed learning and collaborative learning skills in its third Master plan for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education. Nan Chiau is an MOE-designated Future School in Singapore. Tasked with pushing the frontier of technology, it is leading the way with a 21st century classroom that implements the MOE’s framework and serves as a model for primary schools throughout Singapore and Asia.
With a grant from Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, the WE Learn project is providing 3G-enabled Nokia Lumia 710 smartphones enabled by Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processors; mobile broadband connectivity via SingTel’s 3G wireless network; a mobile learning platform (MyDesk) and educational applications developed by University of Michigan; and Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, which all software for these smartphones is built upon, to 350 third-grade students and their teachers at Nan Chiau.
“With 3G smartphones and connectivity, our students have 24/7 access to educational content, web-based resources and collaborative learning tools,” said Mr. Tan, principal of Nan Chiau Primary School. “These tools give students the means to take responsibility for their own learning and enable teachers to provide individualized mentoring.”
The National Institute of Education of Singapore is assisting teachers with the development of customized curriculum in English, Science and Chinese that leverages the benefits of mobile, Internet-connected, learning devices and provides students with new learning opportunities that are not possible with paper and pencil.
“We co-design technology enabled lessons with the teachers and provide professional development to teachers that enable them to enact lessons using smartphones. It is critical to empower teachers to orchestrate the transformed classroom to support students’ personalized learning,” said Professor Looi Chee Kit of the National Institute of Education.
All smartphones are equipped with MyDesk, a next-generation mobile learning platform tailored to leverage the capabilities of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. MyDesk enables each student to access his or her assignments, relevant websites that contain podcasts, textual material and video clips and educational applications, such as concept mapping, drawing and animating, to practice both self-directed and collaborative learning. Files created by the Nan Chiau students on their smartphones are backed-up and synchronized to a cloud-based Teaching Management System, providing each student an electronic portfolio that parents can review and teachers can access for grading and feedback purposes. Undergraduates at the University of Michigan are building the mobile learning platform (MyDesk), many of its applications, the Teaching Management System and an always-visible, digital Class Message Board.
“Microsoft’s vision is to help expand the power of education for all individuals through personalized learning. That is why Microsoft partners with education communities around the world to deliver a relevant and effective scalable set of technologies, services and programs that focus the contributions of many on improved learning outcomes for the individual,” said Ms. Jessica Tan, managing director for Microsoft Singapore. “Encouraging the use of technology to enable innovative methods of teaching and learning will address the needs of the next generation of digital native learners to become savvy citizens and leaders of the future.”
“Smartphones are becoming a part of everyday life and we are excited that the students at Nan Chiau can now enhance their learning outside the classroom with the use of our Nokia Lumia 710 smartphones,” said Neil Gordon, vice president of Sales for Nokia Southeast Asia. “The ability to do everyday tasks faster, like accessing the Web, capturing information or viewing content from anywhere makes Nokia Lumia an ideal tool for mobile learning.”
“SingTel seeks to play a key role in transforming the education landscape by integrating ICT into teaching and learning,” said Mr. Lee Kai Hock, vice president of SingTel Business Marketing. “We have been instrumental in leading many strategic education ICT projects, such as the Future School (Singapore) and other e-learning digital media projects, and are excited to contribute to the success of the WE Learn project, empowering the students to learn anywhere, anytime.”
“The WE Learn project is putting the power of computers into the pockets of tomorrow’s innovators, engineers and inventors,” said John Stefanac, vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Southeast Asia and Pacific. “This project demonstrates how 3G connectivity can transform education to enable a student-centric learning model that is available anytime, anywhere and easy for adoption worldwide.”
About Nan Chiau Primary School
Nan Chiau Primary School is a forward-looking school which is enshrined in the belief of having a holistic education. With tremendous enthusiasm to use technology in education, Nan Chiau aims to create a new and exciting way of learning through student-driven and inquiry-based learning. Students are able to learn anywhere and anytime in a seamless way in order to link what they learn in the classroom to what they see in their daily life. By setting up the Centre for Educational Research and Application (CERA), the first research centre for using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning in a primary school, we strengthen the link between theories and practices to make learning more engaging. With the collaboration of partners, Nan Chiau is preparing to make a revolutionary change to prepare our students for the future. For more information, please visit http://www.ncps.moe.edu.sg.
About the National Institute of Education, Singapore
The National Institute of Education (NIE) is an institute of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. NIE provides all levels of teacher education, from initial teacher education programs to professional development programs for in-service teachers and executive leadership programs for Principals, Departmental Heads and other school leaders. NIE also administers postgraduate programs that lead to the award of higher degrees in Arts, Education, Physical Education and Science. NIE plays an important role in providing education research and research based-pedagogical curriculum and direction to the Ministry and its schools to transform the teacher preparation system and to ensure it continues to meet changing needs of the education system. This is all in line with the mission of the Ministry, which is to mould the future of our nation. For more information, please visit: www.nie.edu.sg.
About Microsoft Partners in Learning
Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 200 million teachers and students in 116 countries. Supporting the program is the online Partners in Learning Network, one of the world’s largest global professional networks for educators, connecting close to 5 million teachers and school leaders around the world in a community of professional development. For more information about Microsoft Partners in Learning, please visit: http://www.microsoft.com/education/ww/leadership/partnerships/pil/Pages/...
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia's technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia.
SingTel is Asia’s leading communications group providing a portfolio of services including voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms as well as infocomm technology and pay TV. The Group has presence in Asia and Africa with 434 million mobile customers in 25 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. It also has a network of offices in 20 countries and territories throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States. In the Education industry, SingTel has been active in providing a suite of multimedia and ICT solutions. For more information, please visit www.singtel.com, or www.singtel.com/education.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.