TL;DR – Education is the most crucial need in this kind of era – but how do we go from classroom to venturing into the world, with technology?
The Education GEC Lab 2017 session spearheaded by Eileen Tan and her team from Media Prima Labs (an arm of Media Prima Digital), honed into the topic of scaling up quality learning across Malaysia through ICT. Media Prima Berhad has carefully cultivated a reputation as one of Malaysia’s leading media groups, and most Malaysians have at least encountered one of the group’s many subsidiaries in their daily lives. Notable broadcast television & radio stations, publishing companies, digital media, content production & distribution as well as out-of-home media advertising outfits make up the group’s member companies, and Media Prima Digital represents the group’s commitment towards solidifying Malaysian digital media.
Efforts to digitalise education in the country have been undertaken by various public & private stakeholders in Malaysia over the recent years but we are still not progressing fast enough. Media Prima Digital themselves have also contributed their efforts towards this process, as seen through the development of the Full A Mark portal & the MindCampus! application. On their end, the small number of regular product users for various reasons are a serious concern since these numbers do not seem to reflect the high amount of digital products being churned out.
This session was intended to shed more light on issues affecting education digitalisation, as well as generate new ideas which may solve and/or make these issues manageable. Each participant was considered to represent one of the four sectors deemed crucial towards the day’s discussion; namely the government, corporate, start-ups and education sectors. The programme for the slot had to be cut short due to unfortunate time constraints, but the lab owners managed to engage participants with the two questions central to the focus topic via the ‘gamestorming’ segment.
The first half of the lab had the participants discussing the various hurdles of digitalising the Malaysian education system. One of the more arresting answers posed to this question by participants were problems with the inconsistencies of the Malaysian education policy itself, citing the introduction of too much in too short of a time period as an illustration. Another frequently raised hurdle is lacking infrastructure, such as obsolete technology and Internet accessibility problems. Other answers included financial constraints, unbalanced & unverified content, mindset as well as the one-way interaction often described as a crude ‘hallmark’ of digital learning.
Potential solutions were the main focus of the lab’s second half. Closer consultation with front-end users such as teachers and student would create better technology platforms was collectively agreed upon as an initiative. Collective responsibility was also reinforced via the suggestion of a much earlier age of exposure, as higher parental & societal awarenesses are particularly crucial to making this possible. Recommended solutions include more content localisation, integrating Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) technology where deemed possible, improved programme outlines, more targeted research as well as enabling more personal engagement which incorporates the human aspect of the teaching-learning process.
Nevertheless, this was a decent start to tackling the issue more strategically as everyone involved had the opportunity to hear & engage with views from different sectors. A follow-up session in the future should be greatly anticipated, and what Media Prima does next with their findings from this session would not only interest the participants, but also the general public.