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A Journey of Hope … A New Way of Learning Through ICT in Education

“Whatever we want to become and whatever we are going to do in the future, everything depends on education,” says Somarupa Sahoo, a student at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Public School in Hyderabad, India.

A fellow student Nehal Nayani wants to be a football player, but is also open to a career in art design, architecture and astronomy after learning about these subjects while conducting online research for his school projects.

Their schoolmate Sarin Ann Mathew emphatically declares, “ICT is my base. I want to be a software engineer.”

About 3,000 km away, Chia Yik Meng from the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seksyen 5 Wangsa Maju in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, reflects the same kind of aspiration, “I want to be an engineer when I grow up. The new e-learning has opened up my eyes to new possibilities for the future as there are many areas in engineering that involve computers and ICT.”

Young and bright, these students are full of hope for their future, fuelled by information sourced through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) about a world beyond their classrooms. As students of the 21st Century, they are the beneficiaries of the innovative use of ICT in education. Their voices echo their ambitions clearly in a video, A Journey of Hope: A New Way of Learning through ICT in Education, co-produced by UNESCO Bangkok and Intel Semiconductor Ltd.

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A Journey of Hope

The video is part of the UNESCO Bangkok’s Innovative Practices in ICT in Education Project, sponsored by the Japanese Funds-in-Trust. It features interviews with principals, teachers and students from the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Public School and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seksyen 5 Wangsa Maju. The two schools were selected because their teachers were awarded Certificates of Commendation under the UNESCO ICT in Education Innovation Awards in 2007/2008 for using ICT innovatively in teaching their students. The teachers attributed their success to the training they received from the Intel® Teach Program, a research-based programme instructing K-12 teachers to integrate ICT tools and resources into their lessons. Working with local governments, the Intel® Teach Program has trained more than 5 million teachers in over 40 countries.

Targeted at government officials, educators, school principals, teachers, parents and the general public, A Journey of Hope is a short but useful visual tool to demonstrate that integrating ICT into education systems can increase the quality of education and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery of planned educational outcomes. It highlights the impact of using ICT in the classrooms, showing how teachers and students became more engaged in the teaching and learning processes with the help of ICT. It also underlines how a strong and positive support from the heads of schools can encourage the teachers to be more innovative in planning and delivering their lesson plans.

Parental approval is an important indicator to measure the impact of the schools’ efforts in optimising the use of ICT in education, and Muhammad Zaim from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seksyen 5 Wangsa Maju has every reason to be proud of himself.  “My parents are happy and pleased with my achievements as I have not only excelled in my studies, but I have also developed better social and communication skills. My parents believe that these skills are important for my future.”

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