Universities should make use of more technology in teaching to facilitate lifelong learning

28 Oct 2022

Lianhe Zaobao, 28 Oct 2022, 陈振声:各学府应加强科技教学 助力终身学习​ (translation
The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred local educational institutions to accelerate the use of technology. This includes accelerating plans to provide all secondary school students with personal learning devices seven years ahead of schedule, and creative teaching through a hybrid model involving school and home. Looking ahead into a fast-evolving and uncertain future, educational institutions can use cross-institutional collaboration to strengthen the use of technology in teaching and cultivate habits of lifelong learning.
Education Minister Mr Chan Chun Sing made these remarks in his speech at the National Technology Enhanced Learning Conference on Thursday (Oct 27).
Since 2015, the conference has been jointly organised by different local universities and the Ministry of Education yearly. After two years of suspension due to the pandemic, this year's seminar was hosted by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) for the first time, with the theme of “Empowering Learning in the Cyber-Physical Era”.
Use "virtual tours" hybrid mode to expand students' horizons
In an example, Chan Chun Sing said that the original plan to equip all secondary school students with personal learning devices was meant to be implemented in 2028, but was completed earlier by the end of 2021, due to the pandemic. Local schools not only provided diverse and personalised teaching through the Singapore Student Learning Space, but also expanded students' horizons through innovative cyber-physical/hybrid learning modes such as "virtual tours".
To meet the needs of students for lifelong learning, the Ministry of Education has implemented programmes such as cross-institutional communication and cross-field apprenticeships, allowing teachers to broaden their horizons and incorporate what they have seen and heard into their teaching.
In conjunction with the conference, SUTD launched a white paper on cyber-physical education, summarising similar programmes implemented by various educational institutions, including its own SUTD campusX initiative. The white paper proposed to foster communication and learning through cross-agency collaboration.
At the conference, SUTD signed an agreement with Tecnológico de Monterrey, a renowned university in Mexico, to jointly conduct research in the area of cyber-physical education.
Chan Chun Sing emphasised: “Teaching today must be future-oriented, through collaboration, connection and creativity, to develop people’s ability to solve the problems of tomorrow. Lifelong learning is not just a good-to-have, but a necessity for us to stay competitive and relevant.”
SUTD also signed a memorandum of understanding with SkillsFuture Singapore and the Institute for Adult Learning to set up a joint Living Lab to explore how to promote adult and lifelong learning through new teaching methods.
SUTD Provost Professor Phoon Kok Kwang said that the university is human-centred and actively promotes cyber-physical education. “The advancementof digital technologies continues to blur the boundaries between physical and cyber reality, and educators must reimagine the possibilities in continuous learning and educational innovation.”