Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thailand Getting Creative in Education

Thailand getting creative in education. 
Vicky Skipp, Adobe Systems’ regional director for Southeast Asia, is spearheading the transformation of teaching and learning through digital experiences.

Digital media and digital marketing are the two major forces shaping the future. Trends in digital media include the rapid proliferation of devices such as smart-phones and tablet computers.

This has been highlighted by the explosive growth of apps, with mobile phone downloads topping five billion in 2011, up 189 per cent from the previous year.

According to Skipp, video content has also been increasing rapidly, with video comprising 50 per cent of all Internet traffic in 2010. By 2015, it’s forecast to be 81 per cent. Now, an average of 48 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

All these indicators underline the fast-growing importance of digital media in education, marketing and other fields.

In education, the 3Rs - reading writing and arithmetic - are still important, but they are not enough in this new era. Besides the 3Rs, other skills and contents have become equally important in the 21st century workplace. These include skills in critical thinking, information technology, health and wellness, collaboration, innovation, and personal financial responsibility.

In other words, it’s now the era of the 3Cs - creativity, communication and collaboration.

In terms of knowledge retention, teaching methods are crucial. Recent research shows that students retain just 5 per cent of knowledge via the “see/hear/lecture” method, compared to 10 per cent for reading; 20 per cent for audio/visual/video; 30 per cent for demonstration; and 50 per cent for discussion groups; while practicing by doing allows students to retain 75 per cent of knowledge imparted.

As for creativity, this applies to every domain of knowledge, so Abode is promoting this skill around the world via its annual Abode Design Achievement Award.

Thai student Napatsawan Chirayukool won this top award in 2010.

To make its software tools more affordable to Thai students, the US firm recently announced hefty discounts of up to 90 per cent for its student and teacher editions. This campaign includes Creative Suite 5.5 and Acrobat X Pro, among others.

Skipp says the proliferation of mobile devices such as smart-phones and tablet computers is leading to extensive changes in lifestyles.

Education systems and curriculae are also changing around the world. In Thailand, the government’s “one tablet computer per child” programme will soon have profound effects on the country’s education system.
This policy will likely bring massive changes as Thailand responds to the need to develop a more competitive workforce in the technology-driven global economy.

In the initial stage, the government will provide a free tablet computer to every Grade One student, with some of the textbook content available online.

Skipp says: “Our experience is that when students have access to digital media software at affordable prices, there is a rapid increase in their digital skills and confidence. “Students can display their talents, express creativity and learn to collaborate more effectively.

“Our software allows students and teachers to produce Web pages, videos and mobile content, applications and e-publishing content, and help them understand how to merge the creative process into their daily assignments and work tasks.”

In her opinion, Thailand has a firm commitment to develop digital literacy in the next generation workforce, as exemplified by government and private-sector initiatives such as the annual Thailand Games Show, the Bangkok International Games Festival and the Thailand Animation Contest.


1 comment:

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