Holographic keynote address from the US opens NTU meeting on tech-enabled learning

SINGAPORE - Singapore has experimented heavily with technology at all levels of its education system and such advancements have opened up new education opportunities, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said on Monday (Nov 16).

Speaking at the inaugural Singapore Technology-Enabled Learning Experience at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Prof Faishal said: "The use of technology in classrooms has shifted from being teacher-centric to now student-centric, where students use technology to chart their own learning experience."

However, he noted, there are three learning needs educators need to address in future. These include recognising that students learn at different paces, facilitating the sharing of ideas and opinions between students, and helping them learn with greater discernment, given the explosion of user-generated content online.

At the two-day conference, educators from the six local universities will share ideas and solutions on how technology can enhance students' learning. These include smart classrooms, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and unconventional learning approaches such as team-based learning and learning via gaming.

Three internationally-renowned educators, including Professor Carl Wieman, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, will also shed light on the future of the university education landscape.

To demonstrate how technology could be used in education, Prof Wieman delivered his keynote presentation via an interactive holographic display direct from Stanford University in the United States. It is believed to be the first time a lecture has been delivered via holographic display at an educational institution here.

Professor Lee Sing Kong, the university's vice-president for education strategies, said all universities around the world are facing a common challenge: a new generation of tech-savvy learners.

"These learners are digital natives well-versed in googling for answers to questions in their quest for knowledge," he added.

"The feedback we have received from this new generation of learners include a desire for more face-to-face time with their peers in their classroom, and more online resources which they can access anywhere at their own pace and time."