Infocomm plan set to transform learning

One improvement is customised homework to address areas where students are weak

Imagine a future where each student goes home with a different set of questions for his homework, which is customised to address areas that an individual is weak in.

That future could be on our doorstep over the next few years.

Using data analytics technology, teachers can easily sift through their students' strengths and weaknesses, and assign homework based on areas they need more practice in.

This technology will also be able to generate customised worksheets and practice papers for students, such as generating more problems which students are weak at to practise on, or coming up with more challenging questions in topics they are breezing through.

This is one of the many ways technology will be used to transform how people live, learn, work and play in the future as charted out in the Infocomm Media 2025 masterplan, which was revealed yesterday.

The plan, which was developed by a private-sector-led committee since 2013, is aimed at guiding the development of the infocomm media sector over the next 10 years.

It also looks at the challenges that Singapore faces and how technological and business trends can develop solutions to these issues.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who accepted the plan on behalf of the ministry yesterday, said it plays an important role in fulfilling the Smart Nation vision for Singapore.

"While some ideas will require further study, we are already putting the wheels in motion for others," said Dr Yaacob. For example, various sensors have already been deployed across the nation to collect data on traffic or the environment.

The plan identified three areas where infocomm media can provide solutions: data collection and analytics; future-centred skills for workforce; and integration of technology in the daily lives of citizens.

"We want to build an infocomm media ecosystem that is more innovative and capable of creating solutions for us to face some of Singapore's big national challenges with greater confidence," said steering committee chairman Koh Boon Hwee.

The first thrust of the plan is enhancing the nation's economic competitiveness through the use of data analytics and computational technologies. Businesses, for instance, can use data analytics to gather information on what their customers want, which can be fed back to the entire supply chain to develop products that are in demand.

The plan also recommended the continual development of information and communication technology (ICT) skills, such as coding, for both students and the workforce.

Last, the plan charts how technology can be used in the daily lives of citizens, such as in health and even social networking. These include the use of wearable sensors that monitor the user's health and remind him to take medication.

Translation technology, that allows for near real-time translation, would aid social cohesion in Singapore's multiracial society.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Infocomm plan set to transform learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe