Singapore startup behind local heritage apps to develop similar apps for Brunei schools

A LOCAL start-up behind the game-based mobile apps used in local schools to make history lessons come alive is going places.

Four-year-old Learning Development Resources (LDR) will be licensing its technology to a publishing firm in Brunei to help develop similar learning apps for schools in Brunei.

LDR's Interactive Heritage Trails mobile programme - targeted at students from primary school to junior college - was launched last May by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat. History lessons for 39 heritage trails - among them Fort Canning and the Kampong Glam - have been created for MOE schools to date.

The content in the interactive mobile apps are activated via Global Positioning System (GPS) in users' smartphones or tablets when they enter the hot zone of a heritage site. For instance, on the Chinatown trail, images of old buildings may be sent to students' devices, provided by their schools, to help them visualise how the place looked in the past.

On Tuesday, LDR signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brunei's PHMD Publishing, marking the local firm's first foray overseas. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam were behind the MOU, signed at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange 2013 (imbX) event at Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Png Bee Hin, chief executive officer of LDR, said it was the firm's track record with MOE that paved the way for its expansion in Brunei. But what sealed the deal was a prototype it developed that showcases the history of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, a royal Islamic mosque located in Brunei's capital Bandar Seri Begawan.

More than 500 primary and secondary schools and junior colleges in Brunei are expected to benefit from the use of such interactive mobile apps in their history and geography lessons from January next year, said Mohd Khairi Bin Pg Hj Mefussin, chief executive offer of PHMD. "The Ministry of Education in Brunei has realised that digital learning is the way forward," he noted.

Besides MOE, LDR has also worked with the National Heritage Board to create a similar app for Singapore Armed Forces officer cadets to learn about the defence of Singapore during World War II. Using the Battle for Singapore mobile app, officer cadets can trace the main Japanese invasion route in 1942, among others.

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