Baseline ICT Standards (Singapore): Where is Web 2.0 for Primary level?


This afternoon I attended a briefing at MOE HQ on Pupils’ Attainment of Baseline ICT Standards. The highlight of the briefing was the demonstration of the Online Assessment Tool which is task based and automated. Pretty impressive stuff.

However what made me a little upset was the glaring absence of Web 2.0 for Primary level Skills areas in the revised standards.

Frankly, I was quite puzzled by this first ICT Focus:

Pupils will use the Internet for email and searches.

and this Skills Area:

Learning with Communication Tools: Online Communication: Send a message. Send an attachment.

While Secondary and Tertiary levels placed some emphasis on Web 2.0, I can’t say the same for Primary level (except for the brief mention of ‘Digital portfolio’ and ‘blog’ as ‘Suggested Evidence’).

I can’t help but ask myself: Is Web 2.0 deemed too early for Primary level?

I will probably slap myself first if the answer is a yes.

As what Deputy Director. Professional Development & Consultancy, Mr. Sin Kim Ho pointed out, the Baseline Standards will be evolving.

I guess evolving is just too slow. It needs an immediate transformation.

Note: Primary level pupils in Singapore are between 7 years old (Primary 1) to 12 years old (Primary 6).

6 comments

  1. Michael J

    I wonder if the issue of “standards for skills” is being somewhat obsolete by the fast moving reality on the ground. Here’s just one example from the UK where 8 year old students were given iPod Touches. http://ilnk.me/b4 There are many others.

    In my opinion, many of the issues of competency for the lower grades go away since the software and hardware is now so natural to use. It means to me that the issue has now become getting the tools into the hands of the kids and focusing on learning, instead of technology.

  2. tucksoon

    Hi Michael,

    I do agree with you on the relevance of ‘standard for skills’ especially when the most talk-about skills today are 21st century skills, and not Microsoft Office skills.

    http://ict.edumall.sg/ict/slot/u111/engaging_it_practices/introduction.htm

    I can understand the objectives of setting a basic standard so that all students are equipped with the essentials ICT skills. Somehow I felt this baseline standards is lacking in terms of primary pupils’ use of technology and learning needs.

  3. anon

    Skills of learning are through basic fundamentals. Its the same for IT too. Without basic skills, teaching these students, at a young age of 6 or 7, will be like giving them a rubric cube and ask them to solve themselves. It goes the same with learning other languages or most basic, learning to run. In order to run, you need to learn how to walk, and even crawl prior to walking.

    And like michael said its true. Technology is fast and ever changing. How fast can you apply technology to learning, is another issue.

  4. tucksoon

    Hi anon,

    Indeed. Digital literacy starts with basic skills like keyboarding, navigating interfaces and simple hardware operation.

    The fact that technology is changing so fast reinforces the need to match kids’ learning speed and needs. One day I was teaching the Primary 1 kids how to blog, the next day they started teaching each other how to attach pictures and video into their blogs!

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