Launch of ASEAN SchoolNet Project
Launching the project "Strengthening ICT in Schools and SchoolNet Project" covering the countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) a two days experts meeting for documenting experiences in the use of ICTs in education and SchoolNet operations opens today at UNESCO's Office in Bangkok.
The experts are expected to develop strategies for documenting experiences and case studies in the use of ICTs in education in Asia-Pacific, especially in the areas of science, mathematics and language, as well as the operations and impact of SchoolNets.
So far, SchoolNets, a term designating the use of ICTs in schools, differ widely from country to country. At least, they may involve a simple resource base for students and teachers of one school, perhaps with a simple level of interactivity, such as a question and answer service by e-mail. At best they include nationwide or international networks of schools, teachers, parents and resources; forums; databases; teacher training; interaction among students and teachers; collaborative projects between schools and nations and more. Students become engaged in exploration and simulation instead of being passive recipients of information. Teachers can use ICTs for administrative and assessment purposes.
The vision behind this project is to get the information-rich and well equipped ASEAN countries to share their resources with the information-poor and ill-equipped countries through an ASEAN SchoolNet - through south-south cooperation, using this full range of ICTs and partnerships to enhance education and prepare students fully for life. National SchoolNets will also be developed to support the specific educational needs of each nation.
In order to reach this goal, the project will implement diverse strategies, including the documenting of successful experiences and innovative strategies in the use of ICT in schools, as initiated in this meeting. The idea is that SchoolNets are implemented not as an isolated initiative, but are embedded within the education system - working with the governments and educational bodies to ensure support of the national curriculum and that all partners work together to utilise SchoolNets to their full potential.
For this reason, the project also involves policy and strategy development, the development of integrated ICT-based curriculum for Science, Mathematics and Language, establishing connectivity and pilot testing the use of ICT in 24 schools and the training of teachers in ICTs and SchoolNet.
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