Bandar Seri Begawan - In supporting the delivery of Digital Curriculum Resources, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is to set up a media and in-service centre.
The plan was revealed by the Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong during the official launch of the Brunei Teacher's Day International Conference 2012 held in conjunction with the 22nd Teacher's Day celebration this year.
Several departments of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Schools (JSS), Department of Technical Education (DTE), and the Department of Islamic Studies (JPI), Ministry of Religious Affairs collaborated to host the 22nd Brunei Teacher's Day International Conference 2012, which focuses on research and innovation in teaching and learning.
In his speech, the minister noted that a media and in-service centre would be setup to become a vital hub providing a range of new learning media and related assets to implement the 21st Century curriculum with a set of highly interactive learning resources and tools.
The centre will serve to integrate the designing and implementation of 21st Century classroom practices, and the designing and development of student interactive learning. Activities at the centre and other related e-Hijrah projects such as the one-to-one computing will also be integrated. These, amongst other things, are what the Ministry of Education is undertaking.
Paramount to the successful realisation of all these initiatives is thorough and detailed strategic planning, high investment on human resource development and strong commitment from all stakeholders concerned, especially teachers.
The minister also spoke on the importance and purpose of 'Teacher Standards' for the 21st Century teacher.
Through those initiatives, the minister said he would like to witness further, the transformation in our teachers and educational leaders. He also believes the theme 'Crafting innovative instructions' in the 21st Century encompasses the need for Brunei teachers to be developed as 21st Century teachers.
"The 21st century teacher, we believe, is first and fundamentally, an ethical educator who demonstrates high professional standards of integrity and moral courage; also a competent professional who continues to develop new knowledge, skills and dispositions to lead, care, inspire and nurture students holistically; a collaborative learner who actively engages in professional conversations to learn from his or her peers and from experts; a transformational leader who is driven by a sense of mission to enable students to learn and develop, and leads and inspires his colleagues to reflect and innovate; a community builder who understands Brunei Darussalam's unique context and develops a strong sense of social responsibility in our students," the minister stated.
In the process of 'crafting innovative instructions,' teachers need to remind themselves to be self-directed learners, take ownership for charting their own professional development, make self-assessment and reflect on their own learning needs.
With that, the minister said, our teachers will become more reflective learners and be good role models of self-directed learning, who are able to develop and enhance their competencies over time, as required by our Brunei Teacher Standards. Towards this, all teachers should grow over time no matter how good they are in their craft already
It is imperative for teachers to use the ICT skills as a tool for them to impart knowledge in ensuring students will acquire 21st Century skills for individual life and work today. Based on the model of Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research 2011, one of the leading researches sponsored by Microsoft Partners in Learning, the learning outcomes that an individual student acquires which are considered as 21st Century skills are: knowledge building, self-regulation and assessment, collaboration, skilled communications, problem-solving and innovation, global awareness and use of ICT for learning.
"Indeed, it is inevitably important for teachers to know their skills in crafting innovative instructions as this is not a goal in itself but a tool to broaden and deepen learning opportunities for students," he added.
Earlier in his speech, the minister noted that students nowadays are very much different to those of the past. Technological advancement has made fundamental changes to how we live our life and consequently become a big influence on our younger generation.
Students prefer to be online, using social networks and communicating with friends and families. They are born in a time and world in which they grow up to be ICT citizens, accustomed to getting information in a dynamic and visually-rich ways.
The Ministry of Education has initiated a series of reforms towards achieving the Brunei Vision 2035. The nation has embarked on a new education system, SPN21, and identified
ICT as a new mechanism and catalyst for supporting new ways of teaching, learning and managing. This is because students nowadays have expanded their learning horizons through exploring and demonstrating what they learn through blogs, Wikis, podcasts, virtual worlds and video production.
Learning is enriched through mobile learning e-trails, use of dataloggers and handheld devices like tablets and mobile phones. In achieving these aspirations, the e-Hijrah Strategy and Blueprint were formulated, representing a fully coordinated and integrated national effort for ICT in education in Brunei Darussalam.
Various initiatives have been identified under the e-Hijrah, which is aimed at providing a learning environment towards a 21st Century teaching and learning.
One of the projects under e-Hijrah that the minister highlighted was the delivery of Digital Curriculum Resources that will provide a centralised web-based system for digital curriculum materials that can be accessed and used by teachers, learners and the wider community.
Such system that enables teachers, learners and parents to access resources, would add value and impact on student learning, support 21st Century pedagogies, and promote student centred activities as and when needed.
The theme for this year's conference over the two-day period is 'Crafting Innovative Instruction: A 21st Century Perspective. '
The following sub-themes to be discussed at parallel sessions by presenters and participants at the conference include Enhancing Curriculum Development and Evaluation, Education for Sustainable Development, Partnerships with Stakeholders, Cultivating Best Practices in Educational Institutions, Optimising the Use of Technology, School Leadership Programmes, Action Research in Education and Inculcating Entrepreneurship Skills.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin