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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Bangkok Tablet Project, One Year On

Bangkok Post writes, "While the government's tablet computers for schools scheme moves forward on a larger scale, the policy's continued success will depend on lessons being learned from its first year.

One academic year has passed since the Pheu Thai-led government distributed free tablet computers to Prathom 1 (Grade 1) students."

Photo: Bangkok Post

Those students are now second-graders and have been allowed to take the tablets with them, while the government is procuring more than 800,000 new tablets for the next first-graders. Still, several problems were identified during the first year of the scheme's implementation and the government must now solve them.

According to a survey conducted by the National Statistical Office from Jan 16 to March 31 this year, 97.7% of schools nationwide had been offered tablets and 0.5% had not yet received  the devices.

The survey also found 8.9% of all delivered tablets had problems, such as broken screens, programming errors and charging flaws. Of the schools which had received the tablets, 98.8% of them used the  the devices in teaching, while only 0.8% did not use them despite having received them. Most schools allowed students to use tablets for one hour a day. School executives and teachers interviewed in the study identified three main advantages of the tablet policy. 

These are: Encouraging students to pay more attention during lessons; providing students with opportunities to learn basic computer  skills; and allowing students to learn anytime and anywhere. They also identified three main disadvantages. These were: A reduction in physical exercise; deteriorating handwriting; and and a reduction in human interaction and playing time with friends. However, most executives and teachers said they were satisfied with the policy overall. 
The survey was conducted among 2,854 respondents.

Source: Bangkok Post 

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