Friday, February 25, 2011

e-Learning in Singapore and its Implications

This video shows what e-Learning is about. Thankfully, the video uses moving animations coz it is in Spanish, but no worries, a picture speaks a thousand words right? I am sure it is understandable XD

In this Blog, I intend to briefly cover the growth and benefits of e-Learning in Singapore, the factors necessary to sustain e-Learning especially in Singapore which aims to establish herself as an e-Learning hub, as well as the impacts of e-Learning on the Singapore economy in the near future.

What is e-Learning?

E-learning uses electronic media as a form of delivery system which consist of a wide range of learning strategies and technologies; they include computer based learning, web-based learning, virtual classrooms, and other digital collaborations.

Benefits of e-Learning
I feel that there are a total of 5 benefits which comes with the introduction of e-Learning. They are;
  1. Cost-Effective through cheaper acquisition of human capital.
  2. Flexible-learning can be conducted anywhere and at anytime that you deem convenient for yourself.
  3. Uniform Delivery-since the same piece of information is being taught every single time to all users, this would help reduce the possibility of misinterpretation from ever occurring.
  4. Promotes Team learning & Collaboration-this is necessary if Singapore wants to increase its productivity through the development of social cohesion.
  5. Easier access-Everyone can improve their knowledge and attain any particular skill(s) as long as they have a computer with internet access or buy Educational Cd-roams which is easily "buy-able" at bookstores under the self-improvement section.

High Growth of e-Learning in Singapore
According to the Asian E-Learning Network (AEN), Singapore's e-Learning market has increased from "US$24.5 million in 2001 to over US$106 million in 2005".

To add on, this e-Learning market can be divided into 3 different groups-service, content, and technology. A reported 55%, 29%, and 16% of this market was occupied by content, technology, and service fields respectively. It is also expected of Singapore to have the largest e-learning corporate market in Asia, as well as a mass usage of e-learning in schools and colleges.

As we do know that education plays a crucial role in Singapore's future (because of the lack of human resource), the government has spent at least 2.2 of the Singapore's GDP on working with the private sectors so as to "encourage technology based learning system to enhance learners’ understating of abstract concept as well as to increase their interest in learning".

Factors that Allow e-Learning to grow in Singapore
  1. Adequate Infrastructure-Singapore has most of the advances telecommunication infrastructures as compared to other South East Asia Countries; some 79% or more of Singaporeans own their own computers and spends approximately 3.45% of its GDP on IT spending.
  2. Globalization-Since businesses are moving around the world due to trade and information technology, e-Learning would be an efficient tool to assist in skills development and knowledge acquisition.
  3. Demographic changes-Singapore has a large aging population due to the insufficient birth rates, therefore in-order to keep this aging workforce productive, it would be necessary for them to undergo training and re-training.
  4. Increase demand for knowledge-Singapore is a knowledge economy, therefore it requires higher level of education, computer literacy, analytically skilled human resources.
  5. Outsourcing-many companies prefer to concentrate their attentions on the main business and send human resource training and development overseas.
  6. Government Incentives

Impact of e-Learning on the Singaporean Economy
With e-Learning being introduced to the younger generation, this would help prepare them for work in the different sectors through their accumulated knowledge; to add on, the middle and older generation can still undergo upgrading and re-training respectively. This means that this pool of effective and highly skilled workers or potential workers would prove to be attractive to foreign investors, therefore injecting an increased number of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the Singapore economy which would in-turn result to job creations, as well as technology transfer.

Lastly, here is a video on the case study of e-Learning in schools in Arizona. I know that I focused more on e-learning and its contributions to the Singapore economy and did not elaborate much on e-learning in schools (my bad...) so I would suggest that you watch this :D

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