Bahasa Indonesia Di Sini
Internet Enters Schools - Why?
(Continued from Dikotomi)
What, Is E-Education A Dream?
Excuse me Sir, our school buildings have collapsed!
Don't worry my dear teachers, soon we will be connecting the Internet to your school.....
Access to Internet? But Our school Is Not Connected To Electricity, and 55 million people in our country do not have "access" to safe water supplies (Every day 5.000 children under the age of 5 die from diarrhea), and Corruption Is In All Levels Of Education Implementation, and Our National Exam Doesn't Encourage Creativity in Learning, and we need to Stop The Curriculum Disadvantaging Our Students, also 70% of Our High-School Graduates are Looking For Work Without Skills Training, and Teacher Skills Need to Be Improved, and Thousands of Children with a Disability are not Being Looked After, and Quality Education Is Only For The Rich, and .........
Be quiet! It doesn't matter. Internet first, ok!
"Kata Menkominfo, akses-akses informasi pada jaringan ICT tersebut, akan ditekankan pada unsur e-education (pendidikan), e-health (kesehatan), dan e-economy (ekonomi) yang dapat mengurangi gap di bidang ICT antara daerah pedesaan dan daerah perkotaan".
The Internet is a "Learning Tool", not the "Solution to Education" (at the school level). Internet (without English language skills) is a source of information that is very limited. There are also very-very few learning materials available (in Indonesian). Our curriculum doesn't appear to encourage or contain any research-based learning components, so why do we need the Internet in our schools? Internet in schools is clearly not a priority, correct?
"Students Addicted To Online Games"
Quality Education is:
Teacher-Based Education where the Teachers are Capable and their Welfare is Condusive, in Quality Schools, with a Curriculum that Meets The Needs of our Students and is Well Balanced (containing many options for skills training including technology), that is implemented using Contextual Learning Methodology. ("Capable" includes Creative)
"Primary and Secondary" Ohh.. Technology
"In a number of Internet Cafés in Kayuagung it has been discovered that, tens of groups of students almost every day fill up the Internet cafés to play online games, there are even students who don't go to school so that they can pursue their hobby in the virtual world."
"Facebook Is Leading To Lazy, Low Achievers Amongst University Students"
JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Users of Facebook who are still studying be careful! According to a study conducted by Ohio State University, the more you use Facebook, the less time you spend studying, and the lower your grades will be.
"Technology Is Creating A Number Of New Threats To Our Program For Facilitating
We have already placed information about issues like this on our Education and Technology website last month. All Students and Teachers Please Read:
The Smart Generation"
In general, the Internet (overseas) is used at the school level mainly as a research/information tool, not as the source of learning. Even though this is the case, "Be careful. Teachers interested in integrating the benefits of the Internet into their curriculum should proceed cautiously and methodically. Avoid getting caught up in all of the Internet hype and trying to do everything at once. Set small goals and take steps to reach those goals." (Ref: Some Thoughts on the Use of the Internet in Schools)
Is our curriculum suitable for a "research approach to learning", or is it still "Asal-Hafal-Saja"-Based (As Long As You Remember What You Are Told) ? National Exam? To utilize Internet in the classroom requires very high management skills from teachers (and they must prepare materials prior to the sessions) so that the students don't waste their time, which is very limited (here in Indonesia). A problem is that, it is uncertain that materials prepared by someone else will be suitable for our students.
What is the situation in 2008? "It is the goal of the Foxborough Public Schools to provide a world-class education to all students. ... While there is an enormous amount of useful and valuable information available, due to the global nature of the Internet and the lack of effective control over its content, access brings with it the potential for misuse and abuse." (Ref: Public Schools - Internet Policies (2007) In general the Internet is still regarded mainly as an information source, and most students tend to use the Internet mainly as a means of communication (e-mail, etc.), not as a direct source of learning.
E-Learning (via the Internet) is also one of our education/learning tools, for where the situation is appropriate and conducive.
E-Learning is a strategy that is usually suitable for more mature learners like university students, who live at great distances from their campus or for adults who have to juggle their time for study with work schedules or domestic and family responsibilities. But in schools???
"In most countries, e-Learning tends to be available only to those students in urban areas which have access to the technologies or students in remote areas where countries are unable to provide teachers for few students". "However, the need for standards and measuring quality in online content is lacking in most countries."
(Ref: International Survey Results Summaries)
An E-Learning issue that is very important is: "We need to be relentless in measuring and assessing the impact that technology has on education and on academic achievement. We need evidence that teaching and learning are improved as the result of technology." (Ref: E-Learning Policy Implications for K-12 Educators)
Where is the evidence that e-Learning via the Internet can improve the teaching and learning process?
There is already so much rhetoric about the "Internet and Education" here in Indonesia. But where is the evidence? Where are the research results?
It appears that much of the rhetoric is originating from the ISPs (Why aren't we surprised?).
"Seminar Nasional ICT Bersama Menkominfo (Minggu, 17 Februari 2008)"
RE Iklan: "internet adalah media pembelajaran masa depan yang sangat bisa diandalkan." (Internet is the learning media of the future that is so easy to handle)
Are there other education quality issues that are far more important?
Re: "learning media of the future" Where is this assumption from? What is it based upon?
Many of our students have been using the Internet in Internet Cafes now for several years. Are they performing better in School and National Exams as a result of this exposure to the Internet? Where is the evidence?
When (in fact) would our students have time to use the Internet in our schools? Our curriculum is extremely heavy and time demanding.
Will "all the schools" in Indonesia have a "number of classrooms" complete with computers? When? Who will be responsible for the maintenance?
Is free (unfocussed) use of the Internet likely to eat into the students' time that would be better utilized for going over their school work and homework and preparing themselves for the School and National Exams? Is "Chatting" now included in the National Exams?
What are our plans for addressing the problem that students can not access or participate in the "global information explosion" because their English language skills are too low?
How can we integrate Internet utilization into our curriculum and class timetables (besides IT classes)?
At the school level, does the 'Internet as an information source' really have a role at all in implementing our formal curriculums in Indonesia?
(Comment: If teachers would like to give their students research assignments using the Internet, it is probably best for them to conduct their tasks 'independently' at Internet Cafes or Telecenters outside of class time, rather than using their school study time.)
A number of schools already have access to the Internet. Teachers need detailed pedagogy-based, but practical information and explanations about how to integrate the Internet into their curriculum! We haven't been able to find this information on the MoE (DepDikNas) or National Education Network (JarDikNas) websites. Please assist!
Are our teachers ready and capable of assigning effective tasks and preparing materials for use on the Internet? Are they prepared sufficiently to implement learning programs while managing the potential negative issues such as access to violent or pornographic websites that tend to waste class time?
Considering the myriad of basic education problems that we are experiencing, wouldn't it be better to utilize the money for implementing proven education programs such as SBM and Contextual Learning that have the potential to improve education quality while improving the skills and abilities of our teachers?
Or focus upon raising the standard of our students' English Language Skills so that they can "participate in the global community and open the doors to global employment". English language is the #1 issue confronting Indonesia's participation in the global community.
(current time for English language study and the national assessment system for English language clearly are not succeeding in guaranteeing that our students are ready to take their place in the global community).
If Internet skills are not included in the curriculum, and if access to information from the Internet is not required for implementing the curriculum or passing National Exams (UN), and most students can't access global information (without English), and there are very few learning materials in Indonesian language on the Internet (and the quality..?). We need to ask, is access to the Internet in Indonesian schools important at all, currently?
If the issue is communication, maybe it is best if we support the Internet Cafes and Telecenters which are accessable to our school communities also the broader community (and have the advantage that they can be accessed out of school hours). Supposedly Telecenters are one of the priorities of BAPPENAS (National Planning Body).
Our Minister for Communication and Information (above) implies that ICT will enable "e-education (pendidikan), e-health (kesehatan), dan e-economy (ekonomi)" and close the gap between people in the villages and the cities.
However, this will very much depend upon the role and quality of human resources within the government, won't it?.
If we look at the technology that our government already has their hands on, for instance websites (12-1-2008):
Try other government sites at our: Re-SearchEngines.Com website.
Why Have I Taken This Position?
Are the Ministry of Education sites informative and educational?
Remember: In education, the most important issue in "ICT" (Information Communication Technology) is "I" Information, and this is the most difficult component to develop but has to be developed first, before thinking about the technology.
Please send your comments
Phillip Rekdale (Draft Updated 30-6-2008)
Education and Technology Consultant (Jakarta)
Education & Technology Consultant: