FastTrack@School is an initiative started in 1999 by IDA under the 1st Masterplan of IT in education. It aims to build up the IT infrastructure in schools by providing schools that are ready to embrace ICT technologies with broadband internet connection. It seeks to develop broadband education content by encouraging partnership between schools and education service providers.
The objective of FastTrack@School is simple: it aims to provide broadband internet access and applications to schools that are ready to embrace ICT, and to build up an environment that would develop innovative use of broadband in education.
There were three strands to this initiative(1):
- "E"-Enhance: enhancing learning process using broadband access.
- "E"-Empower: empower students with the power to manage their own learning environment.
- "E"-enthuse: interactive and media rich content that makes the learning experience become alive for the students
Allowing and encouraging industries to partner schools would help in the funding and developing of innovative broadband solutions. Thus, under FastTrack@School, an "Adopt-A-School" initiative was started for those in the education industry (i.e. ASKnLearn.com) to partner schools (i.e. Kranji Secondary School) to develop ways to integrate ICT into education (i.e. Kranji Secondary School's online learning portal that was developed with ASKnLearn.com). S$2.3 million (2) was set aside for the Adopt-A-School project.
As of May 2005, a total of 120 schools were participating in this initiative. Under "E"-Enhance, broadband was used to deliver content seamlessly to multiple students at the same time. A survey of users (3) found that 89% of users found it better than pen and paper, and 98% had learnt about economic principles via an online multi-user collaborative role play game. Under "E"-enthuse, students were able to acquire and develop new skills such as video production, and the acquisition of these skills led to greater self-confidence among the students.
1.4 Lessons learnt
It was found that it was a steep learning curve for teachers and there were concerns over the workload of transferring traditional material to web-based content. Mentoring was for teachers and additional resources should be allocated to put material online.
(1)(3) Hampshire Broadband Forum. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.ehampshire.org/downloads/Hampshire%20Broadband.pdf
(2) IDA Singapore - News & Events - Industry to Develop Broadband Education Content for Schools in Singapore . (2000, August 17). Retrieved from IDA Singapore: http://www.ida.gov.sg/News%20and%20Events/20061120165501.aspx?getPagetype=20