Friday, January 23, 2009

Engage young with new media

Jan 16, 2009
By Clarissa Oon
Straits Times

SCHOOLS are starting to use new media tools such as role-playing and simulation games, blogs and animation clips to engage the young on how Singapore came about and the challenges it faces.

Praising the approach, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said it was 'timely and important' for National Education because the young are exposed to so many 'competing worldviews' online.

Dr Ng was speaking on Friday morning at a seminar attended by some 300 National Education practitioners such as teachers, Singapore Armed Forces personnel and representatives from ministries like Education and Home Affairs.

His remarks reflect the Government's growing push to engage citizens online.

The seminar was organised by Nexus, the central coordinating agency for National Education, which aims to get younger Singaporeans such as students and National Servicemen interested in the country's past, its challenges and values and its future.

Dr Ng noted that while the Internet is a source of valuable information and views as well as bigotry, prejudices and untruths, 'thankfully, teenagers in school are discerning' and know which websites to go to for more reliable views.

Still, National Education efforts must have a presence online and 'provide a balance to ideas that sow discord and unity', he said.

How to do that effectively involves not just putting out information, but requires using digital technology to 'become better story-tellers' and to bring people together, he added.

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