Intel remains committed to Thai education

Tech December 04, 2012 00:00

By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

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Giant technology firm Intel Corp is committed to assisting the education sector in Thailand with the aim to encourage the country's students to get the latest innovative technologies as learning tools.


The company continues to launch the future classroom pilot project to help encourage schools in Thailand to get technologies as learning tools, said Accharas Ouysinprasert, country manger of Intel Microelectronics (Thailand). 
The future classroom model is an education solution tailored for one-to-one eLearning in classrooms around the world, beginning in December 2012.
Currently, Intel Microelectronics (Thailand) is working on “Future Classroom” as a pilot project for Mattayom 1 students at Taweethapisek School and Wat Rachathiwas School in Bangkok. This move is to support the government’s one tablet per child (OTPC) policy. 
Under the pilot project, the company supports information and communication technology infrastructure, including content distribution network, firewall, content caching and classroom management to address the challenges of Internet connectivity and content accessibility. It also offers Intel Learning Series 1-to-1 e-Learning Professional Development Program to train teachers using Intel Teach.
Intel provides 10-inch screen tablets for Wat Rachathiwas School’s standard one class and a class of autistic students and Taweethapisek School’s standard one class during the pilot period that started in December 2012. 
The tablets deployed at the schools are equipped with classroom management software program, which allows teachers to monitor activities on tablets in the classroom. 
John E Davies, vice president of sales and marketing group and general manager at Intel World Ahead Program, said that Intel’s server appliances and content distribution solutions allow the school to address two main challenges – how students can benefit from rich Internet content in schools with limited Internet connectivity, and how do teachers find and receive the right content without overly burdening them.
Using the content distribution solution, a team of pedagogical experts select and create appropriate content. The content gets automatically pushed from a central server to the server appliance, which is located at each school. There the content is accessible to the students and teacher via the local area Wi-Fi network, which is fast and reliable regardless of the school Internet connection.
The server appliance also provides firewall protection, caching, and other networking services that every school requires. With one-time configuration, the server appliance requires no further support to maintain its performance, and is even remotely accessible should a problem arise.
Students can access learning content from the Office of the Basic Education Commission and Intel’s provided content from Skoool, Wikipedia, and Khan Academy through the server appliance of the school.
Earlier this year, in February 2012, Intel provided Intel Learning Series tablets for a pilot program for Prathom 1 and 4 students in three schools across Bangkok – Samsen Primary School, Prachaniwet School, and Rittiya Wanalai School.
From the first pilot project, teacher training is very essential to build a strong foundation and implement the concept in the classroom. When teachers are inspired and know how to effectively use technology for the classroom, they are able to “create” and “engage” students into learning. 
With the deploying of Intel Atom-tablet PCs in class, the teacher and students enjoyed studying via the application rather than the standard form. Students showed higher interest and motivation to participate in the courses. They enjoyed using the tablet PC to conduct research, submit assignments and collaborate in several group projects.
The Classroom Management software program is very useful for teachers in Pathom 4, and as most of the students have previously learnt to use the tablets, closer monitoring of usage in classroom becomes more necessary. Teachers used the technologies extensively to conduct research, develop curricula, present lessons, share multi-media sources and administer tests. 
It found that maths, science and English are subjects that most benefited from the e-learning model, as teachers were able to apply the lessons onto various applications and online tools. Teachers requested additional training and ongoing support in curriculum development and methods for using technology to enhance teaching methods and professional development.