ANKARA, Turkey - April 22, 2009 - Eighty Turkish schoolchildren aged 11 and 12 from the Turkish capital Ankara and the village of Beynam participated in Turkey's first virtual classroom, sharing a lesson on the theme "Earth, Sun and Moon" as part of their science and technology curriculum. The two schools, located 45 kilometers away from each other, were connected via broadband to harness the power of one-to-one e-learning as well as virtual collaboration. They were also able to take advantage of various communication and collaborative tools, including wireless access, Internet Protocol (IP) phones, ClassMate PCs, smart boards and video, as well as online and community-generated learning content.
The e-learning showcase was initiated to define what Turkey's 21st-century learning environment could look like and marks a significant collaboration between public, private and academic partners. Sponsored by the Ministry of National Education and under the governance of METU - EDMER, it was initiated by Intel and Cisco with the support of Sebit, Oracle, Smarttech and Polycom.
Facts / Highlights:
- The e-learning class was organized to showcase how integrating technology within a school curriculum can enable equal access to a high-quality education in urban and rural areas and can encourage collaboration between students and teachers within and beyond a class.p>
- The 21st-century learning environment focuses on the student. It centers on group collaboration, one-to-one e-learning, best-practice sharing, innovative local content and creative interactive methods, skills which are essential not only in education, but also in the work environment of a global knowledge economy.
- The project also shows how broadband connectivity facilitates access to information and knowledge exchange over distances and in rural areas. Communication networks and advanced information and communication technology applications serve as platforms for teacher and student collaboration, virtual lessons, and curriculum development via video and mobile devices.
- The one-to-one e-learning model was developed with the active support of the Educational Technologies Directorate of the Ministry of National Education, to establish an environment of learning anytime, anywhere. Access to computers during a lesson, teacher trainings on how to integrate technology efficiently into the classroom, and online educational content aligned with the curriculum are essential ingredients in helping educators, teachers and students enhance skills and become successful in today's knowledge economy.
- A preliminary analysis of the project revealed an increase in student-teacher motivation and productivity, the usage of content-based subjects, efficient time management and student performance. Within the framework of the analysis, 90 percent of the surveyed parents mentioned they have been pleased with the project as they have seen marked improvements in their children's communication skills, and in their eagerness to learn and to cooperate, as well as in their computer skills.
- Dr. Fatos Yarman, president, EDMER
- Dr. Nizami Akturk, head of MoNE Educational Technologies Directorate
- Cigdem Ertem, general manager, Intel Turkey
- Erkan Akdemir, general manager, Cisco Turkey
"We wanted to show that ICT in schools should go beyond computer labs. It's much more about the human network of students and teachers, who can collaborate in a new type of environment. During the project, we also benefited from the wealth of expertise and solutions as a result of a public-private partnership with partners like Cisco and Intel."
"The Ministry of Education initially set as objective to have at least one computer class in every school. This is now almost completed all around Turkey, to an extent of nearly 100 percent. For the next step, we are targeting to have an Internet environment in every class with one computer and one projector, where teachers will have the chance to share content from the Internet, as well as content they have created themselves. We're working on modeling the future classes and education environment with the active collaboration of government and private sector representatives, based on what is considered as best practice internationally. We're proud and happy to realize this pilot project that started with the aim of providing computers to every student."
"Intel is contributing to education with a wealth of online learning tools like Intel Teacher, Intel Student and skoool, as well as the 1:1 eLearning project. We strongly believe that education is the most effective way to take while transforming the world. As Intel, our mission is to make your dreams come true by enhancing the lives with internet, pc and technology. We are pleased that we take these aims one step further now by designing the 1:1 eLearning project."
"Education is a key engine to accelerate social and economic development and is essential for building a competitive workforce for the global knowledge economy. Acquiring the ability to collaborate and communicate now is as important as learning the factual knowledge. Cisco is pleased to contribute to this key project as part of our commitment in Turkey and help shape education systems adapted to the 21st-century global economy."
Cisco, Intel, Turkey, e-learning, collaboration