Bridging the Digital Divide
Home-based learning (HBL) will be a permanent feature in Singapore’s formal education system – the current Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding. Against this backdrop, there are resource and access challenges for children from low-income families to adapt to and learn effectively on HBL. For instance, some may not have any prior experience typing on a laptop; this has lead-on consequences as they interact with word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software in their daily school lessons.
Children’s levels of readiness and ability to utilise these laptops effectively for online learning varies across the different income groups. While various community and ground-up groups have stepped up to source for donated laptops and
provide WiFi access for low-income families, more has to be done to uplift technology literacy skills for disadvantaged children.
Primary School Pilot
I Am Techxplorer (IATx) seeks to equip children with the essential skills to navigate a digital learning environment. The programme also complements schools’ cyber-wellness efforts under the Character & Citizenship Education for students. In December 2020, a pilot experiential learning programme was conducted in Jalan Kukoh to equip primary school students with essential skills to navigate a digital learning environment.
Held over 4 sessions, volunteer trainers guided children through the content and activities, which encompassed 1) Common Parts of a Laptop and its Uses, 2) Basics of the Windows Operating System, 3) Common Online applications for HBL including Google suite software, and 4) Touch-typing Introduction and Practice.