As the saying goes, learning has no boundaries, which is why the Malaysian Ministry of Education has announced that students will soon be allowed to bring electronic devices to school for learning, as the ministry is working on guidelines for them to be used in classrooms, mobile phones will not be allowed as it would distract students from their studies. Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid told The Star that phones were more distracting compared to devices that uses merely WiFi, and they could access more things as well, hence we can safely assume that the approved devices are mostly likely going to be tablets or notebooks.
Digital learning isn’t something new in the Malaysian education scene, as we have seen efforts from Yes 4G implementing the 1BestariNet learning platform that allows students and teachers to perform learning activities. Last year, teachers have been handed with tablets to encourage e-learning and engagements between students. Allowing students to bring their own gadgets to school is definitely something new this round, as they would no longer need to carry heavy stacks of books in their bag, parents’ groups has also responded positively to this announcement. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education will be looking into broadband speeds in schools located at rural and remote areas.
There’s a lot of hard work that the Ministry of Education would need to do as this policy goes official, such as subsides for the devices and ensuring every student will be able to own a device of their own. As for Madhzir’s statement of mobile phones being more capable than WiFi only devices, that will really depend on how the device’s software is being limited to students for learning purposes only.