Learning Chinese gets easier with MyCLOUD, and four more Singapore primary schools will be using the platform by 2014.
Learning Chinese has always been a problem for some children and to address this issue, MyCLOUD is launched as an interactive platform that supports new generation teaching methods and bringing the learning of Chinese beyond classroom walls. The Chinese name for MyCLOUD (语飞行云) reflects the key elements of the project which includes the language, accessibility through the mobile technology (“moving”), and cloud computing.
Recently, Microsoft Singapore, Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), Nan Chiau Primary School (NCPS) and the National Institute of Education (NIE) have collaborated under the umbrella of Microsoft Centre for Education Research and Application (CERA) to come up with the MyCLOUD mobile learning tool for Chinese, which will be brought to four more primary schools by 2014.
This unique mobile teaching and learning tool includes features such as personalized e-dictionary, text to speech reading, which reads out words to show how the characters should be pronounced, and photo vocabulary, in which students can take images outside of class and construct sentences that best caption the picture. MyCLOUD also integrates social networking functions in order to maximise students’ engagement and discussion with teacher and classmates in Chinese.
Prolonged usage of Chinese in real life enhances students’ Chinese proficiency. With this in mind, MyCLOUD is currently incorporated into the curriculum of its Primary Three and Primary Four pilot classes and starting this year all Primary Three students in the school will access MyCLOUD on tablets during Chinese lessons and at home. Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan strongly supports NCPS and has even begun sharing the experience of MyCLOUD with four other primary schools: Tao Nan Primary School, Ai Tong Primary School, Kong Hwa Primary School and Chongfu Primary School.
According to principal of Nan Chiau Primary School, they observed that their students have now started learning Chinese language in a different way. They are more self-directed in learning and are showing positive response for the new teaching method.
MyCLOUD was incubated at the Microsoft CERA and an enhanced version of the platform, MyCLOUD 2, is currently under development at Microsoft CERA and will offer new features that will make the Chinese learning journey even more fun and compelling for students. The MyCLOUD initiative is part of the Microsoft’s global Partners in Learning programme. In Singapore, Microsoft has been heavily involved in the government’s efforts to integrate technology into education, so as to expand the power of teaching and learning, including the BackPackLive! initiative, a collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
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