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More Singapore schools adopt Microsoft’s Chinese language learning tool

Jack Loo | Feb. 13, 2013
MyCLOUD, co-developed by Microsoft and local education bodies, will be introduced to four more primary schools.

MyCLOUD (My Chinese Language ubiquitOUs learning Days), a mobile teaching and learning tool developed by a group of education bodies and Microsoft in Singapore, will be adopted by four local primary schools by 2014.

MyCLOUD was jointly developed by Microsoft Singapore, Microsoft Research Asia, Nan Chiau Primary School (NCPS) and National Institute of Education, the partners behind the Microsoft Centre for Education Research and Application.

The tool includes features such as a personalised e-dictionary, Text to Speech reading which reads out words to show how the characters should be pronounced and photo vocabulary whereby students can take images outside of class and construct sentences that best captions the picture.

The social networking functions of MyCLOUD also allow students to engage in discussions and interact with their teacher and classmates in Chinese, thus integrating real life use of the language into their learning.

The group received endorsement from the clan association Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, where the four schools affiliated with the clan association - Tao Nan Primary School, Ai Tong Primary School, Kong Hwa Primary School and Chongfu Primary School - will see MyCLOUD being adopted into their curriculum.

Having gone through a successful pilot to integrate MyCLOUD, NCPS will share its experience with the system with the four other primary schools.

"After the MyCLOUD pilot in the school, we observed that our students are now learning the Chinese Language in a different way, integrating and extending their learning activities to outside the classroom," said Tan Chun Ming, principal of NCPS. 

"We also found that they are now more self-directed in learning. They are able to better connect with the language skills they have picked up during lessons and apply them in real world scenarios," said Tan.

NCPS successfully incorporated MyCLOUD into the curriculum of its Primary Three and Primary Four pilot classes. This year, all Primary Three students in the school will be accessing MyCLOUD on tablets during Chinese lessons and at home. MyCLOUD was launched in NCPS in June 2012.

Teachers from all four schools have recently been introduced to the MyCLOUD platform. This year, NCPS will facilitate a series of workshops to ensure that they can design lessons that fully utilise the features of MyCLOUD to deliver new learning experiences for students. As part of this professional development journey, the teachers will also attend lesson observations at NCPS. The schools are expected to pilot MyCLOUD in selected Primary Three classes in 2014. This will expand the total number of students learning Chinese on MyCLOUD to more than 600.

"MyCLOUD successfully demonstrates the power of technology as an enabler for education innovation. Leveraging and customising technology, MyCLOUD transforms the way students learn the Chinese language by adding interactivity, connectivity and visual elements, bringing the language to life," said Chua Horng Shya, Education Alliance Director, Microsoft Singapore.

"This makes it an effective platform to engage with the young generation of digital natives today and encourages them to learn and enjoy the richness of the Chinese language wherever they are," added Chua.


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