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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 5, No. 3 (2009) open journal systems 


A baseline study on the Internet information search proficiencies of polytechnic students in Singapore

Kumar Laxman, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Abstract
The Internet has emerged as a versatile information repository tool that offers immense potential in optimizing the transactional dynamics of teaching and learning. In the context of a developed country such as Singapore, the Internet is an ubiquitous fixture in the ever expanding electronic learning landscape of the educational system. Hardware infrastructures are in place in schools in Singapore to enable them to be seamlessly connected to the Internet to tap the wide array of opportunities the Internet affords in providing a digital context of learning that extends cognitive apprenticeship from theoretical settings to applied, active instructional environments. However, having widespread access to Internet technologies doesn’t translate to automatic positive learning gains. The power of technology needs to be combined with the expertise of pedagogy to form a potent partnership that elevates the quality of instructional delivery. This concern becomes particularly problematic when critical information literacy skills underpinning the success of Internet-based learning initiatives are self or peer taught, as it often happens in Singapore. Information literacy skills are too complex and diverse to be able to be readily learned through self-taught modes of knowledge acquisition by young learners. The baseline study elaborated in this paper attempts to document the Internet information search proficiencies of a sample of polytechnic students in Singapore to underscore the importance of systematic, intentional integration of information literacy skills within formal curriculum in schools.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556