The Thai government's One Tablet PC per Child (OTPC) policy is a noble effort to help children gain access to information, and to keep up with changing information technologies. But will it help them to think? (nationmultimedia.com, June 2012) The answer lies upon the good deed children, under certain circumstance.
As globalization through the power of internet, to date every class of people can access t sources of know-how and even knowledge that can be used for living their lives and for their occupations, given the cyber space accessibility is provided.
The Thailand initiative of One Tablet PC per First Grade Student aims to distribute about one million tablet PCs with digital content preloaded to first grade students in schools all over the country. The tablet's specifications are a seven-inch touch screen, a main storage unit of 16GB, 1GHz dual core CPU or higher, 512MB RAM or higher and an Android 3.2 operating system compatible with Android 4.0. The project was undertaken with close collaboration between the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and the Ministry of Education (MoEd).
The tablet PC for student program is in line with the country's ICT policy framework toward the year 2020 or ICT 2020 which aims to continuingly harness the country toward knowledge-based society in a smart manner. The education sector will be reformed to accommodate multi-channels of learning including formal, non-formal and informal systems as well as life-long learning. ICT will be used as an essential tool for every channel of learning in the new educational systems. ICT devices such as Tablet PC are economically and technologically suited to be used as educational device starting at as early as childhood stage.
MICT took the role as technical provider to the project to provide the investment budget while MoEd provided educational content for the targeted group of students. Related officers were trained to be supervisors on how to use the tablet PCs. These supervisors will then fan out across the country and instruct elementary school teachers on how to use them to teach classes. The result of implementation and deployment of One Tablet PC for the First Grade Students will be depicted in this article.