Integrating Geography Information System in Teaching Geography in Malaysian Secondary Smart Schools
Education Journal
Volume 2, Issue 4, July 2013, Pages: 149-154
Received: Jun. 11, 2013; Published: Jul. 10, 2013
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Soon Singh Bikar Singh, School of Education and Social Development, University Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; School of Education, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
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Abstract
In 1996, Malaysia initiated a plan to make the country the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub of the region. To facilitate this, the government established the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) plan; this initiative is based on a belief that there will be growing demand for a computer-literate work force, as well as for professionals in ICT. As part of this initiative, the Malaysian Government also established the Smart School System in 1999. The Smart School Programme emphasises the use of technology tools as an important aid in learning and teaching: computers are the main instruction (teaching) tool. Significantly, the integration of ICT in teaching has given greater priority to Science, Mathematics, and English. Therefore, Geography has become what students perceive as a ‘dry’ subject with little use of technology. Unlike in Malaysia, in developed countriesGeography receives more attention and has become a key subject at both the primary and secondary level; as a result, Geographic Information Systems(GIS)are widely accepted and integrated intothe secondary and primary schoolGeography curriculum. However, the integration of GIS in Geography education in Malaysia is still regarded as a myth,for reasons of lack of ability, human resources, ground facilities, and ICT provision. Thus, this article will discuss the potential to integrate GIS in a Malaysian Secondary Smart School, which is well known for being the most sophisticated and well-equipped with ICT in the country. A content analysis was performed based on articles from local and foreign pub-lications regarding the integration of GIS in Geography teaching. The content analyses, which include articles, theses and conference papers, discuss the opportunities to integrate GIS in teaching Geography. The analysis showsthat Secondary Smart Schools in Malaysia have adequate ICT facilities and well-trained human resourcesfor GIS. Thus, a plan for integrating GIS in Geography education is not a myth and will become a reality if the Malaysia Ministry of Education is ready to implement it.
Keywords
Geographic Information System (GIS), Secondary Smart School, Geography Curriculum
To cite this article
Soon Singh Bikar Singh, Integrating Geography Information System in Teaching Geography in Malaysian Secondary Smart Schools, Education Journal. Vol. 2, No. 4, 2013, pp. 149-154. doi: 10.11648/j.edu.20130204.17
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