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WHY this Conference?

Educational media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but (they) do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in nutrition.
-Thomas A. Clark, Distance Education: The Foundations of Effective Practice

The widespread adoption of school and campus computer networks, as well as Internet access from the home, has forged the basis for dramatic change in the way education is delivered. Today we are building the foundation for an era of ‘anywhere-anytime learning’ where new developments in Information and Communication Technology are enabling students, teachers and other adults to learn through online educational activities. The World Wide Web is said to enhance learning by giving students access to content, providing distributed learning to users, allowing individualised learning, and improving communication among students, teachers, and parents (eSchool News, September 2000). However, is this sufficient? Is e-Education meeting the needs of learners through intelligent and effective leveraging on the available technology?

At a recent conference organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS), Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chong Chi Tat, made an eloquent case for e-Education to ensure e-relevance in the new millennium. In synchrony with developing trends, Singapore, through its IT Masterplan, has spearheaded numerous initiatives through all levels of its education system to become a ‘smart island’.

Until now, various local educational institutions have tended to work independently with only some informal interaction. Consequently, this one-day conference, open to educators and IT professionals, aims to provide a unique and timely forum for information sharing, collaborative planning, and discussion of how institutions might best work together to maximise their efforts in e-Education.

Speakers have been invited from NUS, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, National Institute of Education (NIE), Institute of Systems Science (ISS), Ministries of Manpower and Education (MOM and MOE), Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI), and other organisations to look at some key aspects of e-Education: the Environments, the Effectiveness, the Economics, and the Expectations.