The Effectiveness of Electronic Information Search Practices of Secondary School Students in a Singapore Science Education Context

The Effectiveness of Electronic Information Search Practices of Secondary School Students in a Singapore Science Education Context

Kumar Laxman (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2012070105


The Internet is a complex repository containing a huge maze of information from a variety of sources. It has become a common fixture in school nowadays. Whether to use technologies such as the Internet to advance teaching in schools is not the issue since technology is already pervasively in use. Rather it is how to effectively capitalize upon technology and harness fully the new opportunities created for learning with the Internet to facilitate greater learning gains. Though in Singapore, Internet access is easily available and prevalent, be it in schools or at homes, this cannot be assumed to mean that effective use of the learning affordances of the Internet is being accomplished. This study attempted to investigate the Internet information search literacy skills of secondary school students in Singapore. The general information search techniques and strategies that were adopted by students during their information seeking interactions with the Internet were examined. It was found that students generally lacked robust Internet information searching skills and require instructional mediation in enhancing these critical skills essential for the electronic information-rich age that is now prevalent.
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Singapore Context

In Singapore, the first Masterplan for Information Technology (IT) in Education (1997 – 2002) was a blueprint to inform schools on the use of IT in educational development. Necessary technological infrastructure and IT-enriched learning environments were put in place in Singapore schools (MOE, 2004).

The Masterplan II for IT in Education (MP2) was unveiled in 2002. The goals of MP2 was to consolidate and build on the achievements of the first Masterplan by focusing on the interaction amongst the components of curriculum, assessment, instruction, professional development, pupil learning and school culture and leveraging on technology to enhance these relations to bring about engaged learning (MOE, 2004).

MP2 envisions the following six outcomes in technology use:

  • Pupils use IT effectively for active learning

  • Connections between curriculum, instruction and assessment are enhanced using IT

  • Teachers use IT effectively for professional and personal growth

  • Schools have the capacity and capability in using IT for school improvement

  • There is active research in IT in education

  • There is an infrastructure that supports widespread and effective use of IT (MOE, 2004)

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