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MAKTABA SHAMELA :

COMPREHENSIVE PERSONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hj. Su’aidi Dato’ Hj. Safei
Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Abstract

Over the last decade, a quiet revolution has been going on in the development of a large library of “digital” or “electronic” books. We heard different names for libraries of the future “Cybrary, hybrid libraries, virtual library, electronic library, digital library, networked library, library without walls.”

The problems faced by the learners in doing their researches and assignments commonly due to the lack of library access after the designated hours and the lack of information searching skills. This paper proposes an ICT tool that integrates elements of e-library services within e-learning environment, using the Maktaba Shamela (Comprehensive Library) as a model.

With the emergence of this personal digital library, learners would be able to access e-resources and relevant databases when searching for materials to incorporate into their academic works. Benefits of running Maktaba Shamela:

* Characterized by convenience and speed in the show database search results required to provide time for researchers in thousands of books.

* Characterized by a combination of ancient heritage of collections, including many of the traditional books and modern academic researches and developments.

* Extremely useful and extendable interface. Provides the possibility of browsing and loading thousands of books compatible with Maktaba Shamela from many different formats, link them to authors, search any number of them, export them, etc.

* Free to upload and add resources to form special libraries in individual capacity.

* No commercial cost, not bound to any application or registration requirements, restrictions or obstacles or encryption.

TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM

The traditional definition of literacy is the ability to read and write. With the rapid development of new technologies, the nature of literacy is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis. Thus in addition to reading and writing, the current definition of literacy also includes the ability to learn, comprehend, and interact with technology in a meaningful way.

The literature is rich with examples of technology in the classroom. It helps the emergent learner, students with disabilities, students with language disabilities and the gifted child. With the cultural and socioeconomic diversity in our schools today, teaching effectively to these different levels of ability, background, interests, learning styles and modalities is a major challenge. We usually teach to the majority since it is somewhat impractical to try to tailor teaching to each student. Too basic an instruction will help the struggling learner but bore the gifted and vice versa. Thus poorer students are left hanging in their confusion, and the brightest students miss exciting challenges. With computers as tutors, each student has the ability to work at their own pace.

Often, students are too confused or embarrassed to ask questions because they don’t want to show their ignorance. With individualized computer instruction, students can always immediately request help if something is unclear. Computers help to make it more interactive. They are extremely effective with the struggling learners because they (unlike humans) have unlimited patience. Computers can teach via a multitude of modalities depending on the learning style of the student (Bennett, 2002).

The computer can also be used to educate the smarter students who easily get bored in a traditional classroom since they reach their goal faster. With computers, students that finish a unit can go to the next one immediately. For these bright students, the challenges that computers can offer encourage self-directed learning.

For a teacher, technology can be used as an information tool and can be separated into four categories:

1. Research: finding and gathering new and old information

2. Management: manipulating, organizing and storing information

3. Publishing: manipulating, interpreting and organizing information for presentation

4. Communication: presenting and sharing information.

Technology is a necessity in today’s world and we must be ready for it. Parents want their children to graduate with skills that prepare them to either get a job in today’s marketplace or advance to higher levels of education and training. Employers hire employees who are reliable, literate, able to reason, communicate, make decisions, and learn. The Department of Education, and other federal agencies recognize the essential role of technology in 21st century education.

Computers can provide universal success by dividing lessons into segments to the extent needed to make sure that everyone can accomplish something. They deliver results accurately and quickly. The closer the connection between the action and reward, the more valuable and more effective is the reward. With computers and technology, learning can be a 24/7 process. Teaching will not be bound by time constraints.

The use of technology in the classroom helps make a better teacher. When students see their teacher trying new things, they become more engaged in the process. Technology allows students to see the whole world as a resource with themselves being in charge of their destiny. It also benefits students because they have choices and opportunities to explore and share information to a greater extent than available in a traditional classroom.

Technology is a versatile and valuable tool for teaching and learning and becoming a way of life. The most important thing is that teachers need to be prepared to use these technologies effectively. Schools can use technology effectively and for the welfare of students, teachers and society, it must be done.

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION MODEL FOR TEACHERS

Technology Instruction Model attempts both to define the “computer literate” teacher and to demonstrate the two major philosophies underlying the use of technology in schools. A computer specialist teaches computer technology as a subject. He teaches the same eight requisite skills as the classroom teacher. However, his goal is to train students to use hardware and software properly. As such, his instruction is “curriculum neutral”; that is, his content need not be related or linked directly to any classroom learning. His objective is mastery of technology alone.

This contrasts with the classroom teacher who is using technology as a tool. The requisite skills are the same as his computer teacher colleague. Depending on the subject and level being taught by the classroom teacher, some or all of the eight requisite skills will be needed. However, the curriculum goal is dramatically different. The classroom teacher’s responsibility is to teach subject content, which is bound to a board of education approved curriculum. Integrating technology into his subject instruction as appropriate or creating a “technology-rich” classroom environment and “infusing” it throughout most classroom activities achieves this aim. As contrasted with his computer specialist colleague, the classroom teacher’s responsibility is to achieve mastery of content. Therefore, the measurement of success will not be how well students use computers or a piece of software but how well they have learned subject matter.

Many classroom teachers are insecure about using technology, because they lack a philosophy for its use. Often they incorrectly compare themselves to the technology “guru” in the technology lab. This is an inappropriate comparison. The technology instructor would not be expected to be a master of classroom subject matter. Similarly the classroom teacher is not expected to be a technology hardware/software expert, but to use technology as a effective tool for curricular instruction. The model provides a viable context and philosophy for teacher technology use.

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION MODEL FOR TEACHERS

Paper Excerpt

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