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SPH launches two new education portals to bring learning into the future

Singapore, Aug 28, 2017 - Singapore Press Holdings today announced the launch of two new education products, under its new SPH Education initiative. These two portals feature digitised multimedia (including from newspapers, radio, animation, and interactive broadcasting), that can be used both in the classroom as well as by individuals at home for learning.

From the Chinese Media Group’s education team comes ZBSchools.sg, an adaptive learning platform for students, and a quality resource for Chinese Language teachers. The highly personalised platform will give students an interactive and engaging means of learning Mandarin. Each student’s language abilities will be first assessed, so that the system can give them recommendations on suitable content. The practice questions accompanying these materials will also be matched to their ability. As they progress in their learning, they are continually assessed. The text-to-speech functions will also boost students’ oral learning.

For teachers, the system will give feedback on the performance of their students, even the difficulties that they face, so that they can track the learning of their students.

The Straits Times is releasing NewsEd, a brand-new way for young people to access and engage with the news, while learning English, values and 21st century competencies.


With NewsEd, news articles, photos, videos and more can be transformed into bite-sized learning activities within minutes. Some articles are also pre-loaded with activities, designed by teaching specialists from the ST Schools department, that teachers can deploy or adapt for their students. Students can respond to these activities using text, video, photos, using their personal devices such as cellphones or via desktops.

Articles on the dynamic platform, which is updated regularly, are categorised by learning topic, 21st century competencies, or values, so that teachers can easily source for appropriate pieces.

Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group as well as Editor of The Straits Times, said: "From North Korea to Donald Trump, the war on diabetes or the coming presidential election, the news of the day offers many interesting stories with lessons to be drawn on how these events are shaped and will shape our lives. There is no better way to generate discussion, arouse a natural curiosity and foster values by discussing the events going on all around you.

    

“This is where NewsEd comes in, by drawing on content from The Straits Times and its sister papers, to help educators shape interesting and lively programmes to engage their young charges.”


Head of SPH’s Chinese Media Group, Ms Lee Huay Leng, said: “The levels of proficiency of the Mother tongue language amongst students in Singapore are varied, as the learning environment and methods of learning differ from student to student. Hence, the digital platform of ZB Schools focuses on using news and current affairs as the content base, so that students can appreciate Chinese as a living language that is interesting and practical and yet not difficult to learn.”


The two products were unveiled at the inaugural SPH Education Symposium at Suntec City today. Dr Janil Puthucheary, senior minister of state for education, as well as communications and information, and minister in charge of GovTech, was the Guest-of-Honour.


In his address, Dr Janil said that news today was increasingly available with very little effort, but this has created a flood of information, as well as disinformation.

 

“The paradox is, that as the effort required to engage youths has reduced, close to zero, the need for curation around this information has increased, perhaps exponentially, the need for the ability to make sense of the world. We need to develop a new skill in our education space of dealing with this information, in curating it adequately, for them to make sense of it, as they go from primary to secondary school.

 

“The type of resources that are being launched today are clearly important in helping our children access news, to help our children understand contemporary issues.”

 

Other speakers included Professor Looi Chee Kit from the National Institute of Education’s Office of Education Research, Learning Sciences & Technologies, as well as Associate Professor Tan Chee Lay, the acting deputy head of Asian Languages & Culture.


SPH also awarded the new SPH Innovative Educators Award to four teachers for having expertly made use of SPH’s news-in-education tools to enhance their pedagogical methods and hone language skills, life skills and values in their students.

The four winners for 2017 were:

 

  • Madam  Bek Su Ling, School of Science and Technology, Singapore

  • Madam Tan Wan Foon, Teck Whye Primary School

  • Miss Ho Min Yu Mavis, Pasir Ris Secondary School

  • Mr Wang Yao Chang Melvin, Rosyth School



The SPH Education Symposium 2017 was supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.


In the first phase, ZBSchools.sg will be rolled out for primary and secondary students to start. NewsEd is suitable for high-progressing primary schoolers, up to junior college or integrated programme students.


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

 

For more information, please contact:

David Tay (Mr)

Teaching specialist

The Straits Times (Schools)

Singapore Press Holdings Limited

DID: 6319 5203

Email: davidtay@sph.com.sg

Ooi Ching Ya

Assistant vice-president

Culture, Education and New Growth

Chinese Media Group

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

DID: 6319 1356

Email: cyooi@sph.com.sg

Deror Wong (Mr)

Assistant Manager

Corporate Communications & CSR

Singapore Press Holdings Limited

DID: 6319 1226

Email: derorw@sph.com.sg

 

ABOUT SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED

 
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.
 
Media 
The English/Malay/Tamil Media group comprises the print and digital operations of The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian and their respective student publications. It also includes subsidiaries Tamil Murasu Ltd, which publishes Tamil Murasu and tabla!; book publishing arm Straits Times Press; SPH Data Services, which licenses the use of the Straits Times Index in partnership with the Singapore Exchange and FTSE-Russell Ltd; financial data company ShareInvestor; the two English stations of SPH Radio - Kiss92 and ONE FM 91.3 and SPH Golf (including SPH Pacom Ltd). 
 
The Chinese Media group publishes three Chinese newspapers in print and digital format - Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News; four student weeklies - zbCOMMA, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Up Junior and Thumbs Up Little Junior, and ZBBZ Newsgazine. It also operates SPH Radio's Chinese radio station, UFM100.3, and Focus Publishing, which produces a range of books and magazines including U-Weekly.
 
SPH's other digital media initiatives include AsiaOne, Stomp, zaobao.sg and zaobao.com.
 
On an average day, 2.5 million* individuals or 59 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications in print copies or one of our digital platforms. 
(* Nielsen Media Index 2016, Monday-Sunday, read any SPH newspapers in print or digital format)
 
SPH Magazines, SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles and has various online sites, likehardwarezone.com,herworldplus.com and luxuryinsider.com in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. It has also invested in digital newsstand Magzter.
 
SPH also provides out-of-home (OOH) advertising options where it manages large format digital screens and static billboards at key locations in the Central Business District, Orchard Road, City Fringe as well as major heartland hubs.
 
SPH Buzz is a modern retail convenience chain with a network of stores around the island.
 
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today.
 
Properties
SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established to invest in a portfolio of income-producing real estate primarily for retail purposes. SPH REIT comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road and The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall in the centre of Clementi town.
 
The Seletar Mall, located in Sengkang, is SPH's latest retail development. This property is a potential asset to be injected into SPH REIT. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.
 
Other Businesses
 
Online Classifieds
SPH’s online classifieds include the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs, FastJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds,Trezo), sgCarMart and StreetSine.
 
SPH's regional joint venture online classifieds business has a number of leading online classifieds sites in the region.
 
Events and Exhibitions
Sphere Exhibits, Sphere Conferences, Exhibits Inc and Bizlink Exhibition Services organise innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. 
 
Healthcare
SPH owns Orange Valley which operates nursing homes. 
 
Education
SPH has a 22 per cent stake in preschool and enrichment provider MindChamps.
 
For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg