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Google apps to facilitate learning in Thai university

04 July 2012

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Khon Kaen University (KKU), Thailand recently became the first university in Thailand and in Southeast Asia to roll out the Google App for Education to facilitate learning, with the collaboration of teachers and university staff.

200 building throughout 8.96 million square meter of the KKU area are now connected with wireless internet of 60 access points, allowing students to do online learning and information searching anywhere and anytime, said KKU President Associate Prof Dr Kittichai Triratanasirichai.

“Our mission is to be an international university and be a hub in the northeast for students from overseas. The university has been focusing on IT investment as a vital tool to support education for several years,” he added.

With 2,000 subjects available in the KKU Learning Management System (LMS), students can access these electronic learning materials via the internet connection, both wired and wireless.

“KKU wants to be an international university and ICT is an important tool to assist us in achieving the goal. Studying at KKU, student learning will be facilitated by the ICT infrastructure along with the ICT knowledge that is a must and required skill for graduation students,” said Dr Tiratanasirichai.

KKU is located 449 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, with 12,000 staff and hospitals which includes 2,000 teachers and 10,000 staff, and 43,000 students.

“All will be encouraged to use Google Apps in the next three months. Now, around 10,000 users are using Google Apps,” said KKU’s vice president of academic and IT, assistant Prof Denpong Soodphakdee.

He added that KUU’s e-learning system is enabled by the Moodle system, a free Web-based learning management system that allows educators to create effective online learning sites. Google Apps will be integrated into the university’s LMS.

Apart from e-learning benefit, the students will be able to arrange their learning plan, such as planning their study time table, checking the subjects, and dates of examinations throughout the semester.

KKU will not only save time, but it will also save the cost of service deployment to the staff. “The cost of IT investment is low but there is more efficiency in performing routine tasks and teaching services. In the future, KKU can provide partial distant-learning for graduation students,” said Soodphakdee.

Kanda Runapongsa Saikaew, associate director of the Computer Centre and lecturer at the Department of Computer Engineering, said that the KKU faculty has adopted Google Apps for three years, before it encouraged its faculty and all students, teachers, and staff to use Google App.

She said the application will help facilitate learning between students, especially senior students who have to collaborate and work in groups using Google Apps like Gmail, Google Site, Hangout, and Google Plus, to enable them to work better.

Source : FutureGov

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