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ICT Conference Paper Submission

By ssnal88 Dec 05, 2014 4121 Words
Transition of Malaysia towards Knowledge Society by 2020: Ethical Consideration on the Use of Electronic Gadget in Malaysian Schools Nalni Devi Subramainam1, Amizah Mohd Taffy Gan2, Devakumaran Rajamohan3 1,2,3 Master in Engineering Business Management

Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia International Campus
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,, 3

Due to demands to full fill necessity of K-economy towards Vision 2020, Malaysia is now on the race to create more Information Technology (IT) literate. Education sector has been targeted to be an introduction sector to implement Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to advance learning and teaching processes. As such, Government of Malaysia has been working on few strategies to introduce electronic gadget applications in Malaysian schools to improve quality of education inclusively. In this study, we have conducted a survey to study the needs and acceptability of electronic gadgets such as mobile phones in schools, then analysed outcome of survey accordingly. The result of the survey shows level of acceptance on the use of electronic gadget in schools and ethical consideration has been considered to decide best decision to overcome its negative impacts. Based on ethical consideration, the use of electronic gadgets in schools should be permitted as it brings more valuable benefits towards nation and society well-being. Malaysian to maintain high level of ethics and morality act to be able to use and handle knowledge well

Keywords: IT gadgets, Mobile phone, Information and Communication Technology, Malaysia Schools 1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 ICT as enabler tools towards K-economy status in Malaysia Moving towards Vision 2020, Malaysia needs to ensure that it remains as a country with dynamic, productive and fast growing economic to be on par with other leading region in the world. Therefore, a strategic initiative has been made in year 2002 by Government of Malaysia (GoM) to develop knowledge-based economy (K-economy) [1, 2]. The K-economy will provide the foundation to sustain rapid growth of Malaysia’s economy while enhancing international competitiveness by improving nation capability to innovate and adapt indigenous technology; including design, develop and market new products [2]. Most importantly, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are pillars for the success of K-economy. As Internet is the key diver of ICT tools, users need to be equipped with disseminating knowledge to be able to develop e-based activities as new approaches to do things toward Vision 2020. Thus, strategically GoM has launched National IT Agenda (NITA) and the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) as the foundation of the Strategic Framework for Bridging the Digital Divide to provide and facilitate essential infrastructure requirements for enable Internet access within nation [1, 2]. GoM also formed Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), an organisation responsible to promote utilisation of resources using ICT as enabler tools [1]. Briefly these efforts explain the transformation efforts of Malaysian society through technological advancement to become information-rich society.

1.2 ICT Progress in Malaysian Education
Education has become as a powerful tool to promote economic and social development. Therefore incorporating ICT into education is one way to ensure equitable development through universal and society which are important player to create, innovate, generate and exploit superior knowledge [1]. Few strategies and exploitation in existing education development framework have been done to value added ICT tools. ICT gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets and personal computer makes learning more interesting, encouraging, inspiring and significant to the children, the early adapters of ICT gadgets. As such, GoM has been working thoroughly through few initiatives such as SMART school, Computer Literacy, Computers in Education, Electronic Book Program and Universal Services Project to ensure proper infrastructure and delivery of ICT-based knowledge up until rural schools and community to bridge the digital divide gap in Malaysia [3]. The use of ICT gadgets as for teaching and learning material accommodate various needs and capabilities, resulting more independent children who are able to manage their own learning at quicker phase.

1.3 Role and Importance of ICT in Education
There are various advantages of using IT gadgets and mobile phone in Malaysian schools and we have identified it as eLearning process, where it uses electronic media such as personal computer, smart phones and other information technology (IT) gadgets as communication tools in education. 1.3.1 Increased Access to Education through ICT

By having IT gadgets such as smart phone and personal IT gadgets, teachers can plan their lesson along with various resources available such as YouTube, Interactive CD ROM, visual concept, and 3D view. Thus, this exerts impact on the outcome of the learning through eLearning as it represents continuation of improvement and ability to accommodate different teaching styles, while increase chances for student success [8]. Besides that, IT gadgets in school also allows students to be independent due to availability of information instantly and students can access to the most up-dated and relevant data in shorter time. Thus encourage students to work collaboratively to find information for projects or assignment, thus promoting spirit of team work by sharing of knowledge and skills among students. Besides quality information, student also capable to download and share teaching material via their smart mobile phones anywhere at any time and save the need of printed material for learning purposes. Additionally, Marwan (2013) said that mobile phones and IT gadgets also allows effective and efficient completion of test, assignment, examinations and quizzes that enable quick, fast, and real-time scores while promoting accurate and precise scoring[8]. 1.3.2 Improves Quality of Education through ICT

By using IT gadgets at school, it promotes and broaden the quality and flexibility of teaching material while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of education system. Here, rather than depending on printed material such as textbooks and hand-outs, teacher are capable to update learning material according to latest information and made it available to students within short period of time in effective manner using emails. Furthermore, having IT gadgets for teaching keeps student’s interest high while boosting their enthusiasm for learning [8]. With technology, students have the option of learning visually, textually, through auditory means or even with a hands-on approach, manipulating physical objects instead of simply watching or reading about them.

1.4 Challenges imposed by use of mobile phones and other IT gadgets in schools On the other hand, Internet as the key driver of ICT tools for electronic gadgets does impose disadvantages to students. Main challenges are students become victims of cybercrime and scams, less real life communication as students are too much addicted to the use of electronic gadgets, infringement of information privacy rights while exposing themselves for unknown data mining, examination cheating and merely as distraction material during school hours. 1.4.1 Cyber Crime and Scams

Mobile phones and IT gadgets also allows students to communicate with world without limitation including unknowns from other part of the world. Cyberbullying is simply means the use of mobile phones and IT gadgets to cause psychological and emotional disturbances [7]. Examples of cyberbullying is to make treats, provocation, harassment, racial arguments, and virus. Here, students are being mentally abused by virtual world that affecting students. Besides that, students also becoming popular group for online scam activities because they are easily convinced by online advertisement and virtue-world human [7]. Other than becoming victim of online activities, students also exposed to inappropriate images and information such as pornographic from pop-up advertisement and notices. 1.4.2 Hinder Relationship and Health

Mobile phones and IT gadgets are addictive and many students are losing their normal physical activities to static position with mobile phones and gadgets as it provides everything needed for communication with outside world. Students becoming self-content leads to real-communication difficulties [5]. Besides, studies also said that the more time students spend time on mobile phone, the more disagreement happens between them and others like parents and even teachers at school. Studies also mentioned that addiction or degree of attachment towards the mobile phone and electronic gadgets would cause students to experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression or even lack of sleep, which would interfere with their overall psychological functioning [4]. 1.4.3 Privacy Rights

Mobile phones and IT gadgets said to be very important as it allows information on fingertips, but it also impose disadvantages to certain extend. Students might be exposed to open web environment where companies can do information pull without their notifications. Other than this, by having so many information available within them, students also may involve with plagiarism to complete task given in the school, thus reducing the quality and knowledge level of the students. 1.4.4 Cheating

Smart mobile phones are equipped with various specifications and applications that allows room for cheating during examination in school. Pictures and messages or even a captured picture can be send out to someone to help them in the examination. This activity shift the overall benefits of mobile phones in school.

1.4.5 Distraction
A study also shown that school children are more prone to get addicted with games than study time including homework and reading time. Other than games, most of the online activities that are possible with mobile phones or IT gadgets such as online activities, videos, music, and chatting are addictive and can levy distraction from whole concept of having mobile phones for education purposes. Thus this activity can interrupt normal teaching environment in the school as students more interested on texting or playing games rather than focusing during lecture session.

2.1 Sample
In this analysis paper, we have decided to conduct analysis based on survey questionnaires send to 35 peoples including students, parents and public all around Malaysia. The survey question were based on the needs of having electronic gadgets such as mobile phones in schools and negative outcome may encounter due to mobile phones. 2.2 Data Collection

The survey questionnaire collected through emails and analysed. Data collected from the survey were keyed into Microsoft Excel for further analysis and discussion. Survey form used as questionnaire is attached as Annex 1.

The survey were completed by 35 people from secondary schools, work place and parents in Malaysia. Figure 1 shows respondent response to every question asked on the use of electronic gadget such as mobile phones in school.

Figure 1: Questionnaire Responses
The data shows that 80% of the respondent doesn’t have kids in school with gadgets such as mobile phones. While asked on probability they allow and prefer electronic gadgets during school hours, 46% of respondent doesn’t prefer it while 36% of respondent will allow the use of electronic gadgets during school hours. Responding to question that gadgets such as mobile phones as distraction material, 74% said it causes distraction during lesson teaching hours while 17% disagree that mobile phones causing distraction. The question then related to the needs of student to text their friends during class hours, where 83% respondent totally disagree which tally similarly with respondent respond on previous question that gadgets such as mobile phones causes distraction in class. Due to availability of Internet access in most of school, 57% of respondent mentioned that gadgets should not be used as medium to answers question in the class or exams, while 23% are agreed to use mobile phones to answer questions. Respondent also were asked on their view if they will allow children to access Internet via electronic gadgets at school, 51% of them answered yes they will due to its benefits while 37% are not agreeing with Internet use via electronic gadget in school. Then we asked on their response if respondent will allow kids to access Internet while exposing to inappropriate content, as such now only 20% said yes while 74% of respondent will not allow their kids to access Internet via mobile phones due to this drawback. And final question related to the ease of communication between students and parents, especially when students are out of school area for sports or field trip, here 51% of them said it is important for students to have mobile phones while 26% said it is not relevant and 23% of respondent probably allows depending on situation.

The survey analysis showed that the use of electronic gadgets in the schools is relatively depends on its applicability. Majority of respondent doesn’t agree with the use of electronic gadgets such as mobile phones in schools due to its drawback. As we can see from the results, majority of respondent (>70%) agreed mobile phones as distraction material in the classes because students will be fascinated by new technology, applications and will be busy exploring it rather than focusing on teaching sessions. Also, due to limitation on security filter and blocking, majority of respondent are not agreeing with the use of gadgets to access Internet as student are being exposed unintentionally to inappropriate material such as pornography. Thus, from overall results from this survey, we can conclude that respondents does not prefer the use of mobile phones in schools due to distraction and security reasons. Therefore, we have decided to conduct ethical analysis based on 5-steps analysis method to conclude best practise to overcome drawbacks impose by the use of electronic gadgets in schools.

i. Step 1: Identify and clearly describe the facts

a) The use of electronic gadgets in schools bring disadvantages to student. These including affecting student’s studies performance while leading to low success rate and create negative impact on student’s moral values. b) Students able to cheat in test and examination by having mobile phone and access to Internet. c) Students are exposed to cybercrime such as sexual harassment, cheating, scams, virus, hackers etc. because they easily cheated by virtual world community and becoming victim of online scams.

ii. Step 2 : Define the conflict or dilemma and identify the higher order values involved

a) Conflicts
Government and Education Ministry of Malaysia created policies and working towards implementation of ICT facilities in school to target ICT literate moving towards Vision 2020. But, having cutting-edge technologies on hand, students are being exposed to dark side of it which upsetting their performance in school. The disadvantages of electronic gadgets offset its advantages, therefore receive objection from parents and public for ICT implementation in schools.

b) Higher order Values
Virtue - Low because students and provider (government) are not benefiting from electronic gadgets use in schools. Common Good - Low because distraction, cheating and victim of cybercrime affecting student’s performance in school. Utilitarian - Low because the objective of ICT implementation is not achieved, it created more negative impact to students. Fairness - Low because the technology is not being manipulated to counter benefit providers.

iii. Step 3 : Identify the stakeholders

Affected (Yes/No)
Ministry of Education
Because they allow, provide and implement ICT tools at schools. Students
Because they affected by negative impact of the use of electronic gadgets. Parents
Because children are failing, thus not trusting capability of ICT to improve education and against its implementation in schools. Virtual Community
Because they use students as victims

iv. Step 4 : Identify the decision that you can reasonably take

Decisions need to be taken to solve two issues here that lead to disagreement of mobile phones usage in schools, first electronic gadgets as distraction material during lesson hours and secondly the effects of limited security and blocking settings on electronic gadgets such as mobile phones to filter inappropriate content from World Web Website. Based on utilitarianism theory, which says right action needs to be taken to produce greatest good, we have decided that the use of electronic gadgets in schools is ethically right and should be allowed despite of it as distraction medium. This is because electronic gadget provides valuable improvement in education sectors and creating more knowledgeable and out-performing students. Besides, judgements on its consequences to the society and economic are greater than little negative impacts on students which can be controlled by involved parties. Basically, teachers play major role over the control of electronic gadgets use in schools to avoid repeated distractions and interruption during lesson hours. Proper communication and advice on the use of electronic gadgets in schools while respecting students’ rights and autonomy on electronic gadgets can make them realise the importance of focusing in classroom [9]. To certain extend, creating classroom policy is good as well to avoid misuse of electronic gadgets for non-educational purposes during class hours. Besides that, teachers also should create creative learning environment as in group or problem-based learning method, so that only limited amount of mobiles phones needed for the team work [9]. This also will encourage students to share information gained from Internet to their respective mates, not on the device. On the other hand, parents also need to provide guidance on the positive use of electronic gadgets and Internet that produce creative energies to be utilised in a healthy and constructive manner overall. Referring to second issues of exposure to inappropriate content via Internet access, policy makers and security bodies such as CyberSecurity should ensure those inappropriate material are automatically deleted by software or application once detected. Basically, through Kantianism theory, we agreed that the use of electronic gadgets as mobiles phones should allowed in controlled manner to increase student’s enthusiasm and interest to explore more on the subjects while increasing success rate.

On the other hand based on Kantianism theory, Ministry of Education sees electronic gadgets as a means, not an end itself. Their objective and mission to implement ICT tools is to educate students and to benefit Malaysia in future, to full fill Vision 2020 towards K-economy. As such, the implementation and the use of electronic gadgets in schools should be encouraged and proper regulation and security check need to be imposed to avoid negative impact of the electronic gadgets to students. The Ministry and related agencies such as Cybersecurity, MSC etc. are confident that with proper implementation, electronic gadgets capable to revolutionise education this improving learning system in Malaysia. Few implementation efforts are include Education ICT Policy where ICT tools used as enabler tools to bridge digital divide, enhancement of ICT tools as education material and ICT itself as subjects in school to teach on appropriate use of Internet and Communication to students [10]. Besides that, government should continue and upgrade their effort on ICT implementation throughout nation to ensure every students are exposed to electronic gadgets and able to access to Internet access to benefit outmost [10]. Apart of improving application of electronic gadgets in school, government also should revise and review existing law and regulation to tighten security check overall in Internet access in Malaysia. This allows students to be in safer surfing environment avoiding inappropriate messages and images such as pornography. Besides that, Information Technology (IT) bodies and agencies needs to keep up and update security check with evolving technology to prevent scam and virus attack that can lead to serious problems involving students. The Guardian (2012) also mentioned that school policy use will be initial start up to control the use of electronic gadgets in schools. Cyber-bullying and disruptive behaviours does create concern but proper control and lesson on Internet use and mobile device , it will be more on learning than as destructive medium [7]. Basically, through Utilitarian theory, we agreed that the use of electronic gadgets as mobiles phones should be implemented by GoM in by imposing regulations as well to reduce cybercrime and other security issues. As we aware, students are most cherished members of the society yet vulnerable to harm, abuse, violence and exploitation. And on the other hand, Internet is the key driver of information, education and communication whilst exposing threats and risk to student safety, security and privacy. Thus, both need to be aligned strategically to ensure greater good to well-being.

v. Step 5 : Identify the potential consequences of the decision made

As described earlier at para 1.3.1 and 1.3.2, students and teacher will benefit the most in improving access to education while improving quality of education using electronic gadgets as enabler tools [8]. Thus, increasing ICT literate to achieve more knowledgeable society by 2020. Law enforcement on cyber security will reduce the number of cybercrime, allowing parents to be more confident on Internet access in schools as knowledge tools.

The misuse of electronic gadgets in schools can be overcome by imposing right law, effective technical security, administrative and advance precaution and preventive measurements to protect safety, security and privacy of the students. Successful country like Korea is taking mentioned measurements, as such being the most wired society in the world. They have security and technology that can automatically detects and delete any items of pornography and send signals to authority about uploader for further action. Implementation and enforcement in education field is not easy as being said and written. It will need to go through many challenges and obstacles, yet once it is on the smooth transition, Malaysia should be one of the country well-advance on using electronic gadgets in schools. The implementation of eLearning in Malaysia still at infant stage and need supports from involving stakeholders such as government, schools, parents, students as well as public to work together to achieve success. The use of electronic gadgets in schools enable utilisation of knowledge which are freely and readily available in positive manner to bring well-being and prosperity of nation rather focusing on destructive elements. Besides that, communication without boundary allows communication with individual in different parts of the world to provide opinion on subject matter. In a nutshell, it is important for Malaysian to maintain high level of ethics and morality act to be able to use and handle knowledge well. As such, Malaysia need to enhance and combine legislative, administrative, technical and social measures to ensure students are being protected while benefiting the most from ICT knowledge.


1. Chapter 5- Developing Malaysia into a Knowledge-Based Economy,

2. Knowledge-Based Economy and ICT,

3. Mahdi, R. A. (2009). White Paper. Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education for Development, New York.

4. Sheereen, N. Z, Rozumah, B. (2009). Mobile Phone use Amongst Students in a University in Malaysia: Its Correlates and Relationship to Psychological Health. European Journal of Scientific Research, vol.37 (No.2), pp.206-218.

5. Wong, F. M, Lean, M. L, Prasana, R. F. (2011). Mobile Phones-the Must-Have Gadget of the 21st Century’: Identifying Trends and Impact on Human Relationships. The Journal of the South East Asia Research Centre, vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 39-53.

6. Marwan, M. E, Madar, A. R, & Fuad, N. (2013). An Overview of Mobile Application in Learning For Student of Kolej Poly-Tech Mara (KPTM) by Using Mobile Phone. Journal of Asian Scientific Research, vol. 3(6), pp: 527-537.

7. Faryadi, Q. (2011). Cyber Bullying and Academic Performance. International Journal of Computational Engineering Research, Vol 1(Issue 1).

8. Valk, J. H, Rashid, A. T, Elder, L. (2010). Using Mobile Phones to Improve Educational Outcomes: An Analysis of Evidence from Asia. The International Review of Research in Opened and Distance Learning, Vol.11 (1).

9. Drury, E. Mobile phones in the classroom: teachers share their tips, The Guardian, posted 10 September 2012,

10. Chan, F. M. ICT in Malaysian Schools: Policy and Strategies. Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Malaysia. 2002.

Appendix 1

Thank you for taking this short survey. The results will provide valuable information about mobile phone and IT gadgets usage in school among Malaysian students. We will not disclose your identity, so please be honest as possible in your response. Taking this survey is voluntary. We appreciate your time and help.

Thank you




1. Do your children have mobile phone or IT gadgets?

2. Do you think students should be allowed to use their mobile phone or IT gadgets for educational purposes during school hours?  Yes

3. Do you think your student will be distracted by a mobile phone or IT gadgets being used during instructional time for instructional activities?  Yes

4. Do you think your student should be able to send text messages to friends during class time?  Yes

5. Mobile phones and IT gadgets can now be used to text an answer to a question. Would your child be allowed to participate in this manner? Yes

6. Many mobile phones now have access to the Internet. Would your child be allowed to access the Internet with his/her mobile phone? Yes

7. ACPS cannot filter Internet access through mobile phones like we do through computers. Your child might be exposed to inappropriate content through his/her mobile phone. Knowing this, would you allow your child to access the Internet through his/her mobile phone while at school? Yes


8. Do you think students should be able to use mobile phones during school events such as sporting events or field trips? Yes

9. What other thoughts do you have about your child and his/her classmates being able to use their mobile phones and IT gadgets during the school day

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