Using ICT and Maps in promoting STEM Education for the public high school in Cambodia

The project Cambodian Civil Society Strengthening (CCSS), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the East-West Management Institute (EWMI), has been implemented by Open Development Cambodia (ODC) in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (DIT). The objective of this collaboration is to promote the use of ICT tools and to build the capacity of teachers and students in public secondary schools in the field Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

In such context, map reading was placed at the core of the implementation of the CCSS project. The project enhanced the skills of high school teachers by providing capacity building in using Google Maps effectively, while encouraging further use throughout the education system. Learn more about the collaboration, please click here.

ODC went on to produce a map reading book, available in both printed and digital formats, to be freely distributed to public schools. To support that, the team conducted a series of training of trainers programs targeting public school educators, in order to enhance the capacity of trainers in delivering the message and sharing the knowledge effectively. Starting in 2017, the project implementation lasted three years and it was recently concluded after successfully implementing the different project activities, including a number of meetings, workshops and training courses in several provinces.

Assessment workshop

On 30 October 2018, ODC and DIT hosted a meeting to define a primary evaluation to produce a training module on map reading and data collection. Resulting from this half-day meeting, ODC and DIT outlined the criteria of the questionnaire for the pre-assessment of the module development, identified the most suitable dates, and selected the sample of schools to run the pre-assessment among high school teachers and students.

The Assessment Workshop on the Knowledge of Map Reading and Using was conducted on 4–5 March 2019 at Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap province. The workshop aimed to understand the level at which the targeted teachers were able to use and comprehend maps and ICT. At the same time, it sought to identify the teaching and learning conditions as well as the existing availability of material and equipment needed for map reading lessons at their respective high schools. Such information allowed the technical working group to gather essential facts to inform the development of the training curriculum.

Five representatives from ODC and five representatives from DIT were involved in the organization and facilitation of the workshop. Six school principals and 18 teachers were invited to the workshop to provide their inputs for the development of the module. The six high schools that were invited, including the new generation schools, were the following: Preah Sisowath (Phnom Penh), Peam Chikorng (Kampong Cham Province), Preah Reach Bochneykech (Steung Treng Province), Net Yang (Battambang Province), Chea Sim Takeo (Takeo Province) and Chea Sim Tbeng Mean Chey (Preah Vihear Province). Eight women participated in the assessment workshop.

Pilot training

Based on the insights gathered at the assessment workshop, the ODC and DIT teams developed a draft training curriculum on map reading and using. On 24, 25 and 26 June 2019, ODC and DIT carried out a Pilot Training on Map Reading and Using in Kampong Cham Province. The purpose was to gather further inputs from teachers on curriculum issues and gather suggestions on other training materials that will be used to complement the curriculum. Four representatives from ODC and seven DIT members were involved in the organization and facilitation of the workshop. Six school principals and 19 teachers were invited, 11 of whom were women. The high schools invited were: Preah Sisowath New General School in Phnom Penh, Peam Chikorng in Kampong Cham, Preah Reach Bochneykech in Steung Treng, Net Yang in Battambang, Chea Sim Takeo in Takeo and Chea Sim Tbeng Mean Chey in Preah Vihear.

Training of Trainers (ToT) on Map Reading and Using

On 5 and 6 August 2019, ODC and DIT successfully carried out a ToT on Map Reading and Using in Kampong Chhnang Province. 26 teachers (three of whom were women) from different 13 high schools across 11 cities and provinces in Cambodia participated in the ToT. The 13 high schools included:  Sisowath New Generation School (Phnom Penh), Peam Chikorng (Kampong Cham Province), Preah Reach Bochneykech (Steung Treng Province), Cheasim Takeo (Takeo Province), Cheasim Tbeng Mean Chey (Preah Vihear Province), Net Yang (Battambang Province), Svay Rieng (Svay Rieng Province), Preah Ang Doung (Prey Veng Province), Hun Sen Kampong Popil (Prey Veng Province), Hun Sen Balang (Kampong Thom Province), Kampong Thmar (Kompong Thom Province), Hun Sen Chhouk (Kampot Province), Preah Reach Samphea (Kampot Province), Prek Leap (Phnom Penh), Prek Anh Channh (Kandal Province), Hun Sen Kampong Cham (Kampong Cham Province).

As part of the training course, the project aimed to equip participants with the ability to use Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Street View. All of these consist of intuitive and useful tools that can be used to find and share locations with other users.

ODC and DIT have worked intensively on producing the first official map reading book in Khmer language available for general education, especially for secondary and high school students. The book is comprised of seventeen chapters introducing a wide range of knowledge, ranging from the fundamentals of map reading to the employability of technology tools, such as Google Maps and others.

Map Reading and Using Textbook

In October 2020, the Map Use and Reading Textbook was finalized and acknowledged by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to publish and use in secondary school. On 12-13 Oct 2020, ODC in collaboration with the DIT, has organized a Training of Trainer on Map Reading and Using, in Siem Reap province. This training aims to expand high school teachers’ capacity in reading and using digital maps using smartphones or computers. The essential training was willingly participated by 30 high school teachers; which 10 percent of the trainees is female teachers.

On top of that, ODC and DIT also produced a series of videos to further support map reading lessons. The videos illustrate a realistic use of how we can use Google Maps in our day-to-day life; starting from A-Z, create and register an account, search and find your desired locations, pin and set for a new location, save and bookmark for future uses, live-tracking and direction, and sharing maps on both PC and phone.

ODC and DIT have also made all of these materials available online to use for free. You can learn more about map reading book on our platform Data Hub, and map reading videos on both ODC and DIT YouTube channels​as the following links:

ODC also developed the Terms of Reference for the ODC and DIT technical working group so that we are aware of the people involved in the project and their respective responsibilities. We also looked at how we can help DIT develop standardized editorial guidelines for their Open Education Resources (OER) Platform. Regarding the editorial guidelines, DIT shared some materials including a slide presentation on the introduction to social media and its effective use 

ICT4E Network Meeting

The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) cooperated with ODC and the ICT for Development Network Cambodia (ICT4D) to hold quarterly meetings with NGOs, civil society and private organizations/companies currently working in the field of ICT in the education sector in Cambodia. These ICT4E meetings aim to update the status of ICT use in education, strengthen collaboration among relevant stakeholders, share practical experience in project implementation and enable opportunities for further cooperation.