TRANSFORMING PUBLIC LIBRARIES INTO DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION CENTRE IN SUPPORTING LIFELONG BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAMMES FOR RURAL YOUTHS
Journal: Acta Informatica Malaysia (AIM)
Author: Alizah Ali, Tan Luck Lee, Ng Khar Thoe, Noraini Ismail, Siti Zarikh Sofiah Abu Bakar
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
This research aims to examine how commissioning, transforming and maximum utilization of the digital technology infrastructure in public libraries through blended mode digital education platform could support open and distance lifelong learning in upgrading knowledge, livelihood and human capital for the constant improvement and upgrading of knowledge/skills among village youths. Mixed-method research design was implemented including administration of survey, interviews and observation. The five dimensions of enhancing the innovative open and distance digital platform to support a blended-mode dissemination of knowledge were examined, including demographic, digital technology availability, Open Education Resources in public libraries, learning culture and corporate support. Findings show that there are significant differences among factors stated above which will upgrade the potential of village youths technical and livelihood knowledge to be relevant and competitive in building human capital. The use of a blended digital education platform in public libraries could be beneficial to village folks in upgrading their knowledge and skills. This model could be used as framework of practice for enhancement of life skills among developing nations as well as under-developed countries in line with SEAMEO’s Education Agenda to promote lifelong learning and 21st century skills. If such technology-enhanced skills development programme could be implemented from earlier stages in educational settings in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Malaysian Education Blueprint, more skilled workers could be produced to raise the performance in the workplace and contribute to the worldwide improvement of human capital. Legal and policy issues on digital facilities will be discussed as to advocate lawful and ethical application of this initiative. Future direction of studies to develop a comprehensive structural model will also be deliberated.