e-Learning in Singapore has its roots in the first generation type of technology-based training during the early 1970s. That was the period when mainframe computers were selectively used in banks, manufacturing plants, major government ministries like the Defence and the universities. Later when mini-computers became popular, computer-based training packages were developed on the minicomputers like the Honeywell and the PDP series of mini-computers. When the trend shifted towards the use of the desktop Apple II computers and the IBM-compatible PCs, teachers and trainers began to develop many computer-assisted learning packages using languages like the Pilot language and the Quest authoring system.
Next came the widespread use of video-based training during the early 1980s. The laser disc player became one of the more popular equipment to use for playing back video clips of training such as those for the front office hotel staff. Many multi-media based authoring software systems like the IconAuthor and the Toolbook were used widely to develop multimedia-based computer-based training. The laser discs then made way for the smaller and more convenient CD-ROMs.
Finally when the Web became very popular some time in 1994 and 1995, people started to use the Internet to browse the World Wide Web and create innovative applications. It was also during this time that people began to realise the need to track student's learning. E-learning content developers started to use e-learning standards like the AICC.
The polytechnics and universities
E-learning in Singapore took off in a big way when the Web became very popular some time in 1994 and 1995. The polytechnics and universities were the early adopters and champions of e-learning. However, e-learning in the schools in Singapore were given a boost especially with the 1st IT Master plan for Education which lasted from 1997 – 2002. Since then there is available the 2nd IT Master plan for Education, which will last from 2003