Digital learning at schools has become more popular and essential. Technology can be incredibly helpful for both teaching and learning. It is used to support learning in academics, activities, outdoor expeditions and school projects. We take a look at how some of Singapore’s international schools carry out learning using technology and tech tools, and how students benefit.
UWCSEA uses technology to enhance student learning in academics, activities, outdoor education, personal and social education, and service. The College provides appropriate devices for students from K1 to Grade 12, and classroom learning is supported by the school’s online learning platform. Students use this platform to access and submit their homework, research and collaborate in groups, review and revise, and share evidence of their understanding with their teachers. Lesson content is provided in a student-centred way – information is provided in different formats to suit their needs and is accessible at all times. Students can even create “eportfolios” at UWCSEA. These are developed over time to reflect a student’s growth, and eventually used to support applications for internships, work experience and university.
Digital tools to enhance learning are identified and integrated by the school’s Digital Literacy Coaches. At the same time, online safety and behaviour are covered by parts of the Personal and Social Education programme. Students learn effective time and personal management strategies in the face of digital distractions. During this school year, the UWCSEA East-Dover Virtual Reality Portal was developed to allow students and teachers to connect across both campuses. Students are able to enter virtual worlds together, and move in a room or open space in much the same way as they would at a conference. This shared interactive experience can be expanded well beyond UWCSEA and Singapore.
Children are exposed to various types of technology daily at Kinderland, starting with checking in to school by using QR codes. In the classroom, technology is used to complement and enhance children’s learning and facilitate research for projects. At the Computer Centre for the school’s Literacy through IT (LIT) programme, children develop writing and reading skills by following letter-sound association from computer-based instructions. This is reinforced at the LIT Work Journal Centre and Listening Library Centre where children operate CD players to listen to narrations and audio storybooks that reinforce reading rules. In the Typing Centre, they use iPads and book writing apps to apply letter sound and word formation skills when writing their stories.
During Coding classes, children use different tech devices to create programme sequences that move robots through pathways and around obstacles. In STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading & wRiting, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) projects, they use computers and iPads for online research. They also use the iPad to take photos and videos to document their learning. They also have access to various tools such as Dash Robot, Robot Mouse, Botley, Code-a-pillar and Bee Bot technology to complete their projects.
Children benefit from the engagement and active involvement of their own learning using technology. For instance, using an iPad for creative writing or photography and videography documentation allows for the integration of learning from another vantage point. At Kinderland, children use tech tools to consolidate their learning through lively narrations. The school says that this type of learning using technology is powerful as it provides insight to a child’s understanding and competencies.
15 centres islandwide
Stamford American International School
At Stamford, student learning is redesigned for the digital world to inspire, create, and personalise. The school matches students with technology that stimulates their interest. For instance, at Kindergarten level, they go on fun virtual reality expeditions. In Grade 3, they code games on their iPads using Hopscotch to showcase their mathematical skills. Grade 8 students create paper roller-coasters at the school’s purpose-built Innovation Center, video-record marbles moving through them and analyse the forces and physics at work. And, over at the High School, art students use computational thinking to design printable patterns that can be used to create their own masks.
The school allows students to explore design thinking, coding, robotics, digital art, video and more through co-curricular activities, integrated lessons and dedicated courses for older students. The use of iPads, MacBooks, robotics, video equipment and innovative spaces allow for new kinds of learning using technology. Teachers are able to better understand student data and students have multiple opportunities to learn and engage with content. Digital learning allows students to grapple with authentic and real-world issues in their research, and create original and creative works for authentic audiences. The school builds digital foundations and skills, and inspires students to use them uniquely.
St. Joseph’s Institution International
At SJI International, technology plays an important role in supporting and extending learning inside and outside of the classroom. The school’s Technology Coaches work alongside teaching teams to help plan and deliver personalised learning experiences across a range of curriculum areas. The school is also a 1-2-1 Chromebook school from Grade 1 to 6. What’s more, teachers can book iPads to enhance learning.
In the Early Years, iPads and Chromebooks introduce young learners to technology. Elementary School children learn how to use G Suite for Education tools and apps, allowing them to be curious, creative and collaborative communicators of their learning. At the High School, the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning is fundamental to SJII’s decision to become a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school. The school has also invested in a range of subject-specific hardware and software. These include an art design technology suite and media centre at the high school, and music rooms and recording studios in the main building. In the elementary school, students can look forward to digital music-making, application design, game creation, 3D movie making, 3D printing, video production, coding, animation, and virtual and augmented reality.
Australian International School
AIS understands that the embracing of technology across all of its programmes can transform how students learn. This change in approach emphasises the development of generalisable and transferable skills that students can build upon from childhood to career. The school believes that the focus on skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration and problem-solving will last a lifetime. At the Elementary School, for instance, you’ll regularly see students using iPads to learn graphic design, edit videos and create animations. This also helps to develop creativity and communication skills. Over at the Secondary School, students can be seen using collaborative software to conduct research in history or write custom computer code to programme science equipment.
This is one of Singapore’s international schools that sees the positive potential of technology but also knows that responsible use and healthy technology habits are important. In 2021, AIS is expanding its digital citizenship programme from Prep to Year 12. This enables students to participate in technology lessons throughout the year. The school will also be sending home family activities and running regular parent workshops. This allows them to maintain an active partnership and open communication with students and parents about technology use.
Dulwich College (Singapore)
Creative thinking drives the use of educational technology at Dulwich. The school’s vision is to develop well-rounded and balanced students who are proficient in both online and offline environments. Students build on a core foundation of academic skills, including being able to write by hand. These are enhanced with technology; by also building a core foundation of digital literacy skills, students develop the agility required to take advantage of emerging new technologies.
The strategic and purposeful use of portable devices within the classroom at Dulwich allows children to independently showcase their learning in different ways, using a range of media, applications, augmented reality and pen-enabled technology. In Kindergarten and Junior School, children have access to a wide range of school-owned devices and applications. As the students grow in independence and proficiency and transition into Senior School, they bring their own devices. In time, students become confident, competent and responsible digital citizens who can use technology to enhance their own learning, their own lives and the lives of others.
Check out our guide to the best international schools in Singapore as well as reviews of preschools and kindergartens in Singapore.
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