Current teaching methods go beyond traditional whiteboards and hardcopy textbooks, with digital learning becoming more popular and essential at international schools in Singapore. Technology can be incredibly helpful for both teaching and learning – we take a look at how schools make use of tech tools and how students benefit.
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. 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.
Canadian International School
Technology is integrated into the curriculum and classroom activities at Canadian International School across all grade levels and subjects. Primary school students use iPads, while Secondary use students MacBooks. Together with these devices, teachers make use of different age-appropriate digital resources during classes.
Using digital resources has reaped many benefits. Lessons are made more fun and engaging using special gadgets and tech. These include robots, augmented reality and green screens. Teachers can better personalise learning and cater to individual needs as they can efficiently collect student performance data; the school also uses helpful digital programmes that allow students to pace themselves and receive feedback and instructions as they learn. Another plus is that students have more opportunities to collaborate by using online tools such as Google Docs and Google Meet. They can get feedback from their peers and teachers, and teachers can provide feedback and supplementary information through online videos and websites. When learning from online platforms, students have more avenues to explore and pursue their passions from a young age. Digital learning at school also teaches them to use technology responsibly and to tackle issues such as bullying and privacy.
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.
The school 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.
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.