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Technology in classrooms

Education Minister Appeals to Singapore Teachers on the Proper Use of ICT

As technology finds its way into quality learning in Singapore, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat appeals to teachers to use technology in an effective and meaningful way.

Introduction of technology into classrooms encouraged by education minister

Introduction of technology into classrooms encouraged by education minister

On his announcement on Facebook over the weekend, he confirmed that an integrated online learning portal will be released by 2016. This will be used for all the primary and secondary school students in the country. The minister also added, “This is a most invigorating prospects, but I want to say, it is not just about using technology more. Ultimately it is about how we use technology to bring out the heart of education.”

Along with his appeal, the education minister has also praised Christopher Chee from Christchurch Secondary School for his excellent work on using flipped classrooms to give students a unique learning experience and expose them to a more challenging and interactive class environment.

What is a Flipped Classroom?

It is actually the inverse of what happens in a traditional classroom. In a flipped classroom, students watch lectures and read lessons at home at their own convenience. Communication with their classmates and teacher is made online. Then the concept application and engagement takes place in the classroom the following day.

To know more about Flipped Classroom – CLICK HERE.

Mr Chee recalled that his first implementation of flipped classroom was a great experience. He was motivated to try it as he saw the excellent outcome of the strategy as applied at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore.

He invested time to closely study the process and got in touch with the professors of the graduate school. Right after his research, he decided to implement flipped classroom into his own class. He instructed the class to watch an online video on math concepts at home and then class time was spent doing labs or interactive activities to illustrate concepts. His hardwork was paid off when he saw the great outcome from the way his students interact and devote time to class.

Mr. Heng was happy for Chee’s confidence to pursue the flipped classroom. He then encouraged teachers to innovate and find tactics to provide better learning strategies. He was impressed by Chee’s willingness to try the possibilities to bring in the unique model into the school. As he added, “Yes technology matters but teachers matter most of all”.

Mr. Heng believes that technological advances are there to help the teachers do a better job in teaching and reaching to students. He also stressed that if the teachers will continue to use technology with courage, he will be more excited to see great learning opportunities that will come for Singapore students.

He is aware that several teachers are also doing their best to try new teaching techniques and he is happy to hear their stories of innovations and experiences.

Different Technologies and Tools Used in Classrooms

Here are some of the best technologies that are helpful for teachers interaction and student’s learning.

1. Edudemic on their post about “50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About” pointed out social learning to be a vital part of lesson in class. They endorse Edmodo, Grockit, EduBlogs, Skype, Wikispaces, Pinterest, Schoology, Quora, Ning, OpenStudy and ePals to teachers to effortlessly connect to their students and students to keep up with communication and learning without difficulty. The mentioned tools according to Edudemic uses the power of social media to help students learn and teachers connect.

2. Katherine Flanagan, a veteran teacher expresses her statement on the technology available on her classroom. As she said, “This classroom has one teacher computer, one student computer, one printer and a Smart Board. These machines help my students learn better and faster.”

3. Michigan State University also released a set of excellent technology equipments that should be available to every classroom. On their list are technology carts, touch panel control system, laptops and computers, auxiliary control panel and projectors.

4. Great tools for lesson planning are also listed in Edudemic portal with Planboard, Timetoast, Capzles, Prezi, Wordie and QR Codes to be among their best endorsements for teachers to pull out together excellent lessons and project designs.

These technologies and tools are designed to help learning and interaction better and fun. If used well, they will surely provide the best benefits over the years to come.

Pros and Cons of Technology

The population of students engaged in technology is truly unimaginable. There are millions of them around the world and you see them slowly getting too attached to technology as it becomes part of their lives. Before their real number overwhelms you, check out this list of pros and cons of technology to students.

1. Advantages

a. Technology gives peace of mind. Phones can give parents peace of mind as they can easily contact their students while at school. During emergency, parents are confident that their child is just a dial away to reach.

b. It gives instant answer. Curious students can have all their questions answered through the use of the computer and internet.  All they have to do is access the laptop or computer, type in their questions and answers will pop up in a split second.

c. It provides wider access to information. Students can learn anything they want, download and upload important files, discover their interest and many more.  They can get to any kind of options available that help them learn and upgrade their skills.

2. Disadvantages

a. May be a source of inappropriate materials. Students using the internet that are not properly monitored can get to inappropriate links that contain violation, offensive languages and all other harmful materials.

b. May also promote disconnection to environment and people. Digital devices such as tablets, phones, and laptops often pull away students from engagement in face-to-face conversations. Too much time with gadgets can also bring distraction to the concentration of students on their studies.

c. May invite students to cheat. Students can produce excellent grades without doing too much effort simply because they rely on the solutions offered on the internet. They can simply use the information on the web to answer their assignment or take a photo of their homework and pass it on to others through email or SMS with minimal chances of getting caught.

 

 

 

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