1 April 2011 - Students from Nan Chiau Primary School and Ngee Ann Secondary School can look forward to even more engaging and innovative learning experiences as their schools join the FutureSchools@Singapore programme.
Singapore, 1 April 2011 | For Immediate Release
Students from Nan Chiau Primary School and Ngee Ann Secondary School can look forward to even more engaging and innovative learning experiences as their schools join the FutureSchools@Singapore programme. This was announced by Mr S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, at the MOE ExCEL Fest on 1 April, held at Suntec Convention Centre.
Working closely with the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and institutes of higher learning, and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the FutureSchools are developing new information and communications technology (ICT) solutions to support innovative teaching approaches. By exploring and pushing the frontiers of ICT in education, they have shown how the experience of teaching and learning can be enriched through the meaningful use of technology.
Pathfinders and Forerunners of Innovation
Since 2008, six FutureSchools1 have embarked on various technology-enhanced innovations which have resulted in positive student outcomes. Initial findings2 from schools have reported higher levels of student engagement and deeper learning that support the development of 21st century competencies, such as self-directed and collaborative learning. The schools are now consolidating their innovations and experiences for the purpose of extending them to the wider education community.
The FutureSchools are active in sharing their experiences with other schools and have taken the initiative to organise various forums. Hwa Chong Institution held its first Education Conference with the theme of "Borderless Learning" in 2010, while Beacon Primary School has been organising an annual Research Conference since 2008. The FutureSchools have also hosted numerous learning journeys and visits by local schools and foreign delegates.
On 16 April 2011, Crescent Girls' School will launch its Crescent Academy for Digital-Age Learning (CrADLe), which will facilitate conversation and professional sharing among schools that are keen to embrace digital age learning for the development of 21st century competencies.
The FutureSchools are characterised by a strong research culture and they have presented more than 50 research papers at local and international conferences3. Notably, Beacon Primary published its first research publication, "A School's Journey into the Future - Research by Practitioners for Practitioners", which showcased teachers' research findings and strategies for ICT integration, and was shared with the education fraternity. The book has also been published and sold in Japan.
The success of the FutureSchools@Singapore programme has been strengthened by the strategic partnership with infocomm industries. This has resulted in many new tools and applications that have transformed the classroom experience for both teachers and students. Consequently, these innovations have received strong local and international interest, with some products being marketed overseas and adopted by more than 50 schools locally4.
A FutureSchools innovation that has been adopted by other schools is the AmBook5, an interactive digital textbook which adopts an inquiry-based approach for the learning of science. The Ambook provides students with a rich repository of simulations and interactive learning content to enliven the learning of science.
More FutureSchools to Lead ICT in Learning
The two new FutureSchools, Nan Chiau Primary and Ngee Ann Secondary, possess a robust programme and deep capacity to experiment and innovate with ICT for learning and teaching on a school-wide level. They display a high level of readiness and are well poised to lead other schools in providing possible models for the seamless and pervasive integration of ICT into the curriculum.
In the next phase of the FutureSchools@Singapore programme, the FutureSchools will continue to deepen their capabilities in curriculum, research and ICT integration. The new FutureSchools will help to support the spread of successful innovations and foster a culture of innovation across schools.
More information on the two new FutureSchools can be found in Annex A (63.71KB).
JOINTLY ISSUED BY MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1 The current FutureSchools comprise Beacon Primary School, Canberra Primary School, Crescent Girls' School, Hwa Chong Institution, Jurong Secondary School and the School of Science and Technology.
2 MOE and IDA have been conducting lesson observations, interviews, focus group discussions and surveys to provide regular, evidence-based feedback to the FutureSchools for programme improvement.
3 Some conferences include the International Conference for Teaching and Learning with Technology 2010 and the Global Learn Asia Pacific 2010: Global Conference on Learning & Technology.
4 Industry partners have started marketing their products locally and overseas, with some finding early commercialisation success. For example, local content-developer, Amdon, and learning management system provider, AsknLearn, have sold the Ambook (interactive textbook) and VARK (multimedia content) respectively to more than 50 schools locally. Amdon has also gained a foothold in the Hong Kong education market with the Ambook.
5 Piloted by Crescent Girls' School.
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