Singapore: Leaving on a high note

It’s the last day of research here, and I’m attending a presentation by the Edtech Coaches on the topic of ‘what we’re doing and where we’re going’. The Coaches compare their work with constructing an aeroplane while in flight. It’s an image that makes emphatically clear that introducing digital media to schools is no trivial […]

Singapore: History with ThingLink

A year 8 class is visiting a park in Singapore. The students are making videos showing and explaining monuments or historical buildings. They then use ThingLink to create an interactive map of the park.

Singapore: Pink T-Shirt Day

It’s Pink T-Shirt Day! The GESS is focusing on the issue of bullying. A student working group has made a podcast specially for the day and is now out in the yard handing out flyers with QR codes which people can use to listen to the podcast online.

Singapore: Music

A year 6 class is at the smartboard, singing along with gusto to a current hit song with lyrics supplied by a YouTube video.

Singapore: English

The students are working on a shared document in OneNote, visible for everyone at the front of the class via projector. Right now, ‘the board’ is no longer the teacher’s domain, but everyone’s workspace.

Singapore: Geography

A year 11 class is reading about varying standards of living across the world on a Swedish NGO’s website which features photographs of various families, their homes and some of their household objects. For one moment, we have all stepped into other worlds.

Singapore: Design Technology Lab

There’s a smell of wood and glue wafting out of the Design Technology Lab, accompanied by a soundtrack of sawing and of sanding machines. Year 10 students are busy making objects following their own designs. Among the paper, pieces of plastic and wood, and tools, I can see a few laptops, with which the students […]

Singapore: Geography

The lesson’s on water consumption, but there’s a side order of computer literacy – the students have learned how to create pie charts in Excel and paste them into other files.

Singapore: German

Year 8 students are producing their own ‘poetry book’ using Book Creator, including pieces of writing, pictures they’ve drawn, photos sourced from the internet and audio elements they’ve recorded. The pages that emerge are wildly varied, some more creative, some less so.

Singapore: Romeo and Juliet

It’s English class and the students are preparing to film a scene from Romeo and Juliet. They’re using OneNote to abridge the text and a phone as the camera.

Singapore: Student Council

A Student Council representative is meeting with the Edtech coaches to discuss setting up a GESS student page on Facebook.

Singapore: Edtech coaches

Whether it’s at lunchtime, in free periods, or whenever there’s a moment to spare: the teachers make good use of the opportunity to ask the Edtech coaches for advice or tips on using digital media in the classroom.

Singapore: Latin

The teacher is getting a year 6 class started with using digital textbooks: ‘So you don’t have to carry so many books around any more!’ Getting everyone through the complicated registration procedure required by the publisher Klett takes ages. But then the pupils are tremendously keen, showing admirable focus as they flick through the book […]

Singapore: English

A group of students is doing internet research to create a ‘sway’ on the UK’s political system. It takes them a while to find useful websites and images, but there’s a lot of energetic discussion going on too.

Singapore: English

The Edtech coaches are running a mini-workshop for teaching staff on the quiz software Socrative and how it can be used in class.

Singapore: History

The students have the task of preparing a presentation on Napoleon. They’re doing research online, but I can see lots of open textbooks too. One student is looking for a diagram like the one in her textbook – finding one, she pastes it into her presentation, commenting: ‘This way I know it’s a good illustration.’

Singapore: Maths

The teacher displays a pre-prepared worksheet, his own creation, on the interactive whiteboard and enters the answers given by the students using a digital pen.

Singapore: German

Today’s topic is satire. The students are invited to google to find a definition. Then the teacher shows them an extract from the current edition of the German satirical TV show Neo Magazin Royale on the interactive whiteboard.

Singapore: A look around

We’re taking a tour of the classrooms. A look into several of them reveals students working with laptops, other classes aren’t using IT and some are doing lo- and hi-tech learning at the same time. The impression I get is that the laptops are just another piece of school equipment, alongside the books, pens, paper, […]

Singapore: First day, first impressions

Today’s the day my research at the GESS in Singapore gets underway. My first impression is one of calm confidence in the use of digital media. They’re simply part of school life.