Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies (Education Everywhere Series)

Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies (Education Everywhere Series)

September 13, 2019 100 By Ronny Jaskolski


>>Adrian: I think it is
important to make school fun. And when school is fun, you don’t
get kids waking up in the morning and saying, “Do I have
to come to school again?” So we embrace technology, because it
helps us make learning more engaging. I believe that when kids are
engaged, when kids are interested, that’s where learning takes place. Ho: The kids are really from
a very different world now. And really to reach out to the kids,
you need to be savvy with technology. If you are not savvy with technology, you’re going to lose
the kids in the school.>>Teacher: What you want
to do right now is, okay, think of the Socratic questions.>>Adrian: Ngee Ann Secondary School
is a typical school in Singapore where we take in students with
different academic abilities, and we have about 1,512
students in this school. And they all come from
the neighborhood. We’ve got students from
the age of 13 to about 16. Many students want to come to this
school because of its strong program, especially in the use of
IACT, Infocom Technology. And the teachers here are known to
produce very good teaching materials, and very innovative teaching ideas to engage the students
in the classrooms.>>Lee: In the early 1990s, the
teachers really are the monopoly on knowledge, and they are the one
that comes to the class to deliver that knowledge so that the
students can acquire them. But today, knowledge is no more
a monopoly among the teachers. Because students can get
knowledge from a myriad of sources. And hence, the role of the
teacher today is facilitation. That means facilitate students where
they could get the right knowledge, how they could synthesize things, how they could discern the
information that they get.>>Teacher: Velocity defines the
rate of change of the sense of time. Is it true or false? So I want you to Tweet me answer. So this is how you Tweet. This is the format
that you need to Tweet. So you put in “at”
sign, “votebytweet 1.”>>Adrian: We look at
technology very meaningfully. And we see how can we
leverage this technology to make a very significant impact
in the classroom instruction. I’ll give you an example. In a classroom of 40, it is really
impossible to get 40 students to ask 40 questions at one go. When we use the instant messaging
tool, we open 40 windows to 40 kids. They could ask 40 questions
at the same time, and the teacher could
see their thinking on the technology tool that they use. And kids get more excited,
because they are using the tools that they are very,
very good in using. Not just a pen and pencil.>>Ben: Okay, so same thing, we will
have two students at every terminal. If you have any issues
through the terminals, raise your hand, and
I’ll come to you. Okay? All right, let’s go.>>Ben: What the students are doing, they are currently exploring
this Second Life Art Gallery, which the school has set up. And the works that are shown in this gallery is actually
made up of local works. They have been done by local artists. Of course, of all the
online platform is very, very useful because it’s something
that really engages the students. They will be chatting
with one another about the works using the
elements, principles of design. As well as reading other
students comments as well. If they want, too, they
can actually leave notes for other students to read.>>Student: [speaking
foreign language]>>Adrian: Web 2.0 with Wiki,
with your Facebook, your blogs, you find that it’s a very
participatory culture. It calls for a lot of collaboration. They no longer become just
a consumer of knowledge. They actually produce knowledge.>>Patricia: What is one of the things
that you have discovered so far?>>Student: The electron has a
tendency to lose their actions.>>Patricia: I find that students
themselves are often on Facebook, so instead of looking at
Facebook as a distraction, I would rather use it to engage them. So even like when they’re
stuck with a certain question, they post up the question to the
class, and you see responses, and they are learning from each
other, which I think it’s better, because there’s more interest
and motivation for them to learn, rather than, “Okay, I’ll
tell you to do this. And I’ll tell you to do that.”>>Adrian: I would say that
the teachers in this school, myself included, we scan the
globe for best practices.>>Teacher: Now, all that URL,
you will use the [inaudible]. Okay? Using that hook-up,
I want you to see some of the things that will help you.>>Deepa: We are in the process of watching a model lesson that’s
being run by my colleague here. And her process of us watching the
lesson is to gain some kind of points from her lesson, and also
to provide our feedback. We discuss it to come
up with a better lesson. Because definitely learning grows
with sharing and communication, and there’s definitely in school
for improvement for any lesson.>>Teacher: All right, first of
all, I understand that the purpose of this Skype session, we want to confirm the suitability
of the pretest. Is this the common
agenda that we have?>>Teacher: Yes, a common
agenda, yeah.>>Teacher: Yeah, that’s right, yeah.>>Teacher: It might be we can
think about it is if we give it to the children as is, some of them
might actually come up with the idea of the steepness of the slide.>>Muneira: There’s always
something new to learn. You’re never at a standstill. You’re always moving
ahead, pushing boundaries, trying to discover new
things, new ways of teaching. So it’s exciting, because
even if the pedagogy is sound, there’s always a technology
that’s always challenging us. And we always have to find new
ways to connect with the kids. And to challenge them.>>Adrian: So I think we do look
at how the world has changed. And teaching cannot stay stagnant. So the teachers recognize the fact
that they cannot teach the same way that they are taught
ten/twenty years ago. That they have to be very
adaptive in their matters. And when they do that well, they know
they’re going to engage the kids. And when you engage the kids, that
is where real learning takes place.