Step into Crescent Girls’ School and you will be surprised by the number of students typing away on their electronic devices.
The Singapore-based secondary school has made it its mission to leverage technology to better engage a new generation of students—those who grew up in a connected world—and develop 21st Century skills such creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Since 2003, Crescent Girls’ School has been implementing a range of mobile technologies and Internet-based learning tools into every aspect of its curriculum.
According to Mrs Tan Chen Kee, Principal at Crescent Girls’ School, the decision towards technology-driven learning was obvious.
“It does not make sense that so much of their lives involves technology, yet when it comes to school, as soon as they arrive at the school gates, we would tell them to stop using technology,” she explained. “We would rather get involved with what they are used to, so they can leverage it for meaningful and purposeful use in both learning and teaching.”
Here are how Crescent Girls’ School transformed its environments to digitalise learning:
1:1 Learning Environments
As part of the school’s mobile learning (m-learning) programme, students are given their own learning devices to work and access educational tools anytime, anywhere. This 1:1 computing environment has enabled it to create various intra-curricular programmes that leverage technology in unique ways. For example, the Lower Secondary Computer Education Programme helps build new media literacy skills through weekly training sessions and termly tasks, and focuses on knowledge construction, collaboration, media, and digital literacies.
The students use either a tablet or slate, equipped with Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, Adobe Creative Suite, e-text books an extensive range of web services like personalised learning system i-Connect
Virtual Learning Environments
To extend learning outside of the classroom, Crescent Girls’ School developed a wide range of technologies such as Frappe, a mobile app that allows real-time collaboration and discussion among teachers, students, and even parents, and Trail Shuttle, a multimedia learning trail creation tool for learners and educators. Programmes are then created around these technologies to enable a truly ubiquitous learning experience. These include i-Trails, where students learn Humanities by creating multimedia and location-based virtual trails with their peers, based on topics like culture and historical sites using Trail Shuttle.
The students learn Humanities with their peers using Trail Shuttle, an exciting location-based multimedia learning trail creation tool for learners and educators
Physical Learning Environments
The school currently has more than 10 ICT-infused learning spaces to augment the 1:1 learning for students, and support different subjects, pedagogical approaches, and learning scenarios. These spaces offer an interactive and immersive experience to students while at the same time, encouraging collaboration and creativity. One such room is the i-Cove, which contain HeuMi tables—a round table with a 46-inch touchscreen embedded—to facilitate group work. HeuMi tables allow multiple users to input at one time. As a result, idea-sharing is often fun, bustling, and productive.
Teachers also use technology to plan and value add their lessons
Crescent Girls’ School’s integration with technology was so successful that it has been chosen to be part of Microsoft Innovative Schools World Tour. It also officially launched the Crescent Academy for Digital-age Learning in 2011 to guide schools and educators looking to transform learning with technology, and has since reached out to more than 200 schools and 1,000 educators in the region.
Learn more about how Crescent Girls’ School uses technology to transform learning here