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singapore A Report on Good

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					A Report on Good Practices in Using Information
Technology in Education



The purpose of the tour is to observe good practices of using
I. T. in education in some Singapore secondary and primary schools. We hope to select some
good practices to suit the needs of our Hong Kong schools through observation and sharing
with their educators and teachers.


Visit Programme
18 march 2001       Departure from HK
19 March 2001       The Ministry of Education
20 March 2001       Xinmin Secondary School
21 March 2001       Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (Kellock) School
                    St. Nicolas Girls' School
22 March 2001       Kranji Secondary School
23 March 2001       Arrival at HK


Members of the I.T. Team in the Educational Tour (from left to right)
1. Miss Chan Sze Man, SKH St. Clements' Primary School (PM)
2. Sister Wong May May, Principal of Tack Ching Girls' Middle School (Co-team Leader)
3. Mr. Lee Kin Hon, Alvin, Panel Chairperson of Sin To School (AM)
4. Mr. Tam Yiu Pui, Oscar, Principal of Maryknoll Fathers' School (Team Leader)
5. Mr. Chau Kwok Sun, Panel Chairperson of Heung To Middle School
6.   Mr. Ng Siu Kai, Senior School Development Officer of Shamshuipo District School
     Development Section




                                          Page 1
Remarkable Features observed from the Visit


19 March 2001
The Ministry of Education (http://www.moe.edu.sg/iteducation/)
  Master Plan in I.T.:
  Implementation Milestones
  2002 2:1 pupil-computer ratio in schools with 30%
         IT-based curriculum time
  2000 Core training for teachers in every school will be
          completed
  1999    About 250 (Phase 3) schools to come on-stream
  1998    About 90 (Phase 2) schools to come on-stream
  1997    22 (Phase 1) Demonstration schools to integrate IT into curriculum

  The Educational Software Procurement Scheme (ESPS) was approved on 12 July 1997 to
  address this need. Under the scheme, schools can purchase any number of copies of any
  software titles in the ESPS list at a special price direct from the appointed agent of the
  software publishers participating in the scheme.


  Computer Purchase Scheme for Teachers
  Under the Scheme, MOE will pay either 20% (for desktop computers) or 40% (for
  notebook computers) of the cost of computers purchased by school teachers, including vice
  principals and principals. The scheme covers computers (including self-assembled ones),
  modems, printers and MS Office.


  Resources:
  Clearinghouse Service for IT service
  The clearinghouse seeks, previews, evaluates and recommends IT resources for use in
  schools. (RSL) Recommended Software List provides teachers a software list with grade
  level and rating in English, Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Mother Tongue and others.


  MOE Integrated Library Network
  Teachers and students may search for books
  from almost any school library through the
  School Media Resource Library Network.



                       Photo of the Ministry of Education Centre



                                                    Page 2
20 March 2001
Xinmin Secondary school
(http://www.moe.edu.sg/xinmin)
Rank No. 17      Number of teachers: 74
No. of students: 1,400
(i)     One of the 22 (Phase 1) Demonstration schools
        integrated IT into curriculum in 1997.
(ii)    Computer coordinators were selected
        in each class.
(iii)   A computer and a LCD projector were
        installed in each classroom.
(iv)    A school-funding I.T. team consisting
        of a head teacher and 3 past students takes care of teacher training, program writing
        and school computer network.
(v)     SEM(School Excellence Model) - a concept from the business field has been
        introduced to the school for self evaluation since 1999.
(vi)    More than 500 computers were installed in 5 different computer laboratories, the
        library and on corridors.




(vii)   More than 600 computer node points were installed including students' study rooms
        and staff rooms




                                           Page 3
20 March 2001
Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (Kellock) School       --- a primary school ---
http://i.am/kellock




Apple iMac computers were also                      Students' self learning by using
installed to enable students to master              CD-ROMs is common.
computers of another platform.




                                         Large amount of CD-ROMs are available for
                                         students.




                                         Page 4
C.H.I.J. St. Nicolas Girls' School
http://www.sngs.sch.edu.sg
Rank No. 6 in Singapore
Number of students: 1,700


4 computer laboratories
5 I.T. Learning Resource Centres
400 desktop computers
90 notebook computers
10 scanners,
11 digital cameras,
75 LCD projectors,
9 visualizers


Computer aided administration:
(i)  Pupil Management System
(ii) Office System
(iii)    Financial Management
(iv)     School Scheduling
(v)      School Library
(vi)     Physical Fitness Test
(vii)    Relief Teacher Management System
(viii)   GCE Education System

(ix)     PRISM (for comparing the school’s performance with other schools’)
(x)      BETA (for checking students' performance)
(xi)     Student Identification Pass
(xii)    Inventory Control Management
(xiii)   Secondary 1 Registration




                                            Page 5
Teaching
(i)  Instructional Programme (integrating the ready
     made commercial materials into this
     programme)
(i)  Teachers and students produce teaching
     materials (in form of CD-ROMs) to promote
     self-learning.


I.T. Team members are
(i)    I.T. Master (responsible for training and
       quotation)
(ii)   IT Coordinator
(iii) Media Coordinator
(iv) Hardware Coordinator
(v)    One representative from each department
(vi) Library Master


Learning and Testing
(i)   Participation of national and international IT competitions
(ii)  Projects collaborated with China, Japan, U.S.A. and Taiwan




                                          Page 6
Kranji Secondary School
http://kranji.edu.sg/
(i)     Obtained Excellence in IT Training Award in 1998
(ii)    Training Partners:
        Comat Training Services Pte Ltd receives
        SG$150/yr from each student through EDU-giving
        grant to promote IT training for teaching staff,
        students and parents.


(iii)   Business activities:
        100 students were selected from Secondary 1 to
        Secondary 3 to run the Kranji Cyberstation, where
        simple computer products are on sale to own
        students.

(iv)    650 computers were installed in the school.




(v)     Every student must complete 21 hours of IT training each year outside school hours




                                            Page 7
Good practices observed on IT in education


Management and organization

IT team is set up in each school visited. At least one teacher from each subject department
joined the IT team as a member. In Xinmin, clear mission and vision statements; and work
plans from 1997 to 2001 are formulated. All these and other related documents are available
in the Internet. Some seed teachers, called ‘IT Foxes’ by the school, are identified to further
promote the use of IT in the school.


IT-rich environment

All schools visited are well equipped with computer equipment. Each of the three secondary
schools visited is equipped with more than 500 computers. School libraries are also
equipped with a substantial number of computers. In Kranji, over 70 computers are installed
in the school library. Nearly every classroom is installed with a LCD projector. All
schools are installed with Local Area Networks (LANs) and are able to access to Internet.
According to the Singapore IT Master Plan, the teacher to computer ratio is 2:1. In all the
three secondary schools visited, the teacher to computer ratio reaches 1:1. In CHIJ Kellock
primary school, both PC and iMac computers are installed to enrich students experiences in
operating computers of different platforms.


Sufficient IT training for teachers

As a policy, each Singaporean teacher is required to attend 100-hour professional training.
School can arrange school-based training courses for teachers according to the needs of the
school and teachers.   IT training constitutes a major portion within the 100-hour training.


Progressive steps in adopting IT in teaching and learning

There are a lot of CD-ROMs available for use by teachers. Most teachers use ready-made
CD ROMs, which are recommended by the Ministry of Education, to assist teaching and
learning. In Xinmin, using CD ROMs is regarded as the minimum standard of using IT but
school will not discourage teachers in using them at the initial stage. Teachers will be
trained to produce tailor-made teaching resources. The school sets a clear target to develop a
web-based platform to enhance teaching and learning using IT. Xinmin and Kranji are
developing their Intranet systems to support teaching and learning using IT.



                                            Page 8
Encourage students to use computer facilities after school hours

Schools’ computer rooms and libraries are available for use during recess time and after
school. Extra-curricular activities and extra IT courses are offered to students after school.
In Xinmin secondary school, several sets of computers are installed in an open area so that
students could use the equipment at their convenient time.


Promote students IT skills with external support

Kranji secondary school employed an external software training computer to conduct IT
training to all Secondary 1 to Secondary 4 students after school. Each student will receive
21-hour training each year and thus, each will receive 82 hours IT training in four years.
Students have to pay but they could use the Edusave scheme to subsidize the training courses.
Initially, the company under contract provides the hardware and software which are installed
within the school premises. These equipment will become the school’s properties after the
contract is over.


Encourage a collaborative mode of learning

Teachers are aware of the positive influence of the collaborative mode of learning. For
example, in one Science lesson in Kellock, students are arranged to work in groups on a CD
ROM. Students are required to discuss with their classmates, complete a worksheet and
report what they have observed.


Exhibit students’ potentials

Schools encourage students to help teachers to install necessary programs and perform basic
hardware and software setup. Students are willing to be helpers because only elite students
are selected. On the teacher’s side, it reduces the workload on the setup time and hence the
teacher can concentrate more on the lessons to be delivered. On the student’s side, being a
student helper is a kind of recognition as well as an honour to the student.


Moreover, schools encourage students to participate in various IT-related competitions.


Students of the Kranji secondary school are involved in running business activities inside the
school (selling PC accessories and CD ROMs) through the operation of the Kranji
Cyberstation. The target customers are students and visitors of the school.



                                           Page 9
Strong sharing culture among teachers and schools

The sharing culture among teachers is strong. Kranji plans to organize three sharing sessions
yearly for teachers to share experiences on the use of IT in teaching. CHIJ Kellock primary
school participates in IT days for schools within her school cluster.


In Xinmin, the IT Foxes will demonstrate the use of hardware, review / evaluate courseware
and co-develop IT-based lessons with teachers.


Positive attitude of teachers

Teachers show a very positive attitude towards the use of IT in teaching and learning. The
following are extracts from the conversation with them:
 need not fear IT but embrace IT (Kellock)
 IT is a tool to enhance students to construct knowledge (Kellock)
 collaborative learning was adopted to allow students to discuss and work together
     (Kellock)
    students are able to learn more through the Internet than from the teachers (Kellock)
    after playing with the CD ROM, students got their own answers through discussion
     (Xinmin)
    IT is a splendid thing (St Nicholas Girls’ School)



Applications in Hong Kong context

Management and organization
The idea of sending one teacher representative from each subject department to the IT team
can be adopted.


Progressive steps in adopting IT in teaching and learning
Tailor-made resources will best meet the learning needs of students. With the constraints of
workload and technical issues concerned, teachers can adopt ready-made IT-related resources.
For example, primary school teachers may adopt the resources produced by the Education
Department to introduce some topics in the Computer Awareness Programme. The Hong
Kong Education City website also collates education resources and provides them online for
teachers’ use.




                                          Page 10
Encourage students to use computer facilities after school hours
Schools can extend the opening hours of their computer rooms beyond normal school hours.
Students can be encouraged to use computer facilities during recess time or after school.
Student helpers can act as mentors to other students during the extended opening hours.


Encourage a collaborative mode of learning
The student to computer ratio in Hong Kong is often commented to be inferior when
compared with Singapore. Under the present provision of computer facilities, teachers have
to consider the positive side of collaborative learning in some lessons.


Exhibit students’ potentials
Students should be encouraged to participate in various IT-related activities or competitions.
The idea of student helpers can be explored.


Strong sharing culture among teachers and schools
Sharing of experience among teachers and across schools is important. It is also important
to share experience on how to motivate, involve and support teachers of different subject
disciplines at differing levels of IT competency to integrate the use of IT in their subject
teaching. The concept of seed teachers can act as a kind of catalyst to cultivate an IT culture
inside a school.


The Hong Kong Education City provides a web platform to promote sharing and
collaboration among schools and teachers.




Conclusion

All schools visited are rich in terms of the quantity of IT facilities and quality of IT in
teaching. Schools can fully utilize the IT resources by opening up computer rooms or
libraries for students use after school hours. We can see the efforts that schools have made
in getting external support on top of the Government provision and developing students’
potentials. We can also see the effects on the IT culture being cultivated in schools which
may be the result of the considerable sharing among teachers. Last but not least, the positive
attitude demonstrated by teachers and their belief of using IT as a tool to enhance students’
knowledge construction is certainly a vehicle that drives Singapore students to meet the new
century. The development of IT in education is water under the bridge and there is no way
to turn the tide. To upgrade the level of IT in education in Hong Kong to tie in with the new


                                           Page 11
age is essential.




                    Page 12

				
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