Today, we hear news of schools providing students with iPads or Kindles so they can access school archives and documents digitally. Then we start looking back at a time when we all had to go to the library to get those important documents physically.
Yes, the natural first reaction is to be flabbergasted, because kids need to learn to love reading books just as much as the school needs to keep up with the improvements technology can offer. Indeed, education has come a long way, and for the better too. This is not about putting books by the wayside, this is about making verified and peer-reviewed sources accessible anywhere the students need it.
Take, for instance, international schools like the Global Indian International School (GIIS) in Singapore. They have a globally recognized educational framework called the ‘Nine Gems’ of holistic education. And yet they also incorporate advanced tools and equipment to support the framework to educate their students better.
To fully understand how this works, let us look at how they have fused traditional learning and innovative educational technologies.
Digital Archive of Print and Electronic Media
When students need to look something up for their homework and are unable to go back to school to get it from the library, they can access their archives through the school’s digital archive. They can sift through thousands of scanned journals and electronic media anytime they need it.
Part of the goal of the GIIS digital archive is to provide students and teachers a convenient way of retrieving educational materials that date back to even a decade ago so they can give their homework and teaching materials context and be able to explain how knowledge progressed during the years. GIIS faculty and student body are given access to 34 ebooks and 11 CDs in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, about 2.5 million images from Image Quest.
Latest software used in laboratories
GIIS knows that a lot of scientific concepts are better understood through simulations and experiments. Which is why they have partnered with globally recognized-class programmes like HeyMath! and Microsoft IT Academy to provide students with e-learning modules and tools to analyze and record results from their experiments.
myGIIS mobile application
Now parents and teachers can contact each other easily through the myGIIS mobile app. They can discuss the student’s academic progress and standing, receive important announcements, as well as a timeline of activities straight from the school calendar.
If you have not heard yet, Smart Boards are fast becoming an important tool in schools. They are interactive whiteboards that will allow teachers to relay lessons more dynamically by encouraging students to collaborate and to provide them with a creative tool to learn mathematical concepts (especially Geometry, Trigonometry, and Chemistry).
This is a detailed assessment tool used by teachers to identify gaps in learning. Through the performance report being sent from the tool, educators will be able to create a learning plan that will address the gaps properly.
The way we use technology defines if its effects are good and bad. While the reservation of some parents is understandable, schools like the Global Indian International School has shown that innovations in technology, especially those related to enhancing learning, should be utilized to educate young minds better.