Delivering The Highest-Quality Learning Experience: Getting Intimate With Technology
Although textbooks were once the crux of a classroom, it’s technology that engages children today. From laptops and desktop computers to iPads and smartphones, educational tools in the twenty-first century bear little resemblance to the books, papers and sharpened pencils teachers were handing out just two decades ago. For many younger children, they will not remember these pre-technology times.
Teaching methods have changed too. What once required heavy textbooks and acres of loose-leaf paper can now be accomplished using simple, lightweight tools such as the iPad Pro. Students and teachers are able to consolidate their learning in one place, making it easier to switch between subjects and become ever mobile with their portfolio of work. It’s a change formed by necessity as the world becomes increasingly global. Learning is no longer limited by geographic boundaries or access to transportation. People across the world are able to access the same learning materials and opportunities. With the simple swipe of a screen, entire classrooms gain instant access to an infinite amount of online knowledge, and students learn the valuable skills they need to compete in a world that’s becoming increasingly reliant on technology.
The Technology Landscape at One World International School
At One World International School (OWIS), our teachers use the iPad Pro as one of the tools in our classroom. This tablet offers your child access to nearly endless varieties of educational applications, including Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides which the student can use to plan, outline and perfect multimedia presentations, write essays, explore text and more. In line with this technology, our teachers use Google Classroom, Apple Classroom, Toddle and Satchel to interact with both students and parents, to share information as a class, post assignments, and track students’ progress. Many students also have access to this technology, or similar technology, within their homes which streamlines their experience.
The use of technology at OWIS creates a mutually beneficial partnership between teachers, students and parents, as children learn to explore, create, think, design and write, using the tools and gaining the knowledge they’ll need to compete in an increasingly global society. Students become completely confident in using a range of technologies and learn to adapt their skills to new devices and programmes. They understand the importance of using technology in a safe way and can spot how to pick up things which are not correct or secure. Teachers also ensure that students understand the importance of time away from the screen and not having total reliance on technology.
An Endless Wealth of Applications for OWIS Students
The educational applications offered by the iPad are fun and engaging. They have been designed specifically for children, and teachers can select the applications which are the most appropriate for their class. The applications help children test the boundaries of their knowledge and abilities whilst providing instant gratification for task achievements. They can learn quickly and gain fast feedback.
Additional tools such as Apple Pencil enable students to perform a range of educational activities, including taking notes, sketching, painting, editing and illustrating, whilst Assembly allows children to create stunning artwork and logos using simple vector graphics on an easy drag, drop, flip and rotate platform. These help to hone skills such as dexterity and coordination, along with fine motor skills. Students learn to use their intuition to solve problems and come up with techniques to improve their work.
Book Creator makes it possible for students to write, illustrate and even publish original stories in the iTunes Store. Children can develop their creative skills with fonts, images, layouts and more. This helps their imagination run wild and gives them an almost instant gratification of their work. They can quickly share their stories with peers and then easily make adjustments from the feedback they receive.
Even coding becomes possible with applications such as Swift Playgrounds, the student-friendly approach to learning Swift, Apple’s own programming language. Coding, animation, robotics and even augmented reality become educational tools to help students become proficient in the ever-growing world of computer science. These opportunities promote a passion for these topics and students can develop a desire to work in this field. These are career paths that are ever-changing and are at the forefront of the modern world, so it is vital that we teach our students these skills from a young age.
When you’re ready to enrol your child at One World International School, fill out our online form. We’re waiting to answer your questions, arrange a tour of our scenic campus or meet with you to discuss your child’s future. At OWIS, by using technology we can encourage our students to explore, create, think and design by helping them challenge the boundaries in which they are used to.
(This blog was originally written in collaboration with Ms Erin Smith, former Senior Coordinator – Primary School & PYP, OWIS Nanyang.)