FEATURE STORY                                                                                                             ...
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Contact apr12 9_9

  1. 1. FEATURE STORY CONTACT | 15 “Learning has never been more fun.” – Mdm Cheng Hwai Jen, Physics and Mathematics teacher, never been more fun. Since purchasing Although she teaches English, she accepted Queensway Secondary School my iPad2, I’ve been thinking of ways to the challenge of mentoring Ms Elaine Lau, integrate it into my lessons. It is not only a who teaches Primary One Mathematics. great organiser, but also a video recorder During a lesson on remembering the for transferring experiments into QuickTime positions of ordinal numbers, both teachers movies. I can also go through test items in wanted a session of differentiated instruction iBook or Dropbox and tap on talks from to cater to pupils with mixed abilities. iTunes universities like Harvard, Yale and What they had to overcome, however, was Oxford.” that the pupils were young and had limitedIn teaching, Information and Communication ICT abilities.Technology (ICT) is a force to be reckoned with. At Eunos Primary School, Mrs RosvinderICT mentors train and guide colleagues Sidhu, a teacher at the school for five years, Together, Mrs Sidhu and Ms Lau createdon how to incorporate ICT tools into their lessons. is envisioning a future “where most children three different activities for three groupsMay the force be with them. By Ming Lee would have learnt to count, read and spell of pupils. Before the lesson began, high- with the aid of technology before they even progress pupils filmed themselves holding start school!” up cards with ordinal numbers (1st to 10th).Teachers always look for innovative ways blog, they could reflect on the When called upon, they jumped up in the air.to deliver lessons so that their students are concepts and their experiences As such, she is an ardent advocate of During the lesson, they watched the videobetter engaged. It is an approach that Mdm while learning the former. Also, a incorporating ICT into lessons to ignite a again and designed questions for their high-Cheng Hwai Jen, who has been teaching comments facility enabled students sense of curiosity and enthusiasm among progress peers, such as “Who was first infor over 31 years, applies relentlessly in to post queries and seek clarifications young learners. Based on her observations, line?” In the process, pupils also learnt toher job. And becoming an ICT Mentor has from teachers and classmates. This, they often “learn how to use these tools spell each other’s names.allowed her to effectively enhance pupils’ she says, allowed them to become morelearning experience. active and independent learners. Mrs Rosvinder Sidhu is Even though the pupils needed help in envisioning a future “where spelling, “they could play a video, pause itIn March 2010, she and three colleagues It is a goal she wanted to help her mentees most children would have and rewind it easily. It showed our pupils’ ITattended a three-and-half-day training achieve too. Now she is coaching two knowledge today has surpassed their basic learnt to count, read and spellunder the ICT Mentor Programme, which younger teachers, Mr Jimmy Ong (Physics spelling skills,” says Mrs Sidhu.covered issues such as ICT-facilitated and Mathematics) and Mr Alex Chan with the aid of technologylearning, effective ICT integration as (Mathematics and Computer Practical before they even start school!” The mid-progress pupils, meanwhile,well as subject-based pedagogies and Applications) on integrating the use of blogs watched a YouTube video and drew objectstools. This was followed by a two-day ICT into their lessons. Mdm Cheng believes it more quickly than adults”. in order of instruction (“Draw a star in theMentor Programme (Coaching) in July 5th box.”). The low-progress pupils playedthe same year, which focused on effective Mdm Cheng believes it Now, as an ICT (English) mentor, Mrs Sidhu flash games to help them remember thecommunication via active listening and should be a breeze for them helps to develop competency in the use of positions of ordinal numbers.clarifying and asking probing questions. as both are digital natives. ICT among her colleagues. She also provides mentees with knowledge on planning and When not exploring new ways to impartThis led her to explore various ICT tools “What’s more important is delivering relevant experiences and enables knowledge through ICT tools, Mrs Sidhu andduring her lessons. “From May 2010 their positive attitude towards the sharing of good resources and practices. other ICT Mentors conduct internal trainingto November 2011, I created an online learning,” she shares. and sharing sessions for the staff. She isrepository (in the form of a blog) of Physics “We went for courses that equipped us with also helming the English Language-ICTlesson notes and assignments with links to should be a breeze for them as both are mentoring skills as well as online tools that Collaborative Project, which allows pupils inonline resources from different parts of the digital natives. “What’s more important is facilitated collaborative and self-directed Eunos Primary, St Hilda’s Primary, Pasir Risworld, useful Java Applets and YouTube their positive attitude towards learning,” learning. Our training continues as we learn Primary and Kong Hwa School to assess onevideo clips. My objective was to enhance she shares. how to facilitate lessons and incorporate the another’s oral skills using ICT.students’ understanding of Physics learning by mentoring two teachers everyconcepts,” says Mdm Cheng. Last June, she was also invited to share year,” says Mrs Sidhu, who is one of four ICT her experience in leveraging on blogs with mentors at the school.Students had to submit Google documents, fellow ICT mentors during an ICT Mentors’YouTube reviews and electronic forms Homecoming event.embedded in the blog. As the online In mentoring others, Mdm Cheng says sherepository is linked to every student’s has also been enriched: “Learning has “Technology has revolutionised our education system.” – Mrs Rosvinder Sidhu, English Language teacher, Eunos Primary School

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