Technology changes the way we live, work and learn, and this has a profound impact on how we teach, where we teach and what we teach. In SSIS, our goal is to promote a balanced use of technology and motivate our students to develop deeper conceptual understandings and ask meaningful questions. We aim to cultivate transferrable skillsthat they can continually adapt to approach challenges in their lives today and in the future.
On 4-6 November, our key faculty members attended EduTECH Asia 2019 in Singapore. Big names in the EduTECH space were present to show off their latest developments during the three-day exhibition. Our education team was there to witness where technology and education intersected, meet like-minded people who are embracing change, and to learn from experts at the forefront of the industry.
Justin KILGORE, our Acting Head of STEAM, was invited to present ‘Why Coding is the New Literacy’ to a packed conference. He focused on the problem many schools had, namely, how its choice of an instructional coding platform affected the resources used in STEAM programmes, and how one should balance the two different but symbiotic needs. He also mentored people who needed guidance on how to implement a STEAM programme in their school.
The mentoring sessions were a fruitful opportunity to guide others and to build relationships with other schools through continued collaboration. It was yet another confirmation that SSIS’s STEAM programme is at the forefront of innovative learning.Justin KILGORE (Acting Head of STEAM)
For me, EduTECH was a way to reflect on where SSIS was, take stock of what we have in terms of IT infrastructures and the technological tools we have. It allowed us to see what else we could do with what was being offered—to bring about better instructions and better learning in the classrooms.Frankie CHUNG (Primary School Principal)
So with our STEAM programme already in place, how do we best support the school’s vision, mission and philosophy with technology, and how do we use that to nurture our learners’ motivation, engagement, love for learning? Viktor DATSIUK, our SSIS Director of Technology, said that we, as educators, needed to support students through errors and mistakes they would make and to use those constructively to help students make better choices over time.
Deep authentic learning happens when learners overcome challenges, difficulties in supportive, growth-minded (but not pampering) environments and cultures. Traditional subject teaching becomes more flexible, thus offering students learning paths that meet students at their levels of mastery. This personalisation and differentiation of learning become even more efficient with the use of technology such as AI, analytics, mobile learning, gamification, moocs etc.Viktor DATSIUK (Director of Technology)
To this, Senior School Principal Mr Doruk GURKAN added a humanist point-of-view to the technology discourse: “Schools are not merely buildings, time tables, and technology. At its most fundamental level, schools are about relationships. Highest achieving schools are those where the students and teachers trust, respect, and care about one another. This is also true for the teachers and administration: they trust, respect, and care for each other and work toward the same goals of student success. When teachers get to know their students, build positive relationships, and strive to make their classes enjoyable places to learn, their students tend to excel both academically and socially.”
At EduTECH Asia, our team was able to reflect on our progress, take pride in our accomplishments, and find inspiration about where to head next. They explored programmes that did things differently, approaches that sparked interest, cutting-edge opportunities to pursue, and new paradigms to adopt.
While there were new things to learn in every direction, all who attended walked away with a similar feeling that SSIS was at the forefront of innovative learning and STEAM. It was a quiet confirmation of all the work put into our programme and a moment to take pride in ourselves and our accomplishments.
We should always remember that these innovative educational methods and trends will never function without real human connections. We can only improve our education when we teach with our heart and mind. Communication in teaching should not be lost or replaced with anything else. Nowadays, in a classroom, we need our relations, conversations and values more than ever.Doruk GURKAN (Senior School Principal)