MOULDING 21ST CENTURY-READY STUDENTS WITH OPEN SOURCE VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Ngee Ann Secondary School (SINGAPORE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The context of what is learnt and how people learn over the years has changed with the outburst of the knowledge age. Living in a globalized, knowledge-based economy, it is necessary for Knowledge Age worker-citizens to be able to ascertain, appraise, and represent new information quickly. Subsequently, this new information needs to be communicated to others effectively, and this might lead to them having to work productively in collaboration with others. In order for students to survive in the world beyond the classroom, 21st century schools need to help them develop skills and dispositions that enable them to conduct research using the Internet, evaluate information, work collaboratively, communicate effectively and think critically and creatively.
This paper describes how Ngee Ann Secondary (Singapore), in its endeavour to be a leading school in the innovative and effective use of ICT in teaching and learning, has exploited the power of Web 2.0 tools in complementing its open source virtual learning environment created by using Google Sites, a structured wiki offered by Google. As this information environment is richer and more interactive than traditional print media, it creates deeper student engagement and is conducive for effective learning to take place. Easy, open and affordable, these virtual classrooms present themselves as front-row seats for shy students who are in need of one-to-one interaction with their teachers. Furthermore, by employing collaboration tools like CoveritLive in these virtual classrooms, we not only see just single students working in isolation at a screen but also evidences of sharing, learning, collaboration and networking – a mark of 21st century-ready students.
Keywords: 21st century, virtual classrooms, collaboration, innovation, web 2.0.