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IT edge for lessons in new science school
Tue, Jan 05, 2010
my paper

By Jake Chng

STUDENTS in the School of Science and Technology, which opened yesterday, rely on laptops instead of textbooks, lecture notes and worksheets.

For example, they use Scribbles, a group-learning software that lets students type their ideas on a digital "sticky note" and send it to their teachers.

Photo: ST

Mr Richard Koh, 34, subject head for English in the new secondary school, said: "This can be good because some students may not be as outgoing as others, and are too shy to share their ideas and opinions."

Scribbles is used to teach English and mother-tongue languages, covering 50 per cent of each of these subjects in the lower-secondary curriculum.

Field trips with laptops constitute up to 25 per cent of the lower-secondary humanities and science curriculum.

For example, during a history lesson, students may go on a field trip to World War II historical sites, record observations on Google Maps, and e-mail them to their teachers.

Lower-secondary students will be assessed in core subjects like English, mother-tongue languages, science and humanities based on written tests and projects, which will take up 40 per cent of the total score. In other subjects such as art, design, media and technology, they will be assessed based on project work.

The school is the sixth one under the $80-million FutureSchools@Singapore initiative to integrate infocommunications technology into curriculum.

On top of the usual four-year programme for the O-level examinations, the school offers applied subjects like media studies and fundamentals of electronics to third- and fourth-year students, under a tie-up with Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

To enter the school, students need a PSLE score of at least 200, as well as ace the school?s video auditions and a one-day selection camp, where they take written tests and perform tasks that gauge their analytical and collaborative skills.

chngjm@sph.com.sg


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