SEARCH

Search form

iLearn Overview

21st Century Teaching & Learning Initiative

The purpose of this document is to explain the thinking behind the initiative, outline the plans and answer common questions. The initiative has been given the name "iLearn." We feel that this term not only acts as a handy shorter name, it also embodies some of the key aspects of the initiative.

Contents

  1. Vision and Goals
  2. Platform Choice
  3. Impact on Learning
  4. Laptop Specifications
  5. Software
  6. Infrastructure Implications
  7. Finance
  8. Staffing Implications
  9. Implementation
  10. Training
  11. Communications Strategy
  12. Metrics to Measure Success
  13. References & Acknowledgements
  14. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Vision and Goals

"Educate me for my future, not your past"

The College aims to remain current with progressive and research based educational pedagogy to support our students and our mission and vision. After much consideration, the College administration feels that a shift is needed towards what has come to be known as “21st Century Learning”. This change in our pedagogy will have a significant and positive effect on both the quality of our educational provision and the preparedness of our students. A central component of this initiative is to develop a carefully structured and closely monitored programme of increased access to computers and other digital media devices across the school as a whole.

This initiative seeks to improve learning and develop skills through:

  • CriticalThinking
  • Flexible Progression 
  • Unhindered Innovation
  • Collaborative Learning

Flexible Progression

Increased access to current software supported by structured lessons can allow teachers to provide feedback for students in a more timely and accurate manner. In a recent study by Hattie (2008), a series of empirical studies proved that timely and relevant feedback had the largest impact on student learning. With the assistance of technology, students can receive feedback from a variety of sources including scenario modelling programmes, scenario software, and direct teacher feedback.

Access to personal software through a 1:1 student to computer programme can also allow students to progress at their own speed with the subject material. This works both for students who wish to review and extend their learning. Students have the opportunity to access and review prior subject matter as the need arises. Having a personal, portable computer ensures that our students will have access to their course information and support documentation at any time. Likewise, our students will also have the means to extend their learning in several areas through teacher developed activities, research, or software applications. These can allow our students to explore topics in further depth and supports their motivation to learn beyond the established content of their course.

Critical Thinking

One of the greatest threats to unlimited access to information via the Internet is the inability to make personal judgements regarding what information is valid and what information is better left ignored. The term “digital literacy” means the ability to find, organise, comprehend, evaluate, and create information using digital technology. It involves a working knowledge of current technological options as well as an understanding of how they can be utilised to convey a student’s message. This demands a high degree of critical thinking on the part of our students as they must take control of their “filter” and make critical judgements regarding the quality of the data available. Technology has been described as an enabler but also as a magnifier and accelerator making the ability to access and judge information central to a student’s success in the future. This must be a skill which we teach, from a young age, using a variety of current technologies.

Unhindered Innovation

“Innovation is what distinguishes between the leader and the follower” Steve Jobs

Personal access to technology places a great deal of power into the hands of our students. It can transform them from consumers of information (downloaders) into producers of ideas (uploaders). The ability to innovate is critical if our students are to fully explore the process of learning. They must not only be able to access and understand information but also to apply it in traditional and non-traditional ways. They must have the opportunity to create. Technology provides a platform where creation can be efficient and immediate. Students can ask “what if?” questions and see their theories played out through simulation and scenario software. Our 21st Century learning model encourages innovation and provides the means for our students to fully explore the possibilities of their own creativity.

Collaborative Learning

Collaboration, as the ability to work effectively and efficiently with others, was the top rated skill sought after by employers according to several studies cited in “Over Studied but Underschooled” (Abbot and McTaggart, 2009). There is a synergy with collaboration as it tiers together flexible progression, critical thinking, and unhindered innovation. Having personal access to a computer allows a student to access information at their own speed, make judgements and assessments, create their own interpretation, and share it with their class. The class, in turn, accesses, judges, and either integrates the new ideas or provides

an argument otherwise. As a result of the technology, there is a collective increase in performance as students have a personal investment in their learning.

Technology also allows for collaboration outside the classroom, school, country, and region. As a global trend, personal access enables our students to collaborate with other students, teachers, and resources. While this emphasises the importance of critical thinking, being a functional digital citizen provides our students with collaborative opportunities either structured within the school’s curriculum or as part of their own flexible progression as they engage in their learning outside the school.

2. Platform Choice

The Tender Review Committee, through the Education sub-committee of the Board has determined that the best platform for the College to use to support its iLearn programme is Apple.

This sections outlines the process by which this platform choice was made and the reasons for the final choice. Firstly we look at the arguments for choosing a single platform at all, then we compare the two partnership proposals and finally the rationale for the final platform choice is laid out.

Why Choose a Single Platform?

The choice before us is to settle on single operating system and hardware vendor or to allow multiple operating systems and / or hardware vendors. The pros and cons of each approach are given in the tables below.

Table 1 - Single OS Platform & Hardware Vendor

Pros

  • Service and support is focused

  • Professional development can be focused and therefore is more efficient and effective

  • Demonstrates a commitment and “all in” attitude

  • Maximise buying leverage

Cons

  • No choice for staff or students

  • Experience limited (PC or Mac)

  • Demands a commitment to a particular ecosystem (frailty)

  • Once you commit, it is difficult to switch

  • Table 2 - Mixed OS Platform & Hardware Vendors

  • Pros

  • Allows students and staff to become familiar with multiple platforms (should improve digital intuition)

  • Allow freedom of choice to students and staff

  • More responsive to market / technology developments

    Cons

  • Compatibility issues

  • Disparity of experience

  • Professional development is more demanding and diversified

  • More service and technical support

  • Buying leverage reduced

  • In our investigations and talking to other schools, it soon became clear that schools that focus on a single

    platform and hardware vendor are more likely to be successful. The following quote sums up the findings:

    “Schools which standardize the device used by students and faculty in their 1:1 programs face fewer obstacles with technology integration, and students and faculty at those schools appeared more satisfied with their program.

    A common foundation of hardware and software seems to function as a rising tide that “floats all boats,” allowing the school to more rapidly share and maximize their expertise in the tools so they can better apply them to innovations in learning.

    In many respects, the standardization approach allows the tool to recede into the background while creativity and learning regain their proper place in the foreground.”

    Christina Devitt, JIS Head of Technology

    On this basis the Education Committee recommend that we use a single operating system platform and hardware vendor.

    The Call for Partnership Paper Document and Tender Process

    The partnership proposal document was drawn up with the single operating system platform and hardware vendor decision made. To see a copy of the partnership proposal click here.

    The call for partners was distributed to four companies in mid-June 2010 with a deadline for response of August 16th 2010. The four companies included were Dell, HP, Apple and Lenovo in Singapore. The College has a relationship with all four companies and they are all global companies with the potential to support such a large project. Each company was free to include other partners as they saw necessary to fulfil the requirements of the project.

    Two companies submitted proposals – Dell and Apple.

The Tender Review Process

Prior to the deadline for proposals the tender review committee met and agreed the criteria for reviewing the proposals. Based on our research the following were identified as the key criteria in successful laptop programmes:

  1. Strategic vision and leadership, with a clear set of learning orientated goals

  2. Comprehensive professional development and training for teachers, delivered before and after students

    go 1:1

  3. A robust and consistent technology platform

For the tender review process items 2 and 3 are the main concern, and using these priorities a spreadsheet was created to:

Allow the proposals to be analysed in terms of how well they addressed the original requirements.
Allow the proposals to be ranked by the tender review committee on the basis of the priority given to the various sections.

The various sections were prioritised as follows:

The Platform Decision

The following table provides an overview of the strengths of the Apple proposal.

Pros

  • Single vendor for all parts of the programme – equipment, software and training

  • The integrated nature of Apple software reduces the overall training requirements

  • Comprehensive, K1-12 education focused professional development programme which includes all

    constituents

  • Comprehensive consulting services provide strategic planning & leadership workshops and tools and

    rubrics for measuring progress and hence “success”

  • Extensive community of Apple 1:1 schools in the region and beyond create increased professional sharing

    opportunities

  • Consistency of Apple platform means that incoming staff with Apple experience will be immediately at

    home and effective

  • Comprehensive onsite hardware & software support centre included with engineers on both campuses, with extended telephone support

  • Strong brand appeal

  • Good for developing rich media, platform of choice for creative subjects

  • Apple is currently growing strongly in market share across the board and particularly in education

  • In cost terms the Apple proposal is cheaper than the Dell proposal

    Cons

  • Can only be used for teaching and learning, not administration

  • Premium brand, no competition

  • Some software currently used in certain areas will not run on the Apple platform

  • More details on the hardware, software, training and costs are provided in the later relevant sections.

    Essentially it can be seen that the Apple proposal was very strong in our 5 top key areas:

  • Training and Professional Development Requirements

  • Implementation Experience

  • Client Software Package

  • Warranty, Service and Support Requirements

  • Financial Analysis

    3. Impact on Learning

    “This is a game change that changes everything” David Burks

    This section explores the impact that a 21st Century Learning model will have on the school by extensively reviewing the research behind the initiatives, describing the changes to the pedagogy, identifying the issues, and recommending solutions based on our research and experience. It should be stressed from the outset that this initiative will not impact upon our expectations of students in terms of academic rigour.

    21st Century Learning

    The term “21st Century learning” was coined in 2003 and has come to represent an educational movement aimed at preparing current students for success now and into their future. Our current Kindergarten 1 class at UWCSEA will graduate in June 2025. They will most likely attend a higher educational institution and be seeking employment sometime after 2030. Could we have predicted in 1990 what the world of work would look like today? Would we have had the foresight to equip our students with an openness to new technologies, placed an emphasis on collaborative projects, or stressed the importance of cultural understanding? And technology is advancing at an exponential rate, making the twenty year horizon seem almost unpredictable. However, predict we must as it is our task to design and prepare learning experiences that will shape our students appropriately for success in their futures.

    21st Century Skills

    A series of “skills for the 21st Century” have been developed and generally accepted by the educational community. The skills were initially assembled through a meta-study examining a series of empirical research initiatives aimed at understanding what current businesses were requiring form their top employees. While this was the initial starting point, the assembly of the skills was further revised through a consideration for the holistic development of a child in our current era into the future. The lists may vary,

but the general skill* set is as follows: (bracketed content links with the four general aims of the UWCSEA programme described in section 3)

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (Critical Thinking)

  • Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence (Collaborative Learning)

  • Agility and Adaptability (Flexible Progression)

  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism (Unhindered Innovation)

  • Effective Oral and Written Communication (Collaborative Learning)

  • Accessing and Analyzing Information (Critical Thinking)

  • Curiosity and Imagination (Unhindered Innovation)

  • *Taken from “The Global Achievement Gap” Tony Wagner, 2009

    One of the general goals of the 21st Century imitative is aimed at helping students become truly global citizens with a level of comfort with technology and digital tools. In many educational circles, our current students are referred to as “digital natives”, and today’s educators as “digital immigrants”. Teachers are working with students whose entire lives have been immersed in the 21st century media culture. Our students are digital learners – they have never known a world without cell phones, handheld gaming devices, PDAs, and portable laptops. A survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that young people (ages 8-18) mainline electronic media for more than six hours a day, on average. Many are multitasking – listening to music while surfing the Web or instant-messaging friends while playing a video game. (“The Global Achievement Gap”, Wagner, 2009). Most importantly, they are connected at all times and anywhere.

    What Does it Look Like?

    As part of the presentation process to the Board we ran some workshops where teachers did exemplar activities with the Board members and senior school staff.

    The Impact on Teaching and Learning

    There are several issues associated with this initiative that have a direct effect on teaching and learning with a focus on maintaining our current level of academic rigour. As this is a relatively new area, there are relatively few (we reviewed seventy eight) empirical, peer reviewed, published studies. The evidence from these studies is still largely inconclusive as the studies themselves relate to a small sample size or the research results in the measurement of the effectiveness of the implementation of technology and not the impact in general on student learning.

    There is no evidence, that we found, which would allow us to unequivocally state that the implementation of a 1:1 laptop programme would have a direct positive effect on student math, reading, spelling, or general literacy scores. However, our College has made a commitment to provide a holistic education for our students, including a commitment to others through our Service Projects and a commitment to ourselves through our Experiential Learning Programmes. We assert that it would be equally as difficult to demonstrate that these cornerstones to the UWC movement would have a direct and positive effect on student results either. Technology must be viewed in this light. It is a new aspect of our lives that can be understood, taught, and utilised to make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of our students.

    A commitment to 21st Century Learning will change several aspects of our school across all grades and in all areas. The following list has been compiled from our research and discussion with individuals, schools, organisations, and experts in the field. The list identifies aspects of the initiative which will change within UWCSEA. In some cases there are issues associated with the changes. These will be discussed in detail, along with solutions and structures in the section related sections below.

  1. Technology skills will increase for teachers and students

  2. Teachers may not have the answers

  3. Feedback will increase for teachers and students

  4. Collaboration will increase across the school

  5. Face-to-face interactions will improve

1. Technology skills will increase for staff and students

One of the key aspects for success in many of the 1:1 laptop programmes we visited was the “buy-in” from teachers and the related teacher training. In all instances, the motivation for teachers to use the technology appropriately was related to the amount and quality of their training both on the hardware aspects of the computers and on the application of the software to their specific subject area. Increases in technology skills were also demanded from students as well. While they may have been more technologically savvy in a general manner, their specific skills with a particular programme demanded training.

Therefore:

  • Teachers will be provided with both hardware and software training in context to their specific subject (see section 12 for details)

  • Teachers will receive subject focussed training related to using the software for specific applications within their subject (see section 12)

  • Teacher skills will be monitored and measured through our current teacher standards. This aspect will be added to the teacher appraisal review currently underway to ensure that clear expectations, evidence, and accountability are built into the Appraisal Policy.

  • The training will be mandatory and enforced by the administrative teams after a thorough justification has been provided for teaching staff.

  • Staff hiring for August 2011 onwards will make explicit the expectations for teacher professional learning and the demands of a 1:1 programme if applicable

  • Student training will be standardised from the start of the school year for those involved in the programme rollout in August 2011.

  • Student training will include a thorough review of the current “technology users” policy which defines the boundaries of appropriate technology use and explains the measures taken should the policy be breached.

  • In-class student training will be developed as part of the curriculum. This will demand that teachers consider and embed appropriate technology related skills into their formal grade level expectations and classroom level lesson planning

  • Student skills will be measured continuously with a series of formal and informal metrics to ensure that appropriate support is available for the right students at the right time. This also adds to the accountability of the initiative and helps to ensure that individual students are not left behind due to insufficient skills with the technology.

    2. Teachers may not have all of the answers

    By providing students with ubiquitous access to information and multiple platforms for collaboration, the locus of “classroom” control can easily shift from the teacher to the student. The 21st Century learning movement would argue that this is a shift which needs to happen, albeit in a measured and structured manner. In order for students to reap the full benefits of flexible progression, unhindered innovation, and collaborative learning they must have open and consistent access to their networked community. The traditional role of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” will be threatened as connected students have equal access to information. This demands a paradigmatic shift for some traditional teachers who equate

classroom discipline with control over information. The transition to a “guide on the side” model of teaching, which facilitates learning through carefully considered questioning and guidance, can be a significant shift for some teachers.

Therefore

  • Teachers will require subject based training that provides concrete examples of pedagogy and strategies used in an effective 21st Century classroom. This training must be conducted by teachers from similar contexts (international education settings) using the same platform and software options.

  • Teacher standards will be reviewed and changes made to reflect the pedagogical expectations for all levels of the school

  • The teacher appraisal process will seek to measure and monitor a teacher’s ability to provide appropriate pedagogy and seek to offer assistance and support to those who need it

    3. Feedback will increase for teachers and students

    An increase in the amount of digital student work will also result in an increase in the expectations for teacher feedback. Research would show that timely specific feedback has a significant impact on student learning and should be a primary focus to teacher training. It is critical that clear expectations are communicated to teachers, students, administrators, and parents. This aspect of a 1:1 programme has the greatest potential to provide educational gains for our students.

    Therefore

  • Teachers will receive professional training as part of the pre-programme instruction that provides research based examples of effective feedback strategies for assessment. Ideally this training would be provided by teachers using the same platform and software so that exemplars can be shared and developed to meet our contextual needs at UWC.

  • Teachers’ training will include ongoing collaboration with related staff to amend the current unit plans so that new forms of activities can be developed to produce the evidence necessary for the new assessment and feedback demands. This planning time must be coordinated with the school administration within each department and school.

  • Teachers will be monitored via the teacher appraisal system such that both high quality assessment and feedback feature within the Teacher Standards (currently under review).

  • Teachers will have ongoing opportunities throughout the school year to moderate various assessments within their subject area, suggest and make appropriate changes to the unit plans, and provide high quality exemplars of assessment tasks as a resource for the future.

  • Students and parents will be provided with clear expectations for feedback. These expectations will be based in research and reality such that teachers can meet the expectations within their working environments at the College.

    4. Collaboration will increase across the school

    One of the key indicators for successful 1:1 laptop programmes, and 21st Century Learning in general, is the increase in quality and quantity of collaboration between staff and students, staff and other staff, and between students as a community of learners. It is an expectation that staff will engage in collaborative forums and discussions to share ideas and build institutional knowledge. It is also an expectation that teachers will take advantage of the single platform to efficiently communicate with students on a variety of levels. They will also be expected to have the skills necessary to establish collaborative networks for students within their classes and monitor and administer these collaborations.

Therefore:

  • The expectation of increased collaboration will be signalled to staff early in the implementation process so that questions and concerns can be answered with a comprehensive plan formulated from experienced consultants and rooted in research.

  • Teachers will receive training that provides them with the research based skills to utilise the hardware and software in order to engage in collaborative efforts with staff and students. This training will take place with trained teachers using similar platforms and software and working in similar contexts teaching similar courses. This continuity allows our teachers to gain valuable resources which are immediately applicable and transferable to their classroom contexts. (see section 12 for details)

  • The College communication policies will be reviewed (2010-2011) to ensure that all community members understand and abide by the established conventions.

  • The College Teacher Appraisal system is modified to addresses collaboration expectations and establishes measures to ensure that the expectations are clear, understood, implemented, and utilised.

    5. Face-to-face interactions will improve

    Our investigations into 1:1 laptop programmes revealed that in many instances the quality of face-to-face interactions improved between staff and between teachers and students. As a portion of the collaborative work shifted to a digital format the personal face-to-face time was used more effectively and was more valued by staff. Some schools reported that teachers started to spend more time in common staffroom areas in an effort to strike a balance between the technology with the personal interaction. This was also true with students who often demand higher quality social areas where they can interact on a personal level and opt to utilise the technology as required.

    Therefore:

  • The school will review the social areas for staff and students on each campus and ensure that these areas allow for comfortable face-to-face interactions

  • Network access needs to be complete across both campuses to ensure that staff and students enjoy continuous access and do not have to seek pockets of access, thereby delineating space between technological and personal.

4. Laptop Specification

The following table summarises the specification of the laptop provided in the Apple proposal for pricing details. Note that we would expect the actual laptops to be issued in Aug 2011 to be of a higher specification due to natural technology advancement over the next year.

Model Processor Screen
System memory Hard Drive

DVD Drive Graphics Card Media Wireless Bluetooth Battery Life

Macbook Pro 2011 Model 2.3GHz Intel Dual Core i5 13.3"
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 500GB SATA @ 5400rpm

8x Superdrive (RW)
Intel HD3000 Graphics
Built in camera, microphone and speakers Yes, a/g/n
Yes
Up to 7 hours

Connectivity Ethernet, 2 x USB, Dual Display Port / Thunderbolt Port, SD Card slot The intention will be to issue teachers and students with identical computers each year.

5. Software

The following table sets out the standard software package that will be installed / used on the laptops.

We are already working in a number of key areas, such as Science and Mathematics, to identify all the software currently used and to ensure that we provide a suitable set of software to achieve the same effect.

6. Infrastructure Implications

In this section we examine the infrastructure implications of the programme. The implications fall in to the following categories:

  • Servers and Storage

  • Network Directory and Access Methods

  • Wireless Network Coverage

  • Security and Charging

  • Help Desk and Service Centre

  • Servers and Storage

    The College has recently installed a new set of servers and associated storage that should serve our needs for the next 3-5 years. The iLearn programme is not expected to impact these requirements. Some future spending will be diverted to provide Apple based servers, but this expenditure is already in the IT budget.

    Network Directory and Access Methods

    The College currently uses Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to store user details and control access to the College network and associated systems. We are not intending to change this for the foreseeable future. We have been advised that the Apple equivalent, Open Directory, will not support the number of users we have. Apple Macs are able to interface with AD.

    Wireless Network Coverage

    A robust wireless network able to cope with demands of the number of laptops envisaged is essential to the success of the program. Although there is currently wireless coverage in many areas of Dover campus, it is by no means a wireless campus. To provide the robust coverage needed we are planning on a wireless access point in every classroom, plus more in open and public spaces.

    The cost of this increased coverage is included in the IT budget for Dover for the next two years. The cost of this coverage for the new East campus is included in the set-up costs.

    Security and Charging

    Some physical infrastructure that have considered is the ability to provide secure charging. In general, charging at school will be discouraged and not allowed in classrooms. Students will be told to leave charges at home. However, we will provide a number of secure charging stations in key areas along the following lines.

    Help Desk and Service Centre

    As part of the support agreement Apple and NCS will provide an on-site engineer, loaner units and parts to create an Apple Certified Support Centre. The College will need to provide suitable accommodation for this support centre. In addition will place some College IT support staff in the centre to provide additional support and facilitate knowledge transfer.

    The location for this support centre is included in the plans for Tampines main library. On Dover the plan is to provide a temporary location in current main library from August 2011 until the new “middle school” block comes online in early 2012. At that time the support centre will move to the new IT area in that block.

 

7. Finance

  • Last Updated: Wednesday October 26th 2010

    Given the all-encompassing nature of the initiative there are various costs associated with the programme which may not be immediately apparent including:

The training and professional development of staff

  • Provision of new resources to support changes to the curriculum

  •  

  • Additional staff to support the programme

  • Improved IT infrastructure

  • The provision of a laptop per student in Grades 6-12

  • Additional computers in the Primary schools to increase the computer to student ratio to 1 to every 2.

  • Whilst some of these can be met out of current budgets not all can.

    During our research many different variations of ownership and cost recovery were examined but fundamentally three models exist:

    1. Upfront parental purchase of the laptop and associated software

    2. The school purchases the laptops and charges an upfront “technology fee”

    3. The school purchases the laptops and recovers the cost over time through tuition fees

    When considering these options, the first is the most expensive to parents as software licensing costs are much higher (sometimes by a factor of a 100) when parents have to purchase individual licences versus the College using site licences. We have estimated that dependent upon the software being used this would add between S$400-S$1200 or more to the cost of a machine. The third option is the cheapest overall and minimises the upfront costs to parents, as the cost is spread over the three years of the machine.

    The College has decided that it will adopt the third option. The College will purchase and own the laptops and distribute them to students as we do with many other learning tools. The cost of the laptops for the Middle and High School students and the programme as a whole will therefore be included in the tuition fees and this will be one of the factors taken into consideration when the Board meet in March to determine the fee level for the academic year 2011-12.

    As mentioned previously, the initiative will be phased in over a two year period commencing in October 2010. It is our intention that by August 2012 all students in Grades K1-5 will have access to one computer for every two children and Grades 6-12 will have personal laptops. At the beginning of the next academic year in August 2011 all students in Grades 6-10 at the East Campus will be issued with a laptop. In order to keep the numbers manageable in the first year on the Dover Campus this will be confined to Grades 6, 9 and 11. The following year i.e. August 2012, all other students in Grades 6-12 on both campuses will be issued with a laptop. At the same time we will see an increased computer provision elsewhere in the College.

    For those students in Grades 6-12 who will be issued with a laptop in August 2011 (see previous paragraph) we estimate we will need to increase fees by approximately 2% (S$500/year) for the academic year 2011-12 and a further 1.6% (S$400/year) for the academic year 2012-13. The overall fee increase over the two years, due to the iLearn programme, will therefore be 3.6%. The actual fee increase in each year may be more due to other factors, such as inflation. Those students who receive their first laptop in August 2012 will not have their fees increased next year due to the iLearn programme but will see a 3.6% increase for the academic year 2012-13.

The following table summarises the situation.

Although the College will purchase the laptops and own them for the three-year ‘life’ of the machines, at the end of the three years the laptops (minus the College licensed software) will become the property of the parents. Parents will have paid for the machines over the course of the three years through the fees. We also want the students to feel a real sense of ownership for their computers during their life in the programme.

If a student leaves the College during the three-year life cycle of their machine, they will be obliged to buy out the machine at a pro-rata charge. We do not believe that most parents or students would like to use secondhand laptops and as stated above, it is important that students feel ownership of their computers. The computer we have identified which meets our specification is the Apple MacBook Pro 13” and the price we have negotiated includes a three-year international warranty, insurance, the provision of on-site support centre by Apple engineers, an extensive educational software package, and ‘loaner units’ to cover breakdowns.

Students entering G11, or G12 students who receive a new machine will be obliged to pay an additional "iLearn Programme” or Technology Fee to cover the pro-rata buy out cost of their machine at the end of G12. This fee will be spread over the normal tuition fee payments during Gr11 or 12.

No deposits will be collected, however, parents will have to sign an agreement that commits them to paying for repairs, damages or loss not covered by the warranty or insurance and to buy out the machine on a pro- rata basis as described if they leave before the three-year life of the machine is reached.

The current cost of the laptop to be used when determining the pro-rata buy-out cost is S$2,275. This price includes the computer itself, its operating system and base software, three years on-site support, use of loaner units and insurance. The total cost used when determining the fee increase is higher as it includes an additional amount for software.

8. Staffing Implications

There are three areas where additional staffing may be required, or staffing is impacted:

  • TechnicalSupport

  • Teacher Professional Development & Classroom Practice Support

  • Future teacher recruitment

  • TechnicalSupport

    The provision within the programme costs of an Apple Certified Support Centre on each campuses includes an Apple certified engineer at no additional cost. Based on our research of other programmes we are not anticipating any additional staffing needs on the support side to support the programme above the levels already envisaged.

    Teacher Professional Development & Classroom Practice Support

    We have identified a need to increase direct support for teachers in technology use. To this end we are recommending that the College employ four Technology Integration Specialists on each campus. Technology Integration Specialists are normally teachers with a strong technology background whose job is not to directly teach students, but to support teachers in their technology use. They employ a series of techniques

to this end including:

  • Traditional face to face training courses

  • Teamteaching

  • Mentoring

  • Drop in sessions

  • Producing exemplars of good practice (videos, crib sheets, etc)

  • The College currently has two such specialists on each campus, so we need to increase the number by

    two on each. The plan is to add two additional staff to Dover in August 2011 and one to the East; with another additional staff member for East the following year.

    The cost of this staffing increase is included in the budget figures for the programme.

    Future Teacher Recruitment

    During future recruitment drives experience in 1:1 schools and / or Apple schools will be given prominence and used as a criteria for distinguishing between candidates who meet all the other criteria. Bringing staff experienced in this area will help jump start the programme and reduce the training overhead.

    9. Implementation

    The following section will look at the timeline for implementation and the proposed management structures that will be put in place to oversee the programme.

    Project Management

    Ultimately the iLearn programme will be managed by the College Executive Board and they will have overall responsibility for its successful implementation. However, for the detailed planning and implementation

two steering groups will be created, one for each campus. The Dover and East iLearn Steering Groups will have responsibility for:

  • Planning and overseeing teacher professional development

  • Developing policies for the running of the programme, including acceptable use polices

  • Planning and providing parent and student briefing sessions in anticipation of the programme

  • Planning and overseeing the handover of computers to parents and students and out of the box training

  • Planning and overseeing new student training

    The Steering Groups should consist of the following people drawn from the relevant campus:

  • The IT Director

  • The Network Manager

  • Middle and High School Curriculum Vice-Principals

  • Technology Integration Teachers

  • RepresentativeStudents

  • Representative Parents

  • RepresentativeTeachers

  • Liaison Staff from NCS and Apple

  • The IT Director and Network Manager will be consistent across both groups and will ensure consistency

    where relevant between the policies and practices being developed.

    10. Training

    In this section we will detail the expected training and professional development requirements necessary to support the iLearn programme. A major reason for the choice of Apple to support the programme is their comprehensive professional development programme for all the constituents groups. This includes training for administrators, teachers, technical staff and students & parents.

    Training Approach

    The Digital Literacy strand covers the skills to use the computers and software. This will be delivered in small chunks of 1-3 hours and fitted in to the normal schedule, i.e. free periods, lunchtimes and afterschool. The Pedagogy Development requires focused time with colleagues in the same and / or similar departments and an expert facilitator. Hence whole days will be scheduled with relevant cover as necessary to allow departments to attend this training together. To minimise disruption and cover requirements, this training will be concentrated in the mock exam and final exam periods, when most high school teachers get a reduced timetable due to student exam leave.

    We will be using surveys to identify where staff currently are in order to enable us target training and provide appropriate help and support as necessary. Identifying training needs and following up on this also forms part of the staff appraisal and development process.

    Building Capacity

    A key goal during this year and next will be to build internal training capacity to reduce the cost of external trainers, personalise the training and increase flexibility in delivery. To this end a group of vanguard or advocate staff have been identified. This group will receive additional training and be groomed to progress through the Apple certification programmes to become trainers. We will also look to bolster this group through the recruitment process.

11. Communications Strategy

We see the communications strategy as critical to the success of this programme. We will seek to identify the questions frequently asked by parents, students, teachers, and community members and provide answers through FAQ lists and/or interactive information sessions. This will be an ongoing process starting with the Board and senior leadership iLearn presentations. A following set of presentations will target our Parent’s Association, Student Council, and Staffroom Representatives. This will allow us to further enhance our identification of the issues while widening our support base of members equipped to answer questions as they arise in our community.

We foresee that this will be an involved process that will consume the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year as we would seek to access as many parents, students and staff as possible in small group session to allow them to experience the change that is inherent in a 1:1 classroom environment and allow for open questions and dialogue.

Our initial sampling of Board questions has indicated that issues regarding finance, classroom application, and teacher training have occurred with the highest frequencies. Based on our initial sessions, research, and visits and interviews with other schools we have generated an initial list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs.) This list will grow and be refined as our sample becomes wider.

12. Metrics to Measure Success

When selecting metrics to measure the success of the iLearn programme, we need to keep in mind that the programme is not intended to impact exam results or other obvious measures of academic performance. The metrics we intend to use are:

  • Student, Teacher, and Parent Surveys

  • Staff and Student Technology Skills Assessment Data

  • Teacher Professional Development Data

  • Teacher Appraisal Data

  • An iLearn Programme Portfolio

  • Student, Teacher, and Parent Surveys

    Student, teacher, and parent surveys facilitate the gathering of self-report information. They will enable us to track the perceptions and feelings of those involved the programme. The first surveys to be carried out will focus on creating a technology profile of the staff and students prior to the programme inception. These help inform the professional development required before the programme formally starts in August 2011 as well as providing a benchmark to measure progress against.

    Other surveys will gather data on parental attitudes and feedback on certain key events such as the parental briefings and initial rollout.

    Surveys will be conducted at key points, including:

  • Following the programme announcement,

  • Following Teacher Training / Parent briefing, but before the programme starts in August 2011

  • Following initial rollout in August 2011

  • After 6 months, 1 year and 2years and periodically thereafter

Education Technology Profile

Description

Professional development works best when it is designed around the needs of teachers. Apple Professional Development’s Technology Profile gathers information on the technological skills and infusion practices of educators within a school or a district. The information obtained may be used to design a professional development plan to address the needs of survey participants. Our online Technology Profile is grounded in more than three decades of experience and research in integrating technology into schools.

Survey and Report

Teachers complete a 15-minute online self-assessment of six dimensions of current technology infusion practices: Technology Infusion, Curriculum Integration, Instruction and Assessment, Communication & Collaboration, Media, Productivity, and Research. In addition to asking questions about their practices, the survey also gathers information about their classroom environment, obstacles to development, and preferred delivery modes for professional development.

Apple Professional Development will synthesize and analyze the collected data to produce a summary report and recommendations for the College leadership.

The Technology Profile will help to inform the College improvement plan and spotlight faculty professional development needs

Staff and Student Technology Skills Assessment Data

We will be using the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) New Educational Technology Standards (NETS) to monitor and evaluate the technology skills of students, teachers and administrators.

By tracking all three constituents against these standards over time, we will be able to track the improvement of 21st Century skills and their educational impact.

For more information on the three NETS standards (Teacher, Student & Administrator) please see: http:// www.iste.org/NETS/

Teacher Professional Development Data

We will track details of professional development courses and activities undertaken by teachers throughout the programme. Over time the profile of courses attended should show an improvement in the underlying skills and knowledge base of the staff.

Teacher Appraisal Data

Monitoring the development of the requisite skills and knowledge associated with the programme, attendance at professional development courses and meaningful use of the skills and knowledge in the classroom will all be built in to the teacher appraisal system. By tracking the data collected within the appraisal system we will be able to track improvements over time. One aspect of this will be the use of lesson observation practices specifically designed to highlight and monitor good technology use.

An iLearn Programme Portfolio

Over the course of the programme will collect and store various records on the programme to build up an historical record. These will include:

Articles & reports Examples of good practice External feedback
Return to the top

13. References & Acknowledgements

Institutions

  1. School of Science & Technology – Singapore MoE Future School http://www.sst.edu.sg/

  2. Republic Polytechnic Singapore - http://rp.sg

  3. Shanghai American School - http://saslaptops.wikispaces.com/

  4. Hong Kong International School - http://ets.hkis.edu.hk/?page_id=75

  5. Canadian International School Hong Kong - http://ltt.cdnis.edu.hk/

  6. Jakarta International School - http://www.jisedu.org

  7. American School in London - http://www.asl.org/page.cfm?p=2030

  8. International School of Prague - http://schoolnet.isp.cz/index.php/academic-program/information- technology

  9. Munich International School - http://www.mis-munich.de/learning/technology/index.aspx

Reference Organisations & Reports

  1. The Anywhere, Anytime Learning Forum - http://www.aalf.org/

  2. The New Learning Institute - http://newlearninginstitute.org/

  3. 21st Century School - http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/

  4. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - http://www.p21.org/

  5. The State of Maine Learning Technology Initiative - http://www.usm.maine.edu/cepare/mlti.htm

  6. One to One Institute - http://one-to-oneinstitute.org/

  7. One to One Information Resources - http://www.k12one2one.org/

  8. Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment - http://escholarship.bc.edu/jtla/

  9. Volume 9: Special Edition: Educational Outcomes and Research from 1:1 Computing Settings

  10. Laptops for Learning Taskforce - http://etc.usf.edu/l4l/index.html

  11. Walden University Report - Educators, Technology and 21st Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths http:// www.waldenu.edu/Documents/Degree-Programs/Report_Summary_-_Dispelling_Fi...

  1. Shambles Website – 1:1 Laptop Initiatives - http://www.shambles.net/pages/learning/ict/1to1laptop/

  2. 2010 Horizon Report - http://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/uploaded/images/General/Learning/2010-Horizon- Report.pdf

  3. Unleashing the Future: Emerging Technologies for Education - http://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/uploaded/ images/General/Learning/Unleashing_The_Future.pdf

  4. Apple Classroom of Tomorrow - http://ali.apple.com/acot2/

  5. 1:1 Computing - http://121computing.wikispaces.com/

  6. Resources for Using Educational Technology Successfully in Asian Schools - http://lsa.wikispaces.com/ Student+Laptops

  7. Alabama Best Practice Center - http://abpc.wikispaces.com/21st+Centurizing+Lessons

  8. Classroom Instruction that Works: Integrating Technology with Marzano - http://gets.gc.k12.va.us/ VSTE/2008/