I wanted to title this blog as the 21st century schools, but I thought it is better to title it with the name of the school which is leading the other schools of the world to incorporate the 21st Century tools and techniques in their schools.
Crescent Girls Schools – Singapore is one such innovative school which was declared as the model school to mentor other schools of the future by Bill Gates and Microsoft. The school is a pioneer in incorporating innovative technology, integration, community and partner involvement and effective use of research and development. Microsoft calls it the 6i Innovative Schools Program which consists of the following hierarchical steps:
- Implementation and
Why did Microsoft select Crescent as one of the model schools for their future schools program?
Well I was amazed to know that at Crescent the students have almost eliminated the use of traditional paper and pen. They take notes on their tablet pc’s, complete their projects with the help of their tablets and also use a lot of e-textbooks. They call their program M-Learning which they introduced in 2004 and they have statistics which show that scores of all their students have considerably increased with the introduction of Technology in the school.
The students do all kinds of cool stuff other than studying the traditional courses with the help of technology, like creating their own digital arts and animation with the use of Movie Maker, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. To ensure that technology is not abused, the school has a stringent cyber wellness program. The students, teachers and administrators also engage in active podcasting and learn musical instruments with the help of Gigajam Online. Apart from the use of technology, character education is an integral part of the education at Crescent. The other fun part is that the have Wii Fits in their cafeteria which help the students to have fun while remaining fit.
A team of foreign journalists were taken on a tour of Crescent during the International Education Round table 2009 which had education ministers from seven top-performing education systems to discuss how to equip students with skills to adapt to an ever changing future. While there were representatives from Canada, Australia, USA, Sweden, Singapore, China and HongKong there was no one from India. The focus of the discussion was the need to attract high-ranking individuals to the teaching profession by providing competitive salaries, IT tools and equip students for globalized economies.