Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is this the future of learning with technology in schools?

     This week I am attending the International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology (ICTLT) in Singapore and had the opportunity to visit Canberra Primary School to view the country's very first 4D immersive learning environment. 

     As part of the Ministry of Education's Future Schools project, this local public school has partnered with Playware Studios to create a breakthrough experience for students in which the lines between reality and technology are blurred to bring about a whole new learning experience. 

Students recording information 
rainforest environment

     Using this cutting edge technology, teachers are able to create multi-tiered lessons around different environments such as a tropical rainforest or the Shanghai World Expo. Students can touch various parts of the multi screens to learn new information about the environment according to specific curriculum areas. Students can also be heavily involved in content creation by adding text, photos, videos and audio. The goal is to create an environment that is never ending so that new content can always be added and for older students to be empowered to create content for younger students. 

     The school has moved away from traditional models of teaching and learning in Singapore by emphasizing learning through game play. The results, according to their principal, Mr. Sam Wong, have been highly positive, with student scores being among the best in the country. 

     Currently, Canberra is the only school in Singapore using this technology but the plan is for them to share their content with other schools in the country free of charge and to develop partnerships with other schools around the world using similar technologies.