Author(s): Heather Clayton Staker
Organization(s): Ready to Blend
Issues: Home-based learning, cyber-wellness, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office 365, virtual campus, teacher-student relationship, project-based learning, Blended Learning Arcs, Flex model, blended learning, competency-based learning, Singapore
Singapore is regarded globally for its strong education system. This case study is focused on one of the oldest schools in Singapore, Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) [FMS(P)], sister school to Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary). FMS(P) serves as a leader in the use of blended learning to empower students to self-direct their learning, both during COVID-19 and beyond.
improvement and the need for additional professional development.
One-to-one computing pilot for two Primary 5 classes
Two of the Primary 5 classes at FMS(P) are piloting one-to-one computing. Because of their 24/7 access to computers provided by the school, these classes are doing the deepest work of learning to use Teams as their virtual campus. Teachers are finding ways to use Teams to give students independent and collaborative work, have 1-on-1 check-ins with them, and digitally connect for whole-class interaction.
What to try next
FMS(P) teachers are reflecting about important questions this school year, including how extensively to change their instructional models, much time teachers should spend on Teams engaged in chatting with students and monitoring chats, and how to help struggling students adjust to self-directed learning.
Education technology in Singapore
Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) aspires for students to have a self-directed, personalised, connected, and student-centred education. Its EdTech Plan calls for blended learning, meaning the blend of online and in-person learning, to become a regular feature of schooling so that students can develop the skills and dispositions necessary for self-directed learning. The pandemic increased the urgency for discovering best practices for blended learning.
A virtual campus for FMPS
MOE’s EdTech Plan and COVID-19 spurred FMS(P) to select Microsoft Office 365 Education—specifically Microsoft Teams, a workplace for real-time communication and collaboration—to give students and teachers a hub for chatting, accessing assignments, sharing resources, and participating in live lessons. Student and teacher feedback highlights the broad popularity of Office 365 and Teams, while indicating areas for