Tanglin Trust School in Singapore combines British-based learning with an international perspective, creating a safe, caring, and stimulating environment for its students. The school’s high standards and strong support help build a community of passionate learners ready to confidently contribute to the world.
Teachers are encouraged to innovate and to model how best to employ technology for inquiry and communication and to enhance teaching and learning. “We want technology to be simultaneously transformational and unremarkable, an accelerator of learning, not a driver,” says Stephen Morgan, Head of Technology for Learning at Tanglin Trust Senior School.
Trying out—and adopting—Microsoft OneNote Class Notebooks
Three years ago, the Senior School began exploring the use of OneNote Class Notebooks, alongside a trial of pen-enabled devices, with both students and teachers. The combination proved immediately powerful, allowing teachers to plan together and deliver content through notebooks of shared materials and lessons, and letting students immediately access and, crucially, interact with, all the materials.
According to Morgan, “It was pure efficiency. Students could keep better track of their work and teachers could more easily organize their curriculum and track student progress.”
Microsoft education partner Edukinect helped the effort by providing the school with Microsoft Surface units for testing, along with training and technical support.
The power of the pen
Kayzad Byramjee, Assistant Head of Technology for Learning, says, “Now what we’re aiming to do is embed the power of the pen with OneNote in both the way that teachers teach—the pedagogy—as well as the way that students learn. The school also wants to ensure that some of the attributes we try to encourage in students—being independent, self-sufficient, and collaborative—are harnessed through pen-enabled devices and through OneNote.”
The school is now working with students and teachers on visual note taking. Morgan explains, “We think visual note taking is a skill that will really stand up for life when students go on to college and the world of work, and having pen-enabled devices is going to give them the edge.”
Pen-enabled devices have led to better integration of technology into learning; teachers are now able to give students immediate voiced, typed, or inked feedback. “That’s really the Holy Grail for us,” Morgan says, “providing rich, personalized feedback that students can respond to, creating a genuine dialogue around learning.”
Fundamental for both teachers and students: the flexibility of OneNote. “You can highlight the text and move it to another region of the workspace. Add some space in there if you want, zoom in, write something in a bit more detail, add video clips and other media, link it to your notes. The end product is comprehensive and immersive,” says Morgan.
Tanglin Trust Senior School anticipates OneNote and pen-enabled devices continuing to enrich the school’s teaching and learning for some time to come.