With schools and enrichment centres getting shuttered earlier this year due to the pandemic, traditional classes have been quickly replaced with video conference lessons or virtual assessments. As the nation explores and transitions into digital learning, enrichment centres have provided quality learning solutions in their course offerings to bridge the gap and also to ensure that learning outside schools remain unhindered. In light of the pandemic, the need to digitalise the nation starting from a young age, seems more crucial now than ever before.
In July, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran announced that it will be mandatory for upper primary students to attend coding enrichment courses from 2021 onwards. The ministry has also announced that all secondary school students are expected to receive a personal laptop or tablet by the end of 2021. All the above measures are in line with the Singapore government’s goal to prepare a digitally inclusive and future-ready nation.
Novel Ways of Learning
While digital learning is unable to fully replace the social interaction and values transmission that physical classes bring about, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung highlighted that this alternative form of education boosts resilience, independence and self-directed learning which are important lifelong skills in the future generation.
While many are hesitant about the effectiveness of digital learning at the beginning, the pandemic has forced them out of their comfort zones. Many enrichment centres have since experimented with other creative teaching tools and platforms to adapt to the sudden change and ensure that the quality of their lessons is not compromised.
By providing one week complimentary online tuition services and teaching through innovative Tik-Tok Style videos, The Alternative Story, an enrichment centre teaching English and writing skills, provided parents and students a taste of the new way of learning. Others eased parents and students into remote learning by providing discounts or uploading full recordings of their lessons for students to refer to at their own pace. Since then, parents have become more receptive to novel ways of learning.
Blended Learning – A New Norm
With the escalation of the pandemic, teachers, parents and students alike are pushed to adapt to the concept of online home-based learning within a short period of time. It has no doubt been a challenging period for everyone, but at the same time, granted the nation with precious insights and knowledge of the benefits of blended learning.
As the nation progressed towards the reopening of schools and other educational facilities since June this year, MOE has also been looking at ways to blend classroom learning and digital learning to harness the benefits of both modes of learning.
MOE is exploring the option of complementing classroom learning with digital learning and making digital learning a regular feature as part of a modern education system. With online learning, students are encouraged to take charge and be responsible for their own learning journey. Outside the classroom, students can engage in self-directed learning where they are in control of the pace of their learning, revisit concepts in their own time and even explore other topics of learning on the platform.
SixClouds – Your Partner in Blended Learning
In alignment with MOE’s direction to raise independent, resilient and self-directed learners in this digital age, it is important to rethink how online lessons are conducted both in schools and external academic-based enrichment programs. A surge in demand in quality online academic enrichment resources is also expected in the near future as online learning becomes increasingly normalised.
To achieve success in blended learning, parents will soon be flocking towards a safe online educational platform where students are able to access structured content and where learning is interactive and engaging. Today, Marvel Parents would like to share with you about such an online educational platform – SixClouds.
Through a variety of bespoke multi-media channels, SixClouds, a Singapore edutech company, specializes in delivering quality educational programmes. Combining practical and fun educational content, this educational platform aims to bring knowledge to the masses through technology. SixClouds was founded with the vision to make knowledge and learning accessible and affordable to everyone.
Singapore Maths Innovative Learning Experience (S.M.I.L.E) is one of SixCloud’s online subscription programs that adds fun to the fundamental learning of mathematics. Through the use of animation and storytelling, this learning programme is designed for children to learn with ease through visual cues, allowing them to build strong foundations and academic performance. Thematic storytelling makes it interesting for children to follow what is being taught and helps children relate Maths to our daily lives. Following the MOE curriculum, S.M.I.L.E is created by ex-MOE teachers with more than 10 years of experience and is catered to your child’s learning needs from Primary 1 to Secondary 2.
S.M.I.L.E houses close to 100 video resources for each Primary level and close to 80 videos for each Secondary level. Encouraging self-directed learning, students are able to watch bite-sized videos to master concepts, answer practice questions with solutions to reinforce knowledge, practice downloadable quizzes and worksheets in their own time. The programme is scaled to provide learning ease at the beginning, to let learners gain proficiency steadily and form good routines, before they progress to more complex topics and difficulty levels.
If you would like to understand more about SixClouds and their S.M.I.L.E Program, you may visit their website.
A Modern Education System
While it is still early days before digital learning fully becomes a norm in the lives of teachers, parents and students, it is a definite progression that Singapore’s education system is moving towards, and the pandemic has just accelerated the process of it. By combining classroom learning with digital learning in schools and other enrichment platforms, students are able to have the best of both worlds. Hence, it is important for Singaporeans to overcome the initial inertia that digital learning brings by holding an open mind to this new mode of learning and the advantages it brings to achieve a modern education system.