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BackpackLIVE! Project (2010-2013)

(a collaboration between MOE, IDA, Educare and Gongshang Primary School)

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Gongshang Primary School's proposed pedagogical framework (DI with a Difference - a blended approach) seeks to address the tension between our current pedagogical approaches (characterized largely by direct instruction) and the 21st century student outcomes we hope to achieve (which require more authentic instructional approaches). The project does not seek to replace direct instruction with authentic instructional approaches, but to find a delicate balance that would match the readiness of teachers and maintain the rigour of the instructional programme.

In this project, the ICT department works with the Science department to develop bite-sized learning-cum-fun applets as add-ons to the iCoLAB, a customised online learning portal that we have co-developed with our industrial partner. These game applets serve to support the construction component of the pedagogical framework (by supporting game-based or inquiry-based learning of certain topics). These mini-applications are modular in nature, and have been developed and accumulated as learning resources in an incremental manner. Aligned with self-directed learning and differentiated instruction, these mini-apps can also be pitched at increasing levels of difficulty (to facilitate student mastery), and with different game challenges that may match learning profiles and styles of students.

In this project, the English department also explores the use of livescribe pens to enhance metacognitive skills in the domain of language acquisition. Livescribe pens are Smart pens which record and link audio to what is written. These pens can be used to capture group discussions. They can also be used to support group reflective assessment during the metacognition component of each unit. As data from the pens can be uploaded to the iCoLAB and shared, group reflections can be significantly supported using this technology for collaborative learning.