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The vast points of view and opinion showed in Singapore’s 21st Century Teaching Strategies, Silicon Valley school with no computers and More Silicon Valley Parents Limiting Kids’ Exposure To Technology are in complete contrast of each other; although both make good points about the value of students learning and education.

In Singapore’s 21st Century Teaching Strategies we are shown classrooms applying advanced technology teamed up with a refined and intentional way of using software and hardware. This school has transformed its approach in teaching style, acknowledging that “knowledge is no longer a monopoly for teachers, now student can acquire information from many different sources; hence the role of the teacher today is facilitation”(Edutopia, 2012). The facilitation of learning via the use of technology is in line with how children of today think and operate; the focus is shifting with easy access to information. As mentioned in this video the teachers role (as a facilitator) is to foster students learning around “where and how to get the right knowledge”(Edutopia, 2012). This draws on the elements outlined in P21 Framework for 21st Century learning and the broader Australian National Curriculum such as critical thinking and problems solving.

Some great examples of teaching strategies observed in Singapore’s 21st Century Teaching Strategies are:

  • Students tweeting their answer to a question with the teacher displaying all responses on the interactive board for all to see.
  • Second-life art gallery (a virtual online gallery) an interactive gallery space set up to showcase local artists work. This acts as an interactive and engaging approach for students to experience an art gallery without leaving the school grounds. Each student is able to collaborate by commenting on works, respond to comments and read other students views.
  • Teachers trail and test lessons within a network of follow teachers to determine where they can improve on delivering classroom activities. This allows them to experience firsthand what students will see and forecast some of their questions.

In Silicon Valley school with no computers and More Silicon Valley Parents Limiting Kids’ Exposure To Technology show classroom with no computers where students are taken right back to basics and participate in more physical and hands on learning experiences. The approach is to “provoke the use of textbooks, algorithms and logic to understand the science behind the computers” (CNN, 2012) whist this informs independent and individual skills this may also lead to transitional issues into workplaces with a strong digital presence. Although it is suggested in both videos that parents of students believe “it’s a natural way to raise children” and ”devices in school can be a distraction” (CNN, 2012). An important point raised was that Steve Jobs the founder of Apple keeps ipad and iphones away from his three kids; this provides great insight into the mind of entrepreneurs.

In teaching I would draw points from all of these sources to provide a well rounded lesson and knowledge for my students. Teaching students why and how in a way that they are able to understand and demonstrate basic logic will be a focus in my classroom. In a scenario when a computer/computer system crashes (whist this may be uncommon they can occur) students need to be able to do things without depending on a computer or device. Such as mathematical equations, memorising information and drawing on existing knowledge (their basic skills). One potential solution that could be applied is to have a reward system similar to the “pen licence” from when I was at school; students need to demonstrate their knowledge using the basic physical methods to be eligible to use the support of the technological equivalent. Although the application of this will need to be appropriate for the subject and leanings outcomes.


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA].National Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

CBS SF Bay Area. 2014. More Silicon Valley Parents Limiting Kids’ Exposure To Technology  [Video file]. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGbtRhIxbCs

CNN. 2012. Silicon Valley school with no computers [Video file]. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUxLKik3zNA

Edutopia. 2012. Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies (Education Everywhere Series) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_pIK7ghGw4

P21 Partnership for 21stCentury Learning. 2009. Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework