Can Research-Based Technology Change School-Based Learning? Perspectives from Singapore

Chee-Kit Looi

We start with the broad realization that despite decades of research work in technology-mediated learning that have produced many exciting systems and studies, we have not seen many pervasive, sustainable and scalable improvements in actual classroom practice. Nonetheless, there are some countries and regions in the world in which such systemic approaches to innovating educational reforms in the classrooms hold the promise of impacting real world practice. In this talk, we would like to present the case of Singapore where such a realistic possibility can be actualized through a coherent program that spans the spectrum of many critical dimensions: from policy imperatives to school ground-up efforts, from research to impacting practice, from one research project in a classroom to sustainability and scaling up, from mere usage to cultural and epistemological shifts of the stakeholders, and from technology experimentation to providing robust technology infrastructures. Addressing these dimensions provide the conditions for technology to have an impact. Situations where technology works include those where students use technology all the time, where technology is truly personal, where the curriculum leverages the affordances of technologies, or where it is easy for teachers or students to add to the repertoire of technology-enabled activities. In Singapore, we have embarked on a journey in the Learning Sciences Lab to conduct school-based research to develop models of how to enact effective innovations and how to sustain their routine use in schools. I will discuss some of the innovations we are working on, and the issues and challenges we still face to achieve adoptability in schools, challenges that the ITS community might well be able to address.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13388-6_1.