Sponsored by Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing) –YCIS Beijing is has a long history of academic achievement with five educational accreditations and a award from Cambridge International Examinations. YCIS Beijing is registered as a school for children of foreign nationals offering international education for students in kindergarten through to Year 13 and graduation to university. For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arguably the largest change within schools both state and international in the last ten to fifteen years has been the increasingly important role technology plays within the classroom. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in itself is not just limited to being a subject of study. The crossover of technology into other subject areas is making knowledge of technology and computer use more vital for both teachers and students. Furthermore, the dimensions that are available in learning through technology are incredibly vast, including the convenience it brings to study outside the classroom or on field trips, learning skills that will almost certainly be required for later life and the ease of access to the most recently updated information. As a result of this educational change, schools are doing their utmost to provide students with best possible opportunities to keep pace with the rapid technological demands of the 21st century.
At Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing), Mr. Matthew Broughton has the role of Primary Technology Integrator at the school. Broughton discusses his key responsibilities within a school as a whole in a job that may not have even existed several years ago, “My position at YCIS Beijing is as a full time ICT integrator. My sole responsibility is to enhance the use of ICT in the primary curriculum. I work with primary classroom teachers and students to enrich their ICT skills. I also find authentic links to technology in the primary curriculum so that technology becomes less of a stand-alone subject and more of an integrated subject.”
Creativity in particular is an asset that ICT nurtures as is witnessed in our everyday lives. When we look to the past, it is very hard to imagine some of the activities and projects that students are currently undertaking, even at such a young age. Broughton explains some of the ways he has incorporated technology into the daily study of students at YCIS Beijing, “Throughout this past year, we’ve really tried to push the boundaries of how we use technology in the classroom. We use I-Pads in the classroom but the focus is not on consumption. Replacing a book with an e-book does not allow for any educational advantage apart from simple convenience. Instead, we focus on creating something new that the students would not otherwise be able to do through the more traditional equipment present in most schools. Examples of how we have used I-Pads this year have included our Year 2 students creating e-books, a radio broadcasting unit in Year 3, creating comic strips in the Chinese classes to aid the learning of characters and stop motion animation in Year 5. As long as we continue to highlight creativity through technological advancement, we are on the right track."
In addition to ICT, the study of Design & Technology (D&T) has developed dramatically in recent years, primarily as a result of findings during an Ofsted report in 2011. Christine Gilbert CBE, the former Head of Ofsted stated, “At a time of rapid technological advance schools need new approaches to teaching design and technology. Pupils need to learn about new materials and technologies and to investigate practically how and why products work.” The benefits of D&T, including encouraging pupils to consider design problems, developing a range of practical skills associated with modern industry and solving future ecological and environmental issues, make this subject potentially one of the most important within school curricula in the present day.
Through studying D&T, students become prepared for the skills they need for life in the 21st century. Thomas Burns, D&T Teacher at YCIS Beijing explains some of the skills students learn within his classes, “Students learn how to design and develop their own ideas. They analyze various design problems and work independently or within groups to create a solution. In addition, they learn how to critically evaluate products – an important skill in further and higher education.”
Fortunately within this digital age, YCIS Beijing has in place an exceptional D&T course in which students can develop knowledge and skills in areas that are almost certainly going to prove advantageous as they progress to university and into the future careers, as Burns describes, “Our students learn how to use the latest in computer technology (Computer Aided Design & Computer Aided Graphics). We use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture & digital movie editing software. Students are exposed to high-tech textiles manufacturing equipment such as a dye sublimation printer and laser cutters, while also learning some of the more traditional skills such as sewing, stitching, woodworking and point perspective drawing techniques.”
A recent animation project within D&T really encompasses the direction of technology at YCIS Beijing. The task for students in Year 9 was to create an animation using Adobe Photoshop and then create their own unique QR codes which when scanned by a smart phone, would display their finished animation. Such projects that overlap so many every day technological uses truly emphasise the YCIS Beijing motto of Aligning with Technology. If you’d like to view a couple of the animations created by Year 9 students Jiwon Baek and Hiroto Yamamoto, simply scan the QR codes below.
To find out more about YCIS Beijing, please visit www.ycis-bj.com