Technology at CIS
Technology is everywhere, it is intertwined with our day to day lives and it affects how we work, live, and function today. The future is unequivocally more technologically oriented and it has become vital to equip our students to be smart, digital citizens by the time they graduate from school.
CIS has been a pioneer in the integration of technology into the education sector. One tool that has been imperative in facilitating learning with technology is the iPad. We came across the concept of iPad learning at a conference and decided to implement it into the curriculum in 2011. The iPad, a unique tool, showcased a number of features that provided ways to extend the teaching and learning in our classrooms. Having since become India’s first Apple Distinguished school, it has been imperative for us to take a look at how we have transformed teaching and learning to create a deeper understanding of classroom time.
Technologically enabled learning at CIS takes place across the grade levels from ages three and up, utilizing a wide range of apps in all our subject disciplines. The primary tool used in learning is the iPad and the type of apps most frequently used are content creation apps. These apps allow students to use their creativity and create a myriad of things such as films, posters, documentaries, presentation, reports, brochures, and even comics!
Elementary iPad learning at CIS integrates more colourful, creative, and engaging apps. The objective is to enable learning through visual apps that are easier to manage and manipulate. Some of the most popular apps used are Popplet and PicCollage. These apps are used as a mind map to help capture facts, thoughts, and images to learn to create relationships between them. Augmented reality apps such as Quiver, The Human Body, and The Earth are also frequently used to engage students and enable them to grasp knowledge quickly.
The iPad is mandatory for Middle School and High School students at CIS. Most learning occurs through the use of digital content that is delivered through iTunes U. iTunes U is an inclusive educational database from Apple with resources for primary and secondary school students and instructors. “An added advantage of using technology, especially the iPad is that it amplifies learning as it is specifically designed to suit the needs of the students.” shares Shefali Jhaveri, Technology Integrationist, CIS.
However, the frequent use of technology raises thought-provoking questions amongst parents. “Is the internet safe for my child?” or “Are my child’s social skills at risk?” are the most frequently asked questions at the school. To address the issues that come forth with the use of technology, we have included Digital Citizenship as part of our curriculum. There are eight components that teach students the appropriate and responsible use of technology. ”A part of the Digital Citizenship curriculum is teaching students to become accountable and conscious digital citizens.” Shefali Jhaveri shares.
Technology integration at CIS assists our educators to boost teaching. There are several learning apps that we use on iPads like Kahoot and Quizlet. These are quiz apps that allow teachers to gamify learning. Students tend to focus on smaller chunks of information and when multiple choice quizzes are used, they pick the right pieces of information. Apps like Explain Everything and Showbie are great tools for assessing students’ assignments. Explain Everything actually records students doing assignments on their iPads and Showbie allows teachers to provide voice notes throughout the assignment. These tools allow connectivity between teachers and students and also bridge the gap between teacher-students thought.
Professional Development days are frequently conducted at the school like CIS’s Annual Educational Technology Conference (TechConX). Teachers are also encouraged to attend conferences outside the school. The goal is to ensure that the faculty is up to date with the latest learning tools. We also have an IT team that is dedicated to the smooth functioning of all things technology related. The team offers support to all the students and teachers at CIS.
Technology has been a crucial aspect of enabling learning and improving the grasping power of students at CIS. Teachers are also empowered with the usage of multiple tools to improve learning. We have observed that learning and teaching not only becomes more interactive and exciting, it also becomes personalized to suit the needs of every child. As for our future, we plan to integrate the latest tools to amplify learning and ensure that our students reap the benefits of technology integration in the years to come.