Bringing the world into the classroom

Friday, 13/07/2018, 13:07 (GMT+7)

It is undeniable that digital technology is impacting our lives, every day, every hour, at every level, starting from the individual, to society, to global issues. Our children today are born into a new world – a world that is changing with technology age. To catch up to this trend, one school is starting to show positive “signs” of equipping its students with the knowledge and skills necessary to keep up with the momentum of the revolution.

With a simple computer, Vinschool’s students can connect with friends, experts in Hochiminh City, the US, Canada, and many other countries all over the world. Students can talk about different academic subjects, get to know each other, learn together, and practice their English. These are known as “borderless classrooms”, where teachers can help their students to engage in these exchanges, and learn from many others across the world. This is the true manifestation of how increased application of IT in teaching can bring about positive results for students.

Using Microsoft apps, students in class 4B2, Vinschool Primary can interact with Anthony Salcito – Microsoft’s Vice President for Worldwide education.

Rolling out an international ICT program with updated knowledge

The technology age rests on connectivity between the real and virtual world through IT software, digital technology and the internet. That is why ICT knowledge and skills play very important roles. Starting from the 2018 – 2019 school year, Vinschool is integrating Cambridge’s ICT Starter program into its ICT curriculum for students. The program has been systematically designed and successfully rolled out across many countries over the world. Once they complete the courses, students can take a test to gain an ICT Starter international certificate.

The ICT curriculum at Vinschool is designed with 5 core components: design and manufacturing, multimedia, programming and control, data analysis and management, computer and the internet. The program helps to consolidate the current program in terms of: design, manufacturing, and STEM Robotics. With this, 3rd graders have the ability to use powerpoint software to make presentations. 4th and 5th graders will be well versed in the use of Scratch programming software. Middle-schoolers and older students can 3-D print their products after finishing their design using Tinker Cad, use laser-cutting technology by using the corresponding software, learn about arduino sensors, create videos and make simple websites.

In reality, Vinschool’s students have showcased their confidence, pro-activeness and outstanding skillsets at student competitions within and outside of Viet Nam. Among the more notable programs is Hour of code – a 1-hour programming project that was launched by the NGO Code.org. Microsoft is among the main sponsors. At Vinschool, 100% of primary-schoolers take part in Hour of Code. Vinschool has implemented the project for 3 consecutive years and has received the title “The most active school”.

Investment in an Innovation Center

Vinschool has also invested capital for the promotion of students’ ability to create and innovate, creating an environment that nurtures passion for science and technology with the construction of an Innovation Center for middle-and-high-schoolers. The Innovation Center is outfitted with all the tools and equipment necessary for students’ innovation and creative process, from the tiniest tools such as hammers, pliers, scissors, motors, batteries and screws… to hi-tech machinery such as 3D printers, laser cutter, CNC sculpture machine for students to print and craft their own creations.

The Innovation Center is modeled after the “Makers Space” concept – a dedicated, innovative space commonly seen in more advanced countries such as America and Israel. Students are seen using a 3-D printer after completing their design on the computer.

At the Innovation Center, students are encouraged to be curious and creative in the process of learning about new technologies, taking part in extracurricular clubs, or in different projects in various fields such as design and manufacturing, programming, Robotics, and automation or projects related to ICT, physics, and art. Aside from interesting projects, the Innovation Center is also an ideal place to promote STEM education for students. Those with a passion for science and technology can sign up for instruction and assistance from the school’s staff for their individual projects, completely free of charge at the Innovation Center.

Applying the knowledge that they’ve learned from different subjects, students have created their own products and projects, such as automatic water filter and watering machine, automatic lawnmowers, educational games about environmental protection through programming…

This is where innovation competitions are held to foster students’ love for science and technology, display their limitless creativity through practical and meaningful projects. Vinschool’s recent “Innovation project” has attracted over 80 sign-ups from student groups. By using the knowledge that they’ve learned from different subjects, students have created their own products and projects, such as: automatic water filter and watering machine, automatic lawnmowers, educational games about environmental protection through programming…

Vinschool aims to provide students with comprehensive knowledge – skills – virtues, the 3 components necessary for students’ solid foundation to confidently step into a constantly changing world. By nurturing a spirit of self-learning, students are encouraged to present new ideas, learn to use technology to create positive change for themselves and the community.