The Ministry of Education and IBM team up in a Reinventing Education Partnership

Project Aims to Fuel Innovative, Standarrds-based Teaching and Learning

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Wired for Learning in Singapore</span></strong><br /><span>Wired for Learning helps foster better communication between parents, teachers, community members, & students. The framework provides each of these registered user groups with a customised, online setting from which they can access rich sources of appropriate information on student learning experiences.</span></p><p><span>For example, parents can examine their children&#039;s completed & evaluated assignments & can gauge how their children are performing in relation to specific educational criteria. Interested members of the community can use Wired for Learning tools to contribute their expertise - 22 Mar 2000: to develop unit and lessons plans online.

This application incorporates both the standards database, to help teachers ensure that their lessons meet performance standards, and a resources database, through which teachers can use stored information or search the Internet for materials that will enhance their lessons.

The Instructional Planner also allows teachers to develop units or lessons collaboratively with teachers working in other classrooms or schools, thus increasing productivity and maximizing time, while raising the quality of the lesson.

Once teachers have developed lessons online, students use Wired for Learning to work on their assignments both in and outside the classroom. This ability effectively lengthens the school day and school year by giving students additional time and activities to reach high academic standards. Because students can access the standards database as they complete their work, they have a clear understanding of their teachers' expectations and can work toward achieving them.

Standards are essential, and to help teachers set them is the Student Portfolio Tool. The tool helps teachers focus their instruction around tasks that are conducive to standards-based evaluation. This method also allows teachers to provide students and their parents with more in-depth, constructive comments that are focused on the skills that students are expected to know and master.

Using the tool, teachers receive training in portfolio assessment by practicing with pre-scored student work; teachers evaluate pieces of pre-scored work before revealing their "true scores" and the rationale behind them.

When judging their own students' work, reference materials -- in the form of assessment criteria, or rubrics, and performance objectives, or benchmarks -- are placed at the fingertips of teachers. By a simple click of a mouse button, teachers can view the rubrics for a particular assignment and bring up benchmarks that demonstrate high-quality performance standards, thus providing scoring anchors and promoting uniform assessment of student work.

The performance-based Student Portfolio Tool also provides teachers with summary profiles of student performance so that they can understand the academic strengths and weaknesses of an individual student, as well as an entire class. Teachers can then improve their own instruction to respond to students' needs, thus creating a powerful form of professional development from the use of the tool.

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