SINGAPORE TABLET PC PROGRAM STUDY E XECUTIVE S UMMARY AND F INAL R EPORT V OLUME 1: T ECHNICAL F INDINGS OCTOBER 2005 Prepared for:Microsoft Operations Pte. Ltd. Prepared by:Center for Technology in Learning Marie A.
Bienkowski Geneva Haertel Ryoko Yamaguchi Andres Molina Frank Adamson Lynne Peck-Theis SRI International P16685 SRI International - 2 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Contents Executive Summary 5 Introduction 5 Method 5 Student Results 7 Teacher Results 9 Artifact Analysis 11 Prior Research 12 Conclusion 12 Introduction and Background 14 Background 15 Implementing the Tablet PC Program: Views from the Principals 17 Catholic High School Principal Interview 17 Motivation for Adoption: cThe Whole Campus Becomes a Resource Center d 17 Teachers Succeed with IT Skills, Pedagogical Creativity, and Resourcefulness 18 Keeping Students on Task and Technical Problems Are Challenges 18 The School Adapts Its Curriculum, Teaching, Assessment, and School Culture 19 The Potential Payoff Is Worth the Risk 20 Crescent Girls 9 School Principal Interview 20 Serving as a Testbed for Emerging Technology 21 Ensuring Success through School Planning, Industry Participation, and Parent Support 21 Not Just Technology: Student-Centered Instruction, Understanding What Works for the Child, and Teacher as Researcher 22 Assessment and Project Work 23 ... more. less.
Moving on toward Exams and Forethought before Implementation 24 Hooking Students on Learning as They Are Hooked on Games 24 Teaching with Tablet PCs: Views from Teachers 26 CHS Teacher Interviews 26 Tablet PC Teaching: Writing, Drawing, and Envisioning 26 Easy Sharing of Information among Groups and Presenting Work with PowerPoint 27 Managing Distractions 27 Teachers Find Value in Weekly Sharing of Ideas on Tablet PC Use 29 Teachers Enjoy Instant Access, Organization, and Convenience 29 Next Steps: Assessment and Overcoming Technical Problems 30 CGS Teacher Interviews 30 Tablet PC Teaching: Internet Research, Analyzing Data, and Telling Science Stories 30 Supporting Project-Based Work and Capturing Students 9 Interests with Multimedia Presentations and Anytime Learning 31 Teachers Find Strategies for Controlling Classroom Behavior 32 Teachers Find Support in Sharing Sessions and Understanding Learning Styles 33 Students See the World through Data on the Internet and Connect Related Resources 35 Instant Assessment of Student Learning 35 Learning with Tablet PCs: Views from Students 36 Student Focus Groups 36 Students Make the Most out of Their Tablet PCs 36 Students Access the Internet from Anywhere 36 Students Easily Create Presentations and Artwork 37 Organizing Information Is No Longer a Chore 37 Learning Is More Interesting and Collaborative 39 Working in Groups Face-to-Face and Remotely 39 Challenges: Form Factors and Classroom Distractions 40 SRI International - 3 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Teacher Survey Quantitative Analysis and Results 41 Teacher Sample 41 Procedure 42 Measures 42 Dependent Variables 42 Independent Variables 43 Analysis 44 Results 45 Student Survey Quantitative Analysis and Results 50 Student Sample 50 Procedures 50 Measures 50 Dependent Variables 50 Independent Variables 51 Analysis 52 Results 52 Student Survey Open-Ended Questions 59 Coding Open-Ended Survey Items 59 Results from Open-Ended Questions 60 Tablet PC Applications and Lesson Plan Changes 64 Software Applications Using the Unique Form Factor of the Tablet PC 64 Companies Make Possible Adoption across the Curriculum 64 Seeing Changes in Teaching through Lesson Plans 67 Review of Projects Relevant to Tablet PC Use in Educational Settings 71 Citations, URLs, and Descriptions of Prior Studies 71 Research Report on Great Maine Schools Project on One-to-One Laptops 71 Summary of 12 Case Studies of Tablet PC Use in England 72 Research Report of cWe-Learn d: Full Service Pilot Study of Tablet Use 73 Action Research Report on Aberdeen City Pilot of Tablet PC Use 74 Newsletter Article Synthesizing Results of Studies of Laptop Computing 75 Review Article on History and Background of Tablet PC Use in Education 76 Research Report on Impact of Tablet PC in a U.S. Middle School 77 Topical Area 1: Form Factors: Tablet PCs versus Laptops in Instructional Settings 78 Topical Area 2: One-to-One Computing 80 Additional References Cited 82 Topical Area 3: Mobile Learning 82 Topical Area 4: Teaching and Learning with the Tablet PC 83 Student Motivation and Engagement 84 Student Learning in Academic Areas 85 Student Learning of ICT Skills 87 Classroom Practices and Tablet PC Use 88 Supporting Collaboration Using the Tablet PC 90 Additional References Cited 91 Conclusions and Future Work 92 Pupils use IT Effectively for Active Learning 92 Connections among Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment are Enhanced Using IT 94 Teachers use IT Effectively for Professional and Personal Growth 95 There is Active Research in IT in Education 96 There is an Infrastructure that Supports Widespread and Effective Use of IT 96 Conclusion 97 References 98 SRI International - 4 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Tables and Figures Table 1: Relationship of Classroom Practices, Convenience and Frequency of Use, Exposure, and Positive Experiences with the Tablet PC to Students 9 Self-Report of Outcomes 9 Table 2: Relationship of Classroom Practices, School Membership, IT Proficiency, and Positive Experiences with the Tablet PC Applications to Teachers 9 Self-Report of Outcomes 11 Table 3: Technology at Home: A Proxy for Technical Sophistication 41 Table 4: Teachers' Rating of Their Proficiency in IT Before the Program Started 41 Table 5: Survey Items Constituting the Teacher Attitude Variable 42 Table 6: Survey Items Constituting the Student Learning Improvement Variable 43 Table 7: Regression Results for Attitudes toward Tablet PC Use and Student Learning Improvements 47 Table 8: Regression Results for Perceptions of Learning for Students of Different Prior Achievement Levels 48 Table 9: Survey Items Constituting the Student Attitude Variable 51 Table 10: Regression Results for Variable cHelps in Learning in Subjects d for CHS and CGS Students 55 Table 11: Regression Results for cLearning Behaviors d for CHS and CGS Students 56 Table 12: Regression Results for cAttitudes toward using the Tablet PC d for CHS and CGS Students 57 Table 13: Regression Results for cTime and Efficiency d for CHS and CGS Students 58 Table 14: Different Ways in Which Students Plan to Use the Tablet PC in the Future 60 Table 15: What Students Like about Using the Tablet PC 61 Table 16: What Students Dislike about Using the Tablet PC. 62 Table 17: New Ways Tablet PCs Could Be Used to Improve the Learning Experience at School 63 Table 18: Pre and Post Literature Lesson Plan for the Book Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry 68 Table 19: Pre and Post Lesson Plan for Geography: Land and Water Reclamation 68 Table 20: Pre and Post Lesson Plan for Mathematics: Coordinate Geometry 68 Table 21: Pre and Post Lesson Plan for History: Fall of Singapore and Japanese Occupation 69 Table 22: Pre and Post Lesson Plans for Science: Atoms, Molecules, and Ions 69 Table 23: Pre and Post Lesson Plans for Chinese Language: Descriptive Writing 69 Figure 1: Overview of mp2 (Source: Singapore MOE) 15 Figure 2: Conceptual Framework for the Analysis of Teacher Responses 46 Figure 3: Conceptual Framework for the Analysis of Student Responses 54 Figure 4: Fun with Construction Example 66 Figure 5: Mind Book Example with Ink-based Text Input Box Shown 66 SRI International - 5 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Executive Summary Introduction Nations are investing in technology-rich environments to boost student achievement and to confer an internationally competitive advantage on their students.<br><br> Countries realize that these more competitive students will help them attain important economic goals. One country 9s high-achieving students, in particular, have captured the interest of the international education and business communities. Singapore ranked #1 out of all participating nations in the TIMSS 2003 international comparison of mathematics and science test scores at both the 4th and 8th grade levels.<br><br> Recognizing that innovative and creative thinking is also required to remain competitive in the global marketplace, Singapore is deepening its curriculum to emphasize these attributes. One essential facet of their plan is to incorporate technology into all parts of their educational system. Two emergent themes in technology-based education are one-to-one computing and mobile computing.<br><br> The technology that may well best support these kinds of computing is the Tablet PC. In addition to possessing the same capabilities as other PCs (typically including wireless Internet access), these notebook-sized computers have a reconfigurable screen (in some forms) that allows the user to employ them as a flat notebook that can be written on with a special stylus. Unlike PDAs, the screens are not touch-sensitive so they can be leaned on for support while writing.<br><br> The Tablet PC cinking d feature includes advanced handwriting recognition, and the stylus can be used to operate the computer. By repositioning the screen, the Tablet PC can be used as a regular laptop with keyboard. (The Tablet PC also comes in a slate form that cannot be used as a laptop.) Tablet PCs are thought by some to combine the best features of laptop computers with the ease of use associated with writing.<br><br> To date, tablet computing has not caught on widely in those nations that include IT in their K-12 education plans. However, in Singapore, two schools have taken the bold step of transitioning a whole grade level (13- to 14-year olds) to Tablet PC computing in advance of its adoption by the entire school. SRI International (SRI), in partnership with Microsoft Asia Pacific, is studying the use of Tablet PCs in these two high-performing schools: Crescent Girls' School (CGS) and the all- boys Catholic High School (CHS).<br><br> Each school has approximately 250-340 secondary students who own Tablet PCs and who have been using them for 5 (CHS) to 12 months (CGS) on their wirelessly connected campuses. Both schools are using Tablet PCs in all subjects and have some of their textbooks completely digitized. Our study has four objectives: (1) to describe the Tablet-PC-based teaching and learning environment, (2) to develop a conceptual framework that relates school and classroom variables associated with Tablet PC use to student learning and motivation, (3) to identify factors that affect implementation at the classroom and school levels and (4) to understand the alignment of this one-to-one computing program with the Singapore Ministry of Education's vision of "Thinking Schools, Learning Nation." Method In 2005, SRI collected and analyzed data that described the Tablet PC program in these two Singapore schools.<br><br> This mixed-method study used surveys and interviews to document SRI International - 6 - Tablet PC Technical Findings students 9 and teachers 9 perceptions and use of Tablet PCs and qualitative analyses of Tablet PC applications and lesson plans as evidence of how the applications are actually being used. For students, we gathered self-report data about frequency of use, experience with Tablet-PC- specific applications, perceptions of convenience and efficiency, changes in classroom practices, and effects on their learning and motivation. We gathered similar data for teachers, as well as their lesson plans before and after the Tablet PC program.<br><br> These data revealed teachers 9 views of effective professional development for Tablet PC use, ease of technology use, barriers to integration of the Tablet PCs into curriculum, and changes in classroom practices and management. Teachers also commented on the effects of the Tablet PC on learning and motivation for students of different achievement levels. A conceptual framework was developed that articulated the influences at the classroom and school levels that were related to Tablet PC use and the ways in which Tablet PC use affected student learning and motivation.<br><br> The following research questions were proposed: To what extent do teachers and students report that use of Tablet PCs improves students 9 learning of content? Does the influence of Tablet PCs vary for students at different achievement levels? In what ways does the use of Tablet PCs affect the strategies that students use when doing their schoolwork?<br><br> Does it improve the efficiency with which students complete their schoolwork? What are teachers 9 and students 9 attitudes toward the Tablet PC? What is the prior IT proficiency of teachers and students participating in the study?<br><br> How technologically savvy are their households? How does this savviness affect their attitudes? How often do students and teachers use the Tablet PC in school and at home, and for what purposes?<br><br> How convenient is the Tablet PC to use? How much exposure do students have to the specialized Tablet PC applications that have been created as tools for learning? What are students 9 and teachers 9 opinions about these tools?<br><br> How did classroom practices change with the introduction of this integral technology? How much more access did teachers have to resources for teaching as a result of using the Tablet PC? Open-ended questions on the teacher and student surveys were used to elicit novel uses of the technology, as well as likes and dislikes about the Tablet PC.<br><br> Quantitative and coded responses from the surveys were triangulated with the interview data to confirm results. Summary statistics generated from the survey were used to anchor discussions of the teacher and student results with the school stakeholders. These discussions, in combination with the results of the analyses, indicate that the program is viewed as timely and very promising for Singapore 9s education future.<br><br> SRI International - 7 - Tablet PC Technical Findings In these schools that have adopted a mobile, one-to-one learning approach, all students and teachers have a portable tablet computer with a full-sized, writable screen and keyboard; specialized applications that take advantage of drawing, pointing, and handwriting; wireless Internet access anywhere on campus, at home, and in many businesses frequented by students; and an almost paperless experience with digitized texts and electronic retrieval and submission of schoolwork. Added to these affordances is the change enabled by students 9 ownership of the Tablet PC: they can appropriate it and use it broadly to support many of their learning practices. In the following paragraphs, we will highlight findings from the teacher and student data that characterize the teaching and learning environment that surrounds Tablet PC use at CHS and CGS.<br><br> Student Results Students 9 Use of the Tablet PC. The 12- to 16-year-olds in this study rated their IT proficiency before the Tablet PC implementation as average to very good. They use their Tablet PCs often to search for information, take notes, write reports, and access information posted by their teachers on a school portal.<br><br> They also use the Tablet PC to work on group assignments, sharing files and data via close-range infrared transmission or USB flash drives. These creative students also enjoy creating presentations and artwork, and in one of the schools, the halls and administration conference rooms showcase student Manga art. Attitudes toward the Tablet PC and Students 9 Reports of Learning.<br><br> Acceptance and appropriation of the Tablet PC by students and schools take time. Thus, we would expect to see differences between CHS (5 months use) and CGS students 9 (12 months use) self-reports of learning and attitudes toward the Tablet PC. As expected, there were differences between student perceptions of Tablet PC impact at the two schools.<br><br> Perceptions of how the Tablet PC helps learning, improves learning quantity and quality, and increases efficiency differed significantly between the schools. In contrast, the students 9 attitudes toward the Tablet PC were similar at the two schools; regardless of how long students had been using the Tablet PC, students on average had positive attitudes toward the technology. For the students at CHS, who had less exposure to the Tablet PC, having a positive experience with the Tablet PC applications was the single significant predictor that emerged from our analysis for how the Tablet PC helps in learning.<br><br> In contrast, at CGS, which had a lengthier implementation, several variables predicted how the Tablet PC helps learning in content areas. These predictors included: an increase in positive classroom practices, frequency of using the Tablet PC for learning support practices, and total exposure to applications. For students who are earlier in their implementation (i.e., CHS students), challenges with using tablet applications may overshadow any other changes that occur in or outside of class.<br><br> In contrast, CGS students knew (through visits by industry and government personnel) that they were at the vanguard of the Tablet PC implementation in Singapore and knew that their advice was being solicited for tools and applications. So, for CGS students who not only used the Tablet PC longer but also felt themselves at the forefront of a sweeping change in teaching and learning with technology, more factors influenced their views on learning with technology. The Importance of Convenience.<br><br> The convenience of this technology was an important factor for students at both schools. The convenience of the Tablet PC affected the ways the students used the technology, their attitudes toward it, and the efficiency with which they were SRI International - 8 - Tablet PC Technical Findings able to complete their schoolwork. Students 9 attitudes about the Tablet PC were also related to their experiences with it in the classroom setting and their experiences with the applications.<br><br> Tablet PCs and Learning Practices. Learning independently and producing high-quality work relate positively to convenience and frequency of using the Tablet PC for learning practices, such as searching for and organizing information and preparing presentations. For experienced students, an increase in positive classroom experiences (such as researching a topic on their own and presenting their work in class) and positive experiences with Tablet PC applications were also significant factors for positive learning behaviors such as independent and high-quality work.<br><br> The importance of learning practices such as searching and taking notes suggests that there is a strong role for basic tools and functions that cut across all subjects and that the future of Tablet PC use in classrooms should not be focused narrowly on applications that are specialized for particular subjects. Table 1 shows a summary of the findings from the correlational analysis of the student survey responses. SRI International - 9 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Table 1: Relationship of Classroom Practices, Convenience and Frequency of Use, Exposure, and Positive Experiences with the Tablet PC to Students 9 Self-Report of Outcomes Students 9 Self-Report of Outcomes 1 Influences on Student Outcomes 2 Improves Learning in Content Areas Increases Efficiency in Schoolwork Positive Attitudes of Students toward the Tablet PC Improves Learning Quantity, Quality, and Independence Increase in Positive Classroom Practices (e.g., research beyond textbook, independent work, presenting work, interaction with teachers) CGS*** CHS***/CGS*** CGS*** Convenience of Tablet PC CGS*** CHS***/CGS*** CHS***/CGS*** Frequency of Tablet Use to Support Learning (e.g., note-taking, searching, organizing, presentations) CGS** CGS** CHS***/CGS*** Total Exposure to Tablet PC Applications CGS** Positive Experiences with Tablet PC Applications CHS*** CHS**/CGS*** CGS** Teacher Results While students eagerly embrace technology in school that helps them prepare for the future and that makes learning more fun and exciting, teachers face the challenge of accommodating a significant shift in their professional practice.<br><br> Teachers at these schools accept the shift as inevitable, recognizing that students must acquire 21st century skills to succeed in today 9s global marketplace. Teachers 9 accommodations to information technology can be characterized in several ways 4in some cases as replacement: using PowerPoint and a video projector instead of overhead transparencies and projectors. In this case, teachers are conducting instruction the same way and covering the same curricular content.<br><br> In other cases, their accommodations are evolutionary: teachers select student work to present to the class, using a classroom network and a remote control application. The teachers use new and varied 1 Note: *** = estimated coefficient statistically significant at < .01 level and ** = estimated coefficient statistically significant at < .05 level. 2 The following were not correlated with outcomes in the analysis: using the Tablet PC for skills for learning and for entertainment/collaboration/communication, prior IT proficiency, and technology-savvy home.<br><br> SRI International - 10 - Tablet PC Technical Findings types of content, but the students do not engage in radically different learning experiences. In still other cases, the accommodation is revolutionary: teachers replace handouts and worksheets with an Internet-based WebQuest. In this case, the teachers change both the content and instructional activities in which students engage, and they expect a higher-level learning outcome from the students.<br><br> As with many innovations, how teachers use the Tablet PC is influenced by a number of factors. Below we highlight some of the factors that were related to the CHS and CGS teachers 9 implementation of the Tablet PC program. Using Tablet PCs with Students of Varying Achievement Levels.<br><br> Despite the inevitability of IT adoption in education, teachers 9 perceptions about how helpful the Tablet PC was for improving student learning differed, depending on whether the students were considered traditional, low-achieving, or high-achieving. For high-achieving students, teachers perceived learning to occur regardless of the presence of the Tablet PC. For both traditional and low- achieving students, however, teachers reported that these students improved their learning if positive classroom practices improved and if teachers had more positive experiences with the Tablet PC applications.<br><br> An interesting note for low-achieving students is the difference by school. The CHS teachers believed that the Tablet PC had a negative effect on low-achieving students. In particular, they believed that low-achieving students 9 participation in class, behavior, motivation, and other behaviors were negatively influenced by the presence of the Tablet PC.<br><br> This perception may have been due to the changes required in classroom management because of the Tablet PC. Teachers may believe that lower-achieving students have a more difficult time acclimating to learning with the Tablet PC especially if they are not self-motivated and disciplined towards learning. The Role of Teacher Experience and Tablet PC Use.<br><br> Teacher perceptions of how much the Tablet PC supports innovative teaching and learning and their attitudes toward the Tablet PC are influenced by their experiences with applications. These factors are also influenced by an increase in positive classroom practices such as students exploring a topic on their own and researching beyond their textbooks. In the interviews, more experienced teachers reported on the fundamental change in their profession that the use of a school portal may cause.<br><br> Portals are public and encourage reuse of materials and continuous improvement. This publicity may be uncomfortable for experienced teachers who are used to the privacy of the classroom, whereas it may give new teachers a significant boost in their entry into the teaching profession by providing resources for review, a venue for feedback on their lesson plans, and facilitating networking with their peers. Length of Implementation.<br><br> It would not be surprising to find a difference between the schools based on the different lengths of implementation. One might expect to find that early implementers (CHS) were overwhelmed by the new technology or that those further into their implementation (CGS) were experiencing an cimplementation dip d (Fullan, 2001). However, there was no significant difference between the schools in teacher beliefs about the impact of the Tablet PC on overall student learning or teacher satisfaction with the technology.<br><br> Studies of innovations in educational reform indicate that a drop in performance and satisfaction with the innovation may occur as teachers become more aware of the limitations of the innovation, SRI International - 11 - Tablet PC Technical Findings but also that change leaders can steer reform efforts through these dips (Fullan and Miles, 1992). It would be interesting to explore why this dip did not occur in the present program. Table 2 shows a summary of the findings from the correlational analysis of the teacher survey responses.<br><br> Table 2: Relationship of Classroom Practices, School Membership, IT Proficiency, and Positive Experiences with the Tablet PC Applications to Teachers 9 Self-Report of Outcomes Teachers 9 Self-Report of Outcomes 3 Influences on Teacher/Student Outcomes 4 Positive Attitudes of Teachers Toward Tablet PC More Supports for Innovative Teaching and Learning Improved Learning for High- Achieving Students Improved Learning for Low- Achieving Students Improved Learning for Traditional Students Increase in Positive Classroom Practices (e.g., research beyond textbook, independent work, interaction with teachers) *** *** *** *** School (**) Teacher IT Proficiency before the Tablet PC Program *** Teacher Positive Experiences with Tablet PC Applications ** ** *** Artifact Analysis Industry partners were an important part of the Tablet PC program at these schools. Hardware, networking, and textbook companies participated, and software companies worked with CGS to generate ideas for Tablet PC educational applications. Thus, in addition to the more standard productivity applications that are useful for capturing, locating, organizing, and presenting information, applications in subjects such as mathematics, Chinese language, and science were developed and used at one or both schools.<br><br> Software for classroom management and information organization was also developed and used in these schools. School portals for information sharing were used at each school to promote sharing among school staff and communication among the administration, teachers, and students. Use of these applications was evident in lesson plans.<br><br> Comparison of a selection of lesson plans before and after the program showed that more interactive, creative, and independent work was required of students in those lessons using the Tablet PC. 3 Note: *** = estimated coefficient statistically significant at < .01 level and ** = estimated coefficient statistically signif icant at < .05 level. Parentheses indicate a negative correlation.<br><br> 4 The following were not correlated with outcomes in the analysis: total exposure to Tablet PC applications, Tablet PC use for teaching, amount of Tablet PC use, and technology-savvy home. SRI International - 12 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Prior Research To determine the state of research in the area of one-to-one and mobile computing, a literature review limited to several key articles was conducted. The articles selected for review were mostly primary research studies that examined the relationship of use of Tablet PCs (or laptops) and one-to-one computing in educational settings.<br><br> We identified 21 studies, 7 of which were judged to be directly relevant to the current study. This selective literature review revealed that although many articles have been written about the use of Tablet PCs and one-to-one computing, relatively few of these articles are data-based, and only a small number of them go beyond anecdotal reports by users. Most studies conducted to date used survey, interview, and informal observation at sites as the key methodology.<br><br> The most popular outcomes studied were student motivation and engagement, student learning, student and teacher attitude toward technology, and classroom practices. Very few studies of the impact of Tablet PCs on student learning have been conducted to date (although there have been several studies of the effect of one-to-one computing on student learning). Results of this early research on Tablet PCs reveal positive effects on student motivation and engagement, praise of the Tablet PCs 9 portability, increased potential for distractions in the classroom, increased evidence of collaboration among students and between students and teachers, more frequent teaching of information and communication technology (ICT) skills in context, less frequent reliance on textbooks as the means of delivering content, increased pace of lessons, and greater richness and variety of instructional content presented.<br><br> Teacher professional development is considered a critical element for the successful implementation of any one-to-one computing technology, including the Tablet PC. Ownership of the Tablet PC is a strong determinant for how much learning students and teachers report. To date, Tablet PCs have been used generally to support and to extend instruction; researchers have concluded that it is still too early for them to be used in ways that truly transform day-to-day life in classrooms.<br><br> Conclusion CHS and CGS students at this grade level (entry into secondary school) made good use of the Tablet PCs. Convenience of the Tablet PC was a major factor in students 9 reports of learning in various subjects and their efficiency in doing their schoolwork. Convenience also helped in the appropriation of the technology into many learning practices.<br><br> Frequency of use in learning activities was significantly related to learning across various subjects, student attitudes, and efficiency in schoolwork. As schools transform their teaching practices to tablet computing, special attention should be given to integrate the Tablet PC into the curriculum and teaching across as many subjects as possible. From these results, it is clear that the more students used the Tablet PC across the school day, the better they were able to use it as a learning tool.<br><br> In the open-ended questions on the survey, students identified several issues that concerned them, including battery time, weight of the Tablet PC, technical issues, and physical discomfort carrying the tablet. Interviews with teachers brought out the importance of having time to create quality lessons that use the Tablet PC, and schools should consider providing professional development on how to integrate Tablet PCs into the classroom at different stages in the implementation. The SRI International - 13 - Tablet PC Technical Findings professional development should address different needs.<br><br> When teachers first start using the Tablet PC in school, the needs are about basic use, application use, classroom management, and hardware questions. As teachers become adept at Tablet PC use, the needs change to understanding how to use the Tablet PC in specific lessons, and the focus of professional development should be on integration of the technology into the curriculum to teach traditional, high-achieving, and low-achieving students. Teachers should be given an opportunity to reflect on their experiences at regular intervals and discuss their experiences with their more experienced peers.<br><br> Frequency of use in teaching and learning activities and positive experiences with the Tablet PC applications were significantly related to teacher perceptions of student learning and attitudes. As schools integrate the Tablet PC into everyday teaching and learning, focus should be placed on giving teachers enough professional development throughout the school year, enough planning time to integrate the Tablet PC into teaching and classroom management, and time to share their experiences and resources with colleagues. In addition to placing value on providing a smooth and fluid teacher experience with the Tablet PC applications, emphasis should be placed on how the school administration implements the initiation of teachers, and teachers should be prepared for potentially unsettling changes in their teaching practices.<br><br> Note: SRI wishes to thank the staff and students at Catholic High School and Crescent Girls 9 School for their participation. Special thanks go to the CGS principal, Mrs. Lee Bee Yann, and Vice Principal, Mr.<br><br> Gary Tan, and the CHS principal, Mr. Lee Hak Boon, and IT director, Mrs. Oh Wee Ming.<br><br> Mr. Anwar Chan of the BackPack.NET Centre provided valuable assistance during the data collection and insights into the Singapore school system that greatly aided the analysis of the data. SRI International - 14 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Introduction and Background Nations are investing in technology-rich environments to boost student achievement and to confer an internationally competitive advantage on their students.<br><br> Leaders in countries across the globe realize that these more competitive students will help them attain important economic goals. One country 9s high-achieving students, in particular, have captured the interest of the international education and business communities (Friedman, September 16, 2005). Singapore ranked #1 out of all participating nations in the TIMSS 2003 international comparison of mathematics and science test scores at both the 4th and 8th grade levels.<br><br> Recognizing that innovative and creative thinking is also required to remain competitive in the global marketplace, Singapore is deepening its curriculum to emphasize these attributes. One essential facet of their plan is to incorporate technology into all parts of their educational system. Advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) make this plan workable.<br><br> Three notable trends that are influencing teaching and learning worldwide are one-to-one computing (Mitchell Institute, 2004), mobile computing (Roschelle et al., 2004), and wireless access. In some instances, as in networked classrooms, these trends are converging in ways that are transforming the classroom environment and possibilities for student engagement (Roschelle, Penuel & Abramson, 2004a). The technology that may well best support these kinds of computing is the Tablet PC.<br><br> In addition to possessing the same capabilities as other PCs (typically including wireless Internet access), these notebook-sized computers have a reconfigurable screen (in some forms) that allows the user to employ them as a flat notebook that can be written on with a special stylus. Unlike PDAs, the screens are not touch-sensitive so they can be leaned on for support while writing. The Tablet PC cinking d feature includes advanced handwriting recognition, and the stylus can be used to operate the computer.<br><br> By repositioning the screen, the Tablet PC can be used as a regular laptop with keyboard. (The Tablet PC also comes in a slate form that cannot be used as a laptop.) Tablet PCs are thought by some to combine the best features of laptop computers with the ease of use associated with writing. To date, tablet computing has not caught on widely in those nations that include IT in their K-12 education plans.<br><br> However, in Singapore, two schools have taken the bold step of transitioning a whole grade level (13- to 14-year olds) to Tablet PC computing in advance of its adoption by the entire school. SRI International (SRI), in partnership with Microsoft Asia Pacific, is studying the use of Tablet PCs in these two high-performing schools: Crescent Girls' School (CGS) and the all- boys Catholic High School (CHS). Each school has approximately 250-340 secondary students who own Tablet PCs and who have been using them for 5 (CHS) to 12 months (CGS) on their wirelessly connected campuses.<br><br> Both schools are using Tablet PCs in all subjects and have some of their textbooks completely digitized. Our study has four objectives: (1) to describe the Tablet-PC-based teaching and learning environment, (2) to develop a conceptual framework that relates school and classroom variables associated with Tablet PC use to student learning and motivation, (3) to identify factors that affect implementation at the classroom and school levels and (4) to understand the alignment of this one-to-one, mobile computing program with the Singapore Ministry of Education's vision of "Thinking Schools, Learning Nation." SRI International - 15 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Background In 2002, the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) released its second visionary plan for technology in education. This master plan II for Information Technology (IT) in Education (mp2) identifies global, national, and school-level goals (Figure 1) for IT to achieve the goal of cThinking Schools, Learning Nation d for Singapore.<br><br> The plan puts forth specific goals for IT: mp2 adopts a holistic approach to the use of IT. The pupil, teacher, curriculum and assessment and environment (at school, national and global level) are essential parts of the education system. IT will be used to enhance teacher-pupil relations; interaction, peer support and collaboration among learners (pupil-pupil, teacher-teacher); and interaction between learners and the wider community.<br><br> 3 Singapore MOE 5 mp2 emphasizes engagement with learning material and real-world experience as the basis for learning. It sets forth the standard that IT will be pervasive and effectively used . Requiring that IT be pervasive suggests the need for multiple ways to integrate it into many classes and activities.<br><br> Effective use implies that both students and teachers have enough knowledge and skills about IT, and sufficient exposure to IT, that they can implement new approaches without too much effort. Furthermore, the mp2 vision stresses customized education, which means that IT must support the teacher in recognizing students 9 interests and thinking, adapting to them, and providing them with resources to pursue learning on their own. Figure 1: Overview of mp2 (Source: Singapore MOE 6 ) 5 Singapore Ministry of Education.<br><br> http://www.moe.gov.sg/edumall/mp2/mp2_framework.htm. Last accessed 1 October 2005. 6 http://www.moe.gov.sg/edumall/mp2/mp2_framework.htm.<br><br> Last accessed 9 October 2005. SRI International - 16 - Tablet PC Technical Findings In 2003, Singapore 9s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA, the government agency charged with broad oversight of Singapore 9s information and telecommunications infrastructure) launched, with Microsoft, the BackPack.NET initiative. 7 With a focus on education, this program seeks to drive research and development in information technologies.<br><br> Broadly conceived as having four foundational pillars, this initiative comprises (1) testing pilot programs in schools, (2) supporting regional technology companies in developing capabilities to create applications for tablet computing, (3) designing and conducting research and development in education, and (4) maintaining a showcase/laboratory for technologies called cClassroom of the Future d (COTF). To date, BackPack.NET Centre has established the physical COTF, has worked with 4-5 industry partners to develop novel applications for the Tablet PC, has assisted in the implementation of tablet computing in several Singapore schools, and is participating in studies of the implementations. Our study focuses on two of Singapore 9s top-performing schools, Crescent Girls 9 School (CGS) and Catholic High School (CHS) which are participating in the BackPack.NET Centre.<br><br> These pilot schools provide rich environments in which the implementation of ccutting-edge d IT can be pursued at the same time as they seek to reform their approach to teaching. After studying ICT trends, these schools chose to adopt one-to-one tablet computing for students and teachers on a wireless campus. Even though tablet computers cost slightly more than laptop computers, the school administrators believed that the unique form of tablets over laptops would be more engaging and would better suit the varied learning styles of their students.<br><br> Driven by the national vision of IT in education, these schools were able to motivate their staff, parents, and students to embrace the change at the scale of an entire class (i.e., grade) level. To understand how the adoption had occurred, we conducted a survey of students and teachers, along with structured interviews of students, teachers, and the principals of the schools. In this way, we could document Tablet PC use, as well as student and teacher satisfaction with the technology.<br><br> In the following sections, we describe these school environments through the views of their principals, teachers, and students. 7 http://www.backpack.com.sg/. Last accessed 22 September 2005.<br><br> SRI International - 17 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Implementing the Tablet PC Program: Views from the Principals In this section, we present each school 9s vision as obtained from interviews with each principal. First we present the Catholic High School results, then those from Crescent Girls 9 School. Catholic High School is a government-aided all-boys school serving primary and secondary students.<br><br> CHS has a competitive admission process and a long history of educational excellence, as recognized by its national awards (MOE Thinking Culture and Academic Value Added) and its 100% pass rate on the secondary exit exams. The secondary school is autonomous and therefore has additional flexibility to implement novel education programs. The Tablet PC program at CHS was implemented in January 2005 at the Secondary Two level.<br><br> Out of the nine classes in the Secondary Two grade level that were eligible, eight classes adopted the program. There were 293 students who participated in the study in May 2005, ranging from 13 to 16 years old. Catholic High School Principal Interview Mr.<br><br> Lee Hak Boon was interviewed in May of 2005. Mr. Lee has been the principal at CHS since 2003.<br><br> He was accompanied during the interview by his director of Information Technology, Mrs. Oh Wee Ming. Mr.<br><br> Anwar Chan from the BackPack.NET Centre was also present. Interview questions are listed in Appendix A in Volume 2 of this report. Motivation for Adoption: cThe Whole Campus Becomes a Resource Center d Mr.<br><br> Lee believes that the Tablet PC gives a whole new definition to teaching and learning that inspires excitement and enthusiasm in the students and teachers. He related as an example a 3D model of a chemistry simulation that shows atoms and particles moving about. When the temperature increases, bonding occurs.<br><br> With one picture, he states, cyou can see it all. d He views tablet computing as a new wave in pedagogy and learning styles and is confident that only minor problems will be encountered during the adoption. Mr. Lee sees the Tablet PC as very different from a laptop.<br><br> It is so much more versatile 4one cannot cink d on a laptop. Eventually, he sees voice recognition as making transmission of information in digital form even easier. When asked what motivated the school to adopt the Tablet PC, Mr.<br><br> Lee replied, cWe want to transform our students into independent learners&More and more the learning should be the responsibility of the students& d In contrast to the constraints imposed by having computer and Internet access be inside a computer lab, now, with one-to-one, wireless, and mobile computing cthe whole campus becomes a resource center. d In this environment, the school can help students find and make meaning from information, and thus students become prepared for the challenges of a world where use of IT is ubiquitous. Viewing students as independent learners means that they can be given a topic 4for example, tsunamis 4and they will find information and put facts together. Students can access factual knowledge about tsunamis, as before, and also now can see pictures, video-clips, news stories, and personal accounts on the Internet.<br><br> Students using IT have access to thousands of pieces of information, in contrast to text-based cWe want to transform our students into independent learners&More and more the learning should be the responsibility of the students. d SRI International - 18 - Tablet PC Technical Findings sources of information, such an encyclopedia, where they might find only a page or two of information. These students moreover, will know about the impact of tsunamis on the lives of others. cSo, the learning, the scenario, the landscape has already changed, with the Internet so we cannot wait and not tap on these vast resources. d Companies will be interested in CHS graduates, Mr.<br><br> Lee believes, because they will be different from other students. A CHS graduate who has learned using a Tablet PC, he asserts, will be much more knowledgeable because he will have been accessing information from sources other than books. More importantly, if you put a challenge in front of these future graduates, they will have a capacity to tap into vast resources to solve it.<br><br> Having greater capacity to access vast resources of knowledge produces greater productivity. In addition to having learned the knowledge base of a discipline, such as law, more versatile workers will have varied IT skills, which will permit them to import data, write computer programs, and the like. Teachers Succeed with IT Skills, Pedagogical Creativity, and Resourcefulness Teachers at CHS were trained in two ways to use the Tablet PC.<br><br> First, they learned how to deploy it pedagogically, infusing technology into curriculum. For teachers to use a tool well, they need to see how it can support teaching and learning. Next, they were taught how to use the tablet computer and applications.<br><br> Training in pedagogical use was done with a combination of small-group lessons conducted by the head of the IT department at the school (Mrs. Oh), training by personnel from the companies that developed the software applications used on the Tablet PC, and sharing sessions among teachers in the same department. The sharing sessions are where the pedagogical use was addressed.<br><br> Mrs. Oh served as an important intermediary between the software developers, technology trainers and the teachers. Teachers who are keen to develop courseware or applications can be linked up to software developers to bring their ideas into realization.<br><br> Teachers did not always find the training useful, in one training for a Tablet PC application the teachers had no hands- on component, and consequently, they were neither ready to implement nor were they able to get interested in using the application. After they are given the basics, it is ultimately up to the teachers 9 creativity and resourcefulness to make the best use of the technology. Mr.<br><br> Lee sees adoption of the Tablet PC in teaching as not too different from having to prepare to teach a new subject: at the beginning there are a lot of preparation hours, and as time goes by you have the resources ready at hand based on this prior work. Keeping Students on Task and Technical Problems Are Challenges A challenge for CHS, at 5 months into implementation, was controlling the students 9 use of the Tablet PC as a learning tool. The teachers were concerned with the need to make sure that students were on task and not being distracted to using other applications, such as instant messaging, during lesson time.<br><br> Mr. Lee 9s response to this was threefold: (1) stop the problem with control (i.e., block Internet sites and check machines periodically for illegal software); (2) cSo, the learning, the scenario, the landscape has already changed with the Internet, so we cannot wait and not tap on these vast resources. d SRI International - 19 - Tablet PC Technical Findings use Virtual Classroom, a software application that lets teachers see (on the teacher 9s computer) what students are doing on their Tablet PCs in the classroom; and (3) educate students about developing good habits. The school seeks to help the students understand that good management of their time and their learning will help them throughout their lives.<br><br> Students need periodic reminders to develop the habit to stay on task; he did not foresee any challenges in making this happen. At this early stage in the adoption of wireless tablet computing, there are still technical problems and people are still getting used to the machines. It takes longer to accomplish any sort of task when teachers and students are not yet adept with the tools.<br><br> But the work is worth the effort: Mr. Lee evoked a comparison with the previous situation of students and teachers working in separate computer labs on an occasional basis with full-time possession of a mobile computer plus campus-wide Internet access. The School Adapts Its Curriculum, Teaching, Assessment, and School Culture Curriculum.<br><br> Rather than needing to spend curriculum time learning IT, Mr. Lee felt that eventually teachers would be able to cover more material, for example, showing pictures can mean you don 9t have to spend time explaining. The more resources there are at a teacher 9s disposal, the more opportunities students have to grasp concepts.<br><br> IT makes learning more efficient and saves time. In addition, students learn knowledge inquiry and develop process skills for learning on their own. For independent learners, learning a subject is no longer bounded by the curriculum time in the classroom.<br><br> Teaching. Teachers will become more like facilitators. Rather than having a teacher just impart knowledge, now students can ask more open questions and answer them by using more resources.<br><br> Although teachers still cover the basic concepts, students are encouraged to look out for ways to go beyond the basics. With this view of teaching, cThe whole learning process has taken on a new dimension. d Mr. Lee did not articulate a specific new approach to teacher professional development, but he felt that teacher motivation had changed with the introduction of the Tablet PC.<br><br> Before the implementation, teachers had to use learned strategies and tactics to motivate students. Now he felt that their capabilities could develop sufficiently that they would be able, for example, to design a game for learning. Teachers want to motivate students, and one way of doing so is to tune in to what students like, and cthey like computers. d Therefore, teachers are motivated to use technology because it motivates their students.<br><br> Teachers want to upgrade their IT skills because they realize that there is so much they can do with the computer. The Tablet PC can become so easily available, just like SMS [Short Message Service] on many mobile phones, that it changes daily life. Assessment.<br><br> In this new dimension of learning, assessment is not simply a regurgitation of what a student is taught. Using project work as an example, it is apparent that everyone has access to the same wealth of information and so quality now depends not on knowledge but on process skills and how students apply them. Working in groups, students can learn from their peers and measure their performance against each others 9.<br><br> At the same time, more traditional assessments can be accelerated. For example, teachers can use the Tablet PC to pose questions SRI International - 20 - Tablet PC Technical Findings at the end of class and get an instant count of who understood the material instead of waiting for a test. School Culture.<br><br> Tapping into students 9 motivation to learn with computers creates more passion for learning. The school culture used to be to impart knowledge from a purveyor 4 now there is a community of learners learning from one another: peers, parents, even people in other countries. Perhaps most insightful is this final observation about the changes brought about by the introduction of one-to-one, mobile, wireless computing in CHS.<br><br> The quest for learning now can be immediately satisfied with ready access to digital resources, and this satisfaction reinforces the learner. The Potential Payoff Is Worth the Risk When considering adoption for CHS, Mr. Lee felt that even without a 100% probability of success, the potential payoff was worth the risk.<br><br> For this program to succeed at other schools, the school must be willing to take on new challenges and must be able to get the buy-in from the parents through group and individual meetings. Parents may prefer the traditional way of education, but if they have confidence in the school, they will agree to changes. Parents must also be supportive and willing to purchase the Tablet PCs as a learning tool.<br><br> Mr. Lee acknowledged that cost could be a deterring factor for some schools. He felt that other schools could adopt the CHS model of teacher training, but the school administration considering adoption of tablet computing needs to provide leadership to ensure success.<br><br> The school must also have the right people, such as a good IT director and technical support staff, who aspire to make education even better. Crescent Girls 9 School Principal Interview Crescent Girls 9 School is an autonomous government all-girls school that serves secondary students. The school has a number of special programs that are funded by MOE (including being an IT incubator school) and these programs support the school in innovating with its curriculum.<br><br> At CGS, teachers have won national awards (Outstanding Youth in Education, Outstanding Science Teacher, Caring Teacher), the school ranks high on national surveys (e.g., on a School Climate Survey it was highly rated on characteristics such as flexibility, responsibility, rewards, standards, clarity, and team commitment), and the school has won national awards (e.g., Singapore Quality Class, Singapore Innovation Class, and MOE Thinking Culture). CGS was the first school in Singapore to implement a one-to-one Tablet PC program. The program was implemented in July 2004 with Secondary Two students and expanded to Secondary One students in 2005.<br><br> There were 344 students who participated in the study from Crescent, ranging from 13 to 16 years old. We employed the same methodology at this school as was followed at CHS. Mrs.<br><br> Lee Bee Yann was interviewed in May 2005. Mrs. Lee has been the principal at CGS for 7 years.<br><br> Mr. Anwar Chan from the BackPack.NET Centre was present. The interview questions are listed in Appendix A.<br><br> SRI International - 21 - Tablet PC Technical Findings Serving as a Testbed for Emerging Technology CGS has a culture of pervasive IT. It is a testbed for emerging technology and a research and development school. They adopted an m-learning (mobile learning) approach (Lehner & Nöskabel, 2002) to IT after conducting a review of the external IT and business environment, talking with parents and industry contacts, and considering the school 9s vision and culture.<br><br> They concluded that, for the cNet-geners d that they are teaching, the fun and excitement of technology must be harnessed for learning. cIt 9s cool to be smart d exclaim the millennials at CGS (Howe, Strauss & Matson, 2000). CGS has the advantage of being an IT demonstration school, designated so by the Singapore MOE.<br><br> At the end of each year, the school staff reflect and consider what is next for their program. In June 2003, their focus was mobile learning. From June to December 2003, an IT committee and school leadership met to consider plans, and all staff at the school reviewed the capabilities of the Tablet PC.<br><br> At a brainstorming session, 30 computer applications for the subjects taught at CGS were proposed. Reactions to the proposal were obtained in January and May 2004 as administrators met with parent focus groups. Parents raised practical concerns, such as where the computers would be stored during PE class and how they could not become a distraction.<br><br> Yet, overall, parents agreed with the idea of using Tablet PCs, and so a decision was made to implement the technology. Ensuring Success through School Planning, Industry Participation, and Parent Support After the deliberation described above, the Tablet PC program at CGS went through a carefully planned rollout with built-in factors for success. First, the youngest cohort of students were selected for participation with the rationale that they would have the most time to benefit.<br><br> (These students are also the farthest from the high-stakes secondary school exit exams.) Next, planning for the implementation included teacher professional development. Teachers allocated Tuesday of each week to spend time for the tablet-using teachers to gather and reflect on their experiences. Teachers and the school administration identified the need for staff such as trainers, system administrators, A/V specialists, aides, and teacher mentors.<br><br> As early as October 2003 and into May 2004, teachers went through training in the Tablet PC, and a pilot trial of 7 to 10 teachers was conducted during this time. Industry participation was a key factor in the CGS adoption, especially in helping the Tablet PC work broadly across the curriculum. CET Technologies helped with procurement and NTUC Income with insurance.<br><br> Intel helped wire the campus. Fujitsu gave the students and teachers a discounted price for the tablets. IDA provided support and staff resources.<br><br> Microsoft provided training to staff and students, as well as supplying an IT audit package and integration support. Finally, supporting the move to an all-digital education, Pearson, Marshall Cavendish, and SNP Panpac converted some of the standard Secondary One textbooks into e- books. Popular e-Learning provided a viewer for the digital textbooks.<br><br> Parents were overwhelmingly supportive of the school 9s efforts. Initially, the school administration wanted to implement a treatment-control experimental design for the implementation to be able to rigorously establish effectiveness, but the principal was so SRI International - 22 - Tablet PC Technical Findings deluged with parents wanting their daughters to be in the ctreatment d group that the school decided to adopt across all classes in one grade level. Parents 9 concerns about missing computers meaning missed lessons prompted the school to have loaner laptops that the students can use if theirs breaks down, and the parents 9 concerns about security led to the school 9s designing and building special Tablet PC lockers.<br><br> At 6 months into the program implementation, CGS presented an accountability report to parents. Not Just Technology: Student-Centered Instruction, Understanding What Works for the Child, and Teacher as Researcher CGS strives toward an open culture in which all participants can discuss their beliefs on how to effectively educate children and to arrive at a set of common understandings. An open culture such as this requires a certain level of trust but will eventually, Mrs.<br><br> Lee believes, lead to a shared vision and set of practices. One of CGS 9s common understandings is based on the realization that times have changed both inside and outside of school, and that this change requires a transformation from teacher-directed to student-centered instruction. Mrs.<br><br> Lee reported this as the cgreatest transformation d she has seen in her 7 years as principal. Instruction used to be cchalk and talk d: the teacher lectured with little student participation. Now, there is a greater emphasis on the child as a learner, and teachers have to understand what constitutes effective learning and change their teaching strategies accordingly.<br><br> cHaving taught, d she asserted, cdoes not equate to having learned. d At the same time, teacher professional development has changed to keep up. In the past, training had meant equipping teachers with the skills to deliver lessons 4teaching them how to make a lesson interesting and how to manage a classroom. Now the focus is more on helping them understand what works for the child.<br><br> Part of the impetus to move from teacher-directed to student-initiated is because students no longer wait for teachers to give them knowledge but find it out for themselves. Teachers feel a pull from the students to adopt technology-based learning programs. cI think the Tablet PC has been instrumental in this movement, because with ready access to information, students may know much more than the teacher on a particular area and students will come back with information and&the teachers would have to keep themselves updated with the latest information out there. d Another common understanding is a need for sensitivity to students 9 learning styles.<br><br> The school is studying this topic to learn how to ascertain whether a student 9s profile matches a teaching style (Yeap & Low, 2000). The motivation is not so much to ensure an exact match as it is to see that understanding what works well for students is important information for teachers to help them tailor lessons and make learning more effective. A final common understanding is the view of teacher as researcher, and Mrs.<br><br> Lee elaborated on her ideas of developing teachers into researchers in this way. She sees cHaving taught, d she asserted, cdoes not equate to having learned. d cI think the tablet PC has been instrumental in this movement, because with ready access to information, students may know much more than the teacher on a particular area&and the teachers would have to keep themselves updated with the latest information. d SRI International - 23 - Tablet PC Technical Findings the first stage as understanding what the important aspects are that one needs to consider in doing research 4such as validity and reliability 4so that teachers can, for example, design a valid questionnaire to evaluate whether a teaching strategy is effective. The goal is to do more than equip teachers with the skills to do research but to foster an evaluative mind-set to help them become more confident and certain about their classroom practice.<br><br> This way, they can put the research lens on their own practice. To achieve this goal, CGS devoted 30 of its 100 hours of yearly teacher training time to helping teachers think as researchers. The view of teachers as researchers is admittedly very revolutionary, and it sets very high expectations on CGS teachers.<br><br> Yet Mrs. Lee sees CGS teachers as cholding it together d now, after having gone through different stages. In the early stages, the work was about getting everyone to share a common vision for what to achieve for the school.<br><br> Having done that, the school went through several assessments by external organizations. These organizations were asked to come in and evaluate the school, not just from an educational perspective but also from an industry standard view. Once these reviews were completed, the school staff had the confidence that they had all the right systems in place, and then they could pursue the next stage of development and go both deeper and to greater heights.<br><br> Mrs. Lee acknowledged that teachers sometimes do feel the strain of having to learn something so rigorous, and she and her staff try to inject fun into trainings. She mentioned that their next training would be held in a resort in Malaysia, and that she intended to bring a lot of fun and games to it, such as friendly competitions and shopping.<br><br> During other trainings, she has told jokes and done exercises and dancing. Nevertheless, her motivational words for teachers are direct: at the end of thei