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iPad helps an all-girls Islamic school turn students into leaders.
At Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah, one of the oldest Islamic schools in Singapore, principal Syed Mustafa blends modern technologies and traditional values to create a path for students to become vocal leaders. He encourages a culture of creativity, compassion and collaboration — and believes technology is an avenue for developing and sharing critical thinking skills. So for the last 10 years, he’s equipped every student with an iPad, every school leader with a Mac and every classroom with an Apple TV.
Founded in 1912
36 staff members
12-year Educational Programme
Recognised by URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) as a heritage school
1:1 iPad Programme
3 Languages : Students study Arabic, English and Malay Languages
8 Curriculum Hours : Single session from 7.30am - 3.30pm
13 - 18 Subjects : Combination of Revealed Knowledge, & Math and Science subjects
Today, Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah has about 315 students enrolled across its 12-year educational programme. Throughout the first 10 years at the Primary and Secondary levels, students build a strong foundation in Islamic subjects, learning and memorising the Qur’an and Hadith, literacy, numeracy and the Sciences. The Diploma in Islamic Studies (DPI) programme, that was introduced in 2013, offers our students a chance to further develop their understanding of Islam at tertiary level.
The implementation of the 1:1 iPad programme since 2011 has resulted in students and teachers being proficient iPad users. As such, learning was not disrupted by the transition from face-to-face to virtual lessons during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it has led to a surge in collaboration and creativity amongst students and teachers.
In 2021, we participated in Apple’s inaugural Action Learning Support (ALS) programme. Through the rich teacher and student data collected, we were able to evaluate the effectiveness of our 1:1 iPad programme, find areas to improve and make more informed decisions regarding technology-aided teaching and learning for our future.
Below are two of many significant findings derived from the study conducted for the ALS programme.
6 selected students from Primary 6 to Secondary 3 were introduced to 3D modelling and printing, and mobile app development during our STEM Day 2021.
of students reported collaboration with other students using technology at least a cuple times per week
of teachers found student collaboration valuable
Guided by Design Thinking processes such as empathise, define and ideate, Primary 6 (2022) students investigate the relationship between potential energy and kinetic energy as well as the effects of forces through designing a marble roller coaster prototype. The design was carried out collaboratively in groups of threes.
With their iPads, students were tasked to document different phases of the project with the focus being the marble run. The stopwatch function allowed students to record the duration of the run. A video presentation of the documentation, recordings as well as reflection of team members culminates the project.
The teacher does not limit her students on their choice of applications to use for the production of the video presentation nor guide them on the production of the video. This is only possible as these students have acquired the technological skills, having been exposed to different applications over the years while studying in Madrasah Alsagoff. This was evident in the varying features used in the different videos such as time-lapse, embedded video, and usage of stickers and annotations.
Learning using the iPad has become second nature to these students so they are given the autonomy to pick and choose the applications that suit them best to achieve the desired learning outcomes. They are able to make independent decisions in collaborative or individual assignments which in turn leads to the production of quality work.
From as early as Primary 1, students aged 7 are taught the basic iPad related applications such as Keynote, Clips, and skills such as annotation, drawing, gif and purposeful picture. These skills are learnt incidentally with the main focus of the lessons still being the subjects' instructional objectives. This opens up to differentiated learning which allows for the increase of student-engagement in the classroom across all subjects. Ultimately, these students become confident users of the iPad and are able to produce drawings and simple slides with animations and voice-overs.
Primary level students are able to produce Arabic Digital Storybooks with translations from Arabic to English which are then shared with other students in the school. Additionally, students in the Diploma programme have acquired the technical proficiency to conduct online programmes for students of other levels.
To leverage on technology in supporting creative teachers capable of promoting a culture of knowledge sharing which aims at producing innovative students who grow up to become leaders capable of engaging and educating the community.
Having entered the eleventh year of our 1:1 iPad programme, Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah plans to extend our students' opportunities through collaborative learning with students from other schools in Singapore and overseas. With Islamic traditions as our guiding principle, we will tap into common areas of learning as well as explore new territories of knowledge.
By allowing our students to interact with their peers from different backgrounds, we hope that our students will become more effective and eloquent communicators. They will develop a sense of responsibility and positive relationships, be able to show care and concern for others, be able to handle challenges, make responsible decisions, and act for the good of self, the society and the religion.