More interactive lessons with tables that flip and tablets linked to wall screens

Ms Denise Phua (centre), Kaplan Singapore President Leon Choong (left) and Mr Andy Sim (right), Vice President for New Business Development at Samsung Singapore, at The Synergy Hub.
Ms Denise Phua (centre), Kaplan Singapore President Leon Choong (left) and Mr Andy Sim (right), Vice President for New Business Development at Samsung Singapore, at The Synergy Hub.PHOTO: KAPLAN SINGAPORE
Diploma students of the Marketing Principles module in Kaplan Singapore making use of the facilities in the Synergy Pod, a "smart"classroom opened in Kaplan since May this year.
Diploma students of the Marketing Principles module in Kaplan Singapore making use of the facilities in the Synergy Pod, a "smart"classroom opened in Kaplan since May this year.PHOTO: KAPLAN SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Students at Kaplan Singapore can expect more interactive lessons in the future with new classrooms fitted out with desks that can double up as white boards and tablets linked to larger screens.

The private education institution is setting aside $90 million to convert all its 92 classrooms into such "smart" classrooms over the next five years.

For a start, students in marketing classes from the school have begun taking lessons at one such classroom, dubbed the Synergy Pod.

The classroom was officially launched on Thursday (Aug 4) by Ms Denise Phua, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education and Mayor of Central Singapore District.

The classroom consists of six tables, each with a tablet and a large wall screen.

Since late April, students attending classes for marketing principles modules at the Synergy Pod have been scribbling on the room's tables in groups and flipping them at an angle to present their discussions with the rest of the class.

The students can also, among other things, answer questions and give presentations on a tablet at each table and it can be displayed not just on the slate but also on a large screen linked to each tablet. This can facilitate faster interactions between students, according to Kaplan.

The school has also been adapting textbooks and handouts for its Diploma in Commerce programme into online materials, such as videos, games and quizzes. The school said this was a bid to combine traditional face-to-face teaching with online learning.

Mr Christopher Harris, Kaplan's Head of School for Diploma Studies and Senior Director of Industry Relations said: "We are trying to give our teachers more tools to teach, regardless of the medium."

"On the side of the learner, we are catering to diversity. We all learn in multiple, different ways. It is a case of having options, for both learners and teachers."

Ms Phua supported Kaplan's move of recreating the curriculum and integrating technology. 

She said: "This blended learning model is the way to go because not everything can be replaced by machines, and good education and facilition is still very important for education of the future. Blended is the way to go."