UWC South East Asia Recognised As a Leading 21st Century School

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UWC South East Asia (UWCSEA), a leading international school in Singapore, has been awarded ‘School of the Year’ by 21st Century Learning International for excellence in the use of technologies to support student learning. According to the selection panel of education and industry experts, the UWCSEA entry displayed a “focus on learning through the intelligent use of technology.”

UWC South East Asia (UWCSEA) has been awarded ‘School of the Year’ by 21st Century Learning International, announced on 23 October 2013. The award recognises excellence in the use of technologies to support student learning.

According to the selection panel, made up of leading educational and industry experts, the UWCSEA entry displayed a “focus on learning through the intelligent use of technology.” The panel was especially impressed with “staff professional learning structures…[that] help embed a culture of change which we believe will reach well beyond a single initiative, and even beyond technological competence.”

Award finalists are selected on the basis of their ability to meet criteria that are widely recognised to indicate the successful use of technology in education. These include a shared vision for learning, transformative leadership and a culture of innovation. The panel was also looking for broad access to technology, the involvement of student voice and the ability to build and sustain capacity across the school. UWC South East Asia scored highly in all criteria.

Graeme Deuchars, a Director of 21st Century Learning International Ltd, said, "The awards attracted entries from 15 countries and it has been an extremely challenging and rewarding process to arrive at the winners."

Julian Whiteley, Head of College at UWCSEA recognises the importance of the award, which was judged by a panel of leading educational and industry experts, “I am delighted and extremely proud that UWCSEA has won this prestigious award. It reflects upon the vision of the Board, the professionalism and expertise of our IT staff and the commitment of all our teachers who have embraced the principle of integrating technology into our learning programme.”

At UWCSEA, students have wide access to digital devices. Starting with iPads in the Infant School and moving to laptop and desktop usage in the Primary School, all students in Grades 6 through 12 are issued a laptop for their use. However, according to Ben Morgan, Director of IT, devices are not as important as building skills among teachers and students. “Technology doesn’t transform learning, but great pedagogy can,” he says. “The aim of the technology programme at UWCSEA is to use digital tools to support great teaching and learning. Technology is not an end in itself.”

The school also places great importance on educating the wider school community around the ideas of digital citizenship and e-safety. UWCSEA is part of an international accreditation system, Generation Safe, which helps to ensure that there is comprehensive support in this important area.

UWCSEA’s goal is to educate individuals to embrace challenge and take responsibility for shaping a better world. The UWC movement makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.

21st Century Learning International was founded by a group of educators with a mission to “make learning relevant, powerful and authentic to students in the 21st Century.”

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Courtney Carlson
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