The Benefits of Screen Time: Three Ways That Dulwich College (Singapore) Encourages the Safe and Healthy Use of Technology

Communication is the foundation of all relationships and enables the expression of complex ideas and the understanding of thoughts and emotions. Communication skills enable people to make connections, interact with others and adapt to uncertain situations. While there is a growing fear that technology is damaging children’s abilities to develop these key communication skills, Dulwich College (Singapore)’s Director of Educational Technology and Innovation, Jay Thompson, has to disagree. He states, “while the media prefers to focus solely on sensationalised headlines surrounding technology, screen time and more, there tends to be little emphasis placed on the many (and there are many) benefits of using technology to communicate”.

The College has a clear strategy when it comes to technology, placing equal emphasis on learning experiences that require screen time, with those that utilise more traditional communication skills. Here, Jay tells us three ways students at Dulwich College (Singapore) are using technology to develop and improve communication skills, while at the same time as making global connections.

Making Global Connections

The College has been using Flipgrid, a platform which enables classrooms across the globe to collaborate on a chosen topic through video. Students are able to ask questions and share comments, ideas and thinking with each other whether they are three metres or three continents apart. Time zones are a thing of the past; students are now able to connect with each other across the globe in a safe and educational way, applying the curriculum to real world situations.

Learning On Demand

While a focus on making global connections is important, Dulwich College (Singapore) recognises the need for more opportunities to develop communication between students, parents and staff. Live feedback and reporting has never been more powerful as seen by the results of the College’s trials of cutting-edge learning portfolios, driven by AI analytics. Students are now able to record their learning journeys, explain their processes and ideas and make reflections, which can be seen and commented on in real time by their teachers and parents. These platforms allow the conversations to flow smoothly from screen to classroom and from classroom to kitchen table every single day.

The Benefits of the iPad

Many will see the iPad solely as a gaming device which encourages tension and arguments at home. Dulwich College (Singapore) is constantly looking for new opportunities for students to be creative, share and innovate. iPads have made creativity and sharing extremely simple and have enabled students to code apps, create music, sketch images, film documentaries, produce podcasts and so much more. 

Good communication skills are paramount to creating future-proofed employees and global citizens. If used properly and in moderation, technology can break down barriers and open up a wealth of possibilities.