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Nguyen binh khiem primary school – Vietnam - "make each day at school an exciting day of the students!"

20.01.2012

By Nguyễn Minh Thiên Hoàng, Information and Education Curriculum Center, Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam

On December 7th of 2011, all teachers and students of Nguyen Binh Khiem primary school, district 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, rejoiced that they had won the Gold Award of the Regional Intel Teach School Award.

This result is an affirmation that their exertion in technology integration in education goes in the right direction, in line with the world’s general trend of development. 12 years ago, when the school was rebuilt, all teaching staff agreed that the 21st century would be the century of information technology. In order to build a modern environment of education, the role of information technology was imperative. So they proposed a long term development strategy with specific targets in periods of time and the plan of investment in developing professional skills to make the school one of the best primary schools in Vietnam in terms of education quality and ICT integration in education.

(See the vision document of Nguyen Binh Khiem primary school)             

The first period (From 2000 to 2003): Building the infrastructure:

Although at that time, the price of a single computer was not cheap at all, the school tried its best to build two computer labs with 104 PCs in total. There were few teachers able to work with PC, therefore some courses needed to be opened to train other teachers on using computers. These courses were organized with the Computer Science teachers of the school. This helped other teachers feel comfortable to study because they only had to work with their peer workmates.

After these courses, the teachers were able to create lessons using Microsoft Powerpoint. They used all available resources such as photos, video clips, etc. This also formed a new requirement of accessing more resources and analysing multimedia data.

The second period (From 2003 to 2006): Exploiting Internet resources and self study:

With broadband connection, teachers were able to get more resources from  the internet for enriching their lesson plans. They also taught themselves in processing multimedia data by using software. The number of lessons created with Powerpoint increased quickly with higher quality.

The third period (From 2006 to 2010):

This is the most important period, which was marked as a turning point of the school, moving from Development by Needs to Professional Development. This started with an Intel Education course: “The Getting Started Course”. 

The Intel Teach Getting Started Course is a course that not only helps teachers acquire technology literacy skills, but also helps them to develop 21st century teaching and learning approaches. After the course, teachers understood that technology integration in education is a must. As well, Intel Teach’s  project–based approaches helped teachers to use PBA in their teaching. 

In this period, the school website was built and immediately received an important role in making the relationship between the school and students’ families.     

The next period (From 2010 to 2015):

This is marked as the period of strong and fast development. An E-school (2.0 website) has been built and open new chances for e-learning: The Managing Board of the school uses this website to track all school activities. Teachers use this website to upload their lessons for students. Students use it to learn at home while parents use this website to help their children with their studies. Overall, it greatly improves the teachers’ efficiency of teaching. 

Two more computer labs have been set up, which increased the number of PCs in the school to more than two hundred. Library management is performed using PC and a wireless connection with 15 access points has been installed to facilitate students to access Internet wherever they want: from classes, from school yards, school canteen, or school garden. 

Students are very confident in using ICT, they develop mind maps with Mindmap Manager, create presentations using Microsoft Powerpoint and produce movies. A lot of learning clubs have been established such as Robotic club (making robots), Fine Arts clubs (making paints and handicrafts) and Video clubs (Making video clips).

In those four periods, the most valuable changes have been those in our mindsets: from traditional teaching to student-centered pedagogy with technology integration. Teachers of NBK primary school nowadays are proud of their teaching skills. They always keep in mind that they need to “make each day at school an exciting day for the students!”

And after all of our efforts, our students say: “Today, I’m proud of my school, tomorrow, I will make the school proud of me”.