Old wine in new bottle? How technologies are being used in an elementary school in Singapore

Lee Yong TAY, Shanthi Suraj NAIR, Cher Ping LIM

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents a case study of how a group of eight teachers from an elementary school uses digital and online spaces for students’ acquisition of literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills (i.e. the teaching and learning of English language and mathematics). The participated teachers teach either one or both of the subjects mentioned above. Their school is one of the eight future schools selected in 2006 and started in 2008 to seek innovative teaching and learning approaches that leverage on ICT to engage the new generation of learners (Ministry of Education & Infocomm Development Authority, 2012). The school has created an ICT-enriched learning environment coupled with the necessary pedagogies and provides a one-to-one student–computer ratio for its Grade 1–3 students; students for Grade 4 onwards are encouraged to procure their own personal digital learning devices (i.e. notebook computer) for learning in school and at home. These eight teachers are selected based on the grade level that they are teaching—Grade 4. School records over the years have indicated that the level of ICT usage is the highest for Grade 4. In-depth discussion interview with the teachers are conducted, transcribed and analysed according to the SAMR Model (Puentedura, SAMR and curriculum redesign , 2014)—to establish whether technologies are being used to substitute, augment , modify or redefine current teaching practices. Through the rich description and in-depth interviews with the teachers, this case study could also act as lesson ideas and models for others in the fraternity to emulate and reflection upon. The findings suggest that teachers attempted to leverage on technology to bring about more effective teaching (i.e. going beyond the substitute mode). In addition, this case study also once again brings to attention the need to look into the following: (a) how ICT being used in different subject areas; (b) individual differences in how teachers use ICT; (c) provisions for technological infrastructure and availability of computing equipment; and (d) students’ readiness to use ICT for their learning. Copyright © 2018 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpaces of teaching and learning: Integrating perspectives on research and practice
EditorsRobert A. ELLIS, Peter GOODYEAR
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811071553
ISBN (Print)9789811071546
Publication statusPublished - 2018


elementary school
school grade
Ministry of Education
teaching practice
English language
learning environment


Tay, L. Y., Nair, S. S., & Lim, C. P. (2018). Old wine in new bottle? How technologies are being used in an elementary school in Singapore. In R. A. Ellis & P. Goodyear (Eds.), Spaces of teaching and learning: Integrating perspectives on research and practice (pp. 173-194). Singapore: Springer.