EduTech 2023

We are delighted to share our reflections on our recent attendance at the EduTech Asia Conference 2023, an enriching and highly relevant learning and networking opportunity. As EduTech members, deeply committed to staying abreast of the latest advancements in educational technology and pedagogy, participating in this conference was not only a professional obligation but also a source of immense satisfaction.

The conference, held from 7th to 9th November 2023 at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, brought together thought leaders, educators, and innovators from Asia and around the globe, creating a dynamic and collaborative environment. From the outset, it was evident that the agenda was meticulously crafted to address the pressing challenges and emerging trends in the realm of educational technology. Sessions ranged from exploring innovative teaching methodologies to dissecting the latest advancements in EdTech tools and platforms.

This article has been segmented into a few parts for easier reading.

Here’s some briefs about the workshops we attended on the pre-conference day – 7th Nov 2023. Workshops attended:
  1. Harnessing Technology for Better Metacognition
  2. Data dashboards in schools – Making meaningful insights with data
  3. Spice up SLS with AI-generated storylines, characters and settings
  4. Make Learning Fun Again
1. Harnessing Technology for Better Metacognition (Soofrina’s Reflections) In the enlightening workshop titled “Harnessing Technology for Better Metacognition,” led by Kristie Chen, Principal Consultant at Bold Academy Pte. Ltd, I gained profound insights into the intricate dynamics between human cognition and artificial intelligence. This workshop not only prompted introspection but also provided valuable tools for enhancing our interactions with AI, such as ChatGPT. One of the workshop’s key takeaways was the common occurrence of individuals persistently rephrasing questions to AI models, seeking more satisfying responses. It’s akin to adapting our communication with humans, but the crucial distinction lies in recognizing that AI, while powerful, is distinct from human intelligence. We cannot merely rely on AI and switch to autopilot mode. Metacognition, as elucidated in the workshop, is the capacity to step outside our immediate cognitive focus and contemplate our thought processes. It encompasses utilizing knowledge about our skills and the task at hand, coupled with mental regulation—monitoring and adjusting our strategies as needed. Practically, the workshop highlighted four essential steps in metacognition, especially when collaborating with AI:

  • Awareness: Recognizing how our strengths, weaknesses, and cognitive biases influence our interactions with AI.
  • Planning: Leveraging self-awareness to optimally divide tasks between ourselves and AI to achieve objectives.
  • Monitoring: Continuously assessing our progress and the AI’s progress toward goals.
  • Evaluation: Post-task reflection to refine future collaborations with AI based on what worked and what did not.

The workshop further delved into improving awareness, shedding light on cognitive biases that can affect our interactions with AI:

  • Anchoring bias: Over-relying on the AI’s initial response.
  • Confirmation bias: Seeking information that confirms existing beliefs.
  • Halo effect: Assuming AI performs well in all tasks.
  • Sunk-cost fallacy: Persisting with a strategy despite its inefficiency.

To mitigate these biases, we learned various strategies, such as using prompts to facilitate planning, monitoring, and evaluation during AI-assisted tasks.
Furthermore, the importance of mindfulness emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing metacognition. By practicing mindfulness, we can shift from cognitive autopilot to heightened awareness, fostering effective collaboration with AI.
In conclusion, this workshop left me with valuable insights and practical advice for optimizing interactions with generative AI. Starting with simple plans, frequent self-assessment, and mindfulness practices, we can harness the potential of AI while staying mindful of our cognitive processes. As we navigate the AI revolution, embracing it with mindful awareness is key to realizing its full potential.

2. Data dashboards in schools – Making meaningful insights with data (Soofrina’s Reflections)

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the role of data in decision-making has become increasingly vital. Recently, I had the privilege of attending a workshop titled “Data Dashboards in Schools – Making Meaningful Insights with Data,” presented by Chris Smith, an Academic Data Specialist from the Singapore American School. This workshop shed light on the power of data visualization and its potential to revolutionize education.

The key takeaway from the workshop was the importance of Looker Studio, a free platform by Google that enables educators and administrators to harness data for the betterment of student learning. Looker Studio offers four key pillars – Access, Data, Insights, and Action, which collectively empower educators to transform raw data into actionable insights.

Firstly, Access enables individuals to easily access data and turn it into visualizations. This accessibility ensures that data is no longer confined to the domain of data scientists but becomes a tool accessible to all stakeholders in education. Secondly, Data provides the ability to make sense of complex datasets by revealing correlations and patterns. Visualizing data in intuitive ways allows educators to identify trends that might have otherwise remained hidden, paving the way for data-driven decision-making.

Thirdly, Insights are the crux of data-driven education. Through Looker Studio, educators can discover relationships between various data points, enabling them to gain a deep understanding of student performance and behavior.

Finally, Action compels us to answer the crucial question: Why is something happening, and what should we do about it? By translating insights into actionable steps, educators can intervene effectively to support students and improve learning outcomes.

In conclusion, the workshop emphasized that data dashboards are not just tools for data geeks but powerful instruments for educators, administrators, and policymakers to enhance the learning experience for all students. Looker Studio offers a promising pathway to turn data into meaningful insights, ultimately leading to a brighter future for education. As we move forward, the fusion of data and education will undoubtedly continue to shape the way we educate and empower the leaders of tomorrow.

2. Darishna’s Reflections on the attended Workshops

Mr Ghazali Abdul Wahab from Canberra Secondary School presented as a teacher who likes to add humour and fun to his lessons. True to his personality, his workshop at EDUTech Asia 2023 presented us with the opportunity to laugh and be entertained by his attempts at creating an interactive A.I.-assisted generated lesson plan.

Ghazali used A.I. to design an introduction for himself and even made sure that it kept to the time limit. Throughout his workshops, he presented bits and pieces of A.I. technology he incorporates in his classroom to us. He made sure only to introduce the ones that are either completely free or have functions that are free for the moment.

Ghazali has also been plagued with whether A.I. can one day take over or replace teachers. In his opinion, he disagrees because of two main reasons. Internal engagement factor and cost. During his workshop, Mr Ghazali walked us through the 2 main internal engagement factors that we need to incorporate into our lessons to ensure our learners continue to be engaged. They consist of Cognitive engagement, described as the relevance of schoolwork to the students. If students find that their school work holds no relevance to their lives or interests they may disconnect from the learning process. Secondly,  Affective engagement which can be described as identification with school or a sense of belonging – this, he says is human’s benefit over AI. AI is still not able to connect with the students at this level.

He also mentioned that during the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers found it difficult to keep their students engaged and interested because Singapore had lost its main edge in education. In his opinion, we were one of the best worksheet and textbook creation and with the onset of the pandemic and everything shifting over to the virtual classroom, this was something that teachers could no longer rely on.

Before introducing the secrets to his lesson planning and how to “spice them up with A.I.” Ghazali walked us through the 8 Univeral CORE desires. He explained it as the factors influencing our choices, and why we choose to do anything.

8 Universal CORE Desires

  1. meaning
  2. accomplishment
  3. empowerment
  4. ownership
  5. social influence
  6. scarcity (rewards must be improvised such that they are harder to obtain)
  7. unpredictability
  8. Avoidance (summary punishment)

With these 8 Universal CORE desires in mind, he tailored a lesson plan that encompasses some factors and made them a key point to note for future lesson plans:

  1. a cute character that needs help from the students
  2. a story plot with a villain
  3. a problem that the students can help solve.

Using multiple different AI generation resources, Ghazali came up with a lesson plan that incorporated all 3 factors mentioned above and found that his students were attentive and excited to venture into that lesson and continued to look forward to future lessons eagerly.

Some of the A.I. resources Ghazali tapped on to tailor his lesson according to the principles mentioned above:

  1. Using BING: Chat GPT 4 function – you can ask it to create an image of a character you are coming up with.
  2. Use – for free text-to-speech creation. You can even adjust accent/tone/ speed. If you sign in you get more characters for free. Just remember to take note of the tone and speed of each character you are creating.
  3. Using Canva to create an educational video. [Canva – free for educators – pro version – Education video (Create)]
  4. Lastly, he used ChatGPT to create a reading comprehension by coming up with the creative title (Pegagogia in Peril of Snow Dragon). He used the ‘O’ level’ text in the prompt and asked Chat GPT to maintain the level of difficulty of the text above. This allowed ChatGPT to learn from the text and create one that had a similar difficulty level.

According to Ghazali, he feels that the objective of the lesson always seems to be the engagement layer – come up with the creative plots but leave it to Chat GPT to help us with the mundane and tiring work of producing the stories and questions. This allows the teacher more time to maintain creativity, and engagement with the students as well as time to create the precious rapport needed between teachers and students.

Make Learning Fun Again was a workshop conducted by Mathematics teacher Mr Yijie Liu. Liu introduced various models of game types.

  1. Pointsification- giving out points during gameplay. However, admittedly it only encourages the higher-ability learners and not the lower-ability learners as they will eventually lose interest and focus when they are unable to keep up with the point accumulation.
  2. Game-based learning – Learning content through the game itself. Similar to the concepts of Kahoot! Quizzes and these games are designed to help learners learn through the games. However, these games require the learners to be somewhat motivated and cannot completely teach a new concept to learners.
  3. Gacha Mechanics – Similar to the toy vending machine, Gacha Mechanics is a model that incorporates a game of chance. It is addictive as usually, the players will wait for the pity drop. It can allow learners to be self-motivated.

By introducing these models of games, Liu was trying to explain his position on how he comes up with his games in class that involve technology. His game model incorporated the 4 elements of game design by Jane McGonigal. All games should be designed with a goal, rules, feedback system and voluntary participation.

With his explanation, it became apartments that when teachers plan games in class, they should have a clear goal. The goal then affects the type of game model decided upon. Receiving feedback from students is equally important to then assess if the goal is met and if voluntary participation will continue to take form.
What resonated with us most was the inherent relevance of the workshops and conference sessions to our dual specialised responsibilities as iReps. The sessions were tailored to address the nuanced needs and challenges faced by professionals in educational technology, providing valuable insights that we can directly apply to enhance MLP’s digital learning strategies. The wealth of knowledge and expertise shared by speakers, coupled with the interactive nature of the sessions, created an atmosphere conducive to robust discussions and idea exchange. Here’s some details of just two out of the many sessions and keynotes we attended:


1. Pear Deck – an interactive learning platform

During one of the show-and-tell presentations by Quah Li Zhen, Pear Deck was introduced as a learning platform that has available resources for free. Similar to Nearpod, Pear Deck allows teachers to plan and control the lesson through the platform. It engages students with activities in between slides and allows them to add images or texts to discuss and share ideas. Games are also available and teachers can post questions during the lessons to ensure engagement and understanding.

2. Panel Session: Looking Ahead: Shaping the future of learning in 2024

Here’s a summary of and reflection on the panel session: In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the future of learning is being shaped by a combination of traditional pedagogy and cutting-edge technologies. As we stand at the threshold of a new era in education, it’s essential to explore how educational technologies and trending advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming the way we teach and learn.

Educational Technologies: Bridging Gaps and Enhancing Access

Educational technologies have long played a pivotal role in bridging geographical, economic, and accessibility gaps. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of online learning platforms, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of educators and students alike. The rise of e-learning, video conferencing tools, and digital textbooks has made education more accessible to learners worldwide.

Moreover, educational technologies have made learning more engaging and interactive. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are creating immersive learning experiences, allowing students to explore historical sites, dissect virtual organisms, or travel through space without leaving their classrooms. Gamification techniques are making learning fun and motivating, transforming traditional curricula into interactive adventures.

Artificial Intelligence: Personalizing Education

Artificial intelligence is one of the most transformative forces in education. AI-driven applications can analyze vast amounts of data to provide personalized learning experiences. Intelligent tutoring systems adapt content and pace to individual student needs, ensuring that no learner is left behind. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are available 24/7 to answer questions, offer guidance, and provide instant feedback, enhancing the learning process.

Furthermore, AI can assist teachers in assessing student performance and identifying areas where additional support is needed. By automating routine administrative tasks, educators can focus more on teaching and mentoring.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations

While the potential benefits of educational technologies and AI in education are immense, they also come with challenges and ethical considerations. Ensuring equitable access to technology, safeguarding data privacy, and addressing concerns about AI bias are critical issues that must be addressed as we move forward.

Conclusion: The Future of Learning is Here

In conclusion, the future of learning is being shaped by a dynamic blend of educational technologies and AI-driven innovations. These advancements are not meant to replace educators but to empower them with tools and insights to provide more personalized, engaging, and effective learning experiences. As we navigate this ever-evolving landscape, it’s essential to remain vigilant about ethical considerations and inclusivity, ensuring that the benefits of the future of learning are accessible to all. By harnessing the full potential of these technologies, we have the opportunity to unlock a brighter and more accessible future of education.

Moreover, the conference provided an unparalleled opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and experts in the field. Engaging in conversations with fellow EdTech enthusiasts and industry leaders allowed us to gain diverse perspectives and also cultivate meaningful connections. These interactions not only expanded our professional network but also exposed us to innovative practices and success stories that will undoubtedly inspire and inform our future initiatives. On this note, I (Soofrina) was given the opportunity to facilitate one of the 15 roundtable discussions on the last day of the conference. Here’s a quick sharing of the insightful and deep conversations we had:

Soofrina hosted a roudtable discussion on the topic of differentiated instruction and here’s a reflection of it:

“I had the privilege of hosting a roundtable discussion at the Edutech Asia Conference, focusing on the topic of differentiated instruction in the classroom for diverse learners. The response exceeded my expectations, with more than 12 enthusiastic participants who joined the conversation. This overwhelming interest affirmed the relevance and importance of the subject matter, indicating a collective eagerness to both contribute and gain insights.

The roundtable discussion at the Edutech Asia Conference provided a rich and diverse platform for exploring the challenges faced by teachers and school leaders when it comes to providing differentiated instruction for diverse learners. The participants’ backgrounds and expertise spanned across various aspects of education and technology, offering a comprehensive view of the subject matter.

At my table, the diversity of expertise was remarkable. The participants included an EdTech Officer from MOE HQ, an ICT Subject Head from Northland Secondary School, a Robotics teacher from Woodlands Ring Secondary School, the Head of EdTech from St Nicholas, the EdTech Deputy Director from St Andrews, and developers from renowned educational software platforms such as Kami and Wakelet. The inclusion of a Senior Manager for SINDA’s Education Division, particularly interested in our approach to the SL-ND group at the DAS, added a valuable perspective. Additionally, foreign participants, serving as either educators or edtech leaders in their respective organizations, brought a global context to our discussion.

Despite the scheduled 1-hour and 15-minute timeframe, the engagement and enthusiasm of the participants led us to extend the session by an extra 30 minutes. This extension spoke volumes about the relevance and depth of the discussions taking place. Participants were not only eager to share their own experiences but also to delve into the specific methodologies and practices employed at the DAS for differentiated instruction.

One of the predominant challenges highlighted during the discussion was the increasing diversity of student needs within the classroom. With students coming from various cultural backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles, educators face the daunting task of tailoring their teaching methods to cater to this wide spectrum of learners. The need for personalized instruction becomes paramount, but it also presents a logistical challenge in terms of resource allocation and teacher training.

Another significant challenge discussed was the integration of technology into differentiated instruction. While technology offers tremendous potential for adapting learning materials and resources to individual student needs, it also brings about issues of access and equity. Not all students have equal access to digital tools and resources, which can exacerbate educational disparities.

Furthermore, the scalability of differentiated instruction emerged as a recurring theme. While some educators and institutions have successfully implemented these practices, there was a consensus that widespread adoption and sustainability remain challenging. Scaling differentiated instruction requires not only buy-in from teachers but also support from leadership, adequate professional development, and a commitment to ongoing assessment and adjustment.

The discussion also shed light on the importance of data-driven decision-making in personalized learning. Gathering and analyzing data on student performance and needs is crucial for effective differentiation. However, many schools struggle with the collection and interpretation of this data, making it difficult to implement targeted interventions.

Many attendees expressed their primary motivation for joining my table was to gain insights into how the DAS approaches differentiated instruction for diverse learners. Participants were keen to understand the practical applications, challenges faced, and successes achieved in implementing differentiated instruction.



In conclusion, the roundtable discussion highlighted the complexities and nuances surrounding differentiated instruction for diverse learners. While there is a collective eagerness to embrace these practices, the challenges of implementation, technology integration, scalability, and data utilization must be addressed collectively by educators, school leaders, and edtech developers. It is clear that an ongoing dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders are essential to meet the diverse learning needs of today’s students effectively.”

Soofrina also presented on differentiated instruction.

As the presenter of “Differentiated Instruction in the Digital Age,” I had the privilege of exploring a vital topic at the intersection of education and technology. This 15-minute presentation aimed to shed light on the significance of leveraging technology for differentiated instruction in our diverse classrooms today. Now, looking back on the experience, I’m thrilled to reflect on the journey and the insights shared.

The presentation began by establishing the foundational understanding of differentiated instruction and its relevance in contemporary education. It was crucial to set the stage and emphasize the pressing need for tailoring instruction to accommodate the individual differences of students. The audience needed to grasp why this approach matters in fostering inclusive learning environments.

The pivotal role of technology in enhancing the implementation of differentiated instruction was a key focus. It was essential to showcase the incredible versatility of digital tools in catering to various learning styles and needs. Demonstrating how technology can be a game-changer in personalized learning experiences was a highlight.

The heart of the presentation lay in unveiling specific technology-driven strategies for adapting content, process, and product based on students’ readiness, interests, and learning profiles. Sharing real-world examples of personalized content and interactive multimedia resources made the concept tangible for the audience. It was rewarding to witness the engagement and interest of participants as they saw the potential of these tools.

Addressing the needs of dyslexic students and special needs learners was a critical aspect. The introduction of assistive technologies and accessibility features was met with genuine enthusiasm. Knowing that these technologies can make a significant difference in the lives of those with diverse learning needs was immensely gratifying.

The presentation also presented a diverse array of inclusive technology tools designed to accommodate diverse learners and cater to their unique abilities and preferences. It was an opportunity to highlight the richness of resources available to educators in the digital age.

Data-driven decision-making was another focal point, emphasizing how educators can harness technology to collect and analyze data to inform instructional decisions and student interventions. The importance of continuous professional development for educators in utilizing technology effectively was underscored, along with practical strategies for upskilling teachers in educational technology.

In retrospect, the presentation was a dynamic journey through the transformative potential of technology in education. It was a reminder that as educators, we have a profound opportunity to shape the future of learning by embracing the digital age. I’m grateful for the enthusiastic participation of the audience and the chance to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about differentiated instruction and technology in education. As we move forward, I’m excited to continue exploring new horizons in the ever-evolving field of educational technology.

The EduTech Asia Conference 2023 was not merely an event; it was a transformative experience that has left an indelible mark on our professional journey. Thank you, Management Team of DAS and our line manager Dr. Geetha for always supporting our professional development. We really, really appreciate it!

Contributed by DAS Educational Therapists:
Soofrina Binte Mubarak & Darishnambigai d/o Sinniah