Ministry of Education
Feature | MOE

Charting New Horizons in Tech-Driven Education

The Ministry of Education (MOE) provides quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for students. Scholar Claudia Chew Han Ngee is part of the team at MOE Educational Technology Division (ETD) driving educational technology forward to keep up with changing times.

Claudia Chew Han Ngee is an Educational Technology Officer in the Educational Technology Division, MOE. As a recipient of the MOE Teaching Scholarship, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Honours I) and a Master of Science in Urban Studies from University College London in the UK.

The ’circuit breaker’ strategy implemented by the Singapore Government to pre-empt escalating COVID-19 infections marked a turning point for the field of education, as virtual learning became an integral part of the education landscape.

For Claudia Chew Han Ngee, a recipient of the MOE Teaching Scholarship, the COVID-19 period served as a catalyst for her interest in educational technology (EdTech). She was tasked with the critical responsibility of ensuring that virtual learning remained not only viable but also effective for her students at Chung Cheng High School (Main). Her journey ultimately led her to embrace the role of an Educational Technology Officer (ETO) in the Learning Partnership in Educational Technology (LPET) branch at Educational Technology Division (ETD).

With the support of the MOE Teaching Scholarship, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Honours I) and Master of Science in Urban Studies at University College London.

Today, her mission at the LPET branch is to enhance Singapore’s educational landscape by assisting schools in incorporating technology into their teaching methods and empowering educators and students to adopt innovative learning approaches and to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape.

We speak with her to find out more about her impactful role within MOE.

Could you share how the MOE Teaching Scholarship has shaped your journey as an educator?

The support the scholarship provided went much further than just financial aid — the planned summer programmes helped me prepare for my role as an educator. One of these programmes was a five-week teaching assignment at a secondary school after my second year of undergraduate studies. I was excited to be back in the classroom environment after two years. This experience was valuable as it gave me the opportunity to engage with a different profile of students and gain insight into teaching and learning practices in schools.

During that same summer break, I also attended a workshop on policymaking as part of the scholarship programme. This experience helped me understand the many considerations that underpin the policy formulation process and better appreciate the work undertaken within the broader MOE landscape.

There is a major focus on education technology in the work you do today. What caught your attention?

My interest in EdTech was sparked during the COVID-19 period when schools had to transit to full home-based learning almost overnight. Admittedly, my colleagues and I struggled at first to ensure that virtual learning remained meaningful and effective. These changes, however, provided much impetus for me to experiment with a host of different EdTech tools to engage my students, monitor their learning and provide feedback. Through this experience, I realised the many opportunities that technology affords to facilitate active learning and enjoyed the process of tinkering with different EdTech tools! This eventually led to my decision to join ETD.

Technology has become an integral part of the educational landscape, opening up many opportunities to enhance teaching and learning processes. It has become possible, for instance, for students to co-construct knowledge easily through collaborative features like the Discussion tool on the Singapore Student Learning Space; the teacher no longer has to lug sheets of flipchart papers and markers to class! More recently, with the developments in artificial intelligence (AI), it is now possible to provide students with personalised learning pathways through systems that detect learning gaps and cater to individual student needs. Technology also has the ability to automate various administrative tasks, serving as a capability multiplier in today’s educational landscape.

“While the work can be challenging, it is invigorating to be part of a team of dedicated colleagues striving towards a common goal. Throughout my career, I have greatly valued the guidance and support of senior colleagues as a teacher and as a new officer at ETD. Their insights and expertise have played a significant role in my professional development.” Claudia Chew Han Ngee

Fascinating! Walk us through your role as an Educational Technology Officer (ETO). What is a typical day on the job like?

My current role as an ETO involves supporting schools in their plans to meaningfully integrate EdTech into teaching and learning. This includes providing thought leadership in e-Pedagogy and consultancy to schools to build the capacity of educators in their effective use of EdTech to facilitate active learning.

In a typical workday, I would be engaging in discussions with my colleagues on how generative AI could be harnessed to make teaching and learning more effective or going on school visits to conduct professional development sessions to equip key personnel and teacher leaders with skills related to adopting e-Pedagogy tools like the EdTech Pedagogical Scaffold.

Claudia Chew Han Ngee

Claudia Chew Han Ngee

What’s the best part of your job?

Most would agree that technology presents many opportunities to transform teaching and learning, but the reality on the ground is that teachers do have many duties and changes in the educational landscape to manage. Our role as ETOs is therefore crucial in helping schools see and maximise the possibilities of leveraging technology to design learning experiences and environments enriched by technologies. I like that the work involves partnering schools on this EdTech journey and customising our support to help them move further in their technology integration efforts. At the same time, there is a lot of mutual learning involved as teachers on the ground are also very creative in their use of EdTech — I really enjoy learning from their stories and finding ways to share what they have done with others in the fraternity too.

Speaking of your fraternity, what’s the culture at MOE like?

In general, MOE is a very mission-driven organisation. While it may sound like a well-worn phrase, the mission of ‘Moulding the Future of our Nation’ does foster a culture of collaboration and collegiality. While the work can be challenging, it is invigorating to be part of a team of dedicated colleagues striving towards a common goal. Throughout my career, I have greatly valued the guidance and support of senior colleagues as a teacher and as a new officer at ETD. Their insights and expertise have played a significant role in my professional development.

Finally, can you tell us what your goals are for your career?

I believe that most, if not all, of the good work in education is never achieved by a single individual, but the result of the combined effort of a team. Hence, I hope to continue contributing, in whatever capacity, to the building of an educational landscape that prioritises the physical and mental well-being of our learners and inspires in them a love for learning. That’s my broad aim.