“Digitalisation has enabled us and MINDS to prepare for future challenges by cultivating environments that encourage active learning and facilitate innovative and meaningful experiences for their clients. This transformation represents a substantial step forward in their mission to enhance service delivery and empower clients in the social service sectors.”
MINDS Eunos Training & Development Centre provides adults with intellectual disabilities, who require a higher level of support, the necessary training to enhance their independence and social integration. Clients are engaged in meaningful social and recreational activities aimed at equipping them with daily living skills and community living skills.
One of the transformative tools aiding in this mission is the SMART Board, which enables social service professionals to create interest-based activities, health, fitness, and wellness programmes. These programmes facilitate the integration of clients into the community and enrich their lives.
Driving this transformation is Andy, the Deputy Head - East Cluster, who is a strong advocate for integrating digital spaces into client engagement and training. He will be sharing with us some insights about the SMART Board.
Hi Andy, can you tell us what a SMART Board is?
Andy: The SMART Board is a high-quality digital tool equipped with interactive software. It enables social service professionals, particularly Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Training Officers (TOs), to plan and facilitate engaging therapy and training activities, in both fully digital and hybrid formats. It serves as a client training tool, enabling the team to create more meaningful and innovative learning experiences to train and engage the clients in our centres.
How did the centre decide to implement the SMART Board?
Andy: In the era of rapid digital transformation in Singapore, Social Service Agencies (SSAs) are embracing technology to deliver enhanced value to clients and meet their evolving needs.
To usher in this transformation, MINDS took part in the Back-to-Basics (B2B) initiative led by NCSS. This initiative aimed to support social service professionals in delivering therapy sessions through digital solutions. With the support provided, we leverage the SMART Board to plan and execute therapy and training sessions that effectively engage our clients.
Through this digitalisation, MINDS and other SSAs have fortified themselves against future challenges, creating environments that support active learning, and foster innovative, meaningful learning experiences for their clients. This evolution marks a significant leap forward in the journey to better serve and empower clients within the social service landscape.
How has this technology impacted the daily lives of social service professionals?
Andy: When the SMART Board was first introduced and installed at the centre, getting started was a challenge as no one was familiar with its features and functions, and how it can assist us in our work. Recognising this challenge, I organised specialised training sessions in collaboration with vendors. Thankfully, the device is user-friendly and the tech-savvy team quickly grasped how to use it effectively.
By training our staff with comprehensive knowledge and skills related to the SMART Board, we ensure that the team is well-equipped to utilise this valuable digital equipment in their daily work. Now, the SMART Board has become an integral daily tool, continuously driving innovation and improvement within the team. Its utility stretches beyond the client sessions, functioning as a valuable asset for discussions, fostering stronger connections, and enabling efficient work communication. This technological integration empowers team members to actively engage in both internal and external meetings, facilitating collaborative discussions on crucial work matters, irrespective of their geographical locations.
At MINDS, we have a family-oriented culture that encourages team members to share freely on their opinions and ideas. This allows open discussions on using the various functions of the SMART Board to plan client engagements, work presentations, and sharing. This also provides team members with opportunities to learn and grow from each other.
We also use the device to disseminate information about the centre's events or manpower deployment and to display words of affirmation and inspirational quotes, fostering a positive and encouraging work environment.
Can you share any inspiring moments where the team has grown or developed with the use of this digitalisation?
Andy: One inspiring moment occurred during one of our Multiple-Agency-Transition-Meetings (MATM) sessions. Although our team members were located in separate centres, we were still able to connect, communicate, and participate meaningfully as a team through the use of the SMART Board. This allowed us to discuss with our counterparts and caregivers the impending admission and transition preparation of a client. Witnessing my colleagues giving their best to the centres and working together as a team is my greatest motivation and inspiration.
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