Gulf Educational Supplies & Solutions (GESS), in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Education, hosted a technology-based mobile learning workshop, 3rd February, at Umm Al Quwain’s Safia Bint Abd Al Motaleb School, Umm Al Quwain Secondary School.
The first workshop of its kind to be held in Umm Al Quwain, the event focused on technology-based education, including Twitter-based learning and iPad integration. Education and technology experts were on hand to demonstrate how mobile applications can be integrated into the curriculum, specifically in math and science to promote student learning.
Participants at the event observed how popular social media platform, Twitter can be integrated into classroom teaching to facilitate student engagement. Twenty-eight 13 and 14 year-old Grade 8 students have already participated in the programme since it launched last 2010.
The event was the first workshop of its kind to be held in Umm Al Quwain. HE Fawzia Gharib, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Operations at the Ministry of Education commented: “If a school of 400 students can successfully implement a programme of this scale, here in Umm Al Quwain, there’s no reason why it can’t happen in larger schools across the country, and indeed across the entire region.
“Technology has become a vital part of the learning process and this programme is one of many ways that the UAE is leading the way in technological applications in education.”
Manal Abd Elnaby, Classroom Teacher at the school explained: “Traditionally, Twitter has been used primarily as a way for friends to connect and share experiences through short online updates. We saw this as an opportunity to tap into our students’ existing relationships with social media platforms and apply this within a classroom setting. So far, the results have been extraordinary.”
Guided by Elnaby, workshop attendees were given the opportunity to participate in the programme themselves, composing sample Tweets and responding to their peers throughout the session.
Of the success of the mobile learning programme, Rhona Greenhill, Conference Director, GESS commented: “This programme is unique – it invites our participants to expand their knowledge on a topic that is considered the future of education while learning how to integrate mobile learning into classrooms and curricula across the region.”
During the second half of the workshop Patrick Beyrouti, Business Development Manager Education at Arab Business Machine- authorised Apple distributor, illustrated how the iPad can act as an effective learning tool, and introduced a number of teacher and student friendly device applications, including Explain Everything, and additional educational apps.
Beyrouti explained: “This technology resonates with our students in a way that textbooks and chalkboards can’t always do. These students have been born into a digital age, and it’s to be expected that many of them will learn best through digital tools and applications. It is in the best interest of both teachers and students to embrace these innovative tools, which is why this mobile learning programme is so valuable.”
More insights and case histories on mobile learning will continue at GESS and the Global Education Forum, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 28th February to 1st March, 2012. For more information on the exhibition, please visit http://www.gesseducation.com
Before joining SME Advisor as an Assistant Editor in 2010 I obtained a Bachelors Civil Law Degree (Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, in 2005. I worked as a trainee lawyer in Dublin, Ireland, specialising in defence litigation and criminal law before obtaining a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Cardiff in 2009. At present I am the Editor of SME Advisor Middle East, which is a publication within the CPI Business Group. You can follow me on twitter: @mikey_byrne or @SMEadvisorME. Also, you can join me on Linkedin (Mike Byrne) or at (SME Advisor).