Ex­pect more high-tech tools in UAE schools from this year on

Khaleej Times - - NATION - Sar­wat Nasir sar­[email protected]­j­times.com

As vir­tual re­al­ity, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and blockchain take over the world, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is see­ing ma­jor changes when it comes to tech­nol­ogy.

Khaleej Times has pre­vi­ously re­ported about how teach­ers are us­ing vir­tual re­al­ity to take stu­dents to his­tor­i­cal events and fa­mous land­marks. Some schools have also in­tro­duced AI-pow­ered teacher as­sis­tants.

If many class­rooms have al­ready be­come so ad­vanced, what’s in store for 2019? Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tions are hap­pen­ing around the world and class­rooms are no ex­cep­tion.

The di­rec­tor of teach­ing, learn­ing and in­no­va­tion at Gems Wellington Academy Sil­i­con Oa­sis (WSO), Helen Loxs­ton-Baker, said stu­dents at her school are us­ing dig­i­tal note­books to store all of their work.

“At WSO, we are con­tin­u­ing to fo­cus on how to de­velop our ap­proach to blended learn­ing, and we have launched the use of Mi­crosoft Teams and OneNote. In con­junc­tion, we want to cre­ate a class­room space for stu­dents to col­lab­o­rate dig­i­tally as well as record all of their learn­ing in one place in their dig­i­tal note­book,” she said.

“Teach­ers can also mark stu­dents’ work live, giv­ing in­stant feed­back. Ac­ces­si­bil­ity tools for stu­dents with dif­fer­ent learn­ing needs now come as in­te­grated fea­tures, such as the im­mer­sive reader in Mi­crosoft prod­ucts. These prod­ucts help per­son­alise the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all stu­dents. Let’s hope we see more fea­tures to support per­son­al­i­sa­tion in the fu­ture.”

How­ever, cau­tion should be ex­er­cised, she said. It’s not about what tech­nol­ogy is be­ing used, but how teach­ers are en­sur­ing that new dig­i­tal prod­ucts are be­ing used to trans­form learn­ing.

Vir­tual, aug­mented re­al­ity

Lena Bell, head of in­no­va­tion at Gems In­ter­na­tional School in Al Khail, be­lieves more vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity (VR/AR) will con­tinue to in­flu­ence class­rooms this year.

“Younger stu­dents’ VR/AR cre­ation apps will be­come in­creas­ingly avail­able and more di­verse. The In­ter­net of Things (IoT) has be­come such an im­por­tant part of our daily lives. I be­lieve IoT will con­tinue to trans­form class­rooms De­velop their un­der­stand­ing of tech as a tool Help per­son­alise learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences

dig­i­tally as it plays a ma­jor role in per­son­al­is­ing learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences,” Bell said. “It al­lows dig­i­tal class­rooms to be­come flipped class­rooms and in­creases the potential for im­me­di­ate feed­back with real-time ap­pli­ca­tions and on­line col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween stu­dents and teach­ers.

“Schools will con­tinue to de­velop their un­der­stand­ing of tech­nol­ogy as a tool and not as a toy, which will Give them in­stant, real-time feed­back from teach­ers Pro­vide new space to col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers

em­power stu­dents to suc­ceed in an un­known fu­ture.”

Re­spon­si­ble dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship

An­other fo­cus for this year is teach­ing stu­dents how to be more dig­i­tally re­spon­si­ble, es­pe­cially when it comes to so­cial me­dia.

Bell added: “With so­cial me­dia play­ing an ever-in­creas­ing role in so­ci­ety, stu­dents of all ages are quite fa­mil­iar with its var­i­ous plat­forms. Those with dif­fer­ent needs learn bet­ter with new tools

In pri­mary school, it has be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to spend time de­vel­op­ing stu­dents’ dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship and crit­i­cal think­ing skills. This is not a new topic by any means, but as its im­por­tance and preva­lence in­crease, teach­ers need to set an ex­am­ple on how to be re­spon­si­ble with so­cial me­dia and pro­vide safe plat­forms for stu­dents to col­lab­o­rate and share ideas.” In­te­grat­ing tech­nol­ogy into the class­room provides ac­cess to an in­cred­i­ble num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties. A tech­no­log­i­cally driven class gains more im­por­tance as it helps de­velop dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship skills where stu­dents learn how to use tech­nol­ogy re­spon­si­bly, and pre­pares them for the fu­ture.

Class to the fu­ture

Schools will con­tinue to de­velop stu­dents’ un­der­stand­ing of tech­nol­ogy as a tool and not as a toy, em­pow­er­ing them to suc­ceed in an un­known fu­ture.”

Lena Bell, head of in­no­va­tion, Gems

In­ter­na­tional School in Al Khail

School­child­ren are in­tro­duced to new tech­nolo­gies that pre­pare them for the fu­ture and help them be­come re­spon­si­ble users.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.