ADEC rolls out iClass in 15 schools next school year
Abu Dhabi 2nd July, 2012:
HE Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Abu Dhabi Education (ADEC), said that Abu Dhabi public schools have received a growing number of applications since last year, reflecting the increasing confidence of parents in public schooling in the emirate after the significant improvements recently introduced by ADEC.
“Our students and teachers are provided with world-class learning environment thanks to ADEC efforts guided by H.H General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Education Council,” Dr. Al Khaili added.
“Education in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi focuses on developing student research, logical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, IT, English and Arabic skills as well as strengthening their loyalty and the sense of belonging,” said Dr. Al Khaili in his speech at the honoring ceremony sponsored by Cisco Systems Inc. to honor the students and teaching and administrative staff in pilot schools which implemented iClass this school year.
“iClass is a key e-Learning initiative designed to support the implementation of the New School Model (NSM). ADEC is dedicated to help improve students’ critical thinking/learning, motivation, engagement, and knowledge attainment across its public schools through iClass, which was preliminarily introduced as a one-year pilot project for selected Grade 3 and 4 students in six schools in the School Year 2011– 2012,” Dr. Al Khaili added.
“iClass brings digital devices, such as laptops, ipad, iphone, etc. which are widely used nowadays by various age groups to the classroom. The 21st Century classrooms are provided by ADEC to allow students to have creative and attractive learning environments,” the Director General indicated.
Having proven successful during this school year in the six pilot schools, the initiative will be rolled out in 10 to 15 schools next school year and later will be implemented in all public schools in the emirate, announced Dr. Al Khaili.
Dr. Al Khaili thanked teachers, school staff and parents for their efforts in effectively applying the new initiative and lauded Cisco Systems Inc. for their collaboration that helped achieve the project objectives.
Dr. Kevin Dunseath, Director Global Education (Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia), Cisco says on the occasion:“Cisco is delighted to be a partner in the inaugural ADEC iClass program and to celebrate with you today the outstanding efforts of teachers on this exciting journey of education transformation to help ensure that all students in the Abu Dhabi public school system reach their full potential”.
At the end of ceremony, Dr. Al Khaili distributed awards to the honored staff and students.
Richard Mehrer, ADEC’s iClass Project Manager, said that ADEC has collaborated with the teaching and administrative staff and parents in order to evaluate the pilot stage. “Received feedback will be used during the next stages of the project to ensure that even bigger success is achieved,” he added.
“The training received by teachers helped them fully understand the objectives and thus realize the best results benefiting both students and teachers. Orientation sessions targeting parents were also useful and significantly increased communication between school and parents,” added Mehrer.
Ahmed Al Hammadi, iClass Assistant Project Manager, said that “to support the effective use of 21st Century digital learning tools and an eCurriculum in both Arabic and English resources, a digital learning resources center will be available for students to use in each school. Students will be provided with “students input devices” which can be used in their classrooms and at home”.
“Schools will be connected through video conferencing and interactive, multi-touch electronic whiteboards which will help encourage teachers and students to exchange and share knowledge locally and globally in a spirit of true collaboration, “Al Hammadi pointed out.
“The 300 G3 and G4 students participating in this pilot stage have had their devices connected to the teacher laptops for monitoring purposes,” he added.