iClass to be rolled out in 15 schools next year
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Students of Al Ameen School in Abu Dhabi try their hands on the touchtable, one of the digital tools at the iClass. — Supplied photo
iClass, the e-learning programme of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), will be rolled out to 15 schools next academic year following the success of its pilot phase in 2011-2012.
“iClass is a key e-learning initiative designed to support the implementation of the new school model (NSM),” said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Adec, which plans to implement iClass in all public schools in the emirate. The NSM, which works on the concept of “teaching through playing”, is a student-centred education system that intends to develop the students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
With the use of digital devices such as laptops, ipads, iphones, touch pads, interactive touchtables, digital boards and video conferencing facilities, iClass aims to transform the classroom into the fascinating world of 21st century, providing students with a “creative and attractive learning environment.”Adec hopes that by creating a classroom similar to their home environment, children would develop the desire and interest to go to class.
At last year’s pilot phase, some 300 students of Grades 3 and 4 from six schools - Al Ameen and Mubarak bin Mohammed schools in Abu Dhabi, Al Alaas and Al Raqyia in Al Ain and Al Marfa and Al Saddique in Al Gharbiya - were involved.
The schools were chosen based on their successful implementation of the new NSM curriculum, IT-infrastructure readiness, students’ high performance level, and teachers’ willingness to implement the digital learning resources.
On Monday, Adec recognised the students and the teaching and administrative staff of the six schools for successfully implementing the iClass.
Richard Mehrer, iClass Project Manager, said that Adec has collaborated with the teachers, administrative staff and parents to evaluate the pilot stage. As part of the continuous assessment process, every lecture is recorded to enable teachers and principals to review and evaluate their teaching performance. Parents can also watch online and see how their children are being educated in schools.
“The training received by teachers helped them fully understand the objectives and thus realise the best results benefiting both students and teachers. Orientation sessions targeting parents were also useful and significantly increased communication between school and parents,” said Mehrer.