The Higher Colleges of Technology’s Abu Dhabi/Khalifa City Women’s College (AD/KCWC) reprised the successful ”iCelebrate” training event, inaugurated in June, by welcoming again faculty from across the UAE who are using, or preparing to use, mobile technologies, such as Apple iPads in the classroom.
“iCelebrate2,” a day-long pedagogy “non-conference,” continued the conversations among hundreds of creative teaching staff interested in sharing ideas. Faculty members from the HCT, Zayed University, and UAE University discussed course design, materials development, and specific uses for apps in the classroom, among other topics.
In contrast to the June training sessions, when every participant was a beginner, many faculty members now have had sustained experience using mobile technologies in their teaching.
“Students have taken to the iPad very well,” reported Foundation faculty Kitty Hogan.
“It’s especially helpful for the students to practice their reading and writing,” said faculty member Loyce Soskin, “they’re writing constantly.”
Their colleague Sonia Batra added, “My students showed me an app related to one of our units, and now we’re all using it in class, designing fun activities. This technology has given us more scope for creativity.”
As a result of their acquaintance with the technology, faculty interest and passion for innovative teaching has increased, leading to more sessions and a wider range of topics than before. Scores of faculty members discussed matters as diverse as “Using Puppet Pals,” “Customized Application Development for iPad,” and “Copyright Made Easy: Creative Commons and Your Classroom Materials,” along with dozens of other technology and pedagogy subjects.
Starting with the new academic year, all HCT Foundation students have been engaging with iPads in their studies. Students and faculty across the federal system of higher education, led by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the HCT, have played a part in this world-leading initiative.
AD/KCWC Director Dr. Jace Hargis, himself an expert in technology in education and a leader in the roll-out of mobile technology-based teaching and learning, stated, “It’s important to note that this initiative is about engaging pedagogy, and not about the technology. This event has been a wonderful occasion for us to share what we have learned. The conversations, strategies, and enthusiasm we have enjoyed today will stay with us as we continue trailblazing.”