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More UAE schools to introduce cutting-edge tech

iClass initiative to be rolled out to nine more schools in UAE

Abu Dhabi Education Council intends to build on the pilot of its iClass project.
Abu Dhabi Education Council intends to build on the pilot of its iClass project.

Education officials in the UAE announced that up to nine additional schools will apply the iClass initiative in the coming academic year.

The move comes following the implementation of a pilot project to initiate technology-based learning in public schools in Abu Dhabi, reported English daily Gulf News.

Around 7,000 devices have already been given out to public schools in the capital, said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, director general at the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

“We hope to eventually introduce iClass at all public schools, and will be distributing nearly 4,000 more devices before the start of the 2012-2013 academic year,” he told the newspaper.

In the pilot phase, which commenced last September, around 300 Grade 3 and 4 students at six different schools in Abu Dhabi began using tablets, computers and electronic whiteboards for various activities, including video conferencing and interactive learning in the classroom.

According to Dr Al Khaili, a communication network has been set up to connect all public schools in the capital.

However, the iClass initiative does not intend to eliminate textbooks as a way of learning. It will work to enhance the use of digital services that help make learning more engaging, he said.

In addition, officials have confirmed that students’ devices have been connected to teachers’ laptops for strict observation, all in a bid to avoid internet misuse.