Arab state takes iLearning leap

The world’s most advanced paperless classrooms are in … Dubai?

The United Arab Emirates handed out 14,000 iPads to all its college freshmen this September. UAE authorities hope not only to reduce the waste of paper, but to create a more engaging experience for students. They think the use of the popular devices will ultimate raising test scores and bridge the gap between classroom learning and workplace skills, the New York Times reports.

“Everyone’s on mobiles and iPads, so we thought this was the right time and place for what has now become the largest systematic deployment of any mobile device in schools in the world,” Jace Hargis, director of Abu Dhabi Women’s College and Khalifa City Women’s College, told the Times.

Tablet use is spreading, especially in the United States. According to the Times:

In autumn 2011, New York City public schools paid $1.3 million for 2,000 iPads distributed across the five boroughs, including 300 iPads sent to a high school in the Bronx. In Chicago, 200 public schools followed suit.

Younger students have benefited as well. Six middle schools in California began using an iPad-only algebra course created by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this year. And in Arizona, 36 kindergarten children were given iPads as a learning tool.

While iPads seem to be the tablet of choice, other devices are also being used. Kajeet, an American cellphone carrier, will give Android tablets to 120 public school students in Virginia and 180 to public school students in Chicago for the 2012-2013 academic year.

(Photo: Zayed University, via New York Times)


Posted on November 2, 2012, in Innovation, Reading, Teaching, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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