Al Ittihad School partnered with MDS Computers, an authorised Apple Education Specialist, to seamlessly integrate Apple products into its learning environment to empower educators, narrow gender gap and equip students with the skills for the future
Dubai, June 26, 2023: The onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the UAE’s own goal of Operation 300bn has laid additional emphasis on academic institutions’ march towards Education 4.0.
Schools and other educational institutions across the country have been preparing to equip both their campuses and teaching models with the latest technological advancements.
The Al Ittihad School, which runs by its technology vision ‘Kellina Negdar’, which means ‘We all can’ in Emirati dialect, recognised the critical importance of equipping students with the right tools and technology to prepare them for Industry 4.0. In this journey, the school also had to address some pertinent issues and set an example of how technology could be used to address them.
To effectively integrate technology into their educational framework, the school took the expertise of MDS Computers, an authorised Apple Education Specialist.
MDS assisted in integrating iPad and Mac seamlessly into the school’s learning environment through Apple School Manager. They provided deployment and support services to ensure Apple products fit into the existing infrastructure, simplifying device administration, app distribution, and data security.
MDS also helped streamline the school’s processes by implementing the Apple Teacher Programme, a free professional learning programme that supports educators using Apple products. They organised an Apple Teacher Bootcamp, introducing teachers to the programme and inspiring them to leverage Apple technology in the classroom.
George Habel, Apple Practice Lead – MDS Computers says, “As Apple Education Specialist partner, we understand that this journey starts with the teachers. We help teachers stay current with new pedagogy, instructional design and technology through a multilayered approach to professional development. We believe that ongoing professional learning is the foundation for improving instructional practices that best support learning we expect from students.”
Another pertinent concern for the school was the gender disparity in learning outcomes. According to the World Bank report, boys tend to have poorer learning outcomes than girls in many countries at the primary and secondary levels, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Addressing educational underachievement is crucial for inclusive and equitable quality education and building human capital. Globally, it has been estimated that eliminating boys’ underachievement would increase a child’s long-term productivity by 1.3 percent annually and up to 13.9 percent over a decade and in the MENA region, reach up to 33.9 percent.
Al Ittihad School, like many other institutions, faced a similar situation where they witnessed a gender gap in terms of academic achievement.
By leveraging Apple technology, Al Ittihad School effectively engaged boys in the learning process and narrowed the gender gap. The immersive and interactive nature of iPad learning experiences captured the attention of the students and fostered their active participation.
The action research programme of the school strongly indicates that today the boys have deeper learning experiences, and this has had a direct impact on their achievement. Al Ittihad School’s successful journey in overcoming the gender gap through the support of MDS in integration of Apple products stands as a testament to the transformative power of technology in education.
The utilisation of Apple technology is an ongoing journey towards unlocking its full potential, especially in empowering students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and creativity and preparing them for the fourth industrial revolution.
“We firmly believe that coding is the new literacy for this generation,” emphasises Hanan Hasan, Head of Technology, Al Ittihad School. “By embedding coding across all grade levels, we provided both boys and girls with the necessary skills to succeed in the digital era.”
In addition, the school has established a dedicated focus group of digital coaches who play a significant role. These coaches are selected based on their creativity, passion for integrating technology in education and excellent communication skills. The aim is to ensure that all students have equal opportunities for meaningful learning, regardless of their learning style, location, or personal interests.
Through the learning management systems, students can access digital books, enrichment programmes and maintain constant communication with their teachers. These resources are accessible anytime and anywhere, providing flexibility and convenience to students.
The school also aims to empower its students to become active creators using augmented reality, utilising Apple technology to foster their engagement with local and global communities.