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Innovations in digital teaching

Bahrain News
Sat, 16 Apr 2016
By Raji Unnikrishnan

Bahrain: A technology summit in Bahrain aims to educate teachers on how 21st Century innovations in technology can be used in the classroom. 

Educationalists and experts at the EdTechTeam pointed out that electronic gadgets can be used as learning tools, not only for entertainment.

They were speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of the second annual Bahrain Google Summit featuring Google Apps for Education.

Organised by EdTechTeam, a team of educational technologists associated with Google, the two-day summit is being hosted by the St Christopher’s School at its Saar campus. 

The team consists of six members, of which four key speakers are from the EdtechTeam in the US and two others are Google-certified teachers based in Kuwait.

“The goal of the summit is to promote 21st Century digital teaching and learning among parents, teachers and students,” said EdTechTeam educational technology co-ordinator Mark Hammons.

“As there is a lot of learning happening, students are learning tips and tricks as to how to do things with the technology and we have to teach the educators how to teach these children.

“This is to help them work in the same platform, not be fighting against each other.

“We must have been teaching for 20 years or more and we know how to do it, but children these days are coming in with knowledge that teachers don’t have.

“So we are trying to bridge this gap.” 

Keynote speaker, team member and Minnesota’s White Bear Lake Area Schools director of technology Mark Garrison said such summits aimed to push education to the next level.

“Innovation and its progression is the same all over the world and this shows the need for the international community of teachers to come together to really push education and the whole profession to the next level,” he said.

“We need to use this time, the technological developments, to integrate the technology as a real opportunity and to change and improve the way we do business in schools.”

Kuwait’s American International School chemistry teacher Lissa Layman, a Google certified professional and speaker, said that making students understand gadgets as learning tools was the hardest part.

“The hardest part is bridging that gap to see these (devices) as tools for learning as opposed to tools to pass time or to do whatever they wish with it,” Ms Layman said.

The summit, which will conclude today, is being attended by parents, teachers and staff of St Christopher’s School.

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