Counterpoint: iPads in the UAE

Written by: Emilia Marcyk

Primary Source: Information Literacy Resources

Since I wrote last month about a failed experiment to bring iPads to the hands of all children in LA’s public school district, I wanted to find a contrasting story that illustrated successful adoption. I stumbled across an article in the journal Interactive Technology and Smart Education that provides an interesting counterpoint. The article describes a program instituted in the United Arab Emerates which introduced iPads to the Higher Colleges of Technology in that country in 2012. As of the writing of the article in 2013, the authors declared the program a success.

One of the major features that sets this project apart from the one in LA was a well-funded support system which culminated in two conference-like gatherings, where educators could share ideas, recommendations and aspirations for using the technology in their classrooms.

The conference website has fairly minimal information, but provides a glimpse into the process of implementing technology at such a large scale:

http://www.adwc.hct.ac.ae/icelebrate/

A list of other articles written about the program is collected here:

http://ipads.hct.ac.ae/2013/03/uae-ml-articles-published/

There is also a blog for the project, which would allow educators to share and collaborate:

http://ipads.hct.ac.ae/

It was fascinating to explore the architecture around this large-scale project, but a little like wandering through a ghost town, since I wasn’t able to find much information released by the program after 2013 (with the exception of a news article from last September). Do educators still use the structures put in place to help them collaboratively adopt the new technology? Did it contribute to student success? I would love to know more about how the program evolved after the initial excitement of the first year.

Lovingly written by Emilia Marcyk
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Emilia Marcyk
Emilia Marcyk is an Instructional Technology & Information Literacy Librarian at the MSU Libraries, where she develops instructional content, leads information literacy sessions for the First Year Writing program, and works at the reference desk. She is especially interested in developing new tools and strategies to help undergraduate students acquire information literacy skills, especially as they transition from high school to college. She received her MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College. In addition to her work in libraries, Emilia has been an environmental educator in Portland, OR, and Philadelphia, PA.