THU 13 - 12 - 2018
Date: Dec 9, 2017
Source: The Daily Star
Toward a digitally friendly curriculum
Nahla El-Zibawi

Nowadays, students are constantly using digital technology. It is taking a huge part of the students’ daily activities outside the classroom’s boundaries. According to researchers, the more the students use technology the less they can focus, but at the same time if educators can use the time spent by students using technology to deliver the knowledge required, then the learning process will be more efficient.Thus, why don’t schools use technology to reach the learning outcomes they want rather than perceiving it as a separate activity in the lives of the students?

The questions raised here are: how can educational policymakers change the curriculums used in schools to fit the invasion of technology? Should they amend the program used from a textbook into a digital-friendly one?

Accordingly, schools are striving to gain the highest percentage of students’ concentration by placing technology in their hands within the classroom. They want to grab their attention with the tools they are using today. For teachers, students should be active learners, learners who work hard to know, but the new generation is losing the thirst of discovery because of the old methods used. Hence, some schools and educators took the decision to include technology in some of their classes in order to engage students again.

In Lebanon, and specifically in Tyre, young entrepreneur Dr. Mohammad Watfa started a school that took digital technology into a different level. Dr. Watfa, who is also an associate dean of research at faculty of engineering at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, transmitted his experience as a researcher and innovator in the field of technological educational innovations to his school.

The International School of Innovation believes in the combination between innovative technologies and instructional practices in delivering the national curriculum, yet with a focus on innovation and student creativity. In delivering the knowledge to their students, the school uses patented technology that was created by Dr. Watfa in order to match the Lebanese curriculum and grow a generation of original leaders that can create an innovative future.

But can one school in Lebanon play the needed role in raising a generation characterized by innovation and creativity?

In order, to create a future generation of leaders, the change should occur nationally. This technological revolution that has taken place in the ISI should move toward taking place on the national level.

Our educational policymakers should believe in the advancement of technology and its importance in incorporating it into our educational systems.

We need a national educational revolution in order to integrate innovative technology in our curriculums, thus causing a dramatic change in the educational sector and transforming the programs into digital-friendly ones.

Nahla El-Zibawi is the project coordinator for the Outreach and Leadership Academy at the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 09, 2017, on page 3.

The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Arab Network for the Study of Democracy
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