Qatar Academy

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Qatar Academy (QA) is one of the premier learning institutions in the Middle East. Founded in 1996, QA is an International Baccalaureate World School. A private non-profit organization, QA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. QA provides comprehensive, co-educational English programs from pre-school through to secondary level. QA places a strong emphasis on Arabic culture and language and Islamic Studies. This ensures that students retain an appreciation for traditions and values. QA is the only authorized IB World School implementing the PYP, MYP and IB Diploma programs in Qatar while developing its own standards-based curriculum with specific benchmarks and outcomes defined for each grade level. With highly qualified international staff, QA has the most advanced, up to date school facilities in the country, while students have the opportunity to choose from an outstanding program of extracurricular activities.

E-Learning

Introduction

The 'E-Learning for Life' strategic plan determines Qatar Academy's approach to teaching and learning and sets the standards and requirements for delivery and management of educational objectives using learning technologies. As the world becomes more technologically and globally interconnected it's increasingly imperative that we all understand and plan how to facilitate student and faculty acquisition and mastery of 21st century skills. As a school-wide strategy for developing 21st century learning modes the plan includes mobile and one-to-one computing, online learning and a technology embedded approach to pedagogy. It aims to promote the goals and objectives of ubiquitous computing and best-practice use of technology across the campus

A Vision for e-Learning

Our vision is one where technology is a natural and essential part of everyday school life for teacher and student as well as community members. Where technology empowers students to pursue dreams, and purposeful uses of integrated technology inspire students to develop critical thinking skills and support continuous inquiry. A vision where at Qatar Academy all members of the community understand and model respectful, responsible, and ethical uses of technology in academic, social, and personal contexts. In 21st century, School 2.0 developments there has been a change in mindset, a shift in thinking away from technology being an add-on to it being an integral and ubiquitous part of learning for all. Technology is not an end in itself but a tool that can make enormous advances in the quality of teaching and learning for all. Ongoing research is already showing that access to digital learning tools does improve learning outcomes and provides for a differentiated approach. Our vision supports meaningful learning for all students, outlines the educational goals for placing technology in the hands of students and staff, and supports the mission of our school. Qatar Academy has the potential to make a difference in education and to lead the way modeling best practice experiences for collaboration, interaction, online learning and more. We can bring the world to QA and bring QA to the world by extending the walls of our classroom through e-learning rich experiences using information technology in creative ways. Definition: Coming towards an understanding of e-Learning E-learning is an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through, and based on, both computer and communications technology. E-learning may also be used to suit distance education through the use of the Internet, and may also be considered to be a form of flexible learning where just-in-time learning is possible. Essential components of e-Learning include:

  • The use of online technologies including Internet and Web 2.0 tools in the learning process
  • The use of learning technologies to enhance the learning experience for all
  • The use of digital tools for curriculum delivery and assessment
  • The use of digital tools for ongoing professional development, interaction and collaboration

Summary

The goal of the 2008-2010 E-Learning for Life Strategic Management Plan is to embed technology integration through the creation of 21st century learning environments where traditional assessment criteria and expectations are exceeded. Learning, not the technology, is the essential focus of the strategic plan and for this to become a reality the technology must be mobile when needed, ubiquitous at all times and functional to support all educational objectives. Teacher meetings should focus on what is needed to engage students and enhance learning experiences, not just on what hardware and software is available. Students should be encouraged to use mobile and other devices as well as online resources in a supportive environment that encourages responsible and reliable digital citizenship. All teachers should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to embed emerging technologies with confidence. To be able to do these essential conditions need to be established and supported. Components of the E-Learning for Life strategic management plan

Vision for Learning - Leadership in E-Learning

  • Appointment of Head of E-Learning as an administrative position
  • Groupings of staff to foster discussion and to come towards making decisions about the direction of e-Learning at QA - eg E4L, TAG

Curriculum Integration

  • Mobile Computing and Online Learning
  • Technology Integration Facilitation

Professional Development

  • Supporting digital and information literacy
  • Just in time PD to integrate pedagogically appropriate objectives and tasks

Community Engagement

  • A reciprocal and collaborative relationship that draws in and includes members from the entire QA community (students, teachers, local employees, parents, and the wider Qatar Foundation community of learners).
  • Provide opportunities for the QA and wider community to connect, communicate, collaborate and create

Infrastructure

  • Hardware, software and networking available to support curriculum objectives
  • Systems setup and maintenance, technical research and development, and technical support

Essential Resources

Qatar Academy wikispaces - http://www.qataracademy.wikispaces.net/

E-Learning wiki - http://elearning.qataracademy.wikispaces.net/

E-Learning for Life Ning - http://elearning4life.ning.com/

Atlas Curriculum Mapping - http://qataracademy.rubiconatlas.org/

Student Information System (PowerSchool) - http://school.qf.org.qa/admin

Student Information System (Power Teacher) - http://school.qf.org.qa/teachers

Qatar Academy website - http://qataracademy.edu.qa