Posted on June 20, 2011

In an event exhibiting this year’s iEARN projects, Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) held the “iEarn-Qatar Open House 2011” in the Student Center at Education City on Saturday the 18th of June.  Projects from a dozen participating schools were exhibited to the public for the first time.

ROTA On Line Education manger Pascal Siegel said “In ROTA, we strive for a higher goal than our own; Qatar’s 2030 Vision. With its foundation on four development pillars - human, social, economic, and environmental, we ensure that our local programs are compatible with our country’s goal for the future.  Interestingly, the model that ROTA pushes through iEARN is setting a stage for the young people today to get involved with all four goals, by providing them with the right tools and skills to take on these current and future challenges”

The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) is a non-profit organization that connects schools and youth organizations worldwide via a virtual network to empower young people, encourage inter-scholastic collaboration, and debate world issues in real time.  Reach Out to Asia is the sole representative for iEARN in Qatar since 2008. iEARN projects’ main objectives are: to improve learning and teaching, Integrate technology in schools curriculum, enhance students’ expression and understanding of the world, develop an appreciation for cultural diversity and tolerance, and arouse civil awareness and responsibility.  The total number of teachers trained through the program until today is 300 teachers from 71 schools.

“Both teachers and students benefit from iEARN’s unique interconnectivity model,” Added  Pascal . “It is a rare opportunity for students and teachers to interact with their global counterparts of issues of mutual concern.  It is also a platform for like-minded people from all parts of the world who share an adamant belief that change and the improvement of the quality of life can come through on-line dialogue.”

ROTA/iEARN participants are asked to implement projects that are related to their curriculum. Those projects are catered for different subject areas with a variety to suit all grade levels.

“Each type of project is centered on pre-defined project description that is meant to be integrated within the curriculum” explained Anwar Abdelbaki ROTA’s Online Education Coordinator. “For example, in the Solar Cooking project, Students are driven to experiment with alternative energy uses by making, testing, and using solar cookers. Another example is the My Hero project that seeks to promote cultural awareness, activism and understanding through global storytelling that honors the heroes in our families, the community and the world.”

This year, eleven schools have participated and successfully completed their iEARN-Qatar projects.  This was the first opportunity for the schools to publically showcase their projects. The schools are:  Al Rashad Independent Model School for Boys, Al Sailiya Independent Secondary School for Girls, Al Sailiya Model Independent School, Al Shahaniyah Preparatory and Secondary Independent School for Boys, Al Shahaniyah Preparatory and Secondary Independent School for Girls, Fingerprint Kindergarten, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Preparatory Independent School for Boys, the Lebanese School of Qatar, New Al Rayyan Independent Secondary School for Boys, the Pakistan Education Center, and Rawdat Rashid Primary and Preparatory Independent School for Boys.

“Our Electronic School Magazine project was extremely popular amongst our students,” said Miss. Razia Sardar, teaching at the participating Pakistan Education Centre. “With the unique approach to online collaboration that is promoted by the iEARN model, we have noticed that the students are more dedicated and excited about the work.”

For more information about iEARN-Qatar and other ROTA initiatives, please visit www.reachouttoasia.org.

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