ePortfolios are a centrepiece of digital learning curriculum development at Qatar Academy. It is not the technology that is driving development, rather the connection between:
  • purpose: eportfolios will be central to student-parent conferencing later in the school year
  • leadership: Head of School is providing, focus, drive and support, thus giving school-wide credibility
  • teacher learning: with awareness and discussion sessions, skill development and teamwork from task development to assessment
  • curriculum credibility: with all subjects providing rich-tasks which in full or part will include publishing to the student eportfolio. The use of International Baccalaureate MYP and Areas of Interaction are being used in conjunction with eportfolio development
  • support: through the physical ThinkLab area and through Technology Integrators who provide in-classroom support
  • student support: through a student support team ('Fanar' or 'Lighthouse') whose skills have been developed to support in-class digital learning
  • assessment: through Digital Learning rubrics (based on IB MYP and 21st century learning criteria) melded with subject rubrics
  • resourcing: through the 1:1 program and technical support structures
  • communication: through Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle) and school email apps (Live@edu)
In order to be successful all these all need to work in unison.
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With the ThinkLab re-configuration completed we are ready for working with teachers and students on digital learning initiatives (including Interactive Whiteboards as shown)

 
Introducing Thinklab. A physical and virtual space created within Qatar Academy to connect and communicate world’s best practices in educational technology use.

The physical space is for teachers and student to come together to learn how new technologies can be best applied within their classrooms and beyond. Over thirty teachers across Pre-K to 12 are also involved in post-graduate studies through the State University of New York’s Certificate of Information Technologies and Information Literacy.

This website is dedicated to sharing the work being done and new ideas being implemented across the curriculum.

ThinkLab projects include the development of Qatari educational technology leadership, and connecting educators within Qatar Academy with fellow teachers across Qatar and beyond. Curriculum Projects currently being implemented include
  • ·         Student eportfoliosfor Grade 6 through 9
  • ·         Implementation of a Learning Management System:Moodle
  • ·         Learning within the IBVC (International Baccalaureate Virtual Community)
  • ·         FlatClassroom projects
  • ·         Students as partners in digital classroom use
Through ThinkLab, best practices can be shared and teacher expertise developed in what is an ever-changing area. New partnerships in learning are being developed through a connected, coordinated, focused approach

ThinkLab will also be supporting the Middle School Learn – Tech conference to be held at Qatar Academy in January 2011 (see www.qataracademy.edufor further information).

It is time for teachers to take the lead, communicating the great work that is going on schools and connecting to ensure more people, students and teachers, can benefit from what digital technologies can provide.

Thinklab will be periodically updated with teacher-led research, innovative curriculum developments.

The formal website will be launched in September 2010
 
Thinklab enquiries can be directed to the Technology Integrator, Dr John Turner through jturner@qf.org.qa