Monday, October 24, 2016

Unity is Power (اتَّكَلْنا منه على خُصٍّ الاتحاد قوة)- Building Bridges through Professional Development in Morocco

Holly Clark
Educational Strategist and
Head of Publishing

Ken Shelton
Global Keynote Specialist
Technology Integration Strategist

Helping teachers reimagine the classroom is what we at EdTechTeam do. This transformation is not limited to the United States. Last week Ken Shelton and Holly Clark got the chance to visit the Rabat American School in Rabat, Morocco. They traveled across three continents to spend time with, and provide professional development to, an inspired school - an institution looking to ramp up teaching and learning for the 2016-2017 school year.

Off the beaten track, and nearly two hours from Casablanca, Ken and Holly trekked their way across the ocean to deliver a purposeful professional development experience centered around Google for Education and effective iPad Integration.

They took up residence in an area called the Rabat Medina. The Medina is characterized by narrow and maze-like streets within the old city walls of a traditional Muslim neighborhood. Each day a driver took them to the school, where they were met by teachers both effective in technology integration, and those hoping to gain better insight in how it could change learning in their classrooms.

During the two day event, Holly helped primary teachers take a closer look at some effective and innovative practices around using iPads in the classroom. Her inspiration was based on the book “Innovate with the iPad” by Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen. Teachers learned how to use five simple apps to change the way they deliver instruction, and to incorporate these apps to more effectively capture rich information about student learning and growth.

Ken took his group of teachers on a Google adventure, showing both beginner and advanced groups as well as the school administrative staff how they could use G Suite to increase their effectiveness. Ken’s group work included leveraging apps across all school disciplines, in addition to working within learning environments that incorporated multiple apps (forms and maps, mail and calendar, docs and youtube) to provide transformative learning opportunities for students. One teacher even shared, “This has been a career changing experience for me.”

Ken and Holly hope to get more teachers and students in Rabat connected to the EdTechTeam community so that students across the world will be provided opportunities to collaborate with the amazing teachers at the Rabat American School.

In the end, the lost luggage, the countless hours on a plane and the time zone differences were nothing compared to the relationships formed and bridges built between two cultures of people to accomplish one goal: to reimagine education.

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