Abu Dhabi-UAE: 8 October, 2017: Educational innovation expert Ramsey Musallam encouraged teachers to think carefully about their use of technology in the classroom in his Expert Masterclass session titled ‘How to Use Technology: Plan Your Lessons Like it is 1934’.
His comments were made at the Qudwa 2017 Global Teachers' Forum that opened today at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
In the Masterclass session, the science teacher from Sonoma Academy in the US highlighted the important role technology could play in opening doors for enquiry-based learning, while also cautioning how it could hinder educators in their quest to encourage learning.
Using the example of his own personal experience, Ramsey Musallam explained how his use of ‘flip educational technology’ and online videos to promote learning at home changed virtually overnight when one bright young pupil questioned and doubted his explanation for one science experiment in the classroom. Musallam shared how he immediately set about creating a new ‘ed tech mission statement’ and harnessing tools that would help him to ‘spark, capture and organise’ the curiosity of the classroom. These included a smartphone, as well as YouTube and Google Docs to encourage communication and development of the student.
Warning against an overuse of technology, he explained: “Good teaching is at the intersection of what we teach and how we teach it. Great teaching has been going on for thousands of years and every time, the worst teacher with all the available tools will get beaten out of sight by a good teacher from thousands of years ago, every time! Technology will not turn a bad teacher into a good one.”
Outlining key strategies for educators of the future, Ramsey Musallam said sparking curiosity in students to ensure they become lifelong learners is critical to the education process. He further urged teachers to stop thinking that the onset of technology in education would result in machines replacing human beings as teachers, and called on them to leverage technology as a partner in creating a blended learning experience.
Through his unique and contemporary approach to classroom instruction, Musallam expands the curiosity of students through multimedia and technology. His intention is to meaningfully integrate multimedia into a hands-on, enquiry-based learning cycle and to empower other educators to do the same.
In his concluding remarks, he said: “Student questions are the seed of real learning.”
Musallam continues to inspire students and teachers around the world with his “spark learning” – where curiosity is prioritised over all else, scattered thoughts and questions are essential, and reflection is a critical component of the learning process.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Qudwa 2017 will conclude tomorrow (8 October) at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Under the theme ‘Teaching for Tomorrow’, the forum has convened more than 900 education professionals from more than 80 countries to discuss latest global trends in empowering teachers and inspiring students.