Digital and Innovation
At the core of what we do is innovation. Why? We want to prepare our students as national and global citizens. It is important that our students are equipped with the competences and values to be contributors and leaders of society. Innovation is not a separate idea. It is embedded - a part of what we do on a daily basis. We do not see nor teach innovation in isolation. Our students and teachers are encouraged to be innovators and to do innovative things.
The Foundation: Teaching and learning is the foundational structure at The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys. We plan lessons with the student's learning experience in mind. Using iPads in lessons is not a substitution; rather, iPads affords every opportunity for redefinition of assignments or tasks.
Organization: When we began our journey of a 1 to 1 iPad initiative and LEGO education, we also put in place the structure to provide support for our students and teachers. A digital and innovative learning team was created made up of teachers from various specialties. This team works across different phases and grades assisting teachers with lessons not from a traditional approach. Students are even a part of the team as Digital Leaders to assist teachers and students in the classroom with technical needs. Bespoke professional learning opportunities are provided across the phases or departments.
The Three Pillars:
Standing strong above our foundation are our three pillars of success. Personalization of learning, real world/authentic learning, and teamwork are embedded into the classroom. The 1 to 1 iPad initiative has helped to bring all three of these pillars together to make for a learning experience that is unique to what is being taught and to what is needed for the students. Teachers provide lessons to students from a real world problem and students work together to discover solutions and application. The beauty in the students real-world and authentic learning are the soft skills of communication, confidence, integrity, resilience and awareness. Their world is not isolated from their learning. Part of being a leader is not waiting to become an adult; it is acquiring the skills all through younger years that helps to mold thinking into action.
What has helped to drive results thus far is our ability to evaluate. Data drives our decisions and has a tremendous impact on how we structure our program and provide support to teachers. We always have a pulse on what our students and teachers need. There is no one size fits all solution; therefore, there will always be a need to analyze, evaluate and modify how we provide support at The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys.