I had the opportunity to speak at EdCamp Dubai last Saturday May 12th. I was very delighted to talk to a number of educators, teachers and parents about education from a student’s point of view.
For many reasons attending EdCamp was like stepping into the unknown. EdCamp Dubai was set up in an “unconference” style. Instead of sitting passively listening to lectures, the attendees presented ideas, proposed solutions and covered a variety of topics. This method allowed attendees to move to sessions most useful to each individual.
The “unconference” style brings forward-thinking educators together to share ideas, brain-storm solutions, have discussions and receive information that can immediately be applied in the classroom.
I was overwhelmed by the amazing atmosphere that was filled with passion and enthusiasm driven by dedicated teachers and educators willing to change and develop the system. This was definitely a new experience for me which I had the pleasure to participate in.
I was also shocked by the lack of students’ attendance, My sister and I were the only students there. I was expecting to see many students discussing ideas about transforming education because their voice represents the majority and they are the “customers”.
In the sessions we discussed how the use of technology can affect learning in the 21st century classroom. I also emphasized that we should engage students by allowing them to explore what they can do with technology and how it can break many barriers that stand in front of them.
I really enjoyed the discussion about creativity in education and how schools can develop its methods and help students follow their passion rather than filling out empty bubbles to celebrate a certificate. We discussed many problems surrounding education and proposed many solutions like learning by doing, or project based learning.
I have had the chance to meet great teachers, expert educators and talk to them about my homeschooling experience. They were very supportive to the idea and I’ve received many feedbacks from them.
I’m very proud to add this supportive letter from Ms. Wajida Wajih , who is an expert in the field of education.
She wrote to me:
It was great opportunity to have met with you, your Mom and Dad, and your sister Bushra.
Your experience of home schooling is really stunning, especially in the middle east. I want to express my admiration of your strong personality, determination, rich knowledge and information and your great awareness of the importance of learning not the certificate. Your unique experience deserves to be disseminated all over the region. It is a rich experience that reflects time management, self management, autonomous learning , and life-long learning skills. Definitely you have all these skills and more and thus you represent a distinguished model of 21st century learner.
I wish you all the best in you personal and schooling life. I am sure one day in the very near future, the whole world will hear about a great scientist or philosopher or educationalist or whatever you want to be.
My regards to you and your great family.”
Al Manhal international private school/ Abu Dhabi
I believe we should have more events like EdCamp Dubai especially in today’s education; we can’t wait till tomorrow. Let us empower students, educators, teachers and parents and show them that in education, there is nothing more contagious than driven passionate learning.