LAU program helps school teachers integrate technology in the classroom
Dr. Joseph Codde, professor of ICT in Education and Educational Technology at the Michigan State University (standing), gives a presentation during a recent Teacher Certification in Educational Technology workshop at LAU.
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March 22, 2010—
A group of 18 teachers from 10 public and private schools across Lebanon came back to LAU this month to finish a three-part series of workshops aimed at helping them integrate technology in the classroom.
The sessions of the second and third workshops for Teacher Certification in Educational Technology, which were held from March 5-6 and 19-20 respectively at LAU Beirut, began by introducing participants to basic computer skills before moving on to more advanced online tools that could be used for teaching such as blogging and wikis.
“We are training them on how to use advanced technologies in teaching while paying attention to gender differences in how boys and girls approach technology,” says Dr. Mona Nabhani, director of LAU’s Teacher Training Institute that is running the program with the Michigan State University.
Now in its third and final year, the project is based on a regular program of three courses taught at MSU that has trained over 3,000 teachers in the United States. It is being financed through a grant from Higher Education for Development (HED) under the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
Nabhani, along with the program’s coordinator Dr. Iman Osta, visited MSU three times in the past three years to get a feel for how the course was being taught, and how it could be effectively developed and tailored to meet the needs of teachers in Lebanon.
“This is a unique program in that we follow up with participants after the workshop is done,” Osta says. “This time we made it a point to have a two-week break in these workshops to allow participants to apply what they have been taught.”
The program will soon be adopted at LAU as a three-course series for students and teachers who will receive a certificate upon completion. The courses will be offered both through LAU’s regular course catalog, as well as through TTI with flexible times to accommodate teachers’ schedules.
“As teachers go through programs like this, they become better equipped to use technology, but more importantly, they learn to teach with technology,” says Dr. Joseph Codde, professor of ICT in Education and Educational Technology at MSU who has helped develop and bring the program to LAU.
Codde, who has been working in the field for 24 years, gave presentations at the latest workshops. He says that even teachers from schools in poverty-stricken areas that cannot afford to invest in IT still have a lot to benefit from the program through its emphasis on instructional methods and teaching strategies.
“They may not have the technology today, but it’s not just about using technology,” Codde says. “It’s also about becoming better teachers.”
Upon returning to the United States, Codde says he will appeal to MEPI to extend the program citing its success at enhancing the classroom experience for teachers and students.