‘It is… the pedagogy of the application of technology in the classroom which is important: the how rather than the what.’ (Higgins et al., 2012).
At Dubai College we strive to create a learning environment where teachers are not dependent on technology but have the skills and support to deploy it creatively. We also strive to ensure that technology is used to inform teachers, allowing any improvements to learning experiences to be shared amongst the professional community.
The digital skills curriculum has been designed to provide Year 7 & 8 with a range of creative and practical skills. The skills can then be leveraged by subjects from across the wider curriculum. Upon arrival in Year 7 students complete a practical Office 365 bootcamp designed to ensure a seamless transition into the Dubai Microsoft ecosystem, reduce technical barriers to learning, and ensure quick and easy navigation around platforms such as MS Teams, One Drive and Outlook.
Dubai College is keen to ensure that our students are not only consumers of online media but also successful and capable content creators. With this in mind, we have designed an ambitious and challenging unit based around filming and editing video in Adobe Premiere Pro. We finish off with work on the theory of dual coding through the design of academically focused Infographics through the Adobe Spark application.
Year 8 starts off with a challenge. MS Excel was highlighted in an Alumni Exit Poll as a skill they'd wish they had been taught while at Dubai College. Therefore, a robust 10-week program on Microsoft Excel has been designed to introduce students to the application and develop their skills as they progress through the unit. In Term 2 we return to Adobe Premiere Pro where students are tasked with honing their skills and producing an academically focused tutorial style video from an area of the curriculum of their choice. We finish off with a unit rooted in MS PowerPoint but designed to facilitate the development of their research skills and prepare them for their FPQ project in Year 9.
All these factors dovetailing simultaneously the college identified the need for a robust programme of digital skills to meet these challenges head on with the design and development of a unique, bespoke challenging and innovative programme of digital skills to be taught in a discreet weekly lesson to incoming Year 7 & 8 in addition to a digital component integrated into the wider pastoral programme.