Target: United Arab Emirates
Goal: Commend decision to incorporate iPads in higher-education classrooms to reduce paper waste and improve the educational system
Recently, students attending one of the three major institutions of higher-education in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) started class without pencils and papers. In an effort to cut paper waste and better engage an often unmotivated student population, the U.A.E. government issued a decree to incorporate iPads into the curriculum in a big way.
This semester, as educators work with specialists at Apple to develop educational apps and e-book reading materials, this wealthy Arab nation will get to see if its efforts have paid off. Commend the U.A.E. government for working to improve both its educational system and the environment.
14,000 iPads were given to first-year students attending United Arab Emirates University, Zayed University, and the Higher Colleges of Technology with the hope that in four years these three institutions will be completely mobile and completely paperless.
This is the largest push for mobile technology in the classroom anywhere in the world, and it comes at a crucial time and place. In the U.A.E., home to enormous shopping malls and super-fast cars, cheap fuel often outweighs environmental sensibilities. This new paperless effort is a breath of fresh air. The move makes financial sense as well, as iPads cost about half of the previously required laptops.
Equally important are the educational benefits. It is hoped that the introduction of iPads in the classroom will motivate and engage students in ways previously unattainable, and in a country where young men continue to drop out of high school at alarming rates, this is essential.
Experts predict that the new technology will boost test scores and help draw logical connections between the classroom and the workplace. Even more exciting, the presence of digital technology in the classroom may push students into careers previously not considered—studies show that “digitization” encourages labor-intensive jobs that have a greater impact on the gross domestic product of developing economies.
With such promising potential, the U.A.E. deserves to be commended. Express your support for this new educational effort.
Dear United Arab Emirates,
I write to express my support for your new iPad program in institutions of higher-education. By incorporating this new technology in the classroom, your country stands to not only cut paper waste, but also improve the educational experience of students.
In a country of high-speed cars and massive shopping malls, it’s easy to forget the importance of protecting the environment. This new effort, especially over the course of four years, will drastically cut down on paper waste. This is a commendable project.
Furthermore, by incorporating new technology in the classroom, teachers have the opportunity to engage students in new and innovative ways. Digital tools in the classroom can present students with alternative careers to business and help grow the economy in new and vital ways.
Thank you for encouraging this important work.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr