Developing and Designing a New Innovative Approach for Teachers’ Professional Development in the UAE: Wamda Case Study
Abstract: Mobile technology, advanced technologies and intelligent techniques have affected the mainstream society and have become part of individuals’ daily routine. These technologies can offer extremely powerful opportunities in the education realm, since learning nowadays has become more mobile, flexible, on-going, informal, communicated and collaborative. Teachers’ professional development programs need to be reconsidered to meet their expectations in the new digital era. Teachers want to be connected while on-the-move, maintained social networks and accessed what they need, wherever they are. This study introduces an innovative mobile and social learning platform and its features, which aims at improving teachers’ performance in the UAE and the Arab world by promoting knowledge and skill through better integration of ICT in the teaching and learning process and better adoption of learner-centric learning. A smart mobile learning platform called “Wamda” is providing micro-courses that are relevant to the curriculum, experiential and immersive. It is designed to utilize the power of mobile learning technologies, artificial intelligence techniques and social networking approach. It aims to provide more personalized and convenient professional development for teachers to enable them work, learn, and reach their full potential. The ‘Wamda” mobile learning application is in piloting phase now to evaluate both the content and the system in empowering teachers’ knowledge and skills.