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At the Department of Education,
They’re Actively Inspired

“One step ahead,” should be the new motto adopted by the University of Balamand’s Department of Education. While most of UOB was undergoing grueling final examinations, faculty members from the Department of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences were partaking in an equally tasking workshop on how to design lessons on the ‘Interactive Whiteboard.’

The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Rabih Baalbaki and Ms. Lina Moghnieh-Yehya representatives from Promethean, the leading global educational company that provides both the software and hardware that runs the Interactive Whiteboard. The workshop lasted from February 3 to February 7, where the Department experimented with the Active Inspire and used the interactive whiteboard in Fares 107.

The workshop covered how to use interactive displays, multiuser surfaces, assessment and student response systems, digital content, curriculum and assessment management and mobile learning. It also explored the Active Inspire software where the participants began to master the page browser, resource browser, object browser, property browser, action browser and voting browser.

Active Inspire is the tool which helps all pre-service and in-service teachers to shift directly into the technology environment which is the most familiar to the digital natives students of today. Teachers need not be the IT professionals to implement Active Inspire in their classrooms to conduct the lessons in different disciplines. If the teacher happens to be is an IT professional then it’s an added value. In this way, the teacher is able to focus on instructional design and curriculum development more than on design tools to come up with an appealing presentation for a lesson; it is there embedded within Active Inspire.

“Technology is an integral part of a 21st Century Education. We have to train our future teachers to integrate technology into their everyday teaching experiences. For our students and future teachers to blend technology into their lesson plans, unit plans and curriculum design, we, as their teachers need to master it as well,” explained Dr. Megan Khairallah, chairperson of the Department of Education. “We need to be one step ahead of our students who are the future educators.”

The Department of Education has been innovative in offering mandatory educational technology courses in their teacher training program. “We offer one at the BA level and two at the Teaching Diploma Level,” explained Dr. Naim el-Rouadi, former chair. “We also offer a complete Master’s Degree in Education Technology, with most of our graduates getting jobs in top schools, in major educational companies, or forming their own consultancy companies,” he continued.

Dr. Aida Soufi, a professor in the department, commented, "The use of the Interactive Whiteboard in class is very interesting, as it adds interactivity to the teaching and motivates the students. It allows for an easy presentation of all types of media and captures the attention of its audience. But we must not forget that it is after all just a tool and not worth much if not accompanied by an adequate pedagogical approach to its use in the classroom."

The members who attended were: Hassan Abiad, Naim el-Rouadi, Megan Khairallah, Maya Antoun, Aida Soufi, Noha Husni, Dolly Koudim, Nada Soufi and Elias Chahine. “It was a very interesting workshop that introduced me to the high-tech world that best suits the digital generation of today,” commented Ms. Nada Soufi, an instructor in the English Department and a technology buff. Ms. Husni, added, “By the way, the Active Inspire workshop charged me with a positive boost that alleviated my self-confidence towards the ongoing updates of instructional skills; thank you.”

The final assessment of the workshop for the faculty will be to jointly create two interdisciplinary lesson units: one in the languages (English, Arabic and French) and one in the science and math domains. We will let our education students assign the grade!!!

A special thank you to Mr. Elias Chahine for his brilliant organization. ​​​​​
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University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,
Lebanon

Tel:  +961-6-930250
Fax: +961-6-930278