iEARN in Qatar is facilitated by Reach Out To Asia, a non-governmental organization (NGO) within the framework of Qatar Foundation – a private non-profit organization founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar and chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser.
In June, ROTA Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, commended the program on her blog:
Earlier this month I was impressed to see more evidence of how popular ROTA’s iEARN-Qatar Network has become. We introduced the International Education & Resource Network (iEARN) to Qatar in 2008. So it is fantastic to see the network grow so rapidly with 344 students and 47 teachers from 19 schools showcasing their projects at the ROTA iEARN-Qatar Open House 2012, the biggest Open House event so far.
I am so impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the children and teachers who represent schools all across Qatar. The projects presented were of a very high standard and it is obvious that everybody involved wholeheartedly embraces the ROTA iEARN-Qatar Network’s use of new technologies to bring a difference in the school environment.
The growth and popularity of iEARN in Qatar bodes well for 2013 when ROTA has the honour to host the Annual iEARN International conference and Annual Youth Summit, being staged for first time in the Gulf region.
Open to all and expected to bring together teachers and students from over 70 countries, the event will allow Qatar to showcase educational technology activities, school partnerships, new Internet-based professional development tools and the collaborative efforts of youth and educators from across the Arab world.
An 8th grade student said of the Solar Cooking project:
I think that this project really taught us a lot of things like to care for poor people, how solar cooking can reduce deforestation and decrease pollution; but the most important thing I learned, is the importance of teamwork and applying it to solar cooking. We actually read much about solar energy and now we know that we can cook and reheat food using nature renewable energy source and affordable materials.
In 2012, ROTA iEARN-Qatar team also hosted iEARN coordinators from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, the UAE, and Yemen for a two-day meeting to define the vision, mission, goals, status and format of iEARN-Arabia. Outcomes of the meeting were the development of a strategic and operational plan focusing on supporting Arabic language in education, promote iEARN in Arabic speaking communities, increase the number of teachers involved and to share and promote existing educational resources and develop new resources in the Arabic language. ROTA Online Education Manager Pascal Siegel explained:
By organising this initial meeting, and future conferences and workshops for Arabic-speaking teachers, iEARN-Arabia aims to improve teaching skills in the participating countries through the increased use of Project-Based Learning (PBL).
The team at iEARN-USA would love your help over the next two weeks to enable as many U.S. teachers and students to learn with, not just about, their peers in Qatar and across the Arab world. Your donation allows us to offer online course scholarships to U.S. high school teachers new to iEARN. Teachers who complete the course, which will guide educators in evaluating and aligning global projects with curriculum standards, may also have a chance to participate in iEARN’s Annual Conference in Qatar in July 1- 6, 2013. To take part in this opportunity, teachers are encouraged to fill out the statement of interest by December 31, 2012.
We are grateful to ROTA to hosting the conference and invite you to watch the following message from ROTA’s Executive Director Essa Al Mannai: