Posts Tagged 'UAE'

Dubai-based company aims to change the way children read

Dear Literacy is Priceless Readers,

After a long hiatus, I am excited to announce the launch of a new children’s book series we’ve been working on at Bon Education. I hope you enjoy BB and Sam: The Return of the Champion book one of The Adventures of BB and Sam series. To download the book, visit www.BBandSam.com.

- Anna (Co-Creator, The Adventures of BB and Sam)

Bon Education creates innovative multi-media children’s book series, The Adventures of BB and Sam, using Apple iBooks Author.

Dubai, UAE – May 15, 2012 – Education technology company Bon Education announces the launch of The Adventures of BB and Sam – a new multimedia fiction book series that aims to take children on virtual adventures around the globe via the touch of an iPad. Created with Apple’s iBooks Author, the series is filled with text, illustrations, videos, mood music, photo galleries, quiz features and more.

“When Apple launched iBooks Author as a tool to create engaging multi-touch digital textbooks, we immediately thought to ourselves, ‘This is an amazing tool for creating children’s literature as well!’” said Bon Education CEO Anna Batchelder. “So many kids are choosing to watch TV and play video games over reading these days. By adding a variety of digital enhancements and interactivity to our books, we hope kids will rediscover their love of reading in a digital world.”

“When we started working on the first book of the series, BB and Sam: The Return of the Champion, we originally conceived of the book as an app. The story takes place in Thailand so we spent a great deal of time traveling around the country doing research and collecting videos and photos to supplement the written storyline so that our readers could get a real feel for life in Thailand. iBooks Author enabled us to create the book as a multimedia e-book instead and gave us much more control over the creative process” stated Christopher Batchelder, Bon Education President.

With book one now on the Apple iBookstore, the Bon Education team is eager to see how children and families around the world react. In the prototype phase the team worked with children in the UAE, Egypt, New Zealand and North America to get feedback on the story and visuals.

After reading the book, Omania, a 6th grade student in Egypt, wrote to the team, “BB and Sam: The Return of the Champion is an adventure book that has a lot of twists inside it and that shows how creative the writers are. What I like the most about this book are the different characters and how they change around the book. Not only is it entertaining, but it teaches you a lesson. The moral of the book is how being kind and respectful to people is really important.”

When asked about where book two in the series will take place, the Bon Education team did not want to reveal too many details. But, they said there is a good chance BB and Sam will be heading to the Middle East next winter!

Bon Education is an education technology company based in Dubai, UAE with team members in the United States, Middle East and Asia. The company focuses on developing engaging and culturally relevant educational programs and learning products for families and schools around the world. To learn more about The Adventures of BB and Sam visit www.BBandSam.com. Book one of the series can be downloaded for iPad on the Apple iBookstore. Familes can stay up-to-date on the travels of BB and Sam by following the multimedia e-book series on Facebook.

Putting Lessons Within Teachers’ Reach

This was an exciting week for my company Bon Education and our partner Curriki in the Middle East, as interest continues to grow in our efforts to create an Arabic version of Curriki–i.e. an open source platform that would house open source Arabic language curricula and learning objects created by teachers and education stakeholders in the region.

Today, a story was printed in the National (UAE) about our efforts titled, “Arabic move to put lesson plans within UAE teachers’ reach“. The following is a brief excerpt from the article written by Kathryn Lewis:

“One of the things we know that improves teachers is for them to build their own knowledge, to get engaged in what they’re teaching,” Dr Kurshan said.

Curriki, she said, encouraged teachers to get involved in the design and implementation of lesson plans, rather than simply presenting the content of a lesson without engaging the material.

If you can engage teachers in building their own knowledge they are going to have a significant impact on students and their students will do better.”

“Teaching is one of the most isolated professions. They spend a lot of time in their classrooms behind a closed door and they don’t have an ability to ask other people if what they are doing is having an impact.

To the sharing of knowledge and curricula across borders, languages and professions!

Anna

@bon_education

P.S. To learn more about Curriki’s curricula and teaching projects around the globe, watch this video. To tell a friend about the site and to give him/her access to the 32,000 free learning resources Curriki has to offer, click here.

UAE Education Events You Won’t Want to Miss!

The education scene in the UAE is very vibrant and in an amazing period of growth and productivity. I feel so fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from and contribute to the important education initiatives in Dubai and beyond.

For UAE educators and enthusiasts that are looking for fun and educational events to attend, here are a few to add to your calendars:

11/21/09 My Letter to President Barack Obama Book Reading and Signing Event.

  • Location: Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, 4-6pm.
  • Join children’s author Lana Dajani as she discusses her latest book, the environment and more! Illustrator Emanuela Corti will also discuss the delightful book illustrations. Download invite here.

11/22/09 Curriki on Nightline with James Piecowye.

  • Tune your UAE radio to 103.8 (or listen online here) at 8pm.
  • Learn about www.Curriki.org–a non-profit that provides free and open source curricula collaboration tools to educators across the world!

11/23/09 Empowering Teachers to Change Teaching and Learning: The Disruptive Innovation of Curricula 2.0 by Dr. Barbara Kurshan (Executive Director, Curriki)

  • Location: British University in Dubai, 10am-12:30pm.
  • Download details and invite here.

11/24/09 Mom 2.0: Blogging 101

  • Learn about blogging, how blogs can be used with children, make a blog and meet other UAE moms to boot!
  • Location: Magrudy’s Education Resource Center in Dubai, 9am-12pm.
  • Read workshop details and register here.

12/06/09 Mom 2.0: Digital Tools for Homework Help

  • Learn how to breeze through future school projects and avoid homework time stress!
  • Location: Magrudy’s Education Resource Center in Dubai, 9am-12pm.
  • Read workshop details and register here.

12/08/09 Mom 2.0: Digital Literacy and Cyber Safety: What Kids and Parents Need to Know!

  • Learn how to help your kids interact safely and productively online!
  • Location: Magrudy’s Education Resource Center in Dubai, 9am-12pm.
  • Read workshop details and register here.

Can’t wait to see UAE educators and parents at the events above!

Anna

@bon_education

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UAE Educators Speak Out!

Bon Education

Recently I asked Bon Digital Learning Academy graduates and educators across the UAE what their favorite education technology tools and websites are. See what they had to say below:

1) Maram, Grade 9 English teacher, Nad Al Hamr School, Dubai, UAE

  • Reading A-Z: “I like it because it supplies me with a lot of different kinds of leveled books, short stories, vocabulary, grammar, phonics and lesson plans. I let my students read stories related to the themes I teach and I use the worksheets and quizzes supplied on the website.”

2) Kim, Teacher Development Specialist, Shamsa Bint Majid Preparatory and Secondary School, Umm Al Quwain, UAE

  • LearnEnglishKids (British Council): “I can easily find stories from this site for middle school students.  The stories are of different levels and cater to differentiation, which is really important since all our classes are of mixed abilities. These stories are animated and teachers can pause at any point to allow students to interact through questioning.  Moreover, students can read and hear the words being read at the same time. I normally use stories from here as a launching pad to teach new vocabulary items,grammar, LSRW skills and also visual literacy… The story on Eid Al Fitr … has a task where student can write about their favourite day and post their writing online.”

3) Rob, Instructional Leadership Coordinator, Al Deya Middle School, Umm Al Quwain, UAE.

  • “My popular choice is, of course TEDtalks–a primo site with amazing material for teachers to listen to and learn from.  Much of it is far too difficult for our students (but perhaps the translations might help too.) I also like utilizing YouTube for material to take into class.  but we have to be careful, especially here with selection of ‘appropriate’ materials…As Chair of TESOL.org’s Social Responsibility Interest Section, I frequently post websites for my colleagues on our elist.  Two recently posted sites include Amazing Women Rock and ePals Team Earth.

4) Asma, Special Education Consultant, Dubai, UAE

  • The International Reading Association and Read Write Think: “Both sites are loaded with information on how to promote, support and encourage literacy and reading across age groups.  They provide evidence-based practical tools for parents & teachers, lesson plans, and many more resources that are sure to be very helpful at home and in the classroom!”

5) Kevin, Grade 4 Primary Years Teacher/Education Consultant, GEMS World Academy/KDSL

  • MyMaths.co.uk: “Mymaths provides educators and students with online mathematics games, tasks, and homework. I have used the variety of online lessons and games during math workshop to engage my learners and as a source of differentiation where students selected mymaths.co.uk for their learning contracts.”

6) Robin, Ph.D., Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Zayed University

  • TeacherTube: “This site has a variety of features, from lesson plans to videos of classrooms at work.  I find the videos particularly helpful in letting student teachers see particular strategies in practice before they try them in their practicum classroom. The sight also includes a variety of podcasts.  Teachers can also contribute their own materials to share with educators around the globe.”

What are your favorite education websites? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section of this post! And, thanks to the educators above for sharing their favorite education websites with the Literacy is Priceless/Bon Education community!

Sincerely,

Anna

Founder, Bon Education (home of the Bon Digital Learning Academy)

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