Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 2 Workshops: Track 2 - Designing a Social Media Curriculum for Saudi High Schools

Facilitators: Dr. Michael Fast, Senior Education Adviser, Academy for Educational Development (AED) USA,
and Dr. Amani Gandour, Director of Curriculum Development, Effat University

An experienced former linguistics professor at the University level, Dr. Michael Fast currently consults with various governments, ministries and aid organisations to help develop curricula across educational levels. His most recent experience includes helping develop the Grades 1-8 digital literacy curriculum in Pakistan. The L&T symposium at Effat followed soon after this experience, and we were lucky to be able to host him for our workshop, and in conjunction with Dr. Amani Gandour, have him facilitate this workshop.

Dr. Fast began his session by introducing himself and telling us a bit about his own experience in curriculum development - including sharing very useful lists regarding the elements of an educational program, and two models of standards-based programs (American and Pakistani). He encouraged the audience, many of whom had little or no experience in designing academic programs, to think about their local context and where the educational needs of a social media curriculum may fit in.

After a break for lunch, the latter part of the afternoon was spent in hands-on activity, with the audience divided into three groups to design their own curricula. Three sets of recommendations emerged, based on various elements with the education program checklist Dr. Fast had shared. Groups collaborated to create the beginnings of curricula that will hopefully be revised, extended, and eventually shared with all participants. It is also hoped that in the near future, a more refined version of suggested social media curricula will be created and shared with the local authorities and the Ministry of Education, for their consideration and input.


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