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Imagine a classroom that has a radio station, a TV studio, robotics arena, animation station, and a small stage for performance, where students are so engaged in learning the bell for dismissal is ignored. The technology team at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi (ACS) re-imagined the tech program and transformed an existing classroom to motivate students to be active creators giving them a voice and giving them a choice. The result: an inspiring space where students innovate, create and try out new things.

In the new Backstage Techttoos program, students Grades 6-8 choose their own path of adventure, from filmmaking to animation, they are free to move at their own pace. So, if they want to take their time with a digital art project or jump right into coding, they can. Students earn small “techttoos” which are physical representations of the new technology skill they have mastered. Students are not only rewarded, they are celebrated for their creativity and innovation.

Aligned to the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) standards, the new program is rigorous, effective and popular with students. During the pandemic, students were so excited by the new course, additional projects were designed especially for Remote Learning.

For Grades K-5, ACS added a new Innovation Lab with new ipads, TV studio, podcasting studio, animation lab, and a new program called MyTechBadges. Dash, the robot, greets young students as they adventure into robotics. The new curriculum is sparking students’ imagination, rewarding them for exploring new ways of learning through technology.

Even in this unprecedented year, ACS made significant enhancements to technology programs by providing new opportunities for greater student engagement and achievement, building the necessary skills to be competitive in a digital, post-Covid world.