Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) activities
There's more to an iPad than meets the eyes, children were taught at the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF). Elementary school teacher and technology enthusiast Fatima Al Marashda from Al Forqan Model School took children
attending the workshop on a tour of applications that they can download on their iPad and that they can use as tools for storytelling and expression.
During the workshop, Fatima, a graduate of the Ajman University for Science and Technology specialising in Arabic Language and Islamic Studies, introduced children to Puppet Pals, Art Maker, Journal, Paper and Sketch Club, all applications that can be used for creative expression. "You can write a journal, or even take a snapshot every day and write a comment on it," she told them before giving them the chance to physically explore the apps.
"I love learning new things and I enjoy discovering new apps that are useful," she said, adding that her Instagram profile has more than 2000 followers who enjoy following the new apps she reviews. "Many children and parents don't realise that there are many apps that can help develop creativity through writing and illustrating," said Fatima.
In fact, Fatima's iPad has folders with apps relevant to every scholastic subject. In her class, she asks her students to bring in their own iPads on Sunday and take them back on Wednesday. During the week, she dedicates time to introduce the students to the various apps that they can use that are educational and that encourage them to flex their creative muscles. "There are many programs that can benefit children who are weak in certain subject areas, it can make them better without resorting to traditional scholastic methods," she said.
Fatima believes that children should be given limited access to their iPads. "I have an electronic sand clock on mine and my children know that once they hear the sound that indicates that their time is up, they should give me back the iPad," she says.