Meet the #DOTYouth who has created an English-to-sign language mobile app
Championing technology in classrooms
Mira Hatoum finished her biology degree not knowing what was next. She was interested in technology and education, and had developed strong pedagogical skills at university, but didn’t know how to apply these skills and interests until an acquaintance encouraged her to look into DOT Lebanon.
Before she knew it, Mira was at the front of a classroom, coaching teachers to integrate technology in their classrooms as a digital champion.
It was all part of DOT Lebanon’s leadership program that equips young people with the confidence, skills, tools, knowledge, and networks to transform their own communities. Mira developed her ICT and leadership skills, and found a new sense of purpose.
“DOT was the perfect work environment to mold my personality to be a person with vision, knowing where do I stand, setting goals, achieving objectives and looking for new opportunities,” says Mira. “My three years with DOT Lebanon have been filled with valuable lessons and concepts that altered my way of thinking.”
Mira became one of DOT Lebanon’s digital champions in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, working with more than 25 teachers in three secondary public schools to use technology with their students.
This was no simple task.
“Integrating technology wasn’t easy because some teachers had no basic knowledge about computers and internet,” says Mira. “So we started from the zero level, introducing many modules to let them reach a place that they could integrate technology in their classrooms.”
It can be frustrating using new technology; it was no different for the teachers with whom Mira worked. Mira adapted her approach to make the coaching more relevant to each teacher, allowing them to choose with digital tools they wanted to learn.
As the teachers were able to customize their learning, they became more engaged and excited about the program. One physics teacher learned about animation and simulation programs, to demonstrate physics concepts in his class. A French teacher chose to develop her skills in video production and began using Google Docs for her students’ homework.
Mira takes pride in the fact that her teachers are also good students. As their digital skills have improved, they have become more self-directed in their learning. No longer do they passively receive information; they seek it out by conducting their own research and participating in interactive lessons.
Just as her teachers have grown in their skills and abilities, so too has Mira grown while she works with DOT Lebanon. “DOT Lebanon empowers me to challenge myself,” she says. “I have been introduced to many organizations, leaders, communities, and enthusiastic people that are the stepping stone towards my future.”
Mira is also a member of DOT’s Youth Leadership Advisory Board (Youth LAB), helping to shape DOT’s work globally, and is also a Global Youth Ambassador with Their World, a worldwide network of 500 young advocates and campaigners in more than 80 countries who are supporting the movement to get every child into school and learning.
From helping Lebanese teachers overcome their frustration with technology to shaping DOT’s work globally, Mira is grateful to be a part of DOT’s youth-led movement of daring social innovators.
“DOT Lebanon is the innovative interactive place that you can feel free to share your creativity, passion and thoughts.”
“Mira became one of DOT Lebanon’s digital champions in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, working with more than 25 teachers in three secondary public schools to use technology with their students.”
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