“I became a teacher because I enjoy working with young people. I was inspired by some of the teachers that I had in school. They made my school experience so much better and that is something I wanted to be a part of,” says Malachy McGrogan.
Malachy who is originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland has been an educator for nine years. He is currently in his 4th year of teaching in Dubai. He works closely with Lisa Finch in creating innovative technological programmes at the Dubai English Speaking College (DESC). In his role as teacher of Information and Computer Technology, one of his responsibilities is taking charge of the school’s Digital Leaders.
According to Malachy, the DESC Digital Leaders comprise of both male and female students from Years 7-13. These students are given the mandate of educating staff and students about the use of technology inclusive of applications, software, programming and other areas of interest. The Digital Leaders work closely with departments in developing videos that can be used as teaching aids for lessons or promotional materials for homework or class projects. They collaborate with their schoolmates on inter house competitions to develop a school on site in Minecraft.
When asked to share a rewarding experience that he has had as a teacher, Malachy states, “A rewarding experience that I have had is working alongside young people and being able to see them get excited about the emerging technology, as well as the technology that has been around for a long time. They are excited about the use of technology even if it’s not specific to a subject that they are doing, but just something that they can engage with on a daily basis.”
He also shared that the students recently concluded an exciting Hunger Games inter-house competition, which saw students from the different year groups in their respective houses competing on this school’s virtual site. Other notable activities that the Digital Leaders undertake are prepping the devices for devotional exercises, volunteering at Tech Fest and the Hour of Code held last December (2015), which saw students teaching members of the KHDA how to do programming at the school.