The Amazing Story of the Smart Carpet Laboratory


Dr. Rashed Hashem is an inspiring teacher from the United Arab Emirates who has dedicated his life in improving learning through non-traditional methods. When Dr. Rashed was young, the use of physical violence as punishment was a common practise. The use of corporal punishment in the ­field of education sensitised him to become a teacher who would have a more patient approach with his learners. He completed his doctorate degree and became a physical education and health teacher at Al Moatasem Public School for Boys, Abu Dhabi, which is close to a nomadic tribal settlement.


Dr. Rashed’s Work


Dr. Rashed found out that there were very few educated people in the settlement and in several cases, customs and traditions were the stumbling blocks in children's education and their integration with the community. Moreover, he realised that there was a general lack of awareness on how to deal with students properly. Since then, Dr. Rashed started making several contributions to the teaching community.


He created a non-traditional learning environment in the school which helps students improve their learning levels through their actions.


He is known to use his experience in sports to create innovative methods of physical therapies for students with disabilities.


Dr. Rashed has established a laboratory for students who suffer from hyperactivity, where he uploads the entire curriculum on computer devices that are stationed in front of treadmills, so that the students can exercise and learn.


Not stopping at his vision on expanding learning, Dr. Rashed has also established multiple innovative, fi­rst of its kind non-traditional educational laboratories in the United Arab Emirates. Some of the other innovative methods that were invented by Dr. Rashed include improving renewable energy, indoor gardens and health nutrition. These initiatives helped contribute to the improvement of the school’s achievement in 2018.


Smart Carpet Laboratory


Dr. Rashed began promoting ‘learning with motion’ through an interactive digital platform called the ‘Smart Carpet Laboratory’. Here, the entire curriculum is uploaded on a projector that is hung from the ceiling. The Smart Carpet Lab is aimed at developing learning through movement. The syllabus is introduced to the students in the form of evaluative, applied and interactive activities, to help the learners with expertise and knowledge.


Outcome


As a result of the efforts put in by Dr. Rashed, the students from the Al Moatasem Public School for Boys have achieved in various ­fields.


In support of the Emirates Strategy for Youth Empowerment, about 90 students and teachers from the school participated in an annual tournament in which they won multiple medals.

Dr. Rashed has published several international conference papers on teaching using technology and sports. He has also delivered 18 scientifi­c papers at international conferences. He is the fi­rst teacher from the United Arab Emirates to be appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations.


Awards and Recognition



Dr. Rashed won the Mohammed bin Zayed Award for the Best Gulf Teacher in 2018 and received the title of being the fi­rst teacher from UAE to receive a master's degree and a doctorate degree in Special Needs & Sports. He was one of the Top 50 shortlisted teachers for the 2019’s Global Teachers Prize.


This article was originally published in TheTeacher.in magazine in the month of January, 2020.

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