ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Qatar Foundation International (QFI) announces the launch of Al-Masdar, a comprehensive web-based portal that provides up-to-date, accessible, and useful information about instruction, resources, and opportunities relevant to Arabic language teachers, students of Arabic, designers and administrators of Arabic language programs, and the general public. The site was created in partnership with the Center for the Languages, Arts, & Societies of the Silk Road and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) and is available at www.almasdar.oercommons.org.
The new site was announced at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention and World Languages Expo. QFI hosted a booth at the convention, an international event bringing together over 6,000 language educators from all languages, levels and assignments within the profession. There, QFI hosted a workshop for educators to demo the Al-Masdar site, ask questions, and provide feedback.
"Al-Masdar means 'The Source' in Arabic. The site is intended to serve as a virtual meeting place and material source for teachers and students of Arabic language throughout the world," said Carine Allaf, director of programs at QFI. "Teachers spend hours on end finding and creating materials. We want to give them a platform to share their materials with others and get to know what other teachers are using all in one space. We encourage people to contribute to it and post their thoughts and opinions as well."
Al-Masdar is being developed as a one-stop shop for materials related to Arabic language education. The site will act as a clearinghouse for vetted and high-quality Arabic language education materials as well as a meeting point for teachers to share materials, comment and rate materials, and collaborate on the development of materials. The intended audiences include teachers and students of Arabic language.
Al-Masdar is a part of QFI's commitment to Open Education Resources (OER) which address demographic, economic, and geographic educational divides. OER promotes unencumbered access to free online collaboration tools and digital resources to be used as a means of promoting education and life-long learning. Learners expect to participate in an environment that mirrors their lives today and into the future - one that seamlessly integrates today's digital tools, accommodates a mobile lifestyle, and encourages collaboration. Similarly, the Open Education movement provides opportunities to create social learning communities for educators dedicated to resource discovery, standards aligned content and authorship.
About Qatar Foundation International:
Qatar Foundation International (QFI), LLC, is a U.S.-based member of Qatar Foundation (QF). Its mission is dedicated to connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education. QFI is a not-for-profit organization in Washington, D.C., focused on grant-giving and programmatic activities that promote education as a force that facilitates collaboration across geographical, social and cultural boundaries.
About The Center for Languages, Arts and Societies of the Silk Road (CLASSRoad)
The Center for Languages, Arts and Societies of the Silk Road (CLASSRoad) is a HADI-initiated project that began in 2007. Its vision is to be one of the leading academic, research and learning centers for languages spoken along the Silk Road. It is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the teaching and learning of Silk Road languages, such as Arabic, and to fostering greater cultural understanding within and across communities in the United States.
The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), an independent non-profit research institute established in 2002, is a pioneer in knowledge sharing and educational innovation. Dedicated to the study, spread, and strategic use of knowledge management in education, ISKME helps schools, colleges, universities, and the organizations that support them expand their capacity to collect and share information, apply it to well-defined problems, and create open knowledge-driven environments focused on learning and success. In assisting the K-20 education sector, ISKME also helps philanthropic organizations and government agencies examine and improve their own and their grantees' processes for continuous improvement, evaluation, and learning.
Source:Qatar Foundation International