Rize Enrichment Programs & MDS CTS help students define careers of the future
MDS CTS is the first UAE Apple Authorized Education Specialist to help support the learning & teaching community with unique Apple solutions & services.
Dubai, UAE: Rize Enrichment Programs, an after-school program organized by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and MDS CTS, an Apple Authorized Education Specialist, recently concluded an iOS App Development Challenge where students were tasked with creating apps or app prototypes in response to social and environmental challenges.
Themed ‘Be Well Together”, the challenge provided the next generation of app developers and social innovators with the opportunity to learn UX/UI design and to code using Swift and Xcode programming languages. A criteria in the app development stage was building apps and app prototypes with accessibility at their core. The challenge awarded eight winners who developed apps or app prototypes that offer solutions in education, environment, health, and accessibility. All winners ensured their apps were inclusive and user-friendly for anyone with sight or hearing impairments.
Over 1,000 students aged 14-17 from 142 Abu Dhabi schools applied for the competition, with 488 qualifying for its challenges. Following the first milestone, 227 students submitted their projects, with 66 of them participating as individuals and 161 teams. Finalists were chosen in the categories of Top Overall Solution, Top Education Solution, Top Health Solution, Top Environment Solution, and Top Accessibility Solution.
The eight-month program equipped students with key skills including creative problem solving, communication, design thinking, prototyping, among other skills that collectively represent the foundations the students will need upon entering the job market.
“We are committed to working with our partners to enable our students reach their full potential by equipping them with 21st Century skills that prepare them for real world problem-solving in the future,” said Joni Cholwich, Director, Education Partnerships Enrichment and Intervention Division.
“The ‘iOS App Development Challenge’ program provided students a well-rounded experience and offered them the opportunity to improve their creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills – all key to developing life-long learners. The success of the program can clearly be seen in the high-quality submissions and the positive impact it has had on the participants.”
The challenge was rolled out in stages to allow students to collaborate in teams or work individually to provide an idea of their project and the real-world challenge it addressed. The next stage involved students being asked to submit an app prototype and develop it in the final submission. Virtual workshops included guidance on careers and skills of the future, showcasing the importance of accessibility, creativity, problem-solving skills, communicating ideas, and documenting the app development process.
“It is an integral part of our business as an Apple Authorized Education Specialist to help transform the way educators integrate technology into learning experiences and prepare students for life beyond school,” said George Habel, Apple Practice Lead, MDS CTS. “We are thankful for being able to work on this program with Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge.”
Insights from the challenge demonstrated that students were eager to learn UX/UI design, how to write code, and build prototypes. It highlighted how they enjoyed collaborating with team members virtually and wrote their first lines in Swift and Xcode. Students also enjoyed the process of ideation while incorporating accessibility features into their apps to answer the challenge in a most inclusive way.
“The idea of coding has always been very exciting for me. The opportunity to participate in the iOS App Development Challenge provided me the right platform to nurture my skills. The program was systematically organized for us to learn and apply our knowledge, and this will always remain etched in my memory. And I hope to continue on my coding journey in the coming years,” said Rawda Al Tamimi, iOS App Development Challenge participant.
“The iOS App Development Challenge was a wonderful experience! It was a head start for my programming skills. It was organized very well, and there were many workshops hosted by experts. I learnt a lot of new concepts, and would definitely recommend this to everyone who loves to code. This challenge has been a great inspiration for me. It has increased my interest in developing apps. I look forward to more challenges like this one. Thank you for this unforgettable experience,” said Thiagarajan Manickam, another iOS App Development Challenge participant.
More about Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)
The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is the Education Sector regulator across the Emirate. It oversees and provides services throughout a learner’s journey from early education to university and beyond. It also champions inclusivity for People of Determination in the mainstream schooling system and by providing specialized schools.
More about MDS CTS
MDS CTS is the first Apple Authorized Education Specialist in the UAE to help support the learning and teaching community with unique solutions and services in Apple technology. They offer a full solution for your institution based on the individual needs of the leaders, educators, and students in your school. MDS CTS have a deep understanding of Apple products in education and can guide you based on your institution’s vision to equip educators with the latest Apple technology and knowledge to deliver their students’ best teaching and learning experiences. Learn more: https://apple.mds.ae/education/