Well its official, I am off to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates on the 31st July to work as an ICT in Education Advisor. I spend 4 days initially in Auckland meeting my "team", then we leave for UAE on the 4th August. I will, of course, post pictures of our apartment, which I am waiting to see now, and document my big adventure with pictures and video! So it would be great to share this journey with my Classroom 2.0 friends!

It will be very interesting to see how the education system operates there, and how we go with ICT Professional Development with the teachers there, as well as adapting to a different culture! Not only that, but it's 45 degrees celsius ther most days at the moment, and at night it cools down to about 28 degrees, so just coping with the heat will be interesting.

I'm told that Al Ain being in-land has much lower humidity than the coastal cities, often only about 20% or 30% where as in Dubai and Abu Dhabi the humidity gets up to 95% often. I have learned heaps about this country and the cities via expat blogs and YouTube - where would we be without it? Hey lay off Viacom!

The real power of sites like YouTube is not in blatantly copying movies, but in allowing people to be creative with remixes, and also just to post their videos to a worldwide audience. The fact that I can make my own movie of my travels, add my own music and commentary and easily post them online to my own channel for all to see is very cool. We really do live in a global village.

The picture above is of the highway winding to the summit of Jebel Hafeet, which is itself a fascinating landmark of Al Ain. The highway is aparently one of the finest driving roads in the world, (as long as you have the car to match!) Lots of expat blogs to read!

More info on Jebel Hafeet: " This limestone monolith rises 1350 feet, providing spectacular views across the border between the UAE and Oman. A modern three lane highway lit by yellow halogen streetlamps snakes up the mountain to the royal palace and picnic areas at the top. There are also hot spring spa pools at the base, and the entire mountain is honeycombed with passageways accessible to any seasoned pot-holer."

I think I'll give the pot-holing a miss, but I am definitely looking forward to some evening drives through the mountains! One of the first things I'll be doing is finding a vehicle, so that will be an adventure in itself!

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Tags: Hafeet, Jebel, UAE, ain, al, technology., travel

Comment by Violeta Apostolovski on July 18, 2008 at 4:38am
Hi Gavin,

I think it would be a fantastic opportunity. I know a number of teachers that have taken up the opportunity to go the the UAE. I have also met some teachers at a NZ Conference that are working there at the moment.
I have had a few trial ClickView in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
I am also planning a trip in either Oct/Nov. Keep in touch and maybe you can show me around!!!.
I look forward to hearing about your experience.


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