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Eye of Riyadh
Culture & Education | Wednesday 16 September, 2015 3:56 pm |
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GCC Educational Institutions Urged to Adopt Next Generation Technology as Education Spending Reaches USD 150 Billion

The next five years will be pivotal for GCC educators to adopt the next generation technology that can enhance student learning, affordability, and regional competitiveness, industry experts announced today in the build-up to GITEX Technology Week 2015.

 

A recent GCC education industry report by Alpen Capital reveals the region has an annual spend of USD 150 billion towards the education sector, with technology-driven education a priority for boosting innovation, meeting students’ demands and tackling unemployment.

 

With the region digitising and seeing strong broadband connectivity, key educational technologies include free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), which provide access to educational seminars beyond geographical borders; 3D printing for in-classroom prototypes; virtual and augmented reality classroom laboratories; and wearables, according to a new Frost & Sullivan report.

 

On the back end, institutions are deploying complex learning analytics for individualised learning strategies, and utilising cloud campuses to host electronic resources and mobile-enabled projects.

 

“Youth across the Middle East are integrating technology into their daily lives, and the next five years will be the make-or-break moment for the region’s educational institutions to harness students’ potential with technology,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

 

“From smart content sharing to real-time evaluation, educators and training providers attending GITEX Technology Week 2015 can discover technologies that allow for greater personalisation, more affordable learning and training the next generation of leaders in the Smart tech and Internet of Things-based workforce,” added Trixie LohMirmand.

 

The GCC has taken the regional lead in the Middle East region. Technology-driven education initiatives include the UAE’s Smart Learning Initiative, which aims to provide personal tablets to all K-12 government schools by 2017, and Qatar’s Supreme Education Council’s e-Bag project, which provides students and teachers with tablets to enhance learning and reduce school bag weight. 

 

Already, over 90 per cent of GCC educational institutions use laptops and tablets, while 60 per cent have Bring Your Own Device policies for students, according to IDC. 

 

Jacky’s Business Solutions LLC, an end-to-end solutions provider for major corporations in the region, as the 3D Printing Headline Sponsor for GITEX Technology Week 2015, is demonstrating the latest educational developments using 3D printers in the classroom.  

 

“3D printing technology is at the forefront of providing students with a competitive advantage by fuelling creative ideas, developing their design skills, and bringing concepts to life. GITEX Technology Week serves as an ideal platform for us to showcase the most sophisticated 3D innovations from leading 3D printing companies. Middle East educators can use this technology in the classroom allowing students to gain experiential learning through prototypes from science models to industrial design,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO, Jacky’s Business Solutions.

 

Complementing the exhibition will be the GTX TechVerticals conference on education, at which international education visionaries will discuss the latest trends in technology in education. Global academic institutions attending include the University of London, the UK’s Cedars School of Excellence UK, King’s College London and Leeds Beckett University.

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