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IB Schools from Middle East congregate in Dubai to discuss 21st century learning

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, February 26 - 2013 @ 11:34

They are Heads of schools, senior leaders, curriculum coordinators, technology directors, teachers and counsellors coming from the six GCC countries and Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

The event, the first of its kind in Dubai, will be held on March 4 and 5 at the Grand Habtoor Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai and is co-hosted by IB and Middle East IB Association (MEIBA).

The theme for the first day of the conference is entitled: ‘Connecting, Strengthening, Developing the IB Community in the Middle East’. With the aim of promoting collaboration amongst IB schools, several sessions have been organised where ‘teachers train teachers’ and share successful strategies in the classroom.

MEIBA schools will also collaborate with IB to prepare a roadmap for IB education in the Middle East.

Adrian Kearney, Regional Director, Africa, Europe and Middle East at IB, in The Hague, Netherlands, will be hosting sessions relating to professional development needs, student pathways, Arabic and Islamic studies, government recognition and the services and future innovations that IB will offer schools in this region.

Mr Kearney said, “The International Baccalaureate and its programmes have gained a reputation in the Middle East for providing students with a unique set of international skills, attitudes and perspectives for success in an increasingly integrated world. This event reinforces the commitment of the IB to the region and we will continue to work to ensure that ever more students have access to an IB education.”

’21st Century Learning’ is the theme for the second day of the conference where a broad range of sessions will be co-led by external providers and practitioners from MEIBA schools. The IB-MEIBA symposium explores the potential of mobile technology in education from both a pedagogical and practical standpoint in addition to sharing perspectives on good teaching practice in the context of international schools.

Students will also play an important role on both days of the conference. On the first day, senior students from four Dubai IB schools will give a speech on their perspective on being an IB student and its impact on their future. The second day will see three students, representing the different schools and programmes – Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Years, will present their ideas about ‘21st Century Learning’.

Eminent educationists – Dr. Jason Ohler, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alaska, who is known to be a champion of using technology effectively and creatively in the classroom, and Abdul Chohan, an Apple Distinguished Educator and Director of ESSA Academy, UK, a progressive school that has provided every student with an iPod touch for personal learning, will be keynote speakers.

They will speak about: ‘Transforming your classroom using new media – Tools, assessment, social media’; ‘Digital community, digital citizen – Leading during a time of extreme change’ and ‘Improving educational outcomes with mobile technology’.

Poonam Bhojani, President of MEIBA and CEO of Innoventures Education, added, “I am delighted that Dubai is hosting an international conference of this nature. This is not only the meeting ground for some of the finest minds in education but also an opportunity for collaborative thinking that offers exciting possibilities.”

“Classrooms are no longer restricted within the four walls of the school. Harnessing the learning potential offered through the use of mobile learning devices are our challenge as educationists. This challenge presents a unique opportunity in educating our “digital natives” in a way they learn best,” he concluded.

A major purpose of the event is to strengthen the network, collaborate and learn from each other’s experiences of implementing IB programmes in the region and showcase technology that is available to IB schools in the Middle East today. Delegates will actively contribute to the development of an IB Strategy for the Middle East.

They will also explore the challenges they face as educators in embracing these new avenues of learning, which include digital literacy, adaptability, creative thinking, innovative problem solving and independent learning.

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Tuesday, February 26- 2013 @ 11:34 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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