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Pioneering e-learning project to roll out across 27 GEMS schools in the Emirates

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, September 03 - 2008 @ 09:39

This project will be rolled out across all 27 GEMS Education schools in the Emirates.

The project revolutionizes conventional teaching techniques in favour of providing teachers with smart IT tools.

“Bringing computers into the classroom for all lessons in every subject is not a gimmick – it’s an essential part of adapting the education system to fit the needs of the future,”

said Hafez Hamdy, Marketing Director at ITWorx, the global experts on the Microsoft Learning Gateway (MLG) for schools and higher education.

“Students benefit from accelerated learning, teachers collaborate better with their colleagues, and parents are able to monitor the progress of their children and communicate directly with staff, giving the school a far more central role in family life.”

When the ‘GEMS Learning Gateway’, a unique portal based on MLG, is operational at the end of this year, students will be able to receive and submit assignments, share information with each other, and work on research projects, not only from anywhere on the wirelessly-enabled school campuses, but anywhere with an Internet connection.

“It’s a common complaint from businesses all over the world that schools are producing students who lack the skills employers need. It’s only by embracing IT and interfacing it fully in the education process that the problem can be solved,”

said Mukund Patel, Chief Officer – Education Infrastructure at GEMS Education.

“IT is a crucially important part of many jobs now, and that’s a trend that will only continue. You don’t only use a computer at work for two or three one-hour sessions a week, so schools can no longer only offer two or three IT lessons a week: it needs to become a central part of the learning process.”

“We have started many initiatives this year to revolutionize ICT integration in GEMS Schools and GEMS Learning Gateway will play a major role,” said Manoj M. Varghese, Director – IT at GEMS Education.

Magdy El-Komy, ITWorx Education – Engagement Manager, points to the success of a pilot project conducted a few years ago at a school in Kent, England, which reported students in Year 10 doing AS level work, which is not normally started until Year 12, while others were even working at Year 13 or first year university level.

“If you look at the education system over the past 100 years, it would be very familiar to somebody joining us today from that time,” he said.

“I think technology has offered us the opportunity to quite radically re-think the way in which pupils learn and teachers teach. This is not about throwing out tried and tested ways of teaching and learning, it’s actually about enhancing learning, enabling students to learn more, and enabling teachers to teach more effectively.”

As an example, a teacher with a wireless connection can share a video clip of a science experiment with the class, allowing pupils to watch it again when they do their homework rather than relying on hurriedly-written notes.
ITWorx, a Microsoft Gold Partner, will customise the Microsoft Learning Gateway in both English and Arabic to fulfil GEMS’ needs, and will dedicate three months to training and mentoring administrators and teachers on how to use and maximize the benefits of the GEMS Learning Gateway.

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Wednesday, September 3- 2008 @ 9:39 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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