Blackboard and BME gather top education leaders from MENA to address changing educational landscape

June 17, 2014 12:23 pm

Blackboard a global leader in technology solutions for the education industry, organized its first Middle East forum in Dubai, gathering over 100 Education experts from across the Gulf region and the Middle East to share their views on how to create effective digital learning environments, and discuss the innovative education technologies of today and tomorrow.

The full-day conference showcased highlights of distance, blended and online learning in today’s regional and global landscape and featured a comprehensive program on trends in education, including a new teaching approach centered on learners, use of analytics in education, and eLearning as a key factor for global success.

In addition to Blackboard presentations, event keynotes were presented by:

• Cindy Gunn, Director of the Faculty Development Center, American University of Sharjah, who discussed the role played by technology in today’s classroom and how it could be leveraged to respond better to the needs of active and connected learners

• Sharifa Hajjat – eLearning Manager at the Higher Colleges of Technology and Founder of the Arab eLearning Academy which boasts a database of more than 47,000 educators from around the MENA region – who highlighted the role of technology for reviving young students’ interest in the Arabic language. In a recent online poll conducted on higher education students, 76% of respondents described Arabic material as “boring” and asked for a major overhaul to revolutionize language teaching techniques through eLearning

• Matthew Small – senior vice president and managing director, international of Blackboard, who highlighted how the company is helping institutions address industry changes in the Middle East region.

“This conference provided a unique opportunity for educators, technologists and industry leaders to share best practice and discuss trends. It also facilitated a great exchange of ideas from a diverse set of participants who are all helping shape the future of education,” said Matthew Small. “The Middle East region is evolving and growing, with markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia leading the change and setting the pace for the rest of the region. We are thrilled to help these institutions bring tomorrow’s education experience into today’s classrooms.”

With a client base of more than 80 institutions in the region including government training organizations and higher education institutions in Saudi and UAE, Blackboard is actively involved in developing the regional education industry.

In order to respond to local needs, Blackboard recently introduced Blackboard Analytics in Arabic to enable educators to make more informed decisions based on accurate data that reflects students’ overall performance and response to course material.

“The education sector is changing and learners demand to go beyond the traditional teaching approach; it is becoming imperative for institutions in the Middle East to use available technologies to empower their students and help them achieve success through education,” concluded Small.