As the world prepares to celebrate Teacher’s Day on the fifth of October, UAE starts its tribute to teachers today at Sheraton Hotel, Sharjah. In honor of their services to the nation, the ‘Future of Education’ event has been held today, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
A learning enthusiast all his life, the presence of His Highness at the event was indeed inspiring for the educators. The formation of international Supervisory Educational Authority is the evidence of his vision for teaching profession in the UAE. Whereby the authority will supervise and improve all aspects of the educational process in private schools in the Emirates. “This body is working under my personal guidance to improve education, and will take care of everything going on in the classroom of the teacher evaluation and methods of teaching”, Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi said in an interview.
The Future of Education event today was an acknowledgement of the valuable contributions and dedication of the Arab teachers to the nation. Additionally, it also highlighted the role of innovative technologies in the classroom. How the classroom learning and interaction are being affected by the technology. How can teachers help to incorporate technology in the school curriculum for better academic outcomes. The participants were also enlightened about how the future classrooms will be impacted by immersive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
The government is most focused on transforming the landscape of the entire economic development based on modern education techniques. This is a mission that can only be accomplished through dedicated efforts of the teachers. In line with the same vision, the Teachers Association UAE has done tremendous work to improve classroom education. As a hub for teachers’ development, the association is a platform for education professionals to connect and improve teaching practices. Present at the event was also Munfarid VRXOne, one of the mentor organizations to empower local Emirati teachers through methods in deep learning. VRXOne has pioneered the transformation through innovation in immersive, experiential learning using AR, VR and Ai programs.
Artificial Intelligence is taking hands-on learning to next level both within the classroom and without. As Ai uses students’ performance data to improve classroom instruction and education, it also makes the curriculum much more versatile. The versatility means that the curriculum can be customized to a student’s learning tendencies. This way, Ai helps develop an impactful student-teacher relationship through personalized education strategies.
Automation of processes, for instance grading, frees up time for teachers to invest helping students to develop important life skills. The lessons in robotics and machine learning, such as Google Ai programs, help teachers in getting students to understand concepts better. Moreover these programs push students towards developing innovative thinking and entrepreneurial aptitude. Ai technology in classroom ensures that all the students have access to high-quality education.
This is something that educators today are fast realizing and see as a challenge that must be addressed. Sreejit Chakrabarty, the robotics manager at Gems Dubai American Academy sees huge potential for Ai as a core subject, saying, “Naturally, this Ai literacy brings in and helps students to extend their knowledge of English, Maths and Coding. For example, by seeing how their programming strategies are reflected in the learning and behavior of a machine, they can better grasp abstract concepts such as cause and effect. They can also get immediate feedback from the machine and iterate their ideas based upon this. These are powerful opportunities for learning in a cross-disciplinary way.”
The head of curriculum at the Kindergarten Starters, Gauri Meghani goes a step further in her approach to adopt Ai in classrooms. She would like Ai integrated with all other subjects simultaneously. In her view, a blended approach towards student-machine interaction is way more beneficial for children. She explained, “Our grades 3, 4 and 5 have learnt to Program LEGO Education Wedo 1.0 and 2.0. They have used all the sensors, motion and display blocks to make their robots do different tasks, like sailing a boat, for example. These activities have instilled a deeper understanding of math and science concepts and evidence-based reasoning.”
The use of technology makes schools much more efficient and innovative learning environments. Students today have the opportunity to actually explore and get involved with the educational experience. And this is only possible when teachers are empowered through technology to enhance their pedagogical performance and communication.
Famous for its biggest Virtual Reality program for schools in the Middle East, Munfarid formally announced the partnership between their Virtual Reality program VRXOne and MEL Science for immersive learning.
VRXOne is an immersive educational platform that takes the users into an immersive world with near-realistic 3D environment and motion captured based physical interactivity. The program has been widely acclaimed for its usability and benefits & was also mentioned at the Google IO 2018. VRXOne is the official partner for Google Expeditions in the Middle East region.
MEL Science, an education service focused on immersive learning through VR and hands-on experiments, has created a package of chemistry VR lessons equipped with “teacher mode”, that allows school teachers to use VR lessons in the classroom. This feature allows them to guide a classroom of students through a VR chemistry lesson. Rather than use slides or a whiteboard, the teacher can illustrate concepts with an immersive VR experience that puts students in a virtual lab where they can zoom down to the atomic level, fly through the molecular makeup of chemicals and even build their own atoms or molecules.
The alliance is intended to enhance their individual efforts at getting kids to enjoy their lessons through interactive learning. VRXOne and MEL Science are aimed to use virtual reality for making visual science more accessible for kids from the Middle East schools. The comprehensive hardware and software program, VRXOne will be promoting the lessons made available to them by the latter. Noteworthy to mention, VRXOne has also been involved in spreading awareness about the benefits of interactive learning through its ongoing ‘Go-to School’ program where 1 million Google expeditions are being demonstrated to the students in the Middle East.
Efforts are on the go to engage students full throttle and help them bridge their learning gaps. Researches have proved that creating visual scenarios while teaching had increased benefits than those accruing from verbal learning. Explaining STEM phenomena through interactive lessons improves learning without requiring any extra teaching hours. It leads to completeness and coherence in learning where students while staying abreast of the developments in lessons, can understand better.
Interactive learning with the help of technology has also shown to yield better results. Learning with the help of innovative technologies like Virtual Reality captures the student attention while inhibiting the distractions at learning. It also improves retention rates since the students are practically a part of the environment where learning happens.
The collaboration between the two enterprises focussed on education will accentuate the improving education scene in the region.
Dr. Sana Farid, the Co-Founder of Munfarid and a leading ARVR trainer and researcher was delighted at the partnership.
She expressed her views mentioning, “The pedagogical shift by means of interactive technology and ‘learn by doing’ methods is imperative to growth of the Middle East economy and its human resource development. Through consistent efforts and more awareness, we can help students across the globe realize the true potential of education, in both – developed and developing countries.”
About MEL Science
MEL Science is a London-based company developing a unique approach to science education: combining hands-on experiments with virtual reality, to explain the science behind those experiments. The company’s first product, MEL Chemistry, is a chemistry set for kids as a subscription service. Every month, the subscribers get new chemistry sets to do fun experiments with kids at home. Experiments are accompanied by a mobile app that makes it possible to see chemistry in VR. MEL Chemistry VR lessons are designed to completely remove outside distractions and provide students with a fully focused learning environment.
MEL Chemistry VR media kit: http://bit.ly/2JddGGo
MEL Chemistry VR website: https://melscience.com/vr
VRXOne is an international brand for virtual reality distributed in the Middle East exclusively by Munfarid. It’s a learning platform that uses Virtual Reality in education and training. VRXOne products offer unparalleled performance for content’s delivery and control. VRXOne provides devices and head mounts and accepts content in virtually any format and resolution compatible with Virtual Reality. Users can unite all their content on a single platform and play it as desired on their VRXOne Kits.
VRXOne media kit: http://bit.ly/2kqWXS2
VRXOne website: https://www.vrxone.com
The Google IO 2018 consummated last week where benefits of intelligent technologies were trumpeted in the best way possible. With over 7,000 developers present, the program was also live-streamed by millions of people in different time zones who were eyeing over the company’s key announcements. The effects of the major developments can still be profoundly felt with many still in awe of the whirlwind progress in technology at Google.
A very special segment hosted by Benjamin Schrom, Product Manager at Google for Expeditions, highlighted the very important area of technologies that facilitate learning and form the pavement of immersive computing – Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
Both the technologies are improving pedagogy and Schrom explained why these technologies are so imperative to learning.
In his own words,
‘Virtual Reality’ can take you anywhere and ‘Augmented Reality’ can bring you anything.
While sharing the company’s vision for improving education, he acknowledged the efforts of the partners who offer Virtual Reality kits and expand the reach of the ‘Google for Education’ program. Out of the 10 partners showcased, VRXOne was the Middle East partner, responsible for bringing 1 Million Virtual Reality Expeditions for the students in the Middle East.
Combining abstracted textual and verbal cues coming from books, videos, and lectures with a fluid demonstration through the Virtual Reality technology, VRXOne is a product of Munfarid Consulting, a Bahraini Learning & Development company founded by the famous AR VR trainer and influencer, Dr. Sana Farid.
With sustained efforts and credible partnerships with leaders in innovation, VRXOne is being used to make an impact on the world of tomorrow. Its mention at the Google IO 2018 is a matter of pride and accomplishment for the region. It also clearly explains the efforts in the region by emerging companies to boost STEM learning and using innovation to the long-term vision of benefitting businesses, boosting entrepreneurship, and strengthening the economy.
With Virtual Reality being at the helm of education now at many government-owned schools, colleges as well as private institutions, other factors like boosting STEM learning, setting up innovation centers like the recent one at the UAE University campus, have further revitalized the shared goal towards enhanced skills in the students. It is the small steps towards innovation that make a nation and its citizens stand tall.
Determined entrepreneurs are reshaping the Middle East economy by building an Arab tech economy. Defeating the barriers by developing a growing local taste for technology, companies like Souq.com and Careem have channeled their potential and energy to drive growth.
In the Middle East, something path-breaking is happening, driving the world to honor its potential – be it the Amazon’s fondness for Souq, or be it the VRXOne’s mention at the Google IO 2018.
Apps Events, Dubai on Friday (May 11) and Saturday (May 12) welcomed educators, leaders and IT, administrators, to engage in a thoughtful conversation on the latest developments and updates pertaining to education at Google Summit. The session held at the Kent College, Dubai saw keen attendees, given the past reputation of the Apps Event’s success. Deep diving dives into many of the Google tools have been a great USP of these events.
The session was graced by the leaders in the Google for Education community had a lot to look out for.
The conference, eagerly awaited by tech aficionados around the world, kicked off with an inspiring keynote on the Day 1 by Rania Hadi, the Head of Google Education MENA. She took the stage to showcase the latest developments in the pursuit of better education at Google. Her talk was briefly yet deeply centered around what goes at the heart of Google that makes it work.
What followed was a chain of talks, experience sharing, and practical insights from teachers, technology evangelists and also by the Director of AppsEvents, Dan Taylor. His talk was a guided lesson to how, by using ‘core suite’ and other ‘non-core’ Google Apps, a school could be transformed to a Google school, starting from the basics and taking the penetration to a higher level.
Talks were delivered highlighting the benefits of G Suite, Google Slides, Chromebooks and elucidating the other lesser-known benefits to both students and teachers.
A special coverage of Virtual Reality Google Expeditions was observed as the prominent regional AR VR researcher and trainer, Dr. Sana Farid enlightened the fellow attendees on the benefits of Google Expeditions. Dr. Sana envisions, strategizes and streamlines Ai/AR/VR based programs in education to improve the learning experience in students. Her regional experience and in-depth understanding of reality technology have led to her being noted in the list of Top 101 Women in #ARVR 2017, winning her global acclaim.
Through her talk, Dr. Sana explained the workability of VR expeditions and how they can be easily implemented in classrooms to cater to individual student needs. Accounts of how Google expeditions could exponentially boost retention and decrease distraction from learning was the tipping point of the talk.
Another high note of the event was seeing pupils from the Kent College Dubai creating their own Google Classroom in real time, as well as other software from G Suite for Education.
Google Summit, on the whole, laid a strong pavement for a beginner’s understanding of Google’s education tools as well as allowed crossover of important exchange of views of the preeminent leaders, regional and global.
The premier Google Summit partners of the event were Acer and Intel.