Dubai to host exhibition on technological advances in Gulf education

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Technological advances in the classroom will be on show at the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions exhibition from March 5-7 at the Dubai World Trade Center.

The exhibition will provide a platform for technology providers to preview their latest wares to education stakeholders in the region.

Classrooms across the Gulf Cooperation Council will increasingly utilize mobile devices to increase students’ IT literacy, the Saudi Gazette reported Tuesday.

“One of the key drivers for the widespread adoption of smart learning tools is the capability of the teachers to incorporate (them) in classroom instruction,” said Matt Thompson, project director for the F&E Group, which is organizing GESS 2013. “For this reason, we have gathered the world’s leading experts on the use of mobile learning devices in teaching.”

GCC potential

The total number of students in the GCC’s education sector is expected to reach 11.6 million by 2016, according to a report by investment bank Alpen Capital.

This highlights the potential for technology suppliers, especially as e-learning has been announced as a top priority for students by the Saudi government.

Similarly, the United Arab Emirates has made efforts to outfit its public-school classrooms with the latest technology in the form of iPads and MacBooks.

The initiative is in line with student attitudes in the GCC; becoming technologically savvy is a key aim of many young people in the region.

Two-thirds of young citizens across the Gulf want their country to be reputed as a technologically advanced nation, according to a report by consulting firm Booz & Co.

Education: the key to success

All the GCC states have identified improvements in their education system as being the cornerstone of economic progress. As a result, governments across the region have invested heavily in the sector.

Budgeted spending on education by the Saudi government has doubled since 2005. This includes the $2.4 billion Tatweer project, which aims to form partnerships with international companies to develop the local education industry, curricula, teacher training and technology.

Educators across the region are looking for new ways to expand their students’ horizons via the use of ‘smart learning.’

The GESS exhibition will facilitate this, with speakers such as David Kirtlan, a certified Apple Distinguished Educator, leading sessions on how the iPad can be used to effectively teach languages and literacy, as well as maths and the sciences.