THE ROADMAP TO DIGITIZING CLASSROOMS IN MENA
Digitizing Schools Is the New Frontline in the MENA'S Digital Evolution
The outlook for the MENA’S digital and tech scene is promising, and with backing from the right supportive ecosystem, it could very well compete and affirm itself on the global scene. Incubators, accelerators, and investors have taken up all the attention in this ecosystem so far, but it may now be time to go back to school - literally.
A common problem that many MENA startups and innovative companies face is the insufficient supply of local talent or its inadequate skill set. Clearly, the solution should start in universities – in schools even. This is where the developers, programmers, and strategists of tomorrow will come from before they venture into the digital and tech scene. “Today’s learners are growing up in a world where technology is second nature to them. They are not as phased by its use add value and make students’ learning more efficient and more enjoyable. Only then can schools maximize outcomes and prepare students for a life of work, self-actualization, and continuous learning in a digital, global society. “The GEMS Digital Strategy focuses more on building new models of learning than it does on technology – and I firmly believe this is how it should be,” said Redhead.
The Roadmap to Digitization SABIS dates back to 1866 when the International School of Choueifat was founded in Lebanon. It has been using technology since the late 1960s, said Bakhos, adding that this has been a dynamic and ongoing process. As new technologies kept arising, all the school’s operations were gradually integrated with student tablets, teacher tablets, IWBS, wireless connectivity, etc. There are over 300 individuals working in the research and development center at the SABIS headquarters in Adma (Lebanon) to evaluate, test, and integrate the various academic and technology solutions into the system. The school starts by measuring a new project’s potential impact on the learning and teaching processes: “We’re not just using technology for the sake of it,” he said. It then launches a pilot to determine the needed resources. If successful, it initiates full implementation. The IT staff at each school ensures that the infrastructure is always adequate to deploy new solutions (network, security, back-up, hardware, software configuration), and is responsible for training users, with the support of a specialist team at headquarters (who set correct compliance standards). Technology has infiltrated virtually every aspect of the SABIS educational system. The school started digitizing its curriculum by breaking it into small components, which helped identify students’ learning gaps. The main outcome of this is the SABIS Integrated Learning System, which combines interactive whiteboards (IWBS) and interactive e-books (the digitized version of all the school’s proprietary textbooks in 7 languages). This has helped standardize lesson delivery and improved