UAE universities embrace mobile learning

Fri Dec 20 13:49:00 UTC 2013

Global experts in mobile and digital learning gathered in Dubai for the HCT Mobile Learning Festival, where they discussed best practice for online learning. 

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Hundreds of educational and technology specialists attended the inaugural event, which took place on 17 December and where a series of workshops and panel sessions were held to facilitate the sharing of ideas about the most effective ways of utilising new mobile learning technology.

The HCT Mobile Learning Festival celebrates the remarkable uptake of mobile learning technology in the UAE. In September 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai launched the country’s Federal Mobile Learning Initiative, which has transformed teaching at the UAE’s three federal higher education institutions. The revolutionary initiative is one of the world’s largest nation-wide mobilisations of mobile learning in education, with over 14,000 new and foundation year students at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Zayed University and UAE University, provided with iPads and accompanying digital learning content.

Pearson, the world’s largest learning company, has been working closely with HCT to develop mobile digital content for its students as part of the Federal Mobile Learning Initiative. HCT’s Centre for Applied Research and Training (CERT) and Pearson have recently announced their intention to establish the UAE Centre for Mobile Learning, which will provide technology, course design, and faculty development design to the UAE Federal Higher Education Institutions as well as the wider market.

Ada Lanzaro, Pearson’s Product Development Manager for English Language, presented at the HCT Mobile Learning Festival. Ms Lanzaro used the opportunity to share details about the development of Pearson mobile digital content for HCT. Ms Lanzaro said:

"Pearson is committed to ensuring its products have a measureable, positive impact on the learning outcomes of those that use them. We have made a public commitment to efficacy which includes guaranteeing the effectiveness of our mobile learning solutions. In order to create mobile learning technology that can demonstrably help people learn and progress their lives, attention needs to be paid to all phases of the production process, from the initial concept and planning stages, right through to the implementation and review of the product. It is crucial that people tasked with the important job of designing mobile learning content understand how to structure and develop the material so that it meets the given learning outcomes while maximising interactivity, accessibility and engagement – and ultimately creates a successful learning experience for the student”. 

Ms Lanzaro says that the UAE’S commitment to digital and mobile learning is impressive, and will help to produce graduates who are ready to thrive in a global, 21st century economy:

“At Pearson, our focus is on creating active, dynamic learning environments that help people to progress their lives through learning. By working with institutions such as HCT to develop cutting-edge mobile learning tools, striving to improve learning capacity, we are helping to produce a future workforce that will lead the UAE’s continuous and rapid educational and economic advancement”.
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