Introducing the Bett MEA 2020 Advisory Group


At Bett we rely on our network of educators, experts and thought-leaders from around the world to inform our live and digital content.

At Bett we rely on our network of educators, experts and thought-leaders from around the world to inform our live and digital content. Our Bett MEA Advisory Board represents a cross-section of voices from across the education ecosystem and provides a sounding board for our upcoming show in September. We’ll be meeting with these distinguished leaders every few months to make sure we are maintaining our status as the leading educational technology event portfolio worldwide.

Who makes up the Bett MEA Advisory Board?
Our Advisory Board has been carefully selected during our research phase of this event. We’re very excited to introduce our esteemed members:
  • Cameron Mirza, MENA Director, Nottingham Trent University UAE
  • Dr. Sonia Ben Jafaar, Chief Executive Officer, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, UAE
  • Faisal Ali Al Balushi, Chairman, Omani Society for Education Technology, Sultanate of Oman, Hameed Yousuf (Hami Vlogs), Youth Media Council Member and Vlogger, National Media Council, UAE
  • Kayumba Theogene, Director of ICT, Rwanda Education Board, Rwanda
  • Kevin Fullbrook, Deputy Director, Al-Bayan Bilingual School, Kuwait
  • Linah Anyango, ICT Integration Coach and Coordinator, Regis School Runda, Kenya
  • Philippa Wraithmell, Director of Digital Technology and Innovation, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Sreejit Chakrabarty, Director, Robotics & Artificial Intelligence, GEMS Dubai American Academy, UAE
Our Advisory Board’s Thoughts on Bett MEA

“The long-term prosperity and wellbeing of the region depends on the strength and quality of its human capital. It is only through intelligent investment in technology can we look to reimagine education systems and produce scalable education solutions that are outcomes focused and competency based that and can enable students, teachers and nations to flourish through a diverse, knowledgeable, skilled, creative and reliant society. Bett is the catalyst to bring all stakeholders together to tackle these challenges together, raise aspirations and ask the critical question, what if?” 
- Cameron Mirza
 
“Bett MEA is very important for education transformation since it provides a platform to showcase the latest developments in technology disrupting education. It also provides a forum for the greatest minds in education to have round table discussions on various aspects affecting education and come up with resolutions which greatly transform education for the better.”
- Linah Anyango
 
“I am really looking forward to being able to share with educators from across the globe.  With the recent global impact on digital education I think this year more than ever will bring out innovation in education and some incredible products and ideas from teachers and EdTech companies.”
- Philippa Wraithmell
 
Discussing the Future of EdTech in the Middle East & Africa: Our First Meeting
Our first meeting reviewed the newly published themes for Bett MEA 2020. In response to the unprecedented changes taking place in education delivery across the world, our themes have been confirmed as follows: Leadership, Skills, Wellbeing, Inclusion, Innovation in Teaching & Learning and E-Learning & Blended Learning.
During this discussion our conversation explored the specific pressures faced by educators and students in todays climate. We discovered several consistent trends, including:

Digital Wellbeing
The impact of recent home working has meant that wellbeing for students, teachers and parents is now difficult to measure. For many of us, final exams have been cancelled and we have been abruptly removed from a cohesive physical learning community, asked instead to continue daily tasks from isolation. Educators are now faced with the challenge of being able to track student wellbeing and engagement, providing support where necessary, through a computer screen. This challenge is further complicated by unpredictable home environments, in which students are likely to have other responsibilities interrupting their usual working day.

Continuing Professional Development
The speed at which the shift to online education delivery has occurred means that we have not had time to refine our approach to teacher training. How can we support our educators to deliver high-quality learning? How can we refine our approach to clear pedagogically-driven online learning as opposed to simply reacting to unexpected crises? Does this movement to online delivery signal a permanent change in how educators work? All these questions are imperative to continuing to inform teaching across the region.

Assessment and Accreditation
Assessment has emerged as a key topic for the educators of today. To date, little quality assurance and accreditation is given to online learning and it has generally been viewed as less valuable than exam grades given within the school system. However, the movement to online learning has meant that we are able to challenge traditional forms of assessment and accreditation. For example, Advanced Placement examinations are moving online this year so that students can take them at home – how will this change the future of assessment?

The Role of Parents
Parents have always had an essential role in the education ecosystem. However, recently we have observed more active participation in learning from the parent demographic due to mass home learning. How can we include parents in the discussion around online learning and understand their challenges in helping children to learn from home? What additional perspectives can parents bring to the discussion and how can they have a meaningful voice in the conversation around innovation in teaching and learning?

Supporting Learning Difficulties Remotely
The shift to online learning has been difficult for us all. However, one key challenge for all online learning platforms is how to ensure proper support for vulnerable children or those with learning difficulties. For these children, it could be a greater struggle to keep engaged during home learning and to receive more in-depth support when required. SEND children require additional resources when the school system is operating normally, and are at risk of being left behind in the current climate.

Online Safeguarding
Schools which have developed a cohesive safeguarding culture for both online and offline working will have noticed new challenges cropping up over the last few weeks. Whilst online learning can be facilitated using a variety of existing platforms, educators must also evaluate the cybersecurity risks and safeguarding concerns which arise when delivering home learning. This is not only important in reference to social media – we’ve noticed complaints of new approaches to cyberbullying, new risks to keeping online classrooms secure and queries over whether children understand digital citizenship. How can we ensure that teachers are informed of the dangers of working online and can recognise warning signs?

We’re excited to be bringing all these topics and more to the content agenda of Bett MEA 2020. Whilst directly related to current affairs, it seems that these discussions highlight existing weaknesses in our current style of working and will allow us to grow into a more diverse, future-focused education ecosystem for future learners.

What did we miss?
To hear more from Bett MEA’s Advisory Board, keep an eye out for more articles in the coming weeks that will discuss the latest themes, topics and innovation that are at core of Bett MEA 2020.

About Bett
For 2020, Bett MEA will be taking place in Festival Arena, Dubai – one of the most dynamic education hubs in the region. Bett MEA transforms learning through offering an exhibition where experts and educators can strategise, participate in professional development and share their vision of how to improve learning outcomes across the Middle East and Africa regions.

For more information or to find out more about opportunities in Middle East & Africa, please don't hesitate to contact one of our expert team members directly or for general enquiries contact mea@bettshow.com

Location & Opening times:
Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City Dubai, UAE
Tuesday 8 Decmeber, 09:00-18:00
Wednesday 9 December, 09:00-18:00
 
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