Technology and the future of education in the GCC

Left to Right: Moderator Richard Ni, Education Vertical Development Manager Hikvision MENA, Joseph Aninias, Director of Information, Management & Technology, Abu Dhabi University, Inas Abousharkh, Director of Information Technology, Ajman University, Mohammed Rasol Al Saidat, Director of IT, University of Sharjah, John Murphy, Director of IT, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, at a panel discussion
A recent conference hosted by Hikvision saw a vibrant discussion on how the latest technology trends are impacting the education sector and how it fared in the past years. Industry experts, academics and ICT heads from schools and universities participated in the conference

Dubai, Oct 20, 2022: How quickly are K-12 and higher education institutions in the GCC moving towards smart education? What are the critical issues affecting their digital transformation journey? Are students, teachers and parents ready for digital transformation? These and other aspects were the center of discussions at the day-long conference on the ‘Future of Education in the GCC’ hosted by Hikvision.

The one-of-its-kind annual regional forum saw participation from a diverse group of academics, information and communications technology (ICT) heads, and experts from the education sector.

Smart classrooms, smart campus and smart curriculum are the future of education, and technology adoption have fundamentally changed the way we do things, said Dr. Fahem Al Nuiami, CEO of Ankabut.

Speakers also explored the role of Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML) and its impact on education.

Joseph Aninias, Director of Information Management & Technology, Abu Dhabi University said, “The future of education is the metaverse or metaversity. It is going to be a different concept. We need to be able to draw a roadmap in terms of adapting to the new platform. It requires fundamental asymmetry.”

At the event, Hikvision also showcased several of its smart classroom solutions such as Digital Teaching Tools such as Built-in Whiteboard with built in browser, 20 touch points and smooth interface; Wireless Projection and various other education solutions supporting remote learning, multi-classroom learning and central management.

Hikvision’s interactive display solution

Commenting on the future of technology, Rasol Al Saidat, Director of IT, University of Sharjah said they are moving into a digital campus “where everything is automated and all the services are online.”

As with other industries and sectors, Technology and Education is here to stay. And the race is on to understand how to best deploy and implement the vast number of tools, software and technology to continue to deliver quality and quantitative knowledge in the new normal.

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A panel discussion on effective ways of implementing inclusive education in more schools with the help of technologies moderated by Richard Ni, Education Vertical Development Manager Hikvision MENA, explored three critical issues related to the changes in the education sector in the past two years: the role of technology in incorporating inclusive education, the ways to handle future technology adoption, and the new technology trends experts foresee, that will disrupt the education sector in the coming years.

Inas Abousharkh, Director of Information Technology, Ajman University said it was a challenge to train the faculty and educate the staff to familiarise them with all the tools.

John Murphy, Director of IT, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence said the real challenges are enhanced competition in the market, thanks to entry of several private players and the mushrooming of online education platforms.

We live in a new digital era, once foretold is coming in a near future. From how we manage and deliver knowledge, everything has changed and there is no turning back. The big question at the panel discussion was, are we all ready? Are teachers, educators, parents and teachers ready for the new age of digital disruption in the education industry?

The second panel discussion was moderated by Sachin Srinivasan, Commercial Display Director, Hikvision MENA.

Left to Right: Moderator Sachin Srinivasan, Commercial Display Director, Hikvision MENA, Dr. Arbela Espina, Academic Dean, UK College of Business and Computing, Alveena Abram, Head of Innovation and Technology at American International School, Dubai, Vaughan Pope, Head of Education Technology, Taaleem, Tom Sale, Head of ICT, Kent College Dubai

Alveena Abram, Head of Innovation and Technology at American International School, Dubai said while students are already adept at using technology, it is the teachers who need to be nudged and trained to adopt the latest tech solutions.

Vaughan Pope, Head of Education Technology, Taaleem said we are going to witness more and more student personalization based on students` preferences and capabilities. “It is not just about picking up the latest technology but ensuring that it enhances the outcomes,” he said, adding that we cannot take anything for granted.

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This new regional platform hosted by Hikvision creates a full-floor workshop for industry leaders and experts in education to deliberate on how education is changing in the region and how government and institutions can take advantage of innovative solutions to remain competitive in the knowledge economy. The workshop moderated by Ahmad Bakri, Partnerships and Alliances manager, Hikvision MENA, interacted with each guest and discussed a collaborative insights and opinions what the future holds in the education sector and how we can implement digital transformation in the areas of teaching.

The next conference, as part of the series, will be held in Saudi Arabia in December 2022. The sessions and discussions will focus on digital transformation, trends and challenges and solutions in education, giving an opportunity to share the views from several cities in the regional from different schools, universities and authorities.