Sunday 19 September 2021 - 7:02:22 am

Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning welcomes new members

  • dr. waleed official photo.jpg
  • dr. kevin frey
  • dr. robert jenkins
  • engineer mohammed gheyath
  • maysa jalbout
  • hatem sallam

DUBAI, 15th September, 2021 (WAM) -- The Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning, the first of its kind in the region and the world to unify efforts to develop the future of digital education systems, today announced the addition of new prominent names to its advisory council.

In support of the Digital School, the first integrated Arab digital school and one of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the new members will support the Alliance’s efforts to provide equal education opportunities for students, especially refugee students in camps and lower-income communities. Being renowned in the fields of education, skills development, competency preparation and international humanitarian work, they aim to leverage advanced technology applications and digital solutions, as part of the UAE’s support for joint global action aimed at shaping the future of smart digital learning. and developing its mechanisms and tools.

The new alliance members will bring in experts, educators, and specialised lecturers from prestigious international universities as well as academic, educational, and charity institutions to achieve the objectives of the Alliance – adopting modern learning methods, supporting digital learning frameworks in the region, and launching innovative pioneering initiatives and effective projects to enable students to utilise the latest digital learning options.

The expanded advisory council will support the alliance’s vision to bridge the skills gap, offer equal education opportunities for students across the globe, regardless of their economic and social circumstances, and establish a flexible education system that meets the various learning needs regionally and globally.

Dr. Waleed Al Ali, General Coordinator for the Digital School initiative, said, "The new members of Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning bring specialised expertise in education, humanitarian work, technological and digital transformation, while supporting the goals of the Digital School project launched last year by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to reach one million students in underprivileged communities in the region over the next five years."

"The future of education and learning is definitely digital. We are working to design this future today, with practical plans and integrated strategies that experts and specialists from various sectors and geographies contribute to, granting students access to advanced and reliable quality education; particularly those in need," he added.

The new advisory council members include Dr. Kevin Frey, CEO of Generation Unlimited at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education at UNICEF, Mohammed Gheyath, Director-General for Government Competencies Development at the Department of Government Support in Abu Dhabi, Maysa Jalbout, Special Advisor to the President of Arizona State University on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and Hatem Sallam.

Dr. Frey said, "The Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning is a global platform to bring education to children and youth everywhere, especially in underprivileged communities, by employing technology, innovation and digital solutions. In joining this global alliance, we aim to communicate and collaborate with fellow learners, teachers, and educators, to design a better future for education."

For his part, Dr. Jenkins said, "Flexibility, adaptation, innovation, and fresh thinking, are elements required to shape the future of education in the next decade to achieve the fourth goal of the United Nations’ SDGs – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This is what the Alliance aims to contribute to achieving, and we are pleased to join and support its efforts."

Gheyath specialises in promoting the adoption of digital solutions, developing human capital, organisational structuring, and managing and developing technological infrastructures. He said, "The future is to devote digital solutions and their advanced smart applications in all educational facilities across stages. This is what the UAE and its leadership support at the local and global levels, especially in the developing and lower-income communities, to achieve the vision of providing access to education for all without discrimination or exception. This is the education that the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning aims to establish and spread, and we are honored to join them in their efforts."

For her part, Jalbout commented, "Achieving any sustainable growth at the economic, social, and human levels requires investing in education as a strategic choice for institutions and societies. This is why the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning is bringing together international experts to exchange ideas and develop a vision for the optimal use of technology and digital solutions to achieve education for all. The cooperation between Arizona State University and the Digital School, which is supported by the Alliance, to develop a digital education initiative that will reach one million learners in the Middle East and beyond over the next five years is testament to that vision."

Sallam said, "The Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning is a pioneering international initiative from the UAE, to support meaningful digital learning initiatives in the region and the rest of the world."

Upon its establishment, the alliance’s advisory council included Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, Dr.Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE), Dr. Eric Klopfer, Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT, Dr. Jan L. Plass, Paulette Goddard Professor of Digital Media and Learning Sciences at New York University, and Founding Director of the CREATE Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technology in Education (NYU), Anthony Bloome, Executive Director and Founder of mEducation Alliance, Dr. Rebecca Winthrop, Senior Fellow and co-director of the Center for Universal Education of Brookings Institute and Dr.Pasi Sahlberg Professor of Education Policy at the University of New South Wales.

The Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning supports the Digital School, one of the MBRGI projects and the first integrated and accredited Arab digital school that provides distance learning in a smart and flexible way for students from various social and economic backgrounds, and educational levels.

The Alliance is supported by local humanitarian organisations like Dubai Cares and the Emirates Red Crescent, as well as experts from global leading universities like Stanford University, Harvard University, New York University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as representatives from non-profit organisations like mEducation Alliance.

WAM/Amjad Saleh/Hatem Mohamed