Greater use of technology and appropriate integration into the school curriculum are what school leaders and teachers want in their classrooms this year.
GESS Dubai polled almost 1,000 education professionals across the Gulf region to determine what improvements they would like to see more of in their schools this year.
“For over 10 years now, GESS Dubai has been the premier showcase for the latest education-focused products and solutions in the region. In our desire to stay relevant to schools’ needs, we did the survey to find out what school leaders and education professionals need more of to enhance the teaching and learning experience in the classroom. Technology-related teaching aids and learning tools were the overwhelming choice. With the exhibitors we have carefully chosen to be a part of this year’s show we are sure they will have a wide selection of reputable brands from all over the world to choose from,” said Sarah Palmer, Marketing and Conference Director, Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, organisers of the GESS Dubai that will take place on 27 February to 1 March 2018 at the Sheikh Saeed Halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
According to Palmer, 60% of all visitors said that they came to GESS Dubai last year to keep up to date with new products and services geared for the education market in the Middle East.
Some of the more popular tools and applications that came on top of the wish list include smartboards, virtual reality headsets, tablets and smart apps as well as 3D printers.
Najda Khan, School Counsellor, Al Salam School, wants to see technology being integrated more into the curriculum and sees “interactive software as key in helping teachers and students perform better.”
For kindergarten teacher Tayyaba Farhan Shifaz, more use of ICT tools and hands-on activities would help students and teachers become more innovative. But she hopes that since 2018 is the Year of Zayed in the UAE, “I would love that my students would explore and do a lot of practical research and create a project on the Father of the country.”
Non-technology related improvements also made it to the wish list, including the development of programmes that will encourage more critical thinking for students, greater use of outdoor spaces, as well as more resources dedicated to nurturing a green environment across schools in the UAE.
More than 550 exhibitors from local and international companies and brands are expected to participate in this year’s edition of GESS Dubai, including STEM Revolution Management Development Training (Stand E54), Connect (Stand P31), AVI-SPL (Stand F50), and Almoe (Stand C1), among others.
Alef Education, creator of the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-powered transformational technology-enabled education solution, will be showcasing a virtual reality (VR) Mars experience at GESS Dubai, as part of its mission to nurture interest in STEM subjects amongst future generations, in support of the UAE’s long-term space exploration goals.
“Alef’s unique edtech solution, powered by AI, and rolled out across at a public school in Abu Dhabi, seeks to transform education as we know it by enabling teachers to personalize lessons to suit students’ learning needs, while also providing detailed analytics on their efforts and progress,” said Geoffrey Alphonso, Acting CEO at Alef. “This immersive and experience-based approach to learning is exactly what we seek to showcase at GESS Dubai through a VR Mars experience that will enthrall users, as they delve into life on the Red Planet.”
Beyond the exhibition floor, education professionals are expected to benefit from the over 100 workshops and panel discussions on how to leverage current advances in technology to empower teachers and help students perform better.
The Future Learning workshops include interactive sessions on STEAM, Digital technology, Special Education Needs (SEN) and VR featuring the latest insights from renowned experts.
For instance, Nathaniel Hyde, Head of Computing, Jebel Ali School, will lead a presentation on App Building with the MIT App inventor, which will allow participants to create their own app from scratch.
Other sessions will focus on how teachers can innovate the learning experience through workshops from Apple Solutions Experts as well as sessions on Google’s VR applications.
Stephen Cox, Managing Director, 21tenlearning, will also lead a discussion The Future of Learning – Implications for Leaders and Teachers, in which he will present the latest insights on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) will have far reaching impacts on the future of school buildings, environments and classrooms; as well as how teachers and school leaders can prepare adequately in harnessing technology to develop the next generation of student achievers.
GESS Dubai is free-to-attend for education professionals and the public who want to keep abreast of the latest advances in education. Registration can now be done online at www.gessdubai.com.