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COVID-19 will increase role of technology in education


The present situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic may push government and education institutes around the world, including Qatar, to rethink teacher training in order to move away from emergency remote teaching towards proper online learning, according to an expert.  


This will require better training for teachers and school leaders in designing and delivering content online for students at all levels, said Touhami Abi, who is Manager  at the Qatar Foundation’s WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) Accelerator Program.

Speaking about the future of virtual learning in Qatar and across the world, Abi said that it is difficult to predict the future of a sector as complex as education.


“The current crisis may accelerate changes that already started to occur. The first is higher education following increasingly a blended model in which online learning plays an increasingly important role and contributes towards lowering higher education cost and improves accessibility,” he said.


“Another trend that we may observe in the coming years is an increase in the adoption of education technology solutions in schools by improving procurement processes and involving increasingly more teachers in the evaluation of those solutions since education technology solutions provided the crisis that they are not just a nice thing to have but rather a necessity.”


WISE has taken steps to find the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education systems and initiatives to promote virtual learning.


The measures taken by WISE include organized a global virtual seminar, collaborated with local entities and education stakeholders, said Abi.  


“Since the start of the current crisis, WISE has been organizing digital convenings such as the recent Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined’ Virtual Seminar hosted by WISE and Salzburg Global Seminar held recently with a focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education systems now and in the future. This virtual seminar gave educators around the world, including QF educators, a chance to contribute ideas on the many ways of approaching virtual learning,” he said.   


“WISE has also collaborated with different local entities on curating valuable digital education resources for the local and global community such as Education Above All. WISE’s learning ecosystems track has been organizing virtual convenings for local education stakeholders as a means to exchange ideas and foster a thriving digital education ecosystem. Many of the local partners are QF universities,” said Abi. 


Earlier, through various international events and programs, WISE has recognized and supported various e-learning initiatives from around the world and at different stages of development. WISE has also supported through the WISE Accelerator a Lebanese based initiative that aims to improve teaching and learning Arabic. 


“The initiative is called Kamkalima. It uses data analytics and algorithms to accompany learners in their journey to learn Arabic. It also provides teachers with precious data about the students’ pace of learning. Thousands of students including in Qatar benefit from Kamkalima. Through its programs and awards, WISE has supported over 100 initiatives worldwide of which dozens are education technology solutions,” said Abi. 


WISE serves as a platform that brings together education stakeholders in Qatar and from around the world to exchange best practices, learn from each other and collaborate including collaboration in e-learning.


Source: Peninsula Qatar

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