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New Ideas for Innovative Educators

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Microsoft has reinforced its commitment to the regional education sector by bringing the world-renowned education-technology conference BETT to the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for the fourth consecutive year.

The theme this year was ‘Building a Successful Change Culture to Meet the Evolving Needs of 21st Century Citizens’, with the conference, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, featuring two days of collaboration and debate between educators and technologists.

Microsoft showcased a range of technologies being applied in the classroom by innovative educators; an example being the Minecraft: Education Edition, which offers more than 500 free lesson plans and 30 tutorials to help educators teach subjects such as chemistry and computer programming in more intuitive forms. Microsoft also demonstrated its free, interactive Hacking STEM Lessons, which empower educators to build affordable, project-based activities to visualise data across STEM curriculums.

Customised learning sessions for teachers, under the banner of the Microsoft Teachers Academy, were also available, concentrating on Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition, Hacking STEM, and LinkedIn Learning. “At Microsoft, our goal is to empower young people to become successful, capable, and active contributors to the development and prosperity of societies,” said Harb Bou-Harb, Education Director for Microsoft MEA.

Additionally, Abu Dhabi University (ADU) participated in this year’s edition of the Bett Middle East and Africa (MEA) Leadership Conference, the world’s largest education technology event. Top of the agenda at the two-day conference was the looming capacity gap, which will inevitably be created by the displacement of jobs due to automation. The primary challenge presented by university leaders on the panel was the development of strategic methods to equip graduates with the skills necessary to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.