Tuesday 15, March 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) presented the quality assurance aspects of mobile learning as well as the importance of educational technologies and related initiatives, which includes the university’s very own Cloud and Smart Campus initiatives, during the Mobile Learning Week held recently at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris, France.

Under the theme ‘Innovating for Quality,’ UNESCO’s flagship event for Information and Communications Technology in education shed light on how mobile technology can be harnessed to foster innovation in the education sector in different contexts and for the benefit of different social groups. HBMSU was the event sponsor and was represented by a delegation from HBMSU.

On the side lines of event, Serine El Salhat, Vice Chancellor of the university’s International Cooperation & Corporate Communication, met Irina Bokova, the first woman to be designated as UNESCO Director General. Ms. Bokova commended HBMSU for supporting UNESCO, ensuring the success of the event, and spearheading innovative educational approaches in the Arab World.

El Salhat, also delivered a keynote speech on how to leverage technology for schools and universities and how tomorrow’s goals can only be achieved by tomorrow’s means and tools. She also shared the success of the university’s Cloud and Smart Campus initiatives during the session on ‘Re-imagining the Third Place.’ The HBMSU Cloud Campus, a Hamdan bin Mohammed social smart learning initiative, is one of the Middle East’s first-ever social online learning platform. University’s Smart Campus is a virtual campus that provides an electronic one-stop-shop for the needs of learners, faculty and administrative personnel. It offers a wide range of smart services that provide learners with access to virtual classes, academic records, registration, and submission of proposals and suggestions. Both initiatives are aimed towards further promoting the adoption of a Smart Learning approach in Arab education.

Dr. Al Awar, said: “UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week provides a thoroughly engaging platform for participants from all over the world to discuss effective strategies for ensuring high-quality learning for all people in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda. Our participation this year was a very enlightening and rewarding experience and has motivated us to further champion the use of technology and other innovative means to maximize learning opportunities in our region. We also had the chance to disseminate HBMSU’s unique learning philosophy and leadership in ‘smart’ Arab education to a global audience and voice our full support for UNESCO’s mobile learning vision.”

Dr. Souma Alhaj Ali, Director of HBMSU’s Center for Excellence and Governance, conducted a workshop titled ‘Towards Greater Heights in Quality Assurance of Mobile Learning.’ She presented various approaches to quality assurance and management in ICT-driven teaching and learning; identified and expounded on the characteristics of high-quality mobile learning; and guided participating academicians, small and medium enterprise representatives, instructional designers, educational technology specialists and staff involved with mobile learning on how to assess their own practices. She discussed the five Smart Learning Elements, provided tips for the quality control of online learning, and presided over group discussions on a framework for high-quality mobile learning based on Institutional, Technology, Program/Course Structure, Learning Design, Faculty Support and Learners Services enablers.

“HBMSU’s active participation in UNESCO’s 2016 Mobile Learning Week reflects its full support for international events and initiatives that advocate smart learning and a technology-enabled future for higher education. It also affirms the university’s commitment to the adoption of the best international practices, lifelong learning, and high-quality education for all under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, President of the University,” Al Awar concluded.