Zayed University 2nd Annual Education Conference

27 Mar 2019

Commemorating the Legacy of the founding father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the 2nd annual Education Conference was held at the Dubai Zayed University campus recently to address norms shaping the future with innovative quality teaching to guarantee a successful teaching and learning environment for students at all stages.

Held Under the Patronage of H.E Noura Bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, President of Zayed University, the conference aims to serve as a platform for practitioners, administrators and academics in the field of education to share, collaborate and explore innovative teaching approaches.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Reyadh Al Mehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, said: “The high importance placed on education in the UAE is guided by His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s Legacy of establishing formal education during the last century and by his belief that, and I quote: “The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education.”
He further added: “The system ensures training teachers on educational skills and providing them with a deeper knowledge and understanding about topics covered in the curricula. It also unifies the standard of selecting teaching methods adopted in classrooms, and unifying criteria for measuring educational outputs.”

For his Part Prof. Henri Awit, Director General – Arab Thought Foundation, said that the methods of education that provide ready-made solutions can no longer enable students to confront and overcome them. “The transition from the era of education to the era of learning is a fundamental change in the educational process, which includes the teacher and the student,” he said.

Educators must change their traditional ways of teaching, their new roles evolve as facilitators, promoters, guiders, being partners. And consequently, learner shift from just being information recipients, they must be looked upon as partners in research and discovery. They are responsible for acquiring the necessary skills that qualify them to gather required information across various websites and social media platforms. They must learn to communicate, analyze and criticize different platforms, and this in turn develops their capability to find solutions current and forthcoming glitches with unusual solution solving mechanisms that we’ve not been accustomed to yet.

Dr. Rana Tamim, Dean of the College of Education – Zayed University, said, “Our wise leadership are following the footsteps of Sheikh Zayed, focusing on schools, education and children.” “Today’s rapid technological progress urges us keep pace. This is why teachers meet toady and tomorrow to share their expertise, and educators share their research, evidences, and best practices, enabling henceforth, us to help our students reach their maximum potentials and move forward in their educational journey. Then allow our graduates to keep up with the fast changing environment within the community and the UAE particularly.”

She further added that it is important to think ahead of time, which is the core value of this two-day conference. “Attendees gain best experiences from thought-provoking discussions and insightful information on how we can prepare for the future classrooms,” she said.

Dr. Hanada Taha, Arabic Language Professor at Zayed University and Director of Arabi21 Project, awarded during the opening ceremony, winners of the ‘When the Young Generation Speaks’ writing competition.

She said, "The award, which is dedicated to Arabic literature, motivates youngsters to write high-quality stories. We measure their performance based on writing skills, storyline, drawing capability, and publishing.”

It’s worth mentioning that the conference aims for closer partnerships with affiliated Zayed University’s college of education schools to build stronger partnerships for the advancement of K-12 education in the UAE.

Several faculty workshops were compromised during the event, highlighting assorted topics by seasoned educators from the region. The first day highlighted topics in Teacher Practices that Promote Reading Achievement presented by Jessica Maluch, Critical Review of the Current Literature on Augmented Reality and Mobile Learning in English Language Teaching by Abdallah Elmahi. Setting the Scene for Better Learning by Marielle Patronis. Transforming Classroom Displays to Enhance Visual Learning by Hina Shaikh, Motivation Triggers in The Classroom: Case Study in the UAE, by Maryam AlHersi. Using Digital Tools to Support Youth Decision Making by Nesma Farahat.

The second day, March 28, will include topics in Practical Leadership Strategies
Presented by Zeina Hojeij & Sandra Baroudi, Maximizing Teaching Opportunities: the Power of Mindfulness for Students and Educators by Hiromi Willingham, and Planning for Students with