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Update – Dubai Education Conferences

I was delighted to attend in the last few weeks two extremely interesting conferences, both of them hosted in Dubai, my home city. The first was the Iraq Education and Technology Summit, which ran from 23-24 February at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

This conference brought together a very interesting group of senior people from the Iraqi Government, NGOs and the private sector.  Among the speakers was H.E. Ali Al-Adeeb, Iraq’s Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research (MoHESR) and Mr Ali Musa’ad Al-Ibrahimi, Iraq’s Deputy Minister of Education.

The background of the summit was the fact that Iraq’s Parliament is in the process of passing a new Infrastructure Law, which will become a key component of Iraqi Government strategy. The summit aimed therefore to establish and strengthen relationships between the Iraq Government and leading international organisations which can help accelerate Iraq’s development in technology, training and management skills.

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Apprenticeships Fill the Skills Gap in the UK

Apprenticeship programs can be an effective way to employ new IT talent as well as train and develop current IT staff with relevant skills for business success. For most companies, improving business processes at all levels, from manufacturing to sales, is contingent on efficient implementation of technology. Possessing an innovative, well-trained IT staff can become a source of competitive advantage.

Check out this short video about how apprenticeship programs can help develop the necessary IT talent required by companies today and into the future.

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Internationalising Higher Education – Key Learnings from the Going Global Summit 2013

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Going Global Delegates at Cisco campus in Dubai

After a very successful Going Global summit, the dust from the dunes of the Dubai dessert has finally settled.  About 1,200 education, industry and government leaders from all over the world joined the sessions at the Dubai’s World Trade Center to reflect on the internationalization of higher education and its impact on the development of 21st century nations. As highlighted in Michael Stevenson’s blog, Cisco had a significant presence as a Gold Sponsor of the summit.

 Firstly, On Monday, March 4,we had the privilege of hosting about 40 delegates from 19 countries at our Cisco campus in Dubai and guide them through our vision for education transformation enabled by technology.

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Incredible Outcomes in Education from New Technologies

StudentssCisco’s Virtual Forum for Education Leaders is this Tuesday 3/19. It will be an exciting virtual Forum with information about important trends that are happening for both K-12 and Higher Ed. Of particular interest for both Academic and IT leaders is how technology is supporting and increasing learning outcomes.

Great applications like on-line learning, flipped classrooms, BYOD, and lecture capture are all being implemented by our schools and universities and delivering great success. They are helping us execute pedagogical changes that provide for individualized learning, classroom collaboration and helping us reach new markets in Higher Ed. These new technologies are even positively impacting the business and administrative areas at our schools and universities.

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Online Learning and MOOCs – passing fads or major game changers?

It is twenty years since Harvard moved into online learning, quickly followed by Rice, MIT – and the Open University. So it is worth asking what is new about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)? I think two things are new: First, the scale of the disruption: free learning, for hundreds of thousands of individuals, most of them outside the formal university system. Coursera claims to have 2.4 million students registered to their 200 online courses; these are pretty impressive numbers achieved in a relatively short period of time. Second, the nature of the learning experience: increasingly collaborative, and even peer-led.

But as a driver of real transformation, the impact of MOOCS has been limited, absent a viable business model. And specifically, absent a way in which providers can offer some level of teaching experience, that’s valuable and therefore chargeable to the learner. However, two initiatives we’re familiar with at Cisco suggest this sort of model is now starting to emerge.

The first initiative is the University Of The People. A global university, with 1500 students, remarkably from 135 countries. This is online peer-learning – chat-room technology – providing qualifications in business and technology at just $50 a course. A very affordable model offering mentoring of substantial value from volunteer faculty around the world.

The second initiative is the latest move by Udacity. Udacity as we know has 750000 students in all, 150000 registered to one course, Artificial Intelligence, alone. But as Sebastian Thrun recognizes, Udacity has been looking for a business model until the announcement last month of San Jose State Plus.

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