Taking place on Wednesday 26th of May, 11:15 GST / UAE, 10:15 AST / Saudi Arabia, as part of the Victorian EdTech Summit, this session will feature leaders in education from schools in the GCC region who will give their views on how EdTech has helped their schools overcome challenges during the pandemic with regards to improving digital infrastructure, the switch to online/hybrid learning, the opportunities that it offers in terms of enhancing flexibility in teaching and the curriculum, and how we can continue to utilise technology in our classrooms going forward as many schools return to a sense of normality.
Meet the speakers for this panel discussion:
Chairperson: Janecke Aarnaes, Director, Universal American School, Dubai
Janecke Aarnaes is a global citizen and an international educator with more than 25 years of experience in teaching and leadership. Janecke, newly appointed Director at Universal American School of Dubai, an IB World School and a leading American international school in the region, came to Dubai in 2017 to set up and be the Founding Head of Dwight School DubaI, also an IB World School with a strong American legacy. Prior to that she held the position as Head of School at Oslo International School (OIS) in Norway, also a cutting-edge private K-12 co-ed IB World School. Janecke has held numerous leadership roles, including seven years as Head of School at Sonans Oslo, a strategic project role as Business Development Manager at the Scandinavian School of Brussels (SSB), where she also served on the Board of Governors. She was also an Officer to the College of the EFTA Surveillance Authority in Belgium, a judicial inter-governmental institution in Brussels tasked with monitoring implementation of EU legislation. Her experience furthermore includes stints with private educational start-ups, such as the Sonans Privatgymnas, a Norwegian upper secondary school for adults, where she was the Founding Director, and for performing a demerger at SSB that resulted in the founding of the Norwegian School of Brussels (DNSB). Janecke is also a respected board member of the ECIS, the Educational Collaborative for International Schools. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Leading Innovation and Change from York St. John’s University in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology, Political Geography and French from the University of Oslo in Norway. Furthermore, she has studied international relations in Paris and loves languages. She is fluent in English, French and Norwegian and can additionally communicate in Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Italian and German.
Eesa Christopher McKenzie, Vice Principal, Alforsan International School, Saudi Arabia
I am an international education leader focused on academic & policy development. I enjoy working with big data to achieve big results through monitoring and refining carefully crafted policies. Currently, I am pursuing a Doctors In Education from the University of Bath whilst acting as the Vice Principal at Alforsan International school (Grades 4 to 12).
Kai Vacher, Principal, British School Muscat, Oman
Following 25 years as a teacher and school leader in the UK state sector, I was appointed Principal of British School Muscat in 2011. I continue to be inspired by my students, colleagues and our community. I am incredibly proud of what we collectively have achieved in recent years including: ‘Outstanding in all categories’ British Schools Overseas inspection International School of the Year - for our intern programme British International School of the Year - for our learning ethos High Performance Learning World Class School Award World Economic Forum School of the Future - for our innovative curriculum COBIS Training School - growing excellence in teaching and leadership Despite considerable challenges facing schools globally, I am excited by the accelerated changes taking place within the international schools sector and the possibilities these offer young people all over the world. We will continue to focus on excellence and innovation and ensuring that our students are best for the world.
Salsabeel Samy, E-learning specialist at Assafwah School
Salsabil Sami worked as an Arabic teacher for ten years, then leader for development and scientific research team at her school for 4 years .. then e-learning expert . Salsabil relies in her work on the necessity of developing the teacher's scientific research skills and using the results of those research to provide and rich distance learning experience. She has a master's degree in curricula and methods of teaching in Arabic language, as well as a diploma in curriculum design... Sasabil is a traveler, she wants to know more about peoples' cultures and enriches the teaching and learning experience with her adventures.
Sandra Ospina, Assistant Principal, Data and Analysis, Misk Schools Riyadh
Sandra Ospina is Assistant Principal Data and Analysis at Misk Schools in Riyadh. With a background in science education, she is currently doing a Master's in International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Sandra has over a decade of experience teaching from nursery to college freshman. Technology has always been an essential tool in her teaching. She is an early adopter of technologies at any organization she works with. Sandra's top interests in education include Global education, STEAM, lifelong learning, neuroscience of learning, data, and the personalization of learning. For the last seven years, she has been working in the Middle East and is inspired by the rapid and positive changes she has seen in the educational sector in the region. She is excited to be part of that change as a leader and educator.
Click here to view the full conference programme for the event.