Taking place on Wednesday 26th of May, 10:15 GST / UAE, 09:15 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 technology has been integrated in higher education institutes. In this era of hybrid and distance learning, the impact of using technology on the learning process in higher education is far more important than at any time before. Join in to listen to a panel of extraordinary speakers from different institutions providing different perspectives into this topic.
Chairperson: Faisal Ali Al Balushi – Chairman of the Omani Society for Education Technology
Faisal Al Balushi is a Chairman of an EdTech nonprofit organization and he believes in harnessing the power of technology to make positive change and transform people’s lives. His vision is to inspire educational leaders, policymakers, organizations and individuals to efficiently use, utilize and integrate technology to improve the quality of education and so improve quality of life for all.
As an EdTech advocate, Faisal studies the effect of new emerging technologies on education in particular and society in general.
With 17 years of expertise in education technology, he has worked with Ministries, private organizations, community leaders and international partners to facilitate the digital transformation in teaching and learning, encourage innovation in classroom and promote equity and equality in education.
Faisal leads a cross-functional team to support the educational community in Oman including educational institutions, teachers, students and parents. He works with his team to introduce and manage national wide projects and initiatives to attain Oman’s 2040 vision and UN’s sustainable development Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all).
To list some of the endeavors, Faisal and his team successfully provided online training opportunities for over 27,000 learners on future digital skills. They also helped schools and universities to effectively deploy online learning platforms, build open educational content repository and apply AI based technologies to protect school students from cybercrimes.
To overcome the shortage of adequate Arabic training content in technology field, Faisal led a project with his team to launch one of the largest Arabic online training platforms in Middle East (www.nadrus.com).
Apart from working in the education marketplace, Faisal is presently cooperating with leading international technology businesses to scale technology literacy to untapped markets across the Middle East.
In his spare time, Faisal loves to invest in young talents, exceptional teachers, emerging EdTech leaders and startups by providing one-to-one mentoring and coaching.
Dr. Hussein Elmehdi - Dean Academic Support Services at the University of Sharjah, UAE
Dr. Hussein M Elmehdi is the Dean of Academic Support Services and the Acting Director of the Information Technology Center at the University of Sharjah. He is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Physics at the Department of Applied Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Elmehdi obtained his PhD in 2001 from the University of Manitoba, Canada in Biomedical Physics. In addition to his administrative roles at the University of Sharah, Dr. Elmehdi is very active in several research areas covering health & environmental physics, biomedical applications of ultrasound, environmental acoustics, and physics education. Dr. Elmehdi has over 50-refereed publications in high impact factor journals, well-known international conferences and book chapters as well as two registered patents. Dr. Elmehdi is leading several research projects and training programs in utilizing technological advances in LMS in all aspects of teaching and learning including instructional delivery, assessment and evaluation. Recently, Dr. Elemhdi is heading several committees at the University of Sharjah to ensure readiness of the University to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, which included readiness for distance learning as well as remote work. In addition, Dr. Elemhdi oversaw the implementation of online exams and supporting e-proctoring systems. For his achievements, Dr. Elemhdi has received numerous awards and recognitions.
Ian McNaugh - Director of Teaching and Learning at the National University of Sciences and Technology, Oman
Ian McNaught has a 17 year career in higher education management and learning technology leadership. Originally from the UK, he has spent the past 10 years working in Muscat, Oman for Majan University College (As Director of E-learning then Associate Dean for Planning & Resources) and now as Director of Teaching & Learning at the National University of Science and Technology. Ian specialises in bridging the gaps between technology, pedagogy and university management, enabling exceptional learning experiences underpinned by appropriate technology and supported by robust yet permissive governance.
Mohamed Abdel Aal - Director of Digital Experience & Innovation, “KAUST Smart” at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
Mohamed Abdel-Aal is a founding member of King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) where he joined the institution during its construction phase in 2008. He is responsible for managing the Digital Experience and Innovation & the “KAUST Smart” program with a primary focus on leveraging technologies, processes, and people to create a "smart" digital experience across the university and city of KAUST. Mohamed had previously managed the University’s IT infrastructure and research computing including systems, servers, storage, data center facilities, HPC clusters, and an extensive network that spans the sprawling community and housing facilities. Mohamed oversees strategic digital transformation plans and initiatives including partnerships and collaborations with leading industry players to utilize KAUST’s unique setting as a launch pad and a living lab for pilots and creative concepts.
In his twelve years tenure at KAUST, Mohamed established the IT infrastructure from the ground up and managed the delivery and installation of the university’s two supercomputers Shaheen I and Shaheen II. Prior to joining KAUST, Mohamed worked for Intel Corporation in a variety of leadership roles including professional services consulting, project management, solutions architecture, and development of innovation centers. Mohamed holds an MBA and a MS degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a BS degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).
Rana Tamim - Dean at College of Education & Professor of Educational Technology at Zayed University, UAE
Dr. Tamim is a Professor of Educational Technology and Dean of the College of Education at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Tamim has more than 20 years of experience including graduate and undergraduate university instruction and supervision; adult in-service training, and K-12 teaching and coordination in different countries including Canada, Lebanon, UAE, and KSA. She has a rich educational leadership experience in different institutions and at different academic levels with extensive skills in national and international program accreditation. Dr. Tamim has an established publication record in top tier peer reviewed journals with a growing outreach as reflected by her more than 5,600 google scholar citations. Her research interests and expertise focus on knowledge synthesis through systematic reviews for the purpose of improving educational practice; the impact and role played by computer technology in facilitating learning; appropriate pedagogical approaches to the integration of technology in the design of learning environments based on student-centered principles; and the impact of pre-service and in-service training on teachers’ attitudes toward technology integration.
Click here to view the full conference programme for the event.