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UAEU Hosts the First Global Mobile Learning Congress 2012

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, and UAEU Chancellor, will address the opening of the First Global Mobile Learning Congress at UAEU, convened collaboratively by United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT):

Transformative Mobile Technologies – The Future of Learning Tuesday, September 25, 2012 United Arab Emirates University – Al Ain

Congress Overview

In an increasingly technology-centered world, where handheld devices are in daily use in every aspect of modern society, it is unsurprising that these tools are now heralding the new mobile learning, or m-learning “revolution”.

With access to vast amounts of information and content anytime and anywhere from around the world, by way of e-learning, or m-learning technologies there are endless opportunities for formal and informal teaching and learning, inside and outside the classroom. Moreover, m-learning allows students to work in groups, or independently, at their own pace to meet class or individual projects, whether they are in the classroom, at home or elsewhere.

The learning potentials of mobile devices are impressive and, in many instances, well-established: they can help address a number of pressing educational needs in new and cost effective ways. UNESCO report, 2012

In the UAE there is a strong desire to ameliorate the learning capabilities of national students in the higher education environment, so that ultimately graduates will succeed in today's global business and commercial environments. From this came the innovative vision to integrate mobile learning into the daily lives of these students - the current generation of Internet and social network savvy people.

In April 2012, the three Federal higher education institutions were set a challenge to embark on a historic initiative to move education into the mobile learning era by introducing iPad-based teaching and learning for entering Foundation Program students in September. The objective was to leverage the power of these m-learning devices to transform the classroom by bringing the world into the classroom and extending the classroom into the world.

It is envisaged that mobile learning will change some traditional concepts of teaching and learning, firmly aligning them with cutting-edge 21st century learning processes. Students will find new ways of learning that recognize their aptitude for mobile technologies, thus making their higher education experiences more effective, rewarding, hands-on and fun – and all at their fingertips.

M-learning will bring the world of knowledge and information to the students and break down the virtual walls of the classroom, allowing students to become the co-creators of their own learning environment through collaborations with their peers and faculty.

The body of evidence to support the efficacy, relevance and importance of an ‘anytime-anywhere’ or a ubiquitous learning environment, is growing day by day, showing that traditional methods of teaching and engaging students are being challenged by the use of technological devices. The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition found that educational institutions are facing a number of trends that are currently affecting teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education. “Institutions that embrace face-to-face/ online hybrid learning models have the potential to leverage the online skills learners have already developed independent of academia”, the reported stated.

Challenge-based learning and similar methods foster more active learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. As technologies such as tablets and smartphones now have proven applications in higher education institutions, educators are leveraging these tools, which students already use, to connect the curriculum with real life issues. NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition

This Congress will investigate the application of a variety of mobile learning technologies in and out of the classroom setting. Conference delegates will consider how new educational and technological methods and concepts for supporting formal and informal learning are being, and can be, implemented in their own settings.

About The Congress

This inaugural Congress is convened collaboratively by United Arab Emirates University, Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and will be hosted at the United Arab Emirates University – Al Ain IT College campus. It will be an intensive one-day congress on the impact and efficacy of mobile learning technologies in the higher education classrooms. In what is a first for the United Arab Emirates, educators, technologists and practitioners from the three Federal higher education institutions will discuss and share, in a collaborative format, critical initiatives and technological innovations. They will explore their impact on teaching and learning, and how best to address this “education revolution” to meet future educational needs. They will be joined by a number of senior international representatives from a variety of educational and technological industry partners, who will disseminate the latest industry news regarding m-learning and share product information and advances.

Congress Objectives

The Congress aims to examine the current and future impacts of mobile learning, and associated technologies and pedagogical resources in UAE higher education classrooms. It will assess how the implementation of cutting-edge mobile learning technologies will transform higher education in the UAE, as well as its efficacy in motivating and engaging students in their educational development.

Participants will investigate, evaluate and discuss 21st century skills needed to provide “anywhere, anytime” or ubiquitous access to education in order to ultimately empower students throughout their education. Other topics to be discussed will include:

  • The aims and objectives of mobile learning;
  • The need for faculty training
  • The challenges and opportunities provided by implementing mobile technologies
  • The pedagogy of using mobile technologies

Congress Benefits

This unique Congress will help participants to forge academic collaborations and networks while investigating mobile technology solutions designed to support student success through m-learning. Congress delegates will hear the latest developments in mobile or ubiquitous learning technologies currently being adopted at various education levels around the world. Delegates will be imbued with a realization of what can be achieved in the classroom through the use of mobile technological devices such as the iPad and smartphone.
Participants will have the opportunity to experience, evaluate and explore the vast opportunities currently available, as well as future resources, to inspire students through appropriate use of mobile technology in higher education.

Who Should Attend?

The Congress is open to faculty and management of the three UAE Federal higher education institutions, who are intrinsically involved in the Federal iPad initiative. Educators and trainers from high schools across the United Arab Emirates will also be invited to attend to learn how it can eventually apply to the entire UAE education system. Delegates will also be given the opportunity to network on a professional level with their peers and leaders in this fast-evolving world, sharing and discussing current developments in mobile learning technologies.

About The Ppresenters

John Couch – Vice President, Worldwide Education Apple, Inc, USA John Couch is Apple’s Vice President of Education and is responsible for driving Apple’s sales and marketing strategy in the education market. He has over 30-years’ experience as a computer scientist, executive and advocate for technology in education.
Directly prior to his current position at Apple, Mr. Couch was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DoubleTwist Inc, a leading provider of genomic information and bioinformatics analysis technologies, which made headlines as the first company to provide a comprehensive annotation of the human genome.
He began his professional career in 1972 as a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard, and held various software management positions at Hewlett-Packard. In 1978 he joined Apple as Director of New Products reporting to Steve Jobs. He was Apple’s first Vice President of Software and Vice President/General Manager for the Lisa division, Apple’s first GUI Computer.
In 1985, he turned his focus to education at the Santa Fe Christian School where he initiated a program that turned this debt-laden private school into one of the first examples of how the creative use of technology can revolutionize learning in the classroom. Under his leadership as Chairman of the Board, the school’s annual losses were annulled as the student body grew from 150 to 1000 while the school’s modest facilities were expanded to a new 17-acre site, offering a range of world-class resources, including a fiber optic network of Macintosh computers.
He holds a Bachelor degree in computer science and a Master’s degree in electrical engineering, both from the University of California at Berkeley where he was honored in 2000 as a Distinguished Alumnus. He is also the author of the science research associates textbook, Compiler Construction: Theory and Practice.

Dr. Ruben Puentedura – Founder and President, Hippasus, Western Massachusetts, USA Dr. Ruben Puentedura is the Founder and President of Hippasus, a consulting firm based in Western Massachusetts, USA which focuses on transformative applications of information technologies to education. He has implemented these approaches for over 25 years at a range of K-20 educational institutions, as well as health and arts organizations. He is the creator of the SAMR model for selecting, using, and evaluating technology in education, which currently guides the work of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, as well as projects in Vermont and Sweden. His current work explores new directions in mobile computing, digital storytelling, learning analytics, and educational gaming, focusing on applications in areas where they have not been traditionally employed.

Dr. Peter Scott – Director, Knowledge Media Institute Open University of United Kingdom
Professor Peter Scott is the Director of the Knowledge Media Institute (KMI) of the UK's Open University. KMI is a Research and Development Unit, which explores the future of learning. Before joining the Open University in 1995, he taught Psychology & Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield. From 2007-2010 he was elected founding President of the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning. From 2008-2012 he was the coordinator of STELLAR, the EU’s 7th Framework Network of Excellence in TEL. Dr. Scott’s research group in the institute prototypes the application of new technologies and media to learning. His current research interests range widely across knowledge and media research. In June 2008 he coordinated the launch of The Open University in iTunes U, which passed 50 Million international downloads in April 2012. Professor Scott has a BA & PhD in Psychology.

Ed Grier – Dean, School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Prior to being appointed Dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business in March 2010, Ed Grier spent 29 years as a top-level executive for Walt Disney Company, a $38 billion member of the Fortune 500. His work with Disney spanned the globe from Tokyo to Paris and he has served in numerous leadership roles that have given him the expertise necessary for successful company–and school–operations, including brand management, administration, finance and planning, marketing, and public relations, including as President of Disneyland Resort, an operation that comprises nearly $2 billion in annual revenue and has 20,000 employees.
He has held many appointments including Commissioner of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, member of the California Economic Recovery Task Force, and board member of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, CA. The Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County honored Grier with the Michael R. Jones Business Impact Award in August 2011. At VCU Mr. Grier also serves as a board member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Richmond Forum. He also serves as a trustee of Brandman University, Irvine, CA; part of the Chapman University System in California. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA and started his career as a CPA and auditor at Ernst and Young.

Dan Faulkner – Vice President, Product & Strategy, Nuance Communications, USA
Dan Faulkner has led core technology and marketing organizations during his tenure in the speech industry. Today he is responsible for the development, management and marketing of Nuance's enterprise speech solutions and strategy. A regular conference speaker, Mr. Faulkner has been immersed in the communications technology market for more than ten years, with firsthand experience in the North American and European markets. Mr. Faulkner has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Manchester, and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Processing from the University of Edinburgh.

David Baugh – Apple Distinguished Educator, USA
David Baugh is a primary trained teacher with classroom experience or teaching students aged 5 – 18 as a school ICT coordinator and as a Local Authority Advisor for Denbighshire where he had responsibility for all aspects of ICT and eLearning in 65 schools.
He is now an independent trainer, author and adviser of ICT, working for a wide range of organizations. He has been an Apple Distinguished Educator for 11 years and is an Apple Professional Development consultant. David works with schools and organizations that want to deploy and integrate iOS devices and Apple technology into learning. He has developed the Digital Creator Award which is a Level 1 and 2 qualification, equivalent to the ECDL/ICDL that allows students and teachers to get accreditation for the creative use of digital media.

Dr. Gurpreet Dhillon – Professor, School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Professor Gurpreet Dhillon is a Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University; the Executive Director of The Information Institute and an author and Information Security Expert.
He received his scholarly training at the London School of Economics, UK. He has lived and worked in England, Hong Kong, Portugal, India and the USA.
In his current role he is engaged in researching various aspects of information security. As an internationally acclaimed researcher, author and speaker he is credited with developing a socio-technical orientation for addressing information security problems. His work has been extended to address issues in anti-money laundering and technology-enabled crime. The output of his research has been used in large public and private sector organizations and in drafting various national security policies.
Professor Dhillon has authored seven books and over 100 research papers. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information System Security. His research has been featured in various academic and commercial publications and his expert comments have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, Business Week, Knowledge@Wharton and NBC News, National Public Radio, among others.

Mabs Khan – Regional Director (MENA) British Telecom (BT), UK Mabs Khan is BT Advise Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa and has over 17-years of experience in the telecommunications industry in a variety of strategic sales and management consulting roles.
He joined BT Advise in 2006 as a managing consultant, serving clients in the Middle East and Africa region. In 2008 he became Regional Director for Sub Saharan Africa, where he led the sales and delivery of several enterprise and wholesale transformations with the West African operations of two large multinational operators. He now leads BT Telconsult's MENA sales and delivery operations.
Prior to BT Advise Mr. Khan carried out technical sales roles in the wide area and local area network space for BT, mobility consultancy and sales management roles at O2/ Telefonica and then returned to BT to lead an outsourcing team, working in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence.
He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Aston University (UK) and is a qualified Chartered Engineer from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Dr. James Ashby, President and Chief of Psychometrics, CORE Edutech, USA
Dr. James Ashby is a leading innovator in research-based education designs for elementary, secondary, and higher education. He has served various high level posts in top public education systems that transformed effectively under his leadership.
Working closely with public school administrators, investors, and policymakers, he has created an evaluation theory that identifies systemic assessment practices and policies that act as barriers to student achievement. Dr. Ashby’s educational philosophy focuses on improving the cognitive development of every child, regardless of origin or ability.
He is the principal researcher that created ipGrowth, CORE ETL’s innovative adaptive formative growth measure and has served as an envoy in China for congresses on economy and education.
Recipient of the prestigious American Supervision and Curriculum Director’s Award for Administrator of the Year for his work in Math-Science curriculum implementation designs, he authored the innovative Technology Education Strategic Plan that initiated the effective implementation of advanced technologies into schools for many high achieving U.S. school systems.
Dr. Ashby holds advanced degrees in Mathematics, Educational Administration and Law, and Psychological Measurement. He is currently authoring a second thesis in the field of comparative international education.


First Global Mobile Learning Congress

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Congress Program