Microsoft Global Education Forum kicks off in Dubai

Two day event looks at latest technological innovations within education sector

Tags: EducationMicrosoft CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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Microsoft Global Education Forum kicks off in Dubai Salcito: "They [today's youth] will not reach their full potential if the public and private sectors don't work together to create opportunities that make a real impact toward improving youth employability, entrepreneurship, education and digital inclusion."
By  Helen Gaskell Published  February 22, 2015

The annual Microsoft Global Education Forum has kicked off for the first time today in Dubai, bringing together education leaders, schools leaders, innovators and government officials from nearly 40 countries to discuss the latest technological innovations that will help to overcome the region's key educational challenges.

The event which will be held from 22 - 23 February, forms part of Microsoft's Global Event Series, designed to provide policy makers, school leaders and NGOs with an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in the education sector and share best practices for utilising newly available technologies.

"Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders and we are committed to helping them to achieve more throughout their lives. But they will not reach their full potential if the public and private sectors don't work together to create opportunities that make a real impact toward improving youth employability and entrepreneurship, education, digital inclusion in order to stir creativity and innovation," said Anthony Salcito, Microsoft vice president, worldwide education; UAE ambassador to UAE.

"Our commitment to the youth in the MEA region underpins many of our regional programmes, such as YouthSpark, which have the goal of improving access to technology, boosting skills and igniting innovation."

Delegates at the Dubai event will debate how to best drive improvements in the region's education systems by leveraging current industry trends in mobility, cloud access and learning analytics, showcasing technologies like Office365, OneNote and Azure.

In order for youth to overcome existing economic challenges and for countries to attain knowledge based economies, the overall mind set in the region needs to be changed to allow technology to be embraced fully as a catalyst for progress. Our economies have no future if the youth are not empowered with the right tools that can address current and future challenges. We appreciate Microsoft's initiatives for taking steps to facilitate these ground breaking changes," said His Excellency Marwan Ahmad Al Sawaleh, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Education.

A highlight of the two day conference will be the "Future Classroom", a joint initiative of Pearson, Microsoft and Steelcase. The interactive classroom will give delegates a glimpse into what the future of learning will look like, where physical learning spaces and technology advancements push new boundaries to achieve maximum student results.

The pop-up classroom will bring together the latest digital learning solutions from Pearson powered by Microsoft technology, with cutting-edge classroom design and furniture from Steelcase. Craig Wilson, Director Market Development of Steelcase Education said: "At Steelcase, we believe active learning occurs when pedagogy, technology and space are all carefully considered and integrated to help students succeed. The Future Classroom with Steelcase, Pearson and Microsoft is a great example of how these three can coexist. Effective learning spaces connect students and instructors with each other and content to support learning".

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