Educators in MENA struggle to implement technology in the classroom; Microsoft

Microsoft's study highlights the challenges educations face in creating a digital classroom

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Educators in MENA struggle to implement technology in the classroom; Microsoft Educators who participated in the study highlighted that having access to mobile devices and creating virtual classrooms will benefit the classroom environment.
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  September 26, 2016

Research by Microsoft has highlighted that whilst educators are embracing the digital classroom, challenges in implementation still remain.

The study revealed that only 32% of educations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are implementing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and digital literacy as part of their curriculum. 

Deemah Al-Yahya, Director of Developer Experience Group at Microsoft Arabia, said: "With over half the survey respondents indicating a lack of budget and training to optimise the use of technology in the classroom, there is a definite need to improve integration of technology in classrooms in the region to meet the needs of the 21st century labour market.

"As we bring technology into the classroom, we need to be careful that we use it to complement, rather than replace, traditional teaching practices, and ensure that it is approached holistically. For example, when we implemented the Office Student Advantage program, it was done hand-in-hand with teacher training, to incorporate it into their usual methods to enhance their lessons rather than replace them," added Al-Yahya.  

Furthermore, 52% revealed they do not have adequate access to training to use the technology and a further 40% cites a lack of integration of technology in the curriculum. Educators who participated in the study highlighted that having access to mobile devices and creating virtual classrooms will benefit the classroom environment.

Another challenge is that only 19% of parents so not support technology in the classrooms. Samir Noman, President of Microsoft Arabia, said: "This points to the fact that the buy-in is there with families and educators alike willing to implement and adopt e-learning to transform classrooms, to enable students and educators to achieve more."

"We're continuing our investment in education, using our resources and expertise to overcome barriers that educators face by working hand in hand with policy makers, setting teachers up for success through training programs and much more, to achieve a common goal of supporting the economic growth of Africa and the Middle East," concluded Noman.

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