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Blackboard and HCT to create edtech centre of excellence

Blackboard Centre of Excellence will develop education technology and support teachers

Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi (l) and Bill Bauhaus mark the MoU signing.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi (l) and Bill Bauhaus mark the MoU signing.

Education software provider Blackboard has signed an agreement with the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to establish the first Blackboard Center of Excellence in the Middle East.

The centre will support teachers in the use and development of educational technology - EdTech.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, Vice Chancellor of HCT, Dr Jihad Mohaidat, Executive Dean - Ed Tech of HCT and Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President of Blackboard.

The main goal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to create a dedicated facility to help teachers improve their knowledge of edtech solutions and to develop a community of skilled professionals who can become future leaders in digital education.

The Center of Excellence will leverage Blackboard's eTeacher certification program to train instructors on the fundamentals of digital teaching and learning, on how to implement a digital platform and create outstanding online courses.

"This agreement with Blackboard is an important milestone," said Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi. "Our organisations have been working closely for many years and this MOU will further strengthen our partnership and empower our educators and staff with the necessary knowledge and tools they need to be successful today and tomorrow. Eventually, this will also benefit our students, equipping them with much-required skills."

"A critical figure of this digital revolution is a competent, well-trained, and digitally fluent educator," said Robert Speed, Regional Vice President of Blackboard. "Institutions recognize that it is no longer acceptable to have only a handful of technologically capable instructors if they want to attract students and help them become more employable and successful. The Center of Excellence will empower educators with the right competencies to successfully use technology in their pedagogical approach."