Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning

The “Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning” was formed to support and develop The Digital School’s systems across different stages.

The first-of-its-kind alliance centers on ways to support and advance the future digital education systems globally.

Goals of the Alliance

1
Supporting The Digital School in launching the latest educational initiatives
2
Developing modern digital learning practices
3
Setting future digital education frameworks
4
Attracting leading educational specialists and experts, as well as academic institutions and humanitarian organizations to map out new digital education practices and launch supporting initiatives and projects
5
Establishing an education system based on practical applications and developing pilot projects that cater to different needs in the region and the world.

Advisory Board

Professor Chris Dede

Professor Chris Dede

Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE)

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE). His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. From 2001-2004, he was Chair of the HGSE department of Teaching and Learning. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. From 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Expert at NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources.
Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. In 2013, he co-convened a NSF workshop on new technology-based models of postsecondary learning; and in 2015 he led two NSF workshops on data-intensive research in the sciences, engineering, and education.
Chris also was an International Steering Committee member for the Second International Technology in Education Study, and he has participated in technology-based learning initiatives for various Global South countries. He is currently a member of the OECD 2030 Scientific Committee.
His co-edited books include: Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement; Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student; Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education; Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education; Learning engineering for online education: Theoretical contexts and design-based examples; and The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy

Professor Chris Dede
Dr. Rebecca Winthrop

Dr. Rebecca Winthrop

Senior Fellow and co-director of the Center for Universal Education.

Rebecca Winthrop is a senior fellow and co-director of the Center for Universal Education. Her research focuses on education globally, with special attention to the skills young people need to thrive in work, life, and as constructive citizens.
Dr. Winthrop works to promote quality and relevant education, including exploring how education innovations can leapfrog progress, particularly for the most marginalized children and youth. She advises governments, international institutions, foundations, civil society organizations, and corporations on education issues. She currently serves as a board member and advisor for a number of global education organizations and lectures at Georgetown University.
She has served as the chair of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative’s Technical Advisory Group helping to frame an education vision that focuses on access, quality, and global citizenship. With UNESCO Institute of Statistics she co-led the Learning Metrics Task Force that involved inputs from education professionals in over 100 countries to identify how to measure what matters in education systems. She has been a member of numerous other global education initiatives including the G-20 Education Task Force, the Mastercard Foundation’s Youth Learning Advisory Committee, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on education, and an education advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Dr. Winthrop spent 15 years working in the field of education for displaced and migrant communities. As the head of education for the International Rescue Committee, she was responsible for the organization’s education work in over 20 conflict-affected countries. She has been actively involved in developing the evidence base around and global attention to education in the developing world. In her prior position, she helped develop global policy for the education in emergencies field, especially around the development of global minimum standards for education in contexts of armed conflict and state fragility.
Winthrop has authored numerous articles, reports, books, and book chapters, including most recently Leapfrogging Inequality: Remaking Education to Help Young People Thrive with Adam Barton and Eileen McGivney. Other recent publications include: Millions Learning: Scaling Up Quality Education in Developing Countries with Jenny Perlman Robinson; What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment with Gene B. Sperling; and Why Wait 100 Years? Bridging the gap in global education with Eileen McGivney. Her work has been featured in the BBC, Newsweek, Time Ideas, NPR, Economist, and The Financial Times, among others.
She was educated at Columbia University, Teachers College (Ph.D., 2008), Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (MA, 2001), and Swarthmore College, (BA, 1996).

Anthony Bloome

Anthony Bloome

Founder and Executive Director of the Mobiles for Education (mEducation) Alliance

Anthony Bloome is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mobiles for Education (mEducation) Alliance. The mEducation Alliance is a non-governmental organization focused on the evidence-driven and sustainable role of technology in education to advance quality educational outcomes, particularly in lower-resource, developing country contexts. Initially formed within USAID in 2010, the mEducation Alliance is a unique, multi-stakeholder convening, catalyzing and communications platform for government and donor policymakers, other investors, researchers, and practitioners to work together.
From 2009 to 2020, he was USAID's Senior Education Technology Specialist where he provided technical advice to HQ, Missions and counterpart agencies regarding the appropriate uses of technology to support quality educational outcomes in developing countries. While at USAID, he was also the founder and campaign director for the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development, a global competition to catalyze tech-based innovations to advance early grade reading.

Prior to joining USAID, he was Peace Corps' technology for development specialist for three years and a distance education specialist for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and Zimbabwe for eleven years where he focused on technology for health, education, and youth and workforce development among other topic areas. He has a M.A. in Telecommunications from George Mason University and a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA.

Anthony Bloome
Dr. Eric Klopfer

Dr. Eric Klopfer

Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Dr. Eric Klopfer is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. He is also the Head of Comparative Media Studies and Writing, and co-faculty advisor for MIT’s J-WEL World Education Lab. His research has focused on technology and pedagogy for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and systems. His work uses a Design Based Research methodology to span the educational technology and learning ecosystem, from design and development of new technologies to professional development and implementation. Much of Klopfer's research has focused on computer games and simulations for building understanding of STEM as well as connecting programming to topics of student and teacher interest . He is the co-author of the books, “Adventures in Modeling”, “The More We Know, and “Resonant Games”, as well as author of “Augmented Learning.” His lab has produced software (from casual mobile games to the MMO The Radix Endeavor) and platforms (including StarLogo Nova and Taleblazer) used by millions of people, as well as online courses that have reached hundreds of thousands. Klopfer is also the co-founder and past President of the non-profit Learning Games Network.

Professor Pasi Sahlberg

Professor Pasi Sahlberg

Professor of Education Policy at the University of New South Wales

Pasi Sahlberg is a Professor of Education Policy at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney. He is former mathematics and science teacher, teacher-educator, policy advisor and director general at the Ministry of Education in Finland. He has held senior education specialist posts in World Bank (2002-2007) and European Commission (2007-2010) analysing and supporting education systems around the world. He was a visiting professor at Harvard University (2014-2016) and has been a visiting scholar at National Institute of Education in Singapore, Arizona State University and King’s College London. He has served as an advisor to number of governments, including Finland, Sweden, Scotland and Malta, and as an education advisor to George Soros (Open Society Foundation). He currently leads research projects on learning through play, growing up digital, and equity in education at the UNSW’s Gonski Institute. He is a winner of several awards, including the Education Award in Finland (2012), the Grawemeyer Award in the U.S. (2013) , Robert Owen Award in Scotland (2014), and Lego Prize in Denmark (2016). He was honoured the First Class Knight of the White Rose of Finland by the President of Finland in 2013. Pasi has given more than 500 keynote presentations around the world and published over 150 academic and professional articles and book chapters about education. He is adjunct professor of education at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu. His latest book are “Let the Children Play: How more play will save our schools and help children thrive” with William Doyle (Oxford University Press, 2019), “Finnish Lessons 3.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland (Teachers College Press, 2021), and “In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish way to world class schools” with Tim Walker (Norton, 2021). He lives with his family in Sydney, Australia.

Professor Pasi Sahlberg
Dr. Robert Jenkins

Dr. Robert Jenkins

Global Director of Education at UNICEF

Robert Jenkins, Ed.D, Global Director, Education, UNICEF Headquarters, joined UNICEF in 1995. He brings over 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian programming in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Jenkins served as the UNICEF Representative, Jordan, from 2014-2019, and Deputy Director, Division of Policy and Strategy in UNICEF Headquarters from 2009-2014. From 1995-2009, Robert Jenkins served with UNICEF in programme and management positions in Uganda (1995-1997), Bangladesh (1997-2000), Myanmar (2000-2003), India (2003-2006) and Mozambique (2006-2009). Mr. Jenkins earned a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Bath and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. Mr. Jenkins is married and has a daughter and a son. He is a Canadian citizen.

Dr. Kevin Frey

Dr. Kevin Frey

CEO of Generation Unlimited at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Kevin has diverse private and public sector experience –as both an entrepreneur and an executive—spanning the education, technology, human capital and international development spheres.
Prior to joining Generation Unlimited as CEO in 2021, Kevin was the CEO of Right To Play—an international development organization that works across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia to protect, educate, and empower children and youth.
Before Right To Play, Kevin spent 15 years in the international and higher education sectors, most recently leading Canada’s top-ranked MBA program at the University of Toronto as the Managing Director.
At the age of 27, Kevin founded his first company, TeachAway, an international job-matching platform for teachers. Driven by a vision to ensure that every student experiences the power of a great teacher, Kevin went on to co-found online tutoring platform Skooli, and online teacher training and certification company Klassroom.
Kevin’s academic background includes an Honours Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, where he majored in Philosophy and History; an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and a Doctorate in Business Administration from IE Business School, where his research focused on entrepreneurship.

Dr. Kevin Frey
Engineer Mohammed Gheyath

Engineer Mohammed Gheyath

Director General for Government Competencies Development at the Department of Government Support in Abu Dhabi

Eng. Mohammed Gheyath, with 24 years of professional experience, the accomplished Emirati executive specializes in Human Capital development, organizational development, business function set-up, and technology management and development.
He is currently, the Director General for Government competencies development under Department of Government Support in Abu Dhabi. He is acting Director General for Abu Dhabi School of Government responsible for the upskilling and development of all Abu Dhabi’s Government workforce, youth and talents.
Between 2019 and 2021 Eng. Mohammed served as the Executive Director of Cybersecurity Operations at Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA), where he spearheaded ADDA’s efforts to adopt new technologies and initiatives to further enhance the cybersecurity infrastructure and cyber ecosystem in the government of Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining ADDA, Eng. Mohammed was responsible for setting up new functions in the TRA such as Technology Development Affairs, UAE’s First Internet Domain Name Administration, the ICT and Internet policies and regulations, and the Information Security Regulatory Affairs including UAE’s first Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT).
In 2012, Mohammed was appointed as the Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program, a world-class innovative education system that used the latest educational technologies and advanced pedagogies in the industry. Under his leadership, Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program launched the world’s first Smart School Transformation Framework that was implemented in over 250 schools across the UAE to help them transform into smart institutions.
Mohammed held several prestigious positions in various leading regional and international organizations. Among these were Vice Chairman of the Telecommunication Standardisation Advisory Group (TSAG) in ITU/UN; Chairman, the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly in Dubai, which attracted 900 delegates from more than 120 countries; Chairman of the National Committee responsible for the establishment of the UAE National infrastructure Operator, the third operator in the UAE; Head of the UAE delegation in the ICANN Government Advisory Group (GAG); and Technical Lead in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the US.
Mohammed is also the CEO of GINCO Investments – the venture capital and family office division of GINCO Group, a UAE-based family-owned conglomerate founded in 1975. Focused on the support and investment in startups and entrepreneurs, between 2017- 2019 Mohammed launched the first Global startup accelerator program in Dubai to be fully invested, managed and run by an Emirati Business office in partnership with TechStars. The investment portfolio is spread over several industries with focus on educational technologies and programs.

Hatem Sallam

Hatem Sallam

Educational technology expert

As a partner and Chief Growth Officer in Almentor.net, Hatem is driving the growth strategy for this online platform that has more than 2.2 million visitors and 3 million visits during 2018 which was its first year of operation. Currently almost tripled in terms of visits. 1M learning experiences were achieved on the platform and the company is a well-established video-based learning platform serving the Arabs needs around the globe with more than 10,000 high quality videos now.
Before Almentor.net Hatem held many executive positions like the Chief Technology and Transformation Officer for the largest K-12 school chain globally GEMS Education. With many transformation projects in the K-12 learning business model. As well as the CEO for ITWORX Education where the company reached to 6 million learners on its platform. Hatem held management and technical position for Microsoft, IBM for almost 9 years in Egypt and Gulf Area.
Hatem’s work in the Education and learning spaces impacted some deprived groups like Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey as well as low-income families in east Africa. Hatem helped many nation-wide education transformation projects (e.g. BSF in UK in Durham and Kent, National projects for Education in Qatar, UAE, KSA, and Egypt).
Hatem’s sharply focusing on the opportunities to nurture people’s capabilities. The main assumption here is that freedom takes productivity and innovation to the highest level possible. Learning accountability needs to be matched with opening the possibilities and lowering the barriers for learners.
Hatem’s most important role is inspiring his three boys (22,18,7 years old) to be the best versions of themselves and find true meaning for life.

Hatem Sallam
Maysa Jalbout

Maysa Jalbout

Special Advisor to the President of Arizona State University on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Maysa Jalbout joins the Advisory Council of the Digital School in her capacity as a Special Advisor to the President of ASU on the UN SDGs. She is a recognized leader in international development and philanthropy. She is deeply committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in the world through her expertise in education, jobs and technology. A true industry veteran, Jalbout has over 25 years of experience in building effective organizations, initiatives and innovative partnerships in Canada, the Middle East and in developing nations.
She was the founding CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education - a landmark philanthropic initiative based in Dubai with a budget of $1 billion. Within four years, Maysa built the foundation into one of the most respected institutions in the region and abroad, having established tens of partnerships, multiple programs and reached tens of thousands of youth from 18 countries.
Forbes recognized Maysa as one of the 100 most powerful businesswomen in the Arab world in 2016-2018. Her Alma mater, McMaster University, recognized her as Distinguished Alumni for the Arts in 2018.
She has held senior roles including as the founding CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation and trusted advisor to global leaders, philanthropists, companies and aid agencies.
Jalbout accredits her early career years in Canada - working on global education, development and youth employment - with preparing her for the challenging issues and organizations she manages today. She served at Global Affairs Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada.
In her capacity as Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, Jalbout has produced visible research and thought leadership strategies in education.
As a former refugee, Jalbout is passionate about supporting refugees. She has authored a series of reports on refugee education, developed national strategies endorsed by global leaders and designed high impact initiatives funded by philanthropists.
She currently serves on the board of Generation – You Employed and Alfanar Venture Philanthropy. She is also an Advisor MIT Open Learning, the EdTech Hub and the Global Business Coalition for Education, and a mentor to female social entrepreneurs.

Alliance Members come from