2020-11-11

‘Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning’ launched to advance global digital education systems

As part the Digital School, the first-of-its-kind ‘Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning’ was launched to unify efforts to advance the future digital education systems in the region and the world.

Bringing together education experts and specialists from global leading universities, the Alliance will support and develop the Digital School’s implementation across different stages to facilitate education to students across the world, particularly students living in refugee camps and marginalized communities.

As part of a wider scope, the Alliance will work on implementing modern digital learning practices and setting future digital education frameworks in the region. It will launch innovative and pioneering initiatives and projects to introduce new digital education practices that equips students with the 21st century skills necessary in the modern workplace. As part of its wider vision, the Alliance will bridge the modern skills gap, ensuring equal opportunities to education to students across the world, regardless of their circumstances.

Through developing pilot projects, the Alliance will also establish an education system based on practical applications and developing pilot projects that cater to different needs in the region and the world.

Members of the Alliance’s advisory council include education and tech experts from global leading universities like Stanford University, Harvard University, New York University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as representatives from non-profit organizations like mEducation Alliance.

The advisors will contribute to establishing the foundation, content, vision, goals and strategies of the Digital School.

The Digital School was developed after extensive research and review of leading global learning experiences on how to implement a comprehensive advanced digital learning ecosystem and drive new educational technologies.

Advisory Council members

The alliance’s advisory council include Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University; Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE); Dr. Eric Klopfer, Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT; Dr. Jan L. Plass, Paulette Goddard Professor of Digital Media and Learning Sciences at New York University, and Founding Director of the CREATE Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technology in Education (NYU); and Anthony Bloome, Executive Director and Founder of mEducation Alliance.

The Alliance is supported by local humanitarian organizations like Dubai Cares and the Emirates Red Crescent, as well as experts from tech and telecommunications companies.

Global Contribution

Of cultivating partnerships with Ministries of Education and digital platform and content providers, Advisory Council member Anthony Bloome, Executive Director and Founder of mEducation Alliance, said “the Alliance’s impact can be enormous in delivering first-class educational experiences to those learners with the greatest needs — and facing an increasingly competitive educational landscape and economic marketplace.”

“We are excited to work alongside the staff and other advisors of these critically important initiatives to support the delivery of high-quality educational instruction and content to learners around the world, but particularly those who have been marginalized in lower-resource context.”

Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at HGSE, noted that digital education will help bridge the gap between the current educational system and the modern labor force, especially as COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the rising challenges in the learning ecosystem.

“Typical classrooms at every level are now dominated by one-size-fits-all presentational instruction appropriate for an industrial society, but not the emerging global digital economy. In the shadow of the pandemic, the Alliance is seizing the opportunity to develop and scale learning environments based on advanced technologies and modern knowledge about the mind and brain.”

He added that in an ever-changing world, “Students need strengths in resilience, perseverance, self-regulation, collaboration, conflict resolution, and forging opportunity from turbulence and uncertainty.” The Alliance, he said, is designing an educational model that will develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions to face the next half century.

Of the Digital School impact, Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, said “The Digital School is a visionary and ambitious project in the field of education that will bring real change to lives across the region and indeed the world. It is fitting that this project is coming out of Dubai”

Dr. Jan L. Plass, Paulette Goddard Professor of Digital Media and Learning Sciences at New York University, said, “I am incredibly excited to be part of this initiative to help bring equity to education, especially for refugee children, by advancing the use of digital media to provide personalized learning opportunities for all.

Dr. Eric Klopfer, Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT said, “Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning and the Digital School provide a unique opportunity to impact learners today, as well as advance our understanding of how we can better people young people for the complexities of the 21st century. This initiative provides a hub for innovation that can benefit today’s learners through the application of the learning sciences. At the same time, it provides a foundation for new research-backed innovations that can create a brighter future for all learners. This is a truly exciting confluence of experts, opportunities, and impact.”

The Digital School

Powered by advanced learning technologies, the Digital School was launched to offer a flexible and personalized approach to knowledge and skill development. It will provide equal access to high quality education to students all over the world, particularly targeting refugees and disadvantaged students in the Arab world.

Through its pioneering technologies, the School will lay the foundations and standards for digital education in the region and the world. It will offer an agile and accredited curriculum to students at various educational levels, nurturing skills beyond academic competency to self-learning skills, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and innovation.