#195 – What Matters in Edtech Middle East & Africa
Welcome to the second episode of the GLOBAL edition of our What Matters in Edtech Series, our podcast collaboration with Bett. This podcast series is all about the things that matter in education, and how and when tech might help.
You can follow the conversation using #Edtechpod and #BettMEA. We would love to hear from you so send us a tweet if you enjoy this episode!
So, what’s in this episode?
In this episode, we focus on the Middle East and Africa; you’ll hear about the role of tech and community in supporting refugee learning, careers opportunities for girls, flexible working and teacher professional development, and truly hybrid online learning. We are in Dubai, Oman, Kenya and across the UAE. All of our guests had so much interesting work to share, so it’s one of our longer episodes. Use the time-stamps below to navigate direct to a certain section.
P.S. We’d love to share your thoughts! Please do send in your highlights in the comments below or record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe.
Sophie Bailey is the Founder and Presenter of The Edtech Podcast
Sophie is the founder of the iTunes new and noteworthy, The Edtech Podcast. The mission of The Edtech Podcast is to improve the dialogue between ‘ed’ and ‘tech’ for better innovation, through storytelling. The podcast is downloaded 2000+ times a week, from over 145 countries with the UK, US & Aus in the top 3. Sophie is a mentor and advisor within the edtech community. If she’s not interviewing a University Lecturer, School Leader, Ex-Angry Bird, NGO, or Investor about education innovation, she’s chasing her son around the park or binge-reading Homo Deus. Twitter: @podcastedtech
Sam Wheeler, Presenter at The Edtech Podcast | Twitter: @SamanthaRose83
Sam is a happy-go-lucky creative living in the mountains of the Brecon Beacons in Wales, currently working in various sectors UK wide including edtech, digital, start-ups, social impact, engagement, culture, sustainability – an educator, creator of opportunities and supporter of people. Sam thrives on enabling others, helping people be the best they can be and takes on roles in the hope of making a difference and having an impact in some way.
Aastha Das is a young passionate entrepreneur and a tech-savvy innovator. She has been described as creative, techno-optimist, a great leader, an amazing key-note speaker, a promoter of innovation, creativity, and generation and gender equality. She has won many laurels in several inter-schools competitions. Aastha is the founder and CEO at SHERO. Since 2015, Aastha has been aggressively finding solutions to provide girls with a safe and secure future. Aastha is also the co-founder of Innovative Odisha, a youth initiative to bring the 21st-century skills and innovation to youths living in Odisha.
Linah is a Global Teacher Prize 2020 Top 50 Finalist, BettMEA Advisory Board Member, Techwomen 2019 Fellow, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, YALI alumni, Annual EduTech Conference speaker and ICT integration coach. She has trained and coached over 250 teachers to teach effectively with technology. She is also passionate about empowering the marginalized girls to acquire quality education.
To inspire girls venture in STEM, she started the Girls in STEM club at her school, connected the girls to various mentors and two of the girls in her club emerged the best in the National Science and Engineering Fair and got a chance to participate in the Eskom International Fair in South Africa.
Kai Vacher, Principal, British School Muscat | Twitter: @PrincipalMuscat
Kai is an experienced school leader, a progressive and modernising thinker with an open and inclusive style. Since 2011 he has been Principal of British School Muscat, a thriving and innovative 3-18 British international school in Oman. Previously Kai worked in two outstanding schools in East and West Sussex in the UK. In his last role as a Director at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (now SSAT) based in London, he influenced over 500 schools in the United Kingdom and internationally. He has published highly regarded material on Personalising Learning and worked closely with several of the most respected academics in education including Professors. David Hargreaves, Dylan William and Yong Zhao.Kai is determined to establish BSM as a leading international school. BSM is currently piloting the innovative COBIS Programme for Student Leadership and has been an exemplar school in offering the COBIS Programme for Middle Leadership to over 60 delegates over the last two years.
Dr Sonia Ben Jafaar, CEO, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education | Twitter: @SB4Edu
Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar is a leading expert on educational development with over 20 years of experience across Canada, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Her expertise focuses on promoting the use of rigorous evidence to gain insights into, and collaborate for sustainable solutions into pressing education challenges.
Dr. Ben Jaafar currently serves as the CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education where she manages one of the largest privately funded philanthropic education initiatives in the Arab world. Prior to this role, she was the Managing Director of EduEval, where she cultivated partnerships with governments, international agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and multinational corporations to promote evidence-based decisions for a greater positive impact on education. Her work on major educational development projects with organizations such as the American Institute of Research, Ericsson, UNESCO, UNICEF, and War Child UK focused on SDG4. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership, and a MA in Curriculum Studies from the University of Toronto. She is passionate about coupling her experience with her academic background to promote knowledge sharing and education for good. But if you ask her, she will tell you “I am a mom who is trying to make the world a better place.
Atif Mahmood, Founder and CEO, Teacherly | Twitter: @teamteacherly
Former teacher & director of technology in the UK and Asia before starting Teacherly. 13 years in the education sector as a classroom teacher, head of department and director of technology. Atif was selected by the Special Schools Academies Trust for teachers best practice in the midlands and won a grant to develop an open source online platform in collaboration with a number of european schools.
Atif was one of the youngest to be selected by the National College of School Leadership to be part of the Future Leaders Programme. Prior to starting Teacherly, Atif worked for Cambridge Assessment as Project Manager within Educational Technology & Commercial Services. In partnership with Shirelands Academy, Atif led a team to develop six different online tools which to this day are still being used by schools, teachers and parents.
Quotes from this week’s episode
Episode Time Stamps
- 3:30 – Kai Vacher Intro
- 12:00 – Aastha Das Intro
- 19:00 – Linah Anyango Intro
- 28:00 – This episode is titled “What Matters in Edtech Middle East and Africa”; What would you say are the defining characteristics of education in the MEA region as you see it?
- 33:00 – Dr. Sonia Ben Jafaar
- 35:00 – Working with Industry
- 38:00 \ 1:00 – As we record this, we are in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak; how has this affected your work, that of your colleagues, parents, students. Are there any positives to come out of the situation; what do you think will be long term and what more short-lived?
- 50:00 – Atif Mahmood Intro
- 77:00 – What books, resources, people, projects or students are you most inspired by?
References from this week’s episode
- Bett UK – Twitter
- Bett MEA – Twitter
- Bett MEA – website
- Teacherly – Twitter
- Teacherly – website
- Sam Wheeler – Twitter
- Kai Vacher – LinkedIn
- Kai Vacher – Twitter
- British School Muscat (BS Muscat) – website
- BS Muscat – Twitter
- Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) – website, homepage
- English National Curriculum – British Council website
- Global citizenship – What is Global Citizenship? Via Oxfam website
- BSM Ethos – BSM website
- The History of BSM – BSM website
- Ministry of Education in Oman – website
- Petroleum Development Oman – further information
- Shell – further information
- BP in Oman – further information via BP website
- New Director of IT – Les Johnson – staff at BSM
- Google classroom – website
- GSuite – website
- Loom Application – website
- Showbie – website
- Icecream recorder – website
- Microsoft 365 – website
- Harrow Online – website
- GEMS in the Middle East – website
- Like the Open University, we now need an Open School for the whole country – Guardian article, May 2020
- Open University – website
- Sue Williamson, SSAT – Twitter
- Professor David Hargreaves, SSAT
- Professor Dylan William, Formative Assessment Workings – further information
- Jim Collins, Good to Great – website
- Aastha Das – website, homepage
- Aastha Das – Twitter
- Aastha Das – LinkedIn
- InnoYouth – website page, Aastha’s website
- SHERO – website page, Aastha’s website
- GITEX Future Stars – Twitter
- GITEX Future Stars 2019 – Blog post by Aastha Das
- Coursera – Twitter
- How to make chatbot using IBM Watson – Coursera course mentioned by Aastha
- GEMS Education – Website
- GEMS Education – Twitter
- Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) – GEMS website article
- Awecademy – Twitter
- Peter Diamandis – website
- Peter Diamandis – Twitter
- Raya Bidshahri – Twitter
- Raya Bidshahri – website
- Karan Deep – Twitter
- Digital Women Wales – Twitter
- Linah Anyango – Twitter
- Global Teacher Prize – Twitter
- What is the Global Teacher Prize? – YouTube channel
- Microsoft tools – Microsoft website
- Google tools – Google Education website
- Girls in STEM – STEM learning website
- STEM – explanation
- It’s Belief, Not Ability, That Makes Girls Think STEM Is Not For Them – Forbes article, Feb 2019
- Scratch – Code – website, homepage
- Minecraft – website, homepage
- Africa Code Week – website, homepage
- Web development – Skillscrush explanation of a career in web development
- Mobile applications, what is it? – Techopedia website
- Robotics – Acer for Education website
- Google Classroom – website, homepage
- Seven Habits of highly effective people – link to find out more about the book
- Dr Sonia Ben Jafaar – Twitter
- Sonia Ben Jaafar – LinkedIn
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation – Twitter
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation – website
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation – LinkedIn
- Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund – website page
- Abdulla Al Ghurair – Founder bio
- Better Together – Finding our way through the crisis – article by Dr. Sonia Ben Jafaar
- Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair launches Covid-19 fund for refugee education – article
- Emergency Response to Covid-19 is not the future of online education – article by Dr. Sonia Ben Jafaar
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation Scholars – Scholars website page
- We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World – by Malala Yousafzai – book link
- Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count – by Phil Buchanan – book link
- Running for my life – by Lopez Lomong – book link
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think – by Hans Rosling – book link
- The Refugee Crisis is a test of our character – David Miliband TedTalk
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation Open Learning Programme – website page
- UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation – website
- Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation Youth Thinkers Program – website page
- Atif Mahmood – LinkedIn
- Teacherly – website
- Teacherly – Twitter
- Cambridge Assessment – Twitter
- Joe wicks lockdown ‘PE with Joe’ workouts – YouTube link
- Joy Buckner – Twitter
- Zoe Patterson – LinkedIn
- Joanne White – LinkedIn
- Teacherly Teacher Retreat (Virtual) – 13th June 2020
- Qatar Foundation WISE Accelerator – website
- Teachers told they may be able to refuse work if schools remain unsafe after June 1 – Mirror article
- The Future of Work for the Teaching Workforce – Atif Mahmood speaking at EdTechX Summit Online – YouTube video
- Teacherly blog – see here for two recent teachers in the Middle east sharing their stories – website link
- CastTeacherly – New podcast from Teacherly sharing advice on assessment and wellness – website link
Thank you to Bett for supporting the What Matters in Edtech GLOBAL series
Bett is the global meeting place for the education community. A trusted brand with more than 30 years of heritage, the Bett series promotes the discovery of knowledge and technology to enhance lifelong learning. The Bett series attracts over 60,000 educators, leaders and practitioners alongside more than 1,255+ technology providers from around the globe. For more information go to https://www.bettshow.com/bett-global-series
Thanks also to Teacherly for supporting this episode
Teacherly is a collaborative lesson planning tool that brings teachers together to share ideas and enhance their practice.
Our platform is built by teachers to simplify the lesson planning process, the delivery – whether that’s in class, remote or both, and their own professional development. Giving teachers back the time to collaborate, grow and make a difference.
Teacherly is trusted by schools and academies all over the world, is affordable and incredibly easy to use.
Tell us where you are listening in from
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in adult education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternatively, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.