|Read later

Practical Apps for Education – GESS Al Nadi Autumn Event 2013

We recently went to Dubai for the second Al Nadi event, held on the 5 November and a welcome break from the UK weather for a bit! I have to say that we were thrilled with the response and turn out and it was great to put so many names to faces.

I’m not sure if you know, but this event ran as part of our Al Nadi programme, a satellite event to our main exhibition, Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition (GESS) which is the premier education show in the Middle East. Featuring over 300 businesses and organisations from over 35 countries and 7000 educational professionals, as well as a packed conference programme.  GESS Al Nadi, currently boasts more than 1100 of the top decision makers in the education sector in the Middle East and brings together the Gulf's leading educational stakeholders to enhance networking and business opportunities. 
This was our second networking and learning event designed specifically for members and was held in association with British Council. Comprising of short talks and hands-on working groups lead by top industry experts, the sessions were designed to provide practical examples, best practice and an opportunity to network with education peers. We felt this style of session was particularly relevant and important after a hard day in the classroom!  
So what did I learn from the November Event? Here are my top 7 takeaways:
1. We were thrilled with the number of Al Nadi members that attended from all over the UAE  and especially those that made the trip especially from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
2. It was fantastic to partner with British Council and their offices in Dubai provided the perfect backdrop and environment for the interactive sessions
3. There are so many benefits of using mobile technology – customisable, experience continues outside the class, more engaging, data collecting, personalised using intelligence, encourages creativity, fun, safe and less pressured environment, and in the words of one of the speakers Shawn Frank, Mindhyve;
"Using mobile solutions in education is soon going to be essential. The use of such technology engages students, helps them to be creative and takes the learning experience outside the walls of the classroom."
4. The classroom doesn’t exist in just a school, it shadows our every move -  we learn from everything around us and we also apply what we have learnt to everything – learning Arabic can be fun – Something Fishy app is a game that can be used as a secondary means of learning, a tool for both teachers in school and parents at home and works alongside what is being taught in the classroom
5. Some of the best apps for use in the classroom can be found outside of the education section, and those featured in their ebook can be used across a range of curriculum and ages. iPad educators predict that Stage will become a core app in the next few months – it allows users to annotate in real time, which means that an object can be placed in front of the camera and manipulated whilst annotations are added
6. We designed an interactive lesson using ThingLink with Sharifa Hajjat – which is a great tool to enhance images with music, video, text, shops and images which form a channel that other users can follow
7. British Council presentation The Digital World of Learning and development – technology is moving fast, it’s hard for us to comprehend that some students may have never known life without the internet, mobile phones/smart devices and hand held gaming units. By 2013 it’s estimated that Global Smart Phone Unit Shipment is forecasted to reach over 400 millions of units and in the US the number of students in the US taking online courses has increased 6600% in less than a decade
We can’t wait for the next event in February 2014 if you’d like to find out more about the Al Nadi club and future events, visit http://www.gesseducation.com/gess-al-nadi. We want to ensure the Al Nadi club provides real value for its members, so, if you have any suggestions of partners, future topics or anything at all you think we should be considering, get in contact with us now.