The Largest Online Teaching and Learning Conference in the Middle East.


Connecting educators across the Middle East and beyond at the start of the new academic year.

The start of the new academic year 2020-201 is set to herald a new era in teaching and learning.

– How different will the post-COVID-19 classroom be?

– What do we need to do, to ensure that we do not go back to business as usual?

– What have we learned from this experience?

Going forward:

How do we ensure that students and teachers grow from their distance learning experiences?

These are just some of the key questions that educators from across the Middle East and beyond will be answering during the Middle East Teaching and Learning Conference (METLC) 2020.


To register to attend this free conference visit

Oh, Say Can We See

During June 2020 I was asked to share my journey in international education. My approach was to capture words, phrases, and scenarios from my experience. This led to this piece called “Oh, Say Can We See.”


Best Regards,

Kevin Simpson
KDSL Global
Managing Director



Oh, Say Can We See


In 2000 I would meet a man who looked like me

He shared that he would journey back to London after the summer.

I thought and wondered. Who is he? How is that possible?

A lunch led to my destiny. 5 years later. It was added on my to do one day list.








3 all for me.

What would I do? Where would I go?




Fly-nt heading to Vientiane

To teach overseas.

A first for me that I could see.



KDSL to KDSL Global. What did I see?

Education, the world, but not many who looked like me.

Co-conspirators in my midst who believed and shared the world.

1 country to 25.


In the year of yes we can

I would enter a land of opportunity

Wasn’t that supposed to be America?

I found life and made a plan in the desert


Sir what do you do? Play basketball, are you in the military?

Is that what you see?

Let me help you.

What do you not think I do?


Where you from? ah I hear it in your voice.

That from led to a distinct treatment

I was from a place where blue was respected

Others were rejected

Met with….

I expected an old white man

You look just like us

Welcome brother

Who is invited?

Who are you?

What do you do?

Oh, say can they see.







Body in the Chi

Mind on the world

The questions

The looks

Not the norm

I left Dubai for this?

I can’t see in this land that was supposed to be for me.



A turn down led to a turn up

Don’t look the part

White men preferred

How do we get others to see?

Speak up













Folks are saying they still don’t see. Don’t see or don’t want to see?



Statements, quotes, emails, phone calls, how are you, be safe

So now you see

Show me your commitment and new policies









Do you see?

The vision started with seeing someone who looked like me

Really it wasn’t about me

But we


Oh, say can we see.





Professional Learning during Distance Learning



Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash


KDSL Global asked colleagues from around the Middle East region, how can educators continue to learn and grow as professionals during distance learning? Below are some of those responses.


“Although distance learning is in full swing, I don’t think educators have to stop their own development due to face to face limitations. I have pointed educators in the direction of online coursework/certifications (such as Dyslexia Association), virtual conferences that offer interactive components (EdWeek), and taking advantage of mentoring/ coaching sessions to help develop new skills.”

Selina Collins
Doha College


“Educators are facing a real challenge at this time. Some are swimming in uncharted waters, while others are virtually drowning. I believe that one of the best ways to keep on top of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at this moment is to connect with a peer or a group of peers and form small support groups. In these groups, teachers should draw on each other’s strengths, learn from their colleagues’ expertise and lean on each other for moral and professional support. This is not the time to be going at it alone. We need each other for strength and support.”

Leisa Grace Wilson
Teach Middle East Magazine
United Arab Emirates


“Professional learning should never be confined to learning done in the vacuum of one’s area of specialization. That said, during this unprecedented global pandemic, educators must think beyond the norm of attending a webinar here or there and focus more on building relationships and interest groups. In so doing, different aspects of life can be addressed; example, online professional learning groups in which one can schedule ongoing learning of subjects of interest, collaborate to take action for a cause or interest or even host small group discussions about shared books, blogs or other resources. We can learn great things from each other if we have structured time and conversations. These opportunities I believe, are more authentic avenues for professional development, differentiated professional development and learning as opposed to random webinars you might not even be interested in.


On another note, educators who haven’t yet stepped out of professional learning within their comfort zone – area of expertise- should challenge themselves and do so. Functioning and leading effectively in this era of virtual life demands skills beyond areas of expertise. Leading studies of self-paced short courses, or video/blog/book study groups regarding 21st Century learning skills and soft skills should be prioritized – both for the benefit of students and educators alike. These skills, such as adaptability, taking initiatives, analytical thinking, are needed now more than ever to open up the opportunities for the use of our expert skillsets.”


Sania Green-Reynolds
Director Lit Education LLC
United Arab Emirates


Take advantage of free online courses, such as the one listed below.

Learn new online learning tools, such as:

  • Quizlet
  • Kahoot
  • Ed Puzzle
  • Screencastify
  • There are thousands!

Join social media groups or follow hashtags to learn from peers.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Art Teacher PD Resources


Heather Meinen
Riffa Views International School



KDSL Global chats with Julio Rivera of Liberate Meditation



KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is promoting education companies. Our intern Isabella Ellwein had a chance to chat with Julio Rivera of Liberate Meditation. Learn more about this app and his work below.


Why did you create this app? Can you pinpoint a major event or experience you had, as a person of color, that prompted your creation of this app? 


I can remember the first time that I had stepped in a room of a meditation space, full of black and brown beautiful faces. As an Afro-Latino, this made me feel like I was back home with family and on a deeper level, this does something to relax the nervous system. I had this deep experience in this community dedicated to people of color, which helped me feel more relaxed and safe and allowed me to be vulnerable about my challenges. I had struggled with burnout and high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression at that time. This space allowed me to be more vulnerable about everything I was facing. At the end of it, I felt empowered that I could change the relationship with my challenges, that I could overcome suffering and I felt hopeful.


Being in a space that was a dedicated community to people of color was so transformational for me. I did my own research after this experience and I didn’t see many resources for people of color that was geared towards meditation practices. This shocked me. I had a background in software engineering and I had spent 8+ years building mobile apps for a lot of big retail brands. So, I felt like this was my calling, to use my software engineering background and combine it with my love for meditation. My app Liberate was born, which provides meditation resources for people of color.



How has meditation personally helped you overcome adversity faced as a person of color?

As a person of color, we have this inner critic, which is this voice that can be really abusive. It can get in the way of us accomplishing the things we want, telling us that we are not good enough. People of color have been forced to change and assimilate to White America and white culture. We have been told to fit into the system and fall in line. I think over generations, we’ve internalized this as people of color. So, my meditation practice has helped me to see the impacts of colonialism and to be observant of it. It has also helped me be more compassionate towards myself. It has allowed me to move forward in the world with love, with power, with courage, with confidence. It has helped me cultivate a lot of self-love and shown me that I am enough. I know that when I do invest in myself and personal development, it is coming from the desire to expand my love and light, rather than feeling like I need to fix something inherently wrong with me.



What are some of the requirements you are looking for when selecting a teacher to talk and/or guide a meditation?

A big thing for me is personal experience with meditation. A lot of the teachers on the app probably have a decade or more of personal experience with meditation. I also think that it is important to have teachers who are people of color, as these teachers have had a personal experience with adversity and perhaps, internalized their struggles. It’s important for the teachers to have a past path of learning. I like them to have a lineage and connection with past teachers that they go to for guidance and help through their own personal practice. I have curated the team of teachers through a very thoughtful and mindful process. I’m just so grateful that I get the opportunity to work with these really wise folks that have so much to offer to the world. I am excited about giving these teachers a platform to spread and impact people’s lives in so many positive ways.


To learn more about Liberate Meditation visit



IMG_2286 2 (1)

Julio Rivera is the founder of Liberate, a company started to support the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community in healing and thriving. He started Liberate after experiencing a transformation in self-compassion after becoming apart of a meditation community dedicated for People of Color. After seeing a lack of digital resources to support BIPOC in their meditation practice, he worked with community to create our own.