Interview with Bryan Goodwin, MENA Teacher Summit Keynote Speaker


As Clay P. Bedford once said, “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”

On the 7th and 8th of October 2016, Bryan Goodwin – a former teacher, educational author and the President and Chief Executive Officer at McREL International – was the keynote speaker at the MENA Teacher Summit organized by KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community. Following his speech about improving student outcomes, I was fortunate enough to interview him about his research and findings.

As the author of ‘Simply Better: Doing What Matters Most to Change the Odds for Student Success,’ Bryan Goodwin had embarked on a challenging journey in order to deliver an inspiring book to readers. You may be questioning how Goodwin had written such a successful book. What had inspired him to write a book that could potentially change the future of education? The answer is that seven years ago when Goodwin was the Director of Communications at McREL International, they had engaged in several research studies to identify the principles of effective school systems and improve student outcomes. Seeking to see what the world wanted from a research and service organization like McREL International, the CEO delegated the effort to Goodwin. After countless conversations with staff members and educators, he explained that “the answer was (and still is) two-fold: deep down, we (and the people we work with) were driven by a desire to change the odds for success. It’s not enough that a few kids beat the odds, we should be changing those odds so all kids can be successful.”

When an individual has achieved success, he or she will strive to do more; consequently, Goodwin’s accomplishments “have slowly emerged over the course of writing several dozen monthly research columns for Educational Leadership and three books for ASCD.” Today, Goodwin’s “North Star is curiosity – namely, putting curiosity at the centre of what we’re doing with schools, creating a new generation of students who, by remaining curious about the world around them, will be able to think creatively and solve big challenges.”

During his speech, Goodwin shared with the audience an anecdote about how his daughter had made some classroom rules for herself. I was reflecting on what he had said, and wondering whether such behaviour could lead to better success in a student’s future. According to Goodwin, “Classroom rules work best when they are owned by students as shared agreements or norms for behaviour. This can create peer pressure for behaving well as kids are typically more motivated by peers than adults.” Conformity explains why children are motivated by their peers – children conform to a norm or a behaviour in order to be socially accepted into the favouring group.

To learn more about Bryan Goodwin follow him on Twitter @bryanrgoodwin. For more information about McRELvisit



Kimia Bayat
KDSL Global Intern
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global

Education partnership announced between KDSL Global and ArabiCollege

Press Release

Education partnership announced between
KDSL Global and ArabiCollege

DUBAI, UAE, 20 October 2016: Leading USA and UAE-based learning organization, KDSL Global, is delighted to announce a new partnership with ArabiCollege.

Founded in 2007 by Mohamed Bamatraf, ArabiCollege is an online educational college that teaches Arabic to non-native speakers around the world, through 24/7 live online sessions and virtual classrooms. ArabiCollege aims to make learning Arabic more accessible, flexible and personal, and draws on the latest digital advances to help develop Arabic learning products which further customize and personalize learning. ArabiCollege is ideal for everyone from complete beginners wanting to learn business Arabic for their careers, to teachers needing extra resource materials, to children and students already learning Arabic in a classroom environment at school but who would benefit from extra high-quality teaching and learning materials.

Learning organization KDSL Global is constantly on the search for innovative and effective tools to help empower educators. Recent news articles in Abu Dhabi’s The National have reported cases of parental dissatisfaction with the way Arabic language is often taught to non-native speakers in the UAE’s international schools. Arabic language is an integral part of the curriculum: Dubai, non-native speakers can expect up to six hours a week in Arabic language classes. In its partnership with Arabi College, KDSL Global aims to provide a solution to this perceived problem – the broad range of courses provided can benefit children and parents, but also the school teachers themselves.

Founder of KDSL Global, Kevin Simpson, states, “At KDSL Global we are excited to collaborate with passionate entrepreneurs and education businesses like ArabiCollege to share their product with the world.” Director of ArabiCollege, Mohammed Bamatraf, says, “As ArabiCollege expands in the Arabic language market, we see opportunities to collaborate with schools offering Arabic language courses. KDSL Global is one of few organizations who truly understand the K-12 market in the UAE and GCC area. We could not have found a better partner and are really excited to work with them closely to promote Arabic teaching in schools.”


For further information, please contact Kevin Simpson

Tel: +971 50 2898417 | |



About Arabi College

Dubai-based ArabiCollege has helped thousands of people communicate in Arabic by offering a complete Arabic course online, including expert teaching 24/7, interactive classes, customized study plans and certified results.

About KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. To find out more visit

Arabic teaching in UAE schools


What is a school without a principal?

Alongside teachers, principals are known to be an essential ingredient for the success of a school. Principals establish a principled environment for students. Being an effective principal is rather time-consuming and challenging. Successful principals have to be balanced with their roles. They ensure that the school environment shapes a vision of academic success for all students.

Principals should have high expectations and have a vision of commitment and success for all students. Despite a principal’s disciplinary and superior persona, principals are enthusiastic about the well-being of their stakeholders.

Without a principal the purpose and the need to encourage the development of leadership would be lost within a school environment. As a fresh graduate, it is as a result of the actions and motives of my principal that I have improved my leadership skills

As students make sure you thank your principal, it is them that drives and shapes a healthy school. We often take things for granted but we must remember that it takes a big heart to shape little minds.



Kimia Bayat
KDSL Global Intern
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global

KDSL Global Ed Branding Project


Are you interested in becoming an education consultant? Scaling up your education consulting business?

Then join KDSL Global during October 15-21, 2016 for the Education Branding Project. This week long online journey will provide you with daily tasks leading to a toolkit to get you started.

Cost: $300 (U.S. Dollars) payable on PayPal

For more information email Kevin Simpson @

Highly successful MENA Teacher Summit hosted in Dubai last weekend


Dubai, 10 October 2016: A MENA Teacher Summit was held in Dubai last weekend, on 7th and 8th of October. Organized by KDSL Global and an initiative of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community in the GCC, the Teacher Summit seeks to improve teaching and learning and connect education professionals throughout the MENA region to the resources provided by ASCD.

Over 250 educators from 8 countries and 47 partner organizations from across the region and the world participated in the professional learning opportunity held at Universal American School. Attendees had 37 different workshops to select from with topics as diverse and far-reaching as literacy, cultivating creativity, Kagan cooperative learning structures, using data effectively to improve standards, teaching bilingual students, creating online learning communities, combatting bullying in classrooms, and creating inclusive learning environments. A-List Education Services Middle served as the gold partner. Kyra Atekwana, Director of Program and head of One-on One Instruction, said, “I was very excited to join the MENA Teacher Summit on behalf of A-List Education. There are so many incredibly talented and creative educators in this region, and it was an honor to exchange ideas with the summit participants!”

The day one pre-conference and opening keynote speech on day two was given by ASCD author and McREL International’s CEO and President Bryan Goodwin. Bryan shared insights from research and work with school systems worldwide. He explained that at first glance, these systems look very different, yet they’ve shared two things important in common: first, a system-wide focus on five simple, but powerful levers for system success and second, following similar pathways for improvement – starting with establishing productive routines and habits, developing expertise, and ultimately, unleashing innovation.  He also focused on the most powerful learning aid of all: a student’s innate sense of curiosity, and explored ways of igniting this curiosity.

Educator Alyson Bryan Ekoko of Abu Dhabi summarized the weekend of learning opportunities: “Thank you for providing us with some high caliber professional development opportunities.”

For more information:; @GCCASCD on Twitter; the UAE Learning Network:

Next year’s MENA Teacher Summit will take place on 6th and 7th October 2017.


 For further information, please contact Kevin Simpson

Tel: +971 50 2898417 | |


About ASCD and ASCD Connected Connected Communities

Founded in 1943, ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. The association provides expert and innovative solutions in the professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach and lead. ASCD Connected Communities bring together groups of individuals concerned with improving learning and teaching that wish to align with ASCD.

About KDSL Global

KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally.


Real Men Read UAE

“We gave our directives that the year 2016 be the year of reading because reading is the basic skill for a new generation of scientists, intellectual, researchers and innovators.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed

The REAL Men Read UAE (RMRUAE) is a reading initiative launched by Kevin Simpson of Abu Dhabi during March 2016 in response to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s call for ideas to promote #ReadingYear. Real Men Read has been in the United States for some time and is designed to deepen literacy and instill a love for reading in students through guys who are willing to share a grade appropriate book with a group of students. This could be a father reading to their kid(s) at home, educators reading to students at school or citizens volunteering to read to students in the community.

Follow us on social media at #RMRUAE.

How to participate

  • Choose a book (based on interest of students or your favorite childhood book)
  • Choose who to read to (inquire at your child’s school, your child (children), children in your community with parent’s permission)
  • Read the book to the students and take a picture (with parent permission)
  • Share it on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) with the hashtag #RMRUAE #your emirate (dubai, abudhabi, sharjah, etc.). If you are not on social media email your pictures to Kevin (
  • Challenge three other guys you know to do the same

To participate in RMR UAE email

To learn more about 2016 declared as the year of reading please visit

Happy World Teachers’ Day!


This day is crucial to celebrate, as we should recognize the importance of educators in a world filled with obstacles on a daily basis.

In order to celebrate this remarkable day, we need to start off by appreciating our teachers. We must praise our teachers due to their kind hearts, commitment and passion.

In a dynamic world, that is driven by technology teachers are around in order to help us excel and to feed our minds with the latest and best knowledge. It is due to their commitment and passion that there has been an increase in high school graduation rates—an increase in greater students.

As humans, it is our role to appreciate and support the teachers in our community. Teachers should be considered as our role models; they inspire and encourage students to strive for greatness. Despite their challenging duty, teachers accompany students throughout all essential stages of development. Teachers watch their students grow into their full potential; the faith they have instilled in students should be regarded as a motivating factor for students to achieve their highest potential.

As Solomon Ortiz said, education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in lives of their students. It is because of teachers and professors that many people have managed to shape and change the world.

Therefore, on behalf of all students I would like to thank all the teachers that have taken the place of an additional source of encouragement, that have challenged and motivated students and most importantly provided students with the most vital ingredient in life—education.

You are appreciated.


Kimia Bayat
KDSL Global Intern
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global


Launch of educational consultancy with international reach: KDSL Global

Dubai, UAE, 4 October 2016: A new international educational consulting company, KDSL Global, is launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). KDSL Global’s vision is to be the leading organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. The business opportunities in education around the world are numerous. Many organizations are looking for opportunities to expand and are seeking knowledge to make informed decisions based on thriving markets and KDSL Global is the company to partner with to meet these needs.

KDSL Global’s work is divided into three strands. Firstly, they serve as a strategic partner with education businesses across the world. Secondly, they organize conferences, events and business networking opportunities. This includes the upcoming GCC ASCD MENA Teacher Summit and Edcamp UAE. Thirdly, they promote professional development to educators worldwide.

KDSL Global is collaborating with companies such as: Smart Education, Bukhatir Education Advancement and Management International, EDspired, McREL International, The Global Sleepover, Interactive Data Partners, MidSchoolMath, ASCD Connected Communities, Early Literacy Institute, Limitless Education, RYE Consulting, Professional Minds, MakersBuilders, and the American United School in Kuwait. New strategic partners will be announced soon.

KDSL Global’s founder is Kevin Simpson. Simpson has served 500+ schools and thousands of educators in 20 countries worldwide. Since 2008, he has been focused on education in the MENA region, assisted numerous schools with accreditation, training, and development and served as a thought partner on school start-up projects. Simpson is co-founder of the UAE Learning Network (one of the largest online network of educators in the UAE) and has participated in numerous education panels and radio shows. In addition, he has authored two white papers on American curriculum schools in Dubai and co-wrote a bilingual document on American Education in the UAE.  Simpson has worked with over 40 educators who have taken the leap to become consultants or business owners.


For further information, please contact Kevin Simpson

Tel: +971 50 2898417 | |