Meet our KDSL Global Intern – Dalal El Kurdi

Dalal El Kurdi was born in Lebanon but grew up in Bahrain in a household where education was a number one priority. In high school, she was the most hard-working student, but nevertheless, she found time to play on sports teams, hold a constant active role in student government, and participate and host MUN (Model United Nations) and YLC (Young Leaders Conference). She cares greatly about the environment and participated with a colleague in a national activity to promote recycling named “Recycling in School Life” organized by the Gulf Petro-Chemical Industries Company in Bahrain. Their idea was awarded first place. She also received a full scholarship from Microsoft Technology Associates after being tested and receiving a high score to take a course in MTA Windows Operating System Fundamentals program, MTA Networking Fundamentals program, and MTA Security Fundamentals program. Dalal’s fascination with technology began at a young age. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the American University of Sharjah. She has taken on several internships in the past couple of years to help apply educational knowledge to real-world situations and perfect her skills in professional settings. She applied to this internship keen to learn new things and broaden her horizon into the educational sector. She hopes to hone her research and writing skills and learn how she can blend what she learns as a KDSL Global Intern with her degree because she is passionate about the future of education with technology.

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KDSL Global talks with Richard Lange

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How important are mentoring programs and mentors? A few studies from Tennessee and Chicago released this year offer evidence that good teaching can be passed down from mentor teacher to student teacher. Teachers who are effective were found to be promising mentors. Mentorship was also cited as a reason new teachers stayed in the profession in the state of Washington. The key message is that mentoring and the quality of the mentors matter.

KDSL Global had the opportunity to chat with Richard Lange to learn more about his thoughts on education and mentoring. Lange served as an education consultant to more than 30 districts in five states and Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore. His current professional positions include:  Amundsen High School, Chicago, Professional Development Coordinator for new teachers and student teachers, National Louis University, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Adjunct Faculty & Student Teacher Supervisor, Northwestern University, Center for Talent Development, Teacher Supervisor, State Department of Education, Zurich, Switzerland, Education Policy Consultant, ASCD Mentoring Leadership and Recourse Network, Director since 1991, Illinois ASCD, Advocacy and Policy Committee Chairperson since 2003, and North Cook County Gifted Education Advisory Board, Board Member since 1985. He is one of three authors of A Life Saver for New Teachers: Mentoring Case Studies to Navigate the Initial Years. Below is what Lange had to say when posed three questions about mentoring programs.

What are some essential things to consider and implement in mentoring programs?

Given the changes in our teachers and teaching virtual mentoring should be available. In addition, have a set up that works and this should be dependent on the style of people involved. It is important to think about the resources you have and have an action plan for mentoring.

What are some of features which should be part of a mentoring program?

It is necessary for someone to be in charge of these programs. Ideal is to have a mentor director that is a third party who is able to probe and asks both the mentors and mentees questions. Roles and definitions need to be clear for the mentor and the mentee. When interviewing for jobs, new teachers need to ask about mentoring programs and if they have access to a mentor.

Does more training the trainers of mentor teacher leaders help?

In some cases, but I have found that millenials will seek information on their own, so it may prove that they need less support. Many teachers with five to six years of experience may not ask for support, so people have to pro-actively reach out to them.

 

Are you a new teacher? Do you have a mentor? Do you serve as a mentor to a teacher or group of teachers? For more information and resources, you can visit http://www.mentors.net/

MENA Teacher Summit 2018

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Dubai, 11 October 2018: The MENA Teacher Summit was held in Dubai last weekend, on 5th and 6th of October. Organized by KDSL Global and an initiative of the 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. ASCD is dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Hundreds of educators from 8 countries and over 40 partner organizations from across the region and the world participated in the professional learning opportunity held at Marriott Hotel Al Jadaff. Attendees had 35 different workshops to select from with topics as diverse as teachers as same designers, developing resilience in young people for all aspects of life, inclusive education, coaching as a framework to improve student achievement, and teaching students to self-assess and reflect for deeper learning. The participants were welcomed on Saturday by His Excellency Salem Khamis Al Shair Al Suwaidi who shared the importance of schools in uniting the 200 different nationalities who live in the United Arab Emirates. Featured presenter and ASCD author Starr Sackstein said, “The conference was a well-organized learning opportunity for all who attended, participants and presenters. The conversations and collaborative problem-solving were unique opportunities to provide better learning for all students.”

The day one pre-conference and opening keynote speech on day two was given by ASCD author Dr. Victoria Bernhardt. Victoria is known worldwide as a leading authority on data analysis for continuous school and district improvement. She is the author of 22 highly praised books on data analysis, school improvement, Response to Intervention, and more. Teams of teachers were introduced to a program evaluation tool featured in Dr. Bernhardt’s book Measuring What We Do in Schools and used this resource with an example from their own school.

For more information about the summit and partnering organizations visit http://menateachersummit.com. The group has changed the name of the summit to the GCC ASCD Conference and the next professional learning opportunity will take place during 4-5 October in 2019.

 
ABOUT KDSL Global

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

ABOUT GCC ASCD Connected Community

Our goal as the GCC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community is to unite educators throughout the region, inspiring all of us to learn globally and teach locally.

PRESS CONTACT

Kevin Simpson, KDSL Global, menateachersummit@gmail.com, +971 55 344 9286

Global Schools Network

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For nearly 20 years The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21), has advocated for 21st century readiness for everyone. That suite of skills includes global competence, which has taken on paramount importance for success in career, college, and life. Through the Global Schools Network, P21 seeks to identify, document, promote and celebrate examples of 21st century learning initiatives that successfully prepare students for college, career and life with a focus on global competence, globally infused curriculum, and vibrant online and face-to-face exchanges.

The schools and programs that earn Global Schools Network designation enter a dedicated professional learning community focused on 21st century global learning, and their stories provide educators, policymakers, and communities a variety of models to draw from and be inspired by.

We strongly advise that all schools take the free pre-assessment before deciding to complete the full application. This is found here: https://p21global.org/self-assess.  

 

Evaluation Process

The Global Schools Network evaluation process is thorough and designed to lift up global examples of successful  practices and structures that yield 21st century global learning outcomes. The application will remain open year round, but we will do reviews four times per year: September, December, March, and June.

Each application is reviewed by GSN staff, advisory and steering committee members, and a peer group of existing GSN schools and programs. All schools, private, public, religious, are eligible to apply.

 

Metrics

P21 uses a rubric to evaluate each application. Applicants that successfully demonstrate they have embedded advanced and exemplary 21st century global learning practices that improve student learning in classrooms and communities will receive admission to the network under three levels of program success: Developing, Sustaining, Model.

The GSN Evaluation Tool is based on the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of commitment to global competence, global awareness, and linguistic competence for all learners.
  2. Educational support systems and sustainable design focused on global competence.
  3. Engaged learning approaches, such as Project Based Learning.
  4. Equitable student access to globally focused learning.
  5. Evidence of student acquisition of 21st century knowledge and skills as well as global and linguistic competence.
  6. A sustained implementation of a global competency framework for teachers and students.
  7. Partnerships for sustainable success

 

Program Levels

Developing:  If a school or program scores predominately in the “Developing” range then it enters the GSN with that status, with all rights and privileges. It can reapply within two years for higher level status. Each Developing program is assigned a mentor from the pool of GSN mentor programs.

Sustaining: If a school or program scores predominately in the “Sustaining” range then it enters the GSN with that status, with all rights and privileges. It can reapply within two years for higher level status. Each Sustaining program is assigned a mentor from the pool of GSN mentor programs and partnered with two other schools at this level.

Mentoring: If a school scores predominately in the “Mentor” range then it enters GSN with that status. Mentor status is for three years.  Mentor GSN schools are required to provide support for other GSN schools and often participate in our global study tour program.

If you think your school is ready to apply visit https://p21globalschools.formstack.com/forms/gsn_application

The Global Schools Network is a community of schools committed to inclusive and equitable quality education for all with a focus on global awareness, global competence, cultural competence, and linguistic development.

 

To learn more visit https://p21global.org/.

MENALearns Portal

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During 2018 the MENALearns Portal will be a new resource for educators at American curriculum schools. Our KDSL Global intern had a chance to chat with the team this past summer about what the portal is, how it is different and future plans.

 

What is MENALearns? 

MENALearns will be an online portal for educators at American curriculum schools based in the Middle East and North Africa region. This is a collaborative effort with Xblended and KDSL Global. It is for educators with resources reviewed, created, and shared by educators. Tools and resources will be related to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning, and more. Six educators from six countries reviewed the initial portal and provided feedback to the team. We call this group our first educators. During the summer of 2018 we collaborated with an educator from the region who served during the month of July with the purpose of reviewing and selecting additional resources for K-12 educators on a wide range of topics. The site will launch later in September 2018. A free introductory webinar will be held on 1 October at 6pm Dubai time. Users will have the option to become a member of the community as a MENALearns Teacher, MENALearns Leader, or a MENALearns School. Special rates for new members will run from October- December 2018.

 

There are many online platforms and resources nowadays. How is MENALearns different from these?

This is very true! We wanted to craft a resource that was specific to educators who are based in the MENA region. Often there are resources from the states with references and images that students and educators may not be able to connect with. Educators who we spoke to openly shared this information. We wanted to have a blended approach with materials from the states along with resources provided from educators in the region. This will grow over time as we encourage educators and leaders to share resources from their schools and classrooms. Also, we asked American curriculum educators in the region where they go to online to access resources to use in planning. A plethora of websites was listed. We then asked what if there was one place where they could access most of the sites they used. All were interested and first users talked about how organized, comprehensive, and easy to navigate the portal was.

 

 

What are the future plans for this portal?

We will see what the future holds. As we receive feedback we will make changes and update information as there is always something new to learn. Our short-term plans is to make as many American curriculum schools and educators aware of the portal as possible in the MENA region. In the future we hope all will be a MENALearns School.

 

 

To stay updated on MENALearns email menalearns@gmail.com. The portal will launch later in September 2018.

 

 

Jenessa Dsilva
KDSL Global Intern
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: @KDSL Global

 

Professional Development Targets MENA’s American Curriculum Teachers and Administrators

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On Friday, October 5, and Saturday, October 6, MENA region American curriculum teachers and school leadership teams will convene in Dubai as part of an initiative of the ASCD Connected Community in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Organized by KDSL Global, a UAE-based company, the Teacher Summit seeks to improve teaching and learning and connect education professionals throughout the MENA region to the resources provided by ASCD.

This regional event is a platform for teachers to engage and learn with renowned educators and scholars. Topics at the summit will address best practices in leadership, data, curriculum, English Language Arts, Math, and Science Standards implementation. The audience for this conference will include classroom teachers, heads of department, program coordinators, school administrators, and organizations active in the educational sector.

Victoria L. Bernhardt, Ph.D., has directed the Education for the Future Initiative since its inception in 1991. Victoria is known worldwide as a leading authority on data analysis for continuous school and district improvement. She is the author of 22 highly praised books on data analysis, school improvement, Response to Intervention, and more. Each of her books shows schools and school districts how to do the work themselves. Her workshops focus on building capacity to analyze and use data effectively. Victoria is known for her down-to-earth, roll up the sleeves, real work that leads to student achievement increases at all school levels. Victoria is a Research Professor (Emeritus) in the College of Communication and Education, at California State University, Chico. Victoria said, “The half day pre-conference on Measuring What We Do in Schools: How to Know if What We Are Doing Is Making a Difference will have leadership teams learn how to measure and understand if their school’s programs and processes are making the difference they want and need for all students.”

Summit partners include Smart Education, Alpha Publishing, the UAE Learning Network, Teach Middle East Magazine, Interactive Data Partners, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, McREL International, RYE Consulting, EDspired, The Global Sleepover,  Teacher Leaders International, MidSchoolMath, Horizons Educational Consulting, GEG UAE, TechKnowledge, WIDA, MENALearns, XBlended, 2LearnArabic, The Gulf Point, Education for the Future,  eyemaginED, D3 Consultants, Bennett Educational Consulting, ASCD Emerging Leaders, and Professional Minds.

Educators and school leaders from the MENA region American curriculum schools are encouraged to attend. Registration for the summit is now available. The agenda, sessions, and speakers are found at www.menateachersummit.com.

 

ABOUT KDSL Global

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

 

ABOUT GCC ASCD Connected Community

Our goal as the GCC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Connected Community is to unite educators throughout the region, inspiring all of us to learn globally and teach locally.

 

Moral Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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Education simply must not mean obtaining a degree or passing a grade with good marks but it should also instill good moral values, ethics, and character. This is exactly what the newly established moral education system in the schools of the United Arab Emirates instills. The Moral Education curriculum will not only build character but also introduce ethical outlook, foster community, and teach culture.

Moral Education is based on these 4 pillars:

  • Character and Morality
  • The Individual and the Community
  • Civic Studies
  • Cultural Studies

Moral Education is an initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, that was first announced in 2016, piloted in January 2017, and has been implemented in grades 1-9 since September 2017. The first pilot was in 19 schools across the UAE. Schools in the UAE have started implementing moral education lessons within the curriculum and it is said to have been inspired by classes in Japanese schools where pupils are given a chance to think about how different scenarios will affect people around them.

According to Dr. Dsilva, (academician and education expert) moral education is important for today’s Hi-Tech Generation due to the many social influences. On a more international outlook the newly implemented program focuses on “developing student awareness of the shared human experience and making them messengers of the values they embody.” By focusing on a local viewpoint its aim is to “develop responsible, cultured, engaged adults ready for the wider globalized world.”

What are the benefits that come along with implementing a moral education curriculum?

-Humans are known to be social beings and moral education teaches them basic moral values, socializing skills, and good social habits like respecting elders, being honest, learning to share, and being kind. It fosters them into better people. Dr. Dsilva also shared that in the past in her culture children would be under the care of grandparents, uncles, and aunts living together in the same house. This gave them great opportunity to understand moral values such as respecting elders, honesty, truthfulness, caring, and helping each other. However, in today’s fast paced world where parents leave their families to migrate to find a better job or a higher standard of living, their children lose the chance to be with their elderly grandparents and therefore they may lack the chance to learn moral values such as caring for elders.

-Implementing such a system in school years allows students to practice good character with their fellow classmates and friends. Therefore, it is the need of the hour and every school must dedicate some time for imparting such moral values.

-It brings a more socially responsible generation and develops a sense of respect towards mankind. Moral education help to teach the young generation to be honest when there are wrong doings around them.

Dr. Dsilva was asked how she thought moral education would impact youth in the future. She replied that, “In the modern world of technology and artificial intelligence, the new generation at times is going away from values of kindness towards others and toward the environment. Having moral education sessions will invigorate an ecosystem around the youth to act responsibly towards others.”

 

To learn more about Moral Education in the United Arab Emirates please visit https://www.moraleducation.ae/ or follow UAE Moral Education on Twitter https://twitter.com/uaemoraledu.

 

Jenessa Dsilva
KDSL Global Intern
Website: www.kdslglobal.com

Global Collaboration Week

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Global Collaboration Week is Coming! (September 17 – 21, 2018)
Students, teachers, and organizations will get online to celebrate global collaboration during the week of September 17-21, as back-to-school season begins in the northern hemisphere. During this week, experienced global educators and other professionals will design and host connective projects and events and invite public participation. The primary goals of this whole day event are to demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, institutions of informal learning and universities around the world, and to introduce others to the tools, resources, projects, and networks that are available to educators today. This is an opportunity for educators new to globally connected teaching and learning to participate in virtual activities designed by more experienced teachers. It’s also a great way for educators running ongoing global projects to find project partners!
Cost + Location: Free, registration required | Online
Linkhttps://www.globalcollaborationweek.org/