Five Highlights from the Global Education & Skills Forum 2018

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This week marked the sixth annual global education and skills forum; an initiative by the Varkey Foundation where education practitioners, policy makers and distinguished members of international organizations get together to discuss pressing issues in global education. This year’s theme was how to prepare learners today for 2030 and beyond. This year, entrepreneurship was highlighted via the Next Billion EdTech Prize where initiatives in education from around the globe were featured for the work and change they try to make in global education. On behalf of the KDSL Global team, I attended this year’s forum and got to engage in interesting conversations with some of the speakers and delegates from around the world. If you didn’t make it to the forum this year, no worries! Here are some common insights we observed emerging among speakers and sessions:

1.   The Incorporation of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Pedagogy Design Should Be Prioritized:

Not limited to STEM, AR and VR should be part of today’s learning. Immersive learning, in order to be effective, should aim for exposing students to digital storytelling as a step forward to teaching empathy and global citizenship. Such technologies, then, need to be looked as a learning experience rather than a tool in order to reach the desired outcomes of 2030. Teachers and school leaders should plan for professional development experiences that support envisioning teaching in light with EdTech. Here is an interesting article you might want to read on the topic, and if you are wondering how the future in emerging economies would look like, you might want to join Mr. Fiebeg; the Co-Founder of Coders Trust in a virtual journey here.

2.   The Role of Socio-emotional Intelligence in Promoting Innovation and Well-being:

Almost all sessions pressed on that education should aim for preparing independent empathetic learners who are empowered with skills and attitudes that are core to solving local and global issues. With the skills gap that employers have reported in several studies, fresh graduates seem to lack the soft skills that enable them to be innovative and more understanding of the global market’s needs. For that, many speakers stressed the importance for paying more attention to emotional intelligence in school communities. I personally enjoyed this session on teaching young people empathy and why it is needed now.

To read the complete post from our KDSL Global Teacher Fellow Hiba Ibrahim visit
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-highlights-from-global-education-skills-forum-2018-hiba-ibrahim/

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KDSL Global Virtual Book 2017-2018

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Dear educators and colleagues,

It is our pleasure to publish our first KDSL Global Virtual Book. This resource allows you to learn more about education organizations and individuals we collaborate with around the world. KDSL Global is a USA and UAE-based leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education businesses globally. One big area of focus for us is on collaboration. This book allows readers to find out more about some of our thought partners.

We sincerely say thank you for viewing this book and if you see an organization you would like to connect with and learn more about we highly encourage you to reach out to them.

A link to the book is found here:
http://kdslglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/KDSL-Global-VirtualBook-1.pdf

 

 

Kevin Simpson
KDSL Global
www.kdslglobal.com

 

MENA Teacher Summit hosted in Dubai last weekend

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Dubai, 10 October 2017: A MENA Teacher Summit was held in Dubai last weekend, on 6th and 7th 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.

Hundreds of educators from 8 countries and 55 partner organizations from across the region and the world participated in the professional learning opportunity held at Universal American School. Attendees had 50 different workshops to select from with topics as diverse and far-reaching as mindfulness, vocabulary instruction in the digital age, school leadership for excellence, students as classroom hackers, making thinking visible, rigorous and meaningful instruction in problem based learning, and creativity in every classroom. Featured presenter and Chief Learning Office of LEADright Dr. Tony Burks said, “I am honored to be among a group of educators selected as featured presenters for the 2017 MENA Teacher Summit. I enjoyed working with participants who attended my session, “Putting the Pieces Together: School Leadership for Excellence through Observation and Coaching.”  The conversations I had after the session and the schools visits I conducted after the summit revealed the passion and dedication with which educators from the region approach their work for children.  The MENA Teacher Summit provides welcomed professional learning to educators who are determined to make a difference for schools.”

The day one pre-conference and opening keynote speech on day two was given by ASCD author Dr. Thomas Hoerr. Education expert Dr. Hoerr has led schools for 37 years and is the Emeritus Head of School of the New City School in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a Scholar-In-Residence at University of Missouri – St. Louis. He shared the need for schools to focus on the formative five (empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity, grit) which emphasizes for success in school and life, students need more than proficiency in academic subjects and good scores on tests.

Ashleigh Thompson, Founding Director of IDEA Early Learning Center, stated that “The MENA Teacher Summit 2017 was a fantastic event for networking with like-minded professionals. It was a pleasure to present to such a receptive and engaging group. The Summit provided many opportunities for reflection on current practice and it set the tone for a positive academic year ahead. IDEA ELC are already looking forward participating in the 2018 Summit.”

For more information about the summit and partnering organizations visit http://menateachersummit.com  and @GCCASCD on Twitter. Their upcoming website will be www.gccascd.com. Next year’s MENA Teacher Summit will take place on 5th and 6th October 2018.

KDSL Global and the GCC ASCD Connected Community Convenes the MENA Teacher Summit

DUBAI, UAE  – On Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, MENA region American curriculum teachers and school leadership teams will convene at Esol Education’s Universal American School 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 education 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, college readiness, 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.

Education expert Dr. Tom Hoerr has led schools for 37 years and is the Emeritus Head of School of the New City School in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a Scholar-In-Residence at University of Missouri – St. Louis and teaches in the principal preparation program. Hoerr worked as a teacher and principal, and founded and directed the Non-Profit Management Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He leads the Independent Schools Association of the Central States New Heads Network and holds a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Tom said, “With the many ways that the world is changing around us, I am even more excited to share The Formative Five with educators. We must be preparing our students to succeed in life, not just to do well in school.”

Dr. Hoerr’s latest ASCD book is The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs. He makes the case that it is not enough to prepare students academically; we must prepare them to succeed in life. Hoerr is also the author of Fostering Grit, The Art of School Leadership, Becoming a Multiple Intelligences School, and School Leadership for the Future. He has written more than 110 articles, and his “Principal Connection” column has been in Educational Leadership since 2004. Hoerr has presented at conferences around the world on grit, leadership, multiple intelligences, faculty collegiality, instructional leadership, and Success Skills.

Other summit partners include Smart Education, Alpha Publishing, the UAE Learning Network, Educators Home Share, Copperstone Education, Teach Middle East Magazine, Interactive Data Partners, Computers Explorers, ESOL Education, Edubeanz, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Limitless Education, Teacher+Leader Learning Company, McREL International, IngeniousEd, Pearson Middle East, RYE Consulting, EDspired, The Global Sleepover, Edarabia, Teacher Leaders International, Universal American School, Makers Builders, MidSchoolMath, Horizons Educational Consulting, Ribbon Events, ArabiCollege, GEG UAE, Curriculum Associates, College Board, Edmodo, Follett, Wisdom Warehouse, Hachette Antoine, TechKnowledge, Project Purpose, A-List Education, and Professional Minds, Education Journal Middle East, Teaching Talent and IDEA Early Learning Center.

Educators and school leaders from the MENA region American curriculum schools are encouraged to attend. Registration closes on 1st October. To register and view the agenda, sessions and presenter biographies, please visit www.menateachersummit.com.

 

KDSL Global Webinars

 

November 2017  

5th What Works in Formative Assessment – 5-6PM Dubai time – Howard Pitler

13th Learn more about the Computer Science Standards 7-8PM Dubai time – Tammie Schrader (FREE)

14th – The PSAT, AP and the Khan Academy: What is changing at the College Board and how it will make a difference for your students – 5-6PM Dubai time – Tamsin Thomas (FREE)

19th – Unlocking Curiosity in the Classroom5-6PM Dubai time – Howard Pitler

 

 

January 2018

16th – Sparking High Potential: Encouraging Thinking in Gifted and Advanced Learners – 5-6PM Dubai time – Patti Drapeau

17th – Strategies for Student Engagement – 5-6PM Dubai time – Andrew Miller

31st – Learn about the new UAE teacher licence scheme– 5-6PM Dubai time – Ashley Green (FREE)

 

February 2018

20th – Strategies for Coaching Teachers – 5-6PM Dubai time – Andrew Miller

20th – An Update on the C3 Survey – 5-6PM EST – Kim O’Neil and Kevin Simpson

25th – Contextualizing Math Lessons – 5-6PM Dubai time – Asma Akhras (FREE)

 

April 2018

9th – Five Teacher Behaviors that Prepare Students to Lead – 5-6PM Dubai time – Tamera Musiowsky (FREE)

10th- How to Use a Reading Text for Various AFL Levels in Class – 6-7PM Dubai time – Hiba Ibrahim

23rd – Empowering Students Through Inclusive Practices and Self-Advocacy – 5-6PM Dubai time – Tamera Musiowsky (FREE)

 

For more information email kdslglobalinfo@gmail.com.

 

Welcome Back MENA American Curriculum Educators!

August 2017

 

Dear MENA American curriculum educators,

 

We are excited to welcome each of you back to your respective school. Our focus for this year will be … keep learning. Whether you are a new school just getting started or a highly established school, each of us has a responsibility in the continuous improvement process.

 

We are constantly looking at how we can best support schools, teachers, and students. Here is a sample of what you can expect from us during 2017-2018:

 

  • Webinars: Webinars provide the opportunity to learn from expert educators and authors who are based in the United States. We offer free and paid hour-long webinars on topics ranging from instructional strategies, data, standards, and more.
  • MENA Teacher Summit: 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. 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. 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, and English Language Arts, Math and Science. Visit http://www.menateachersummit.com.
  • MENA C3 White Paper: How are the C3 social studies standards being implemented in the MENA region? In the USA? This paper will explore these questions and provide educators with resources.
  • MENA Learning Portal: An online learning platform, which will offer tools and resources connected to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning and more.

 

2017 is a special year for us as we celebrate 10 years of work in 20+ countries with hundreds of partners and thousands of educators and students.

 

To a great year!

 

Sincerely,

 

Kevin Simpson

KDSL Global Celebrates 10 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2017
Kevin Simpson
Founder
KDSL Global
kevin@kdslglobal.com

 

GRAND BLANC, MI – As a leading learning organization focused on empowering educators and education companies globally, KDSL Global today celebrates a decade of serving organizations to increase student achievement, teacher knowledge and education leadership.

The company begin as KDSL USA in Washington, D.C. on August 10, 2007. Over the years they moved operations to Michigan and Dubai and transitioned into KDSL Global. In the last decade they collaborated with hundreds of schools and organizations and thousands of educators and leaders in over twenty countries. The majority of the company’s work has centered on American curriculum schools in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“We started 10 years ago with a collaboration mindset and a commitment to providing top-quality service to our partners in education around the world,” said Kevin Simpson, founder and native of Flint, Michigan. Some of their achievements over the years include: serving leaders, teachers, and students in Venezuela, providing professional learning to American curriculum schools in the United Arab Emirates, coaching leaders in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria on transforming teaching and learning with Pearson Middle East, and partnering with Smart Education and Alpha Publishing to head up professional learning for educators in the Middle East and North Africa.

The company’s approach has played a significant role in their success. Maintaining an active role in the education sector, focusing on collaborating with high will/high skill colleagues, developing new initiatives based on educator needs and requests and delivering one-on-one support consistently has led the team on a continuous learning and professional journey.

KDSL Global will be celebrating the remainder of the year and into 2018. Be on the lookout for their new ventures, the MENA Learning Portal and KDSL Global Gives 10!

 

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 information visit http://www.kdslglobal.com.

 

The Mawada Project

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The Mawada Project is an organization aimed at creating service learning opportunities and experiences for youth in the United Arab Emirates. I had the chance to interview the founder Noha Mahdi. She holds a Master’s of Education degree in Educational Neuroscience from Harvard University, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biochemistry from McGill University, and a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research from McGill University.

 

What made you choose this path? Why did you want to be involved in this line of work? 

My interest in education started when I was very young, I just didn’t realize it at the time. Ever since high school, I would play an active role in my school’s teaching and tutoring programs, often making suggestions and giving advice to senior administrators on how to improve the learning experience for myself and my peers. Fast forward 10 years and I finally realized that I had a passion for all things related to education and learning. I believe that educating the heart and mind holds the key to so many of our needs and challenges around the world today, and I wanted to use that key to make a difference in the Middle East.

I worked in education consulting for several years in the UAE before deciding to launch my start-up, The Mawada Project (themawadaproject.org). It started when I realized the limitations of experiential learning opportunities in the UAE, as well as the lack of service-learning opportunities, soft skills learning and character development for our young population. Students spend most of their time between the walls of their schools, and have very little opportunity to engage with the real world or have meaningful interactions with people from different backgrounds and demographics and give back to their communities. They also often graduate from high school with a lack of the kind of soft skills that will help them throughout their lives. I decided that community service was the best way to tackle these challenges, combining a number of different skills training into one experience.

And that’s what we do today. We find and create ways for children to do good and to serve those who are in need in the community whilst teaching them useful skills that they can use for themselves and that will help them in all aspects of their lives.

 

To what extent do you believe that this program shapes who a young person is going to be?

We know that the experience of serving others and meeting the needs of those less privileged or less fortunate in one’s community has a tremendous impact on shaping character. By engaging in our programs and in the type of service opportunities we create, we deeply believe that a young person not only gains social, emotional, communication and leadership skills, but also confidence, compassion, kindness and a sense of purpose. And the science shows that these skills and characteristics are crucial for future job success.

Those who engage in these kinds of activities gain social awareness and a deeper sense of social responsibility and global citizenship, all while learning more about different career paths and industries. It’s hard to quantify or capture the impact of such experiences, but we know it when we see it, and those who participate in our programs feel it too.

 

What is your favourite event or project your organization has held and why?

We’ve worked on a number of projects so far, but we’re most proud of two in particular. One was a summer program, in collaboration with the Sharjah Science Museum, where we had our teenage participants learn how to be mentors and teachers to younger children who needed educational support. We watched them transform and take responsibility for their teaching which was great to see!

The second is our program called “The Gift”. We’ve worked with a number of student groups, schools and organizations, including the Sharjah Girl Guides and the American School of Dubai, to teach children how to make hand-made dolls, write letters and design gift boxes that are then sent to refugee children in countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Greece. This was done in collaboration with The Big Heart Foundation of Sharjah. We’re proud of the shift we see in participants when we have the conversation with them about the lives of refugee children, the challenges they must be facing and our responsibility to do what we can, even if only in a small way, to help make their lives easier and better.

 

 

Matthew Diprose
KDSL Global Intern
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global

Makers Builders: Inspiring Creativity

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Makers Builders is a program that trains young people in the field of technology. I had the chance to interview Amir Yazdanpanah, founder and CEO, and asked him some questions about his company’s focus and direction.

 

How important do you believe these technology skills are to the growth of the next generation?

Technology and science continue to play a rapidly growing role when it comes to everything that consumers purchase and corporates create. Therefore future jobs will require a skilled workforce that is not only able to use technology but also knows how to create and innovate with it.

 

Are there any advancements or new technologies you wish to incorporate into your program such as VR?

The phenomenally fast-paced advancements in 3D printing, coding, robotics, VR/AR, smart devices, machine learning and so on is putting stress on traditional education and teaching methods as well as curriculum content. This new generation needs to be learning a lot of new skills in order to be ready for the next generation of jobs in 5 to 10 years. We strive to develop engaging “digital making” programs and courses that can capture the interest of children at an early age and encourage them to pursue learning paths in STEM.

 

What is the most important aspect to you about your programs: the fun, the education or being family oriented?

We try to make our program seem like “Edutainment” – we want it to be fun and engaging while educational at the same time. For example, coding is learned by doing. Students get to learn coding by building programs that change games they already play and are very attached to. We want to make them aware of and excited about the possibilities at their fingertips so that they be easily empowered to create. Learning about fundamentals, concepts and architecture comes with age-appropriate programs.

For more on Makers Builders visit:

http://www.makersbuilders.com/
https://twitter.com/makersbuilders
https://www.facebook.com/makersbuilders/

 

 

Matthew Diprose
KDSL Global Intern
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global