Resource Posters for MENA American curriculum schools now available

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Our resources posters are now available here http://kdslglobal.com/KG%20Resource%20Poster.pdf

 

 

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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

 

December, 2017

10thWhat Exactly Is Depth of Knowledge? – 5-6PM Dubai time – Erik M. Francis

11thEngaging the Whole Body in Learning: Active Bodies Equal Active Minds – 5-6PM Dubai time – David DenHartog

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

21stDigital Portfolios in the Classroom – 5-6PM Dubai time – Matt Renwick

February, 2018

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

 

For more information email kevin@kdslglobal.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.
  • Leadership Institute of Curriculum and & Instruction: In collaboration with Teacher Leaders International this retreat will be facilitated by instructional experts towards building leadership capacity for implementing standards-based curriculum and instruction.

 

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

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our tenth person to know is Jeffrey Smith.

Jeffrey Smith owns a Dubai-based business consultant specializing in K-12 education resources. He has over 15 years of experience forging partnerships with schools and organizations throughout the United States and across multiple countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Jeffrey is currently CEO of Copperstone Education. Copperstone represents the world-renowned and fully accredited Calvert Distance Learning curriculum for homeschool families and blended learning options in partnership with schools throughout the MENA region. Copperstone also offers Walkabouts by ActivEd and the Envision IELTS for Teachers program, which is thought to be the first IELTS preparation course developed specifically for teachers.

Prior to his current role, Jeffrey was Founding Director of Sylvan Learning in the UAE and Chief Operations Officer for Sylvan throughout the MENA Region. He is recognized for his extraordinary ability to develop “win-win” collaborations where the needs of all stakeholders are considered when developing solutions.

Jeffrey’s record of success also includes developing a partnership with the US Department of Defense to provide college preparation courses for military families at the Fort George Meade Army Base in the state of Maryland and his creation of several free community outreach projects here in the UAE, including Read Across the Gulf and the Community Service Initiative. Jeffrey has served on the Governing Board at North American International School for the past 5 years. He is also known for his volunteer work in the education community such as the Real Men Read campaign in the UAE.

Follow Copperstone Education here:
https://www.copperstone-education.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CopperstoneEd/?rc=p
https://www.linkedin.com/company/copperstone-education

 

 

10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

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In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our ninth person to know is Dr. Sudha Sunder.

Sudha started her teaching career in 1999 and has taught students from grade 2 through grade 12. She currently serves as an Affiliate Consultant for the Council of International Schools and Associate Consultant for KDSL Global.

A post-graduate diploma holder in computer science, and a Master’s degree holder in Business Administration and Accountancy, she became a part of the IB community in 2006 and taught the IB Course Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS), and soon became an examiner in the subject. Although Sudha was quickly drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of this subject and the IB philosophy of teaching for deep conceptual understanding versus the regurgitation of factual knowledge, she also experienced and resonated with the challenges teachers faced in putting curriculum design principles (that they appreciated in theory) into practice.

Inspired by her own experiences, Sudha decided to certify with Dr. Lynn Erickson in concept-based curriculum and instruction, at the Lynn Erickson Institute in Whitefish, Montana, USA, in 2011. Ever since, she has become a much sought after facilitator in many IB schools for coaching teachers in concept-based curriculum and instruction. Currently, her work spans over seven countries.

An introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) happened while she was serving as the head of the curriculum committee at the Universal American School in Dubai, UAE. As a curriculum design enthusiast, she was very drawn towards the three-dimensional structure of the NGSS and the NGSS’s potential to foster interdisciplinary teaching at the conceptual level (through the crosscutting concepts) and to put into classroom practice the factual and conceptual elements in science learning. She took on every opportunity that would allow engagement in understanding, unpacking and debating on the potential challenges involved in adopting and implementing the NGSS.

In 2013, she presented a paper at the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Common Core Conference convened in Dubai. This was followed by a number of hands-on interactive workshops at conferences and schools that particularly focused on enabling teachers unpack and understand the crosscutting concept component of the NGSS. During this time, she also published an article titled “Fostering Scientific Inquiry through the NGSS” in the Teach UAE Magazine.

It was around this time that Sudha became a Curriculum Reviewer in the IB, Maryland, USA, for a pilot project called “Building a Quality curriculum”. Through this project Sudha reviewed and offered feedback for PYP curriculum documents (both Units of Inquiry and Programmes of Inquiry) for schools in the United States, Europe and India.

The more Sudha mentored, trained, and worked with teachers in curriculum and instruction, the stronger she was convinced that while teachers understand and appreciate the value and notion of teaching for conceptual understanding, putting this into practice in the classroom is indeed challenging. Sudha strongly believes that understanding curriculum design principles involved in three-dimensional concept-based curriculum and instruction is key to addressing this challenge. At present, Sudha continues to present workshops and papers to empower teachers in American IB schools across countries such as Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, UAE, Qatar and India.

As a part-time doctoral research student at the University of Bath in the UK (since 2008), Sudha also decided to explore teacher perceptions in school-based curriculum development initiatives as her doctoral dissertation, which she eventually defended in 2015, with none other than Professor Jeff Thompson and Professor David Phillips from Oxford. Sudha believes that she cleared her viva with no further recommendations or modifications is testimonial to the many teacher voices she has gathered over her work spanning over 7 years in IB/international schools. Sudha’s doctoral dissertation Abstract is now published on SAGE. Sudha writes and publishes articles on the role of ongoing professional development for international educators. A recent one can be accessed here: http://www.cois.org/page.cfm?p=3078

 

Sudha believes that her own journey of learning and transitioning as a teacher in the IB programme and her passion for fostering scientific inquiry amongst students through real-world connection and sustained inquiry has been instrumental in digging deeper into the NGSS. This, along with her strong understanding of curriculum design principles involved in unpacking and implementing three-dimensional curricular frameworks provided her with the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience to explore the breadth and the depth of the NGSS, particularly so in helping IB educators see how the two complement each other in a powerful “synergistic” (Erickson, 2012) fashion. Commissioned by the IB, Sudha has co-authored the IB-NGSS Dual Implementation Report now available for IB schools in the US, available here: http://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2016/12/09/aligning-the-next-generation-science-standards- ngss-with-ib-curricula/

Sudha’s wider research interest includes the role of ongoing professional development for 21st century teachers. Sudha presented her research findings in 2015 at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (AAACS) at the George Washington University, D.C. She has now been invited to serve as a member of the AAACs Task force.

More about Sudha’s work in curriculum and Instruction can be accessed here:

https://www.tlinternational.org/