Company brings world renowned education technology event to showcase leading learning tools while holding interactive training courses for regional educators
21st April, 2019; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Microsoft today reinforced its commitment to the regional education sector by bringing the world-renowned education-technology conference BETT to the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for the fourth consecutive year.
BETT MEA 2019 will continue tomorrow at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The theme this year is “Building a Successful Change Culture to Meet the Evolving Needs of 21st-Century Citizens”. The conference features two days of collaboration and debate between educators and technologists as they seek to find novel ways of providing students with future-ready skillsets.
“At Microsoft, our goal is to empower young people to become successful, capable, and active contributors to the development and prosperity of societies”, said Harb Bou-Harb, Education Director for Microsoft Middle East & Africa. “Our work in the field of Education is part of our ongoing efforts to skill up young people and help them achieve more – as innovators, business leaders, entrepreneurs and job creators. Bett speaks directly to this effort and is steadily rising to succeed in becoming a 360-degree integrated platform that gathers all key players in the education industry. We are truly inspired by seeing and listening to educators and education leaders who are pushing the limits of our thoughts and innovations to reshape the world of tomorrow.”
In March this year, Microsoft teamed up with The Economist Intelligence Unit on a study conducted among more than 750 education professionals across 15 countries. The survey revealed that 80% of educators believe positive emotions are critical for academic success, while 70% say emotional wellbeing has grown more important for K-12 students in recent years, with the vast majority insisting that it also helps in developing foundational literacies and in developing communication skills.
At the BETT EXPO, Microsoft showcased a range of technologies being applied in the classroom by innovative educators. An example of that is the Minecraft: Education Edition which offers more than 500 free lesson plans and 30 tutorials to help educators teach subjects such as Chemistry and Computer Programming in more intuitive forms. It is designed to promote creativity, collaboration and problem-solving in an immersive environment, where students are limited only by their imaginations.
Microsoft also demonstrated its free, interactive Hacking STEM Lessons, which empower educators to build affordable, project-based activities to visualise data across STEM curriculums. The Microsoft showcase also focused heavily on accessibility in Office 365, which has been designed to meet the needs of people around the globe with different abilities, allowing everyone to create, communicate, and collaborate on any device.
During BETT MEA 2019, Microsoft is also running customised learning sessions for teachers, known as the Microsoft Teachers Academy, concentrating on Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition, Hacking STEM and LinkedIn Learning. Specially designed use-case-based lessons will show teachers how to leverage these technologies in classrooms, to drive better learning outcomes.
One million new Windows 10 devices are being used by K-12 and higher-education students each month. And, as part of its ongoing mission to support educational institutions and improve learning outcomes, Microsoft has donated $1.4 billion in software and services to more than 95,000 schools and non-profits around the world. The company also made its recently acquired video-centric education tool Flipgrid free to all educators, to help promote social, interactive learning strategies. Flipgrid continues to attract educators, with a new one joining the platform every 55 seconds.