"Covid-19 uncovered new & ingenious ways of learning," says Emma Whale

As Covid-19 brought a great shift in the education landscape, Pearson played its part to support students and educators with learning solutions that accelerated education. In our exclusive interview with Emma Whale, Vice President, we look at Pearson’s achievements in the Middle East, as well as the UAE’s efforts in sustaining education for all.

How has Pearson applied practices to help students and parents deal with the challenges of remote learning?

the covid-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the whole education ecosystem at large, which strikingly illustrated the potential of e-learning and digital platforms. being an education company, we at pearson were confronted with the challenge of delivering solutions that could help students as well as educators to continue learning and teaching from home, thus keeping the learning curve intact. having a diversified business portfolio catering to segments such as k-12 (school education), higher-ed, and professional education (corporate), we engaged with all the stakeholders to understand their needs and provide them with the required products and services to ensure the continuation of learning.

沙巴体育怎么玩this started with pearson offering free access to some of our online learning platforms such as bilarabi and activelearn for the k-12 segment with an aim to support learners and educators in their prompt transition to e-learning and provide rational, cost-effective means to widen educational opportunities. allowing students to learn remotely and at their own pace, pearson’s bilarabi and activelearn programmes provided a holistic learning experience for learners with a combination of advanced technology and world-class engaging content.

How can educators ensure every student is given adequate attention while learning from home?

the last six months have been instrumental in reiterating some of the fundamental principles about the vital role that schools and teachers play in our communities. we understand that classroom learning has a more personal approach and allows educators to really know their students and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses better. it allows children to actively engage with each other and teachers to provide adequate attention to each and every student.

however, teaching in an online environment has its own set of challenges and in order to engage learners in an effective manner, it is critical for educators to translate the course content, identify appropriate resources, learn important strategies for instructing in an online environment, and implement effective online pedagogy to deliver rigorous courses. in order to ensure that each and every student receives due attention while learning from home, it is important for educators to:

  • Create and maintain a strong presence
  • Establish a sense of comfort and develop a community of learners
  • Promote reflection and communication through quality asynchronous discussion
  • Have a good balance of active leader and active observer
  • Request regular feedback and be cognizant of misinterpretation

in distance learning, it is essential for educators to simplify the content using analogies that are relevant to real-life problems, which will improve the learning outcomes. also, with the help of online learning tools, teachers can now receive accurate reports and evidence of learning against lesson learning objectives, which can be measured and feedback can be shared with the individual students or parents over time.

How do you think the UAE has adapted to the recent challenges in education?

The UAE is one of the few countries that regard education as a top priority for achieving sustainable economic growth in the future. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) data, 20.5% of the country’s federal budget沙巴体育怎么玩 is spent on education and the literacy rate is as high as 93.8%.

沙巴体育怎么玩the covid-19 pandemic has uncovered a plethora of opportunities for new and ingenious ways of learning and is acting as a catalyst for innovation and digitization in education systems around the globe. earlier there was a disconnect between student and faculty digital literacy perceptions, but over the last few months digital technology has revolutionized the way students learn in the classroom and we have witnessed an increase in the adoption of educational technology. with the increased consumption of digital content due to the pandemic, we are anticipating an increase in the growth rate and gradually closing this digital literacy gap.

How will Pearson support UAE students who continue to learn from home?

covid-19 has led to a major turning point for modern education and the education sector is witnessing a historic shift to revolutionize how learners in the uae will gain 21st-century knowledge and skills.

according to the recently launched by pearson, 88% of learners globally have agreed that primary and secondary learning will become more virtual 2020 onwards and 78% agreed with the consensus that online/digital learning might lead to a more quality education and learning experience in the future.

in this new normal, the uae is set to make progress in its digital journey with a focus towards digital education, soft skills and vocational education and 82% say the pandemic will give rise to new kinds of jobs. hence, the market for online/digital learning is growing fast which represents a big growth opportunity for us and as an education company, we remain steadfast on our commitment to prioritizing online learning and will continue to provide innovative digital products & solutions to push through a necessary digital transformation which is the most impactful way to accelerate opportunities for our learners, educators and a better future.

Do you think schools need to teach more practical and career skills?

Yes absolutely, with the current economic constraints, there will be a huge number of exciting growth projects in key sectors in the region that require specific skills, and the feedback from employers is that these individuals are not necessarily always easy to find. Companies in the future will look at hiring candidates with a desirable mix of hard and soft skills.

In the Pearson Global Learner Survey 2020, more than half of the respondents say that they have found themselves in need of further education because their job status has changed and there is an urgency to build digital skills for the new economy. People are coming to grips with the fact that work is changing even more quickly than it was before and the change in how people work has changed views on what and how people need to learn, too. Going forward, learners are clamoring for universities to provide more practical shorter courses so they can apply that knowledge and skills on the job. People are going to take more responsibility for directing their own learning or upskilling for their job.

About the Speaker

Emma Whale is the Vice President of Pearson's schools business in the Middle East. She has worked in the field of educational publishing, assessment design and school services for 17 years, and prior to her current Dubai-based role, worked for Pearson's UK schools business in London.

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