Education experts from the UK are to get a glimpse into the 'classroom of the future' at a forthcoming summit in Bahrain, it was announced today. The use of technology and entertainment to improve learning outcomes is just one topic for debate at The Education Project where leading international figures from academia, business and politics will convene to advance the global education system. The forum is held each year in the Kingdom, having been founded under the initiative of His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the Kingdom's Economic Development Board (EDB). This year's event is less than two months away (8-10 October) and features a 'live experiment' showcasing technologies that may boost engagement in a futuristic learning environment.
Ewan McIntosh, Director at NoTosh Digital Media & Education in Scotland, is among a high-profile list of speakers at the event. He said: "In the 1980s, a text book might have been the best way to share expertise but now there is a whole world that lets students learn at the click of a mouse. We learn by sharing and talking, not by staying in classrooms with the door shut. We have to get out in the world and that does not always mean field trips; now it is out in the blogosphere. Everyone involved with a child's learning needs to understand the ways they are engaged. Parents have to be engaged too, and understand the changes in the classroom since their day. In today's world, that means being open to the possibilities of game-based learning - such as using Wii Fit and Guitar Hero - as launch pads into subjects such as maths, physics and geography."
Educators anticipate that scientific advances in understanding more about how the brain works will allow them to shape a more effective learning environment in the future. With it will come enhanced opportunities for individualised teaching to better engage with - and meet the specific needs of - each student.
Cindy Johanson, Executive Director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, has more than 20 years experience in the design and expansion of digital services with a focus on education and engagement. She added: "In light of extraordinary advancements in how we interact with each other, our system of education has been frustratingly slow to adapt. One of the important goals of The Education Project 2010 in Bahrain is to share real world examples of how teachers and students are using technology to enable new ways of teaching and learning."
Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the EDB which is organising this year's conference, added: "Our world's uncertainties can only be countered with action for the future. Our goal in Bahrain with The Education Project is to unite the world's educators in a common goal - the continuous and active improvement of education. It is crucial for our collective future that nations work together to meet the economic and social challenges of today and tomorrow's world."