MARK DUNCAN Q&A
1. Who/what do you want to see at Bett Middle East 2017?
I want to see like-minded forward thinking educators who understand the teaching landscape is changing through the use of technology.
2. What do you see as the biggest opportunities when it comes to igniting excitement in education or boosting motivation (student and/or educator perspective)?
Technology - opening the doors of the classroom.
3. How can social media be used to engage student learning?
It can be used really effectively - using platforms that are well controlled in the classroom can improve student engagement. A crucial element that is forgotten is the training that both staff and students require to use social media. Students (and staff) need to have the skills and understanding to know whether a) social media is the best tool to use for that teaching topic b) which social media is therefore best to use? c) can you control and monitor the social media learning activity as an educator?
4. Why do you think it’s important for schools to think education first, rather than tech?
Why invest money and time into technology if the staff don't know how to use it properly? It's the greatest problem of IT implementations across the Gulf region - technology being used for the wrong reason - because management or teachers feel they should be using it to tick a box for inspections. Schools need to set aside time and budget to have good, continuous training in their organisations, otherwise the technology will fail which ultimately hinders learning.
5. Why is Bett Middle East so important for educational transformation in the MENA region?
It brings together the best educators to network, listen and discuss the crucial topics that face our students and staff. There are completely different influencing factors impacting our schools compared to other regions, and it's useful that a show like BETT Middle East allows us to think forwards!