UAE – In an unprecedented move to put its groundbreaking initiative on the global map, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) recently held its ‘7th Innovation Lab for the Future of Smart Learning’ in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), one of the leading providers of on-campus and online education in Australia. The forum served as a platform for the participants to share the best practices and ideas and showcase the latest innovative insights on smart learning methods in line with the ongoing efforts promoting knowledge and innovation to address the 21st century requirements. The conference forms part of HBMSU’s strategy to engage top international academic and educational institutions in proactive discussions to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the education industry and shape the future of smart learning in the UAE and across the Arab World.
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, HBMSU Chancellor, said: “Organizing the latest edition of ‘Innovation Lab for the Future of Smart Learning’ in partnership with the USQ reflects the trust of the global community in HBMSU’s role as a leading smart learning hub that is shaping the future of education. We attribute our success to the unwavering support and continuing guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and President of the University, to ensure that we provide the best educational opportunity for all Arab innovators of the future. This latest edition also demonstrated the importance of forging partnerships with leading universities such as the USQ, which adopts an innovative approach based on an equal educational opportunity for all, including prisoners. This approach complements our ‘Lifelong Learning’ model, which is one of HBMSU’s core pillars.”
Dr. Al Awar added: “The 7th edition of ‘Innovation Lab for the Future of Smart Learning’ was a substantial shift in a way that it served as an international platform for academic experts and key university figures this year to foster knowledge and expertise exchange. This ensures that the local education system is in line with new learning methodologies capable of boosting smart learning according to local and international standards. We were privilege to partner with the USQ, providing our faculty members with an opportunity to learn Australia’s best practices in the education sector. Our partnership has also helped drive scientific and academic excellence at both the local and regional levels.”
The ‘Innovation Lab for the Future of Smart Learning’ is one of HBMSU’s key initiatives launched to provide a world-class interactive platform to stimulate innovation, establish innovative communication channels, and promote creative thinking to come up with smart learning methods in collaboration with leading world academic experts and through a series of monthly meetings. The discussions in these meetings revolve around emerging challenges and available opportunities at the local, regional and international levels. The successful regular meetings attract the world’s most prestigious academic institutions.
The 7th edition started with an online contribution by Prof. Shelly Kinash, Director of USQ’s Office for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, who shared the best features of the Australian education. Dr. Gretchen Lowerison, an Associate Faculty Member of HBMSU, then gave a presentation on the ‘Creative Online Pedagogy,’ after which USQ’s Hazel Jones, an Educational Designer, talked about how to undertake a major course redevelopment.
One of its highlights was a presentation on enabling prisoners to access higher digital education delivered by Stephen Seymour, USQ’s Engagement Leader. His lecture emphasized how quality learning opportunities should be available for all, and how technology plays a central role in making this possible. Prof. Hamdy Abdelaziz, HBMSU’s Educational Leadership Department Chair, also talked about pedagogical intervention and how HBMU aims to become a catalyst for smart online pedagogy.
USQ’s faculty and administrative members conducted virtual participation, indicating the ‘Innovation Lab’s’ steady evolution into a reputable platform on smart learning.