Why Digital Learning Is Rapidly Growing In the MENA Region

The Middle East and North Africa Region is the cradle of civilization. Human beings first evolved here. Science and Mathematics was taken to Europe by the Arab traders from this region. With this history, it was surprising that education was not considered the region’s strongest suit. Today, the circle has completed and a new trend has emerged to take the MENA region back to its former glory – Digital Learning.

In spite of the rapid progress this region made in nearly all fronts, education seemed to lag behind. This changed a few decades ago when many governments in the regions decided to aggressively push the education sector with heavy investments. As a result, illiteracy has been halved since 1980, the average levels of schooling have quadrupled, and the gender disparity has almost been leveled.

As part of this educational revolution, we have begun to see a rise in the use of technology as a teaching aid. Panworld Education has been supplying quality educational content for ten years and is now responsible for bringing digital learning to this region.

What Is Digital Learning?

What Is Digital Learning
Digital Learning, unlike traditional learning, is not just dependent on books and teachers. A significant portion of the lessons are supplemented with digital or online media. These are usually interactive and can be accessed on any device from anywhere.

The biggest advantage blended learning offers is that the students are allowed to progress through the lesson at their own pace. It also frees up the teachers as exercises are completed digitally, leaving them to focus on children who might need a bit of extra attention.

Why Is Digital Learning Becoming So Popular In The MENA Region?

Why Is Digital Learning Becoming So Popular In The MENA Region
To understand why digital learning is becoming so popular in the MENA region, we first need to understand the background of the education sector in the region. Therefore, before we actually delve into the why digital learning is becoming popular; humor us, as we walk you through a brief history of this region vis-à-vis education.

The Middle East and North African Region, as mentioned earlier, did not have a great deal of focus on education. This has been a recent development, with various governments investing in building a more educated future. This focus has been fueled by an influx of migrants, especially in some of the Middle Eastern countries. This has resulted in a rapid growth of population and a resultant demand on the education system. These students come from different parts of the world from varying educational backgrounds. This means the schools need to be able to deal with a wide spectrum of needs.

Additionally, since education funding is so recent, there is a dearth of institutes for higher education. Until recently, students from this region had to look to other countries for higher education. This of course was not feasible for students who were economically not equipped for the expenses involved.

So how does all of this translate to a rapidly growing demand for interactive learning solutions?

1. Recent Investment In The Education Sector Means Getting The Latest Technology:

Recent Investment In The Education Sector Means Getting The Latest Technology
With countries that have been investing in education for decades, investment in education typically goes more into the upkeep and growth rather than rebuilding the infrastructure. With already established systems, it is cheaper to build upon them rather than try to do a complete revamp.

The biggest drawback of the MENA countries, their previous lack of education funding, now means that whatever they invest will be in the latest technologies. This means educational technology will become a part of their educational system rather than being introduced piece-meal. This is one of the factors that have made digital learning material so popular here.

2. Rapidly Growing Populations Need Educational Methods That Can Accommodate Numbers:

Rapidly Growing Populations Need Educational Methods That Can Accommodate Numbers
The rate at which the population in some of these countries is rising means that educational institutions need to be able to cope with more pupils. Digital learning offers the simple solution where teachers need to invest lesser time for better returns.

With online course material and digital teaching aids, students can go over a lesson with a teacher and then review it on their own. The digital course material is interactive and helps students understand with visuals and videos.

This frees up the teachers to teach students who are not as quick to grasp the lesson as others. It also means they can teach a larger class without losing out on the quality of education. Blended learning also helps institutions utilize limited space by making certain lessons completely online.

3. Digital Learning Is More Efficient For Teachers And Students:

Digital Learning Is More Efficient For Teachers And Students
Digital learning tools help make lessons more interesting for students and can be accessed from anywhere. This makes them easier to understand and the students get the advantage of going through the lesson at a comfortable pace. Additionally, it also makes learning less of a chore and more of a fun activity.

As mentioned earlier, interactive learning solutions assist the teachers, thereby giving them more time with students who need the human interaction. It helps them plan lessons easily, teach more effectively and do it in less time than with conventional methods. With demand on the education systems increasing every year, this efficiency is highly valued.

4. It Makes It Easier To Phase Into Online Higher Education:

It Makes It Easier To Phase Into Online Higher Education
Most countries in the MENA region have few or no institutes of higher education. Up until quite recently, they relied on colleges and universities in the more developed nations. This obviously meant that students who could not afford to go abroad to study had to suffer.

The internet has changed that. Even as more institutes of higher education are being set up, online university courses are still a popular choice for graduation and post-graduation studies. The reason for this is the obvious cost and time advantage. Students can attend classes in a university thousands of miles away while sitting at home.

Online classes are held once a week and lessons and lectures uploaded on to the server. These are available to students at any time. They also have to pay a fraction of the fee, without the additional costs of traveling and accommodation. This makes access to higher education easy for every economic class.

Because digital learning involves a great deal of online education as well, this makes it easier to transition from digital K-12 learning to online higher education. This makes education more egalitarian and accessible to all.

5. Encourages Learning Of Technology Along With Regular Lessons:

Encourages Learning Of Technology Along With Regular Lessons
The MENA region has had a lack of skilled technicians mainly due to the lack of educational facilities. While technology is making its way into the society not many people are technology-savvy. This is not a major issue, but having digital learning in school does encourage the students to get comfortable with digital technology.

While digital learning may not be the perfect solution, it does have some significant advantages over traditional learning methods. These advantages make it ideal for the requirements of the MENA region, which has contributed to its massively growing popularity here.

Why Blended Learning Is The Way Forward

Most people believe that learning is dependent on how well a teacher can teach. What nearly all teachers understand is that you cannot teach someone who is unwilling to learn. Since children are inherently curious and eager to find out more about their surroundings, it is often the fault of uninteresting lessons that kill their desire to learn. Fortunately, we now have blended learning methods that help makes lessons engaging.

Traditional methods of imparting knowledge have either been oral or written. Most scriptures, fairy tales, myths, and legends were passed down orally as lessons. Eventually, we learned to write these lessons down and began learning from these written materials.

Oral or written methods usually relied on a teacher orally reciting the lesson, or reading from a book, and explaining. If one student out of the many did not understand or memorise the lesson with the rest of the class, he would usually be left behind. This was to ensure that the students who had understood didn’t have to waste time or slow down to let other children catch up.

The obvious disadvantage of this method was that it did not take into account the needs of children who might have benefited from a different way of explaining. For example, a teacher might orally explain a concept. The students who are good with aural learning would obviously understand better than students who understand better when they see a visual.

Some students might grasp a concept in mathematics very quickly, while others need to work out problems before they ‘get’ it. Traditional book learning has not been effective with students who need more than just a chapter in a book being orally explained once or twice by the teacher.

Similarly, certain students might lose interest early on if they find the lesson boring. They would require a more stimulating approach to keep their interest. If they miss out on comprehending a crucial bit of information, they would find the rest of the lesson impossible to understand. This would make it even more tedious for them to keep up.

There are teachers who go the extra mile, of course, and ensure that they explain the lesson in different ways so that everyone understands. However, it still means that some students get ‘left behind’. Blended learning is the perfect solution to keeping all students engaged and at the same pace.

What is Blended Learning?

What is Blended Learning

Blended learning, as the name suggests, involves teaching with different media. Unlike online learning, where the entire course may be conducted online, blended learning takes place in a classroom as well as online. However, instead of relying solely on a textbook for explaining the lesson, digital media are also used.
For example, in a biology class, the textbook information may be complemented with videos, interactive diagrams, and more. This makes learning more engaging for everyone and different forms of explanation means the lesson is understood by everyone.

What are the Advantages of Blended Learning?

Advantages of Blended Learning
Blended learning offers advantages that neither traditional nor online learning offer. In addition to the obvious advantages the students get, one of which is mentioned above, it has something for everyone.

Advantages Blended Learning Offers The Institution:

Advantages Blended Learning Offers The Institution
Blended learning can help institutions manage space issues. Since certain lessons can be explained online, this frees up classroom space. Because of the availability of digital media that students can access at home, they don’t need to be in class to practice their lessons.

It lessens the human resource burden. Blended learning makes it possible for the same number of students to be catered to by a fewer number of teachers. Since classroom sizes are growing the world over, without blended learning, institutions would have had to increase the number of teachers. Now, the ‘digital teacher’ can assist the class teacher with the lessons.

Since blended learning increases the engagement of the learner with interactive lessons and even gamification, students perform better. This obviously adds to the institution’s reputation.

Advantages Blended Learning Offers To The Teachers:

Advantages Blended Learning Offers To The Teachers
In today’s overcrowded classrooms, teachers get a virtual assistant with most blended learning tools. It is no longer necessary for them to go over a point again and again. Once they have explained it, the students can interact with the digital media to get a deeper understanding. This way, teachers can focus on what’s important – conceptualisation.

It also frees up the teachers to move around the class and pay attention to students who are struggling. While the quicker students can move on ahead with digital lessons, students who need extra coaching can be given more attention. This means no one has to slow their pace or rush the pace of their learning just because they’re in a classroom.

Advantages Blended Learning Offers To The Students:

Advantages Blended Learning Offers To The Students

Students, perhaps, have the most to gain from blended learning. As mentioned earlier, blended learning ensures they learn better at their own pace. They can do practice exercises as many times as they want or they can choose to speed through if they feel they already know the subject. Furthermore, the digital component also adds mobility i.e. the students can bush up on subjects while in transit or even at home.

Since lessons are made fun through gamification or interactive formats, it becomes less a boring class and more an interesting experience for students. Panworld Education, for example, offers a range of products from Sanoma. One of these products is Young Digital Planet which covers the K-12 syllabus in an interesting and engaging way.

Lessons for younger students are made especially engaging. The bright and colorful images teach young children their lessons via games. Science and maths are explained with interactive lessons that convert subjects that most students find boring into interesting challenges.

This method helps them understand how different concepts in different subjects relate to each other. For example, in traditional learning, chemistry and biology are taught separately. With blended learning, the interactive lessons would link lessons learned in both classes. This enhances the students’ understanding of broader concepts and real world applications.

The best part about blended learning for students is the fact that it combines the best of traditional and digital learning. This way, they get interaction with a teacher and additional help with their lesson from online media.
Another thing that blended learning offers in addition to the lessons is the fact that it teaches children how to use technology. It teaches them that computers and the internet don’t just have to be toys to be played with but that they can actually be tools to sharpen one’s mind.

It is obvious that blended learning can do a lot for all parties concerned in making education better. It improves performance of the institution, the teachers, and the students. The concept of interactive blended learning is gaining more traction as its efficacy is becoming more widespread. This form of learning is indeed the next step in the learning evolution.

Panworld Education Is The Exhibitor Partner At Kingdom Education Innovation 2017

Sharjah, UAE – Kingdom Education Innovation 2017 Summit is an important event in the world of education. At this event, the future of teaching and learning in the MENA region will be envisaged. Panworld Education will be making its presence felt here as the Exhibitor Partner for the summit.

Mr Gaurav Parwanda, Founder and Director of Panworld Education, is quite excited about this event. “We consider ourselves one of the most reliable content providers for education. Part of our responsibility includes staying on top of education reforms and developments. Taking part in such events is one of the best ways of doing it.”

“Anyone involved in any aspect of education knows that learning is at the core of teaching”, he continued. “As content providers, we need to learn what is new, not just content-wise but also technology-wise and policy-wise. Similarly, policymakers need to know what is available in technology and content.”

The summit will be hosting some of the biggest names in the education sector. These will include several representatives of the Ministries of Education from various countries. Faculties from Universities and Schools including ICT professionals, Curriculum Leaders, Chief Academicians are also expected.

The key topics that will be discussed at the summit are going to be Global trends and challenges in Education, Teaching & Learning in 21st century, Next-Gen Education Systems, and Impact of Globalization-Localization strategy.

The event will also discuss trends in education world-wide, a critical appraisal of higher education, next generation mobility, and digitalization discussions. In short, the ways and means to improve the quality and methods of imparting education will be decided.

The Kingdom Education Summit is a prime venue for a mutual interchange of ideas. The seminar will provide insights into the needs of the education industry through panel discussions. Panworld Education will showcase their Technological, Digital, and Print offerings for the Education Sector.

As Mr Parwanda explained, “We are not just passive suppliers. We like to take an active part in the world of education”.

Panworld Education prides itself on being the leaders in the world of educational solution providers. They offer high quality learning material in form of printed books and interactive digital content for Higher Education and K-12 sector. They also provide technology based solutions like Learning Management System, Online Library Platform and Digitization tools.

At the summit, Panworld Education will be showcasing its wide range of products. Their business partners include names like Encyclopaedia Britannica, Young Digital Planet, Press Reader, Vital Source, IET Digital Library, and many more.

“This summit is a two-way exchange street for us. We learn what the education sector is heading towards and we ensure we can give it to them. We also keep them informed on what is already available”, Mr Parwanda explained.

Panworld Education is a company that works closely with its clients to provide quality tools and material for imparting education. Its clients range from Ministries of Education, Government Education bodies, Universities, Large School Chains and Corporations. The products the company offers can be customized as per the specific needs of the client.

As the Exhibitor Partner at the Kingdom Education Innovation 2017 summit, Panworld Education is demonstrating the important role it plays. As Mr Parwanda says, they are an integral part of the process, not just passive bystanders.

About Panworld Education

Panworld Education, headquartered in United Arab Emirates (UAE), is one of the leading providers of content & technology solutions to the K-12, Higher Education, Governments & Ministries and Corporate sectors, across Middle East & Africa. The company offers complete end to end education solutions. Headed by Directors Gaurav Parwanda, Chetan Sehgal, and Raghavendra Manbol, the company is rapidly making a name for itself as the foremost educational content provider.

Kingdom Education Innovation 2017

Panworld Education is proud to be the Exhibitor Partner for Kingdom Education Innovation 2017. In our role as the Exhibitor Partner, we will be focusing on our products for K-12 and higher education. We are solution providers for the education sector. Our specialty is supplying our clients with technological, digital, and print offerings as per their specific requirements. We bring together our various partners to create innovative and interactive solutions for educational institutions and corporate training programs. The key topics that will be discussed at the summit are going to be Education Excellence, Digital Education and Infrastructure, Role of Teachers & Next-Gen Education Systems, and Impact of Globalization-Localization strategy. The event will also discuss trends in education worldwide, a critical appraisal of higher education, next generation mobility, and digitalization discussions. As bespoke solutions providers, we are looking forward to hearing from you about your specific needs. Book an exclusive appointment with us at the event, and find out exactly how we can help you.