AAU Holds its Second Educational Conference
The College of Education at Al Ain University held its second educational conference entitled, “Research and Practice in Education” on May 1, 2011, at the university’s new campus. The aim of this conference is to examine current practices in the field of education in the UAE in general and in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular. A number of educators from different educational institutions participated in the conference; they presented their research proposals in both Arabic and English. The conference has also provided an opportunity for educators to meet, exchange research ideas, and receive feedback from their colleagues about their research. In addition, educators got to know more about the latest research issues, trends and challenges in education, including potential solutions and improvements. The areas dealt with at the conference included the following: Assessment and evaluation of student work, professional development (including mentoring student teachers), Active learning, Teaching and learning strategies, Educational technology, Educational policies, Special education, Curriculum development and, Teaching and learning languages (English or Arabic).
At the beginning of the conference, Dr. Samir Dukmak, the conference chair, welcomed the attendees. Next, Prof. Moien Kanaan, AU President, addressed the audience; he praised the importance of having conferences in modern educational areas highlighting the role played by scientific research in the development and activation of the educational process as a whole; this stems from group work between higher education institutions and the ministry of education, from Al Ain University and other universities to all schools in Al Ain Educational Zone in particular, and in other areas. The AU President emphasized the importance of interaction between academics in the field of education and conducting a number of studies concerned with the development of the educational process.
The President's speech was followed by a speech from Dr. Abdullah Abu Libdeh, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the College of Education, in which he concentrated on the importance of scientific research in education and the significance of people in academia meeting people in the field to exchange ideas and conduct studies that contribute to the development of the educational process on all levels.
Following that, Dr. Ahmad Dabbagh, Technology Development Manager at Emirates Advanced Network for Research and Education (Ankabut), delivered a presentation on the importance of establishing the Ankabut network and its uses by educational institutions and research centers to achieve the UAE vision 2021, which is concerned with the development of knowledge economy and excellence in education. The presentation included an explanation of the latest developments in the network and services to be developed using advanced technology in order to be employed optimally by network members to facilitate the process of scientific research, development and means of education; this was followed by a discussion of how to subscribe to this network for educational institutions; the presence of a number of school principals and teachers who are interested in employing technology in the educational process certainly enriched the debate.