WOW! I have to admit, my Saudi Arabia adventure from 31 January - 17 February (2013) was without doubt my most exciting LEARNING ADVENTURE in my life (up until now). It was action packed from day one (my luggage got lost and came nearly 2 days after me).
During this adventure I facilitated 10 workshops and 3 lectures, participated in 1 panel discussion, attended 3 days of conference interacting with amazing minds, visited 2 Universities and 1 school, numerous social events, and most importantly did a short Umrah. All this was done in about 2 1/2 weeks!!!
Yes, it was a truly inspiring (and exhausting) learning adventure, Al-Hamdulilla! I would like to thank everyone that made it happen, and to avoid hurting anyone, I will not mention any names (to avoid missing others). Shukran Jazilan, Al-Hamdulilla!
Instead of sharing stories for now (can probably write a 10,000 - 15,000 words essay, if I had the time), I will leave you with 580 pictures and 176 tweets to recap my inspiring and amazing learning adventure in Saudi Arabia.
PHOTO ALBUMSHere are 580 pictures taken according to major events during this Saudi Arabia learning adventure:
- eLi 2013 Conference & Social Events (1-7 Feb, 2013)Pictures from the Third International Conference of e-Learning and Distance Education (eLi13) and related social events in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During the conference, I facilitated two 1-day workshops (OER & iPad) and participated in one panel discussion sharing my L2T3SEA Learning Framework. It was an inspiring week of interacting with great learning minds and having fun, especially during the social events.
- Mecca Journey (14-15 Feb, 2013)
Pictures from my short Umrah and In-House talk about '16 Learning Trends, We Simply Can't Ignore!" at Hasan Alfilaly's house in Mecca.
- Jeddah - In-House Talk (Feb 15, 2013)Gave a talk about '16 Learning Trends, We Simply Can't Ignore!" at Sheikh Ibrahim Alharthy's house in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
- Al-Andalus School Visit & Talk (16 Feb, 2013)Pictures from my visit and talk about the 'DNA of a 21st Century Educator' (given at Jazan University, too) at Al-Andalus Private School in Jeddah. An inspiring school with innovative and passionate aspirations.
Here are all my 176 tweets (or Retweets) from the Saudi Arabia learning adventure (Tweetbook doesn't support Arabic!!!):
I have a lot of interesting stories to share, but I will need to find time for that later. This portion will be updated in the coming weeks as I recall and reflect upon all the learning nuggets and wisdom I discovered during this adventure interacting with some pretty amazing learning minds. At the moment, I need to focus on other upcoming activities and events in coming weeks ahead.
In general, Saudi Arabia is investing a lot of money to improve education for both men and women in the Kingdom. As I have visited Saudi Arabia five times since 2008 (four work related visits), I can testify to this based on my learning adventures, which includes visits to nine Universities during this period.
Since its establishment in 2005, The National Center for e-Learning and Distance Learning (NeLC) has been passionately striving to support the universities around the Kingdom to transform their learning and teaching using technology and e-learning.
The biggest challenge today in Saudi Arabia in terms of education, is not so much technology anymore, as most Universities are evolving fast on this frontier, and have enough funding to continue to have the latest technologies if wanted.
If you ask me, the biggest challenges facing education in Saudi Arabia (like in so many other countries around the world), are inspiring educators (mindset change) in the Kingdom to transform their learning and teaching methods, and to empower them with the skills to use technology transformatively to design more engaging and effective student learning experiences.
In today's disruptive global age of knowledge and innovation, we all have to continuously learn, rethink, innovate and adapt. It will be interesting to see how Saudi Arabia continues to evolve its education over the coming years.
Insya-Allah, I can assist in this process, too :)