E-learning for better preparation for work

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The shift from traditional teaching methods to unconventional teaching methods, including online and blended learning, was extremely timely for educational institutions and their teachers as it helped them finally get into the new. 21st century learning methods. Driven by the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 lockdown, educational institutions have realized the importance of this digital shift so that they are no longer left behind when it comes to adequately preparing young people with skills that include learning agility and working as a remote team to name a few. In our fast-paced and ever-changing world, rethinking the way we learn is the only way to keep pace. As e-learning guru Debadrita Sengupta says: “An essential skill in the modern business world is being able to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Gear shifting for education

The current pandemic has taken the world by storm, especially schools that have been obsessed with traditional teaching methods for a very long time. While technology has radically changed many industries and even demolished some, this change has been particularly slow in the education sector. Despite the fact that many educational institutions and schools incorporated technology into their teaching methods, conventional and traditional teaching methods were still very dominant.. Face-to-face interactions between students and their teachers have always been considered essential for effective learning. It’s safe to say, however, that the pandemic has changed the entire system and left schools, teachers and students with no choice but to embrace distance learning. This shift has prompted the education sector as a whole to catch up with the rest of the world and ride the wave of digital transformation. Despite the fact that many people have criticized this change for a variety of reasons, we believe that using unconventional teaching methods will do students good in the long run. Innovative and blended teaching methods were introduced due to the pandemic, but are here to stay afterwards. Why? Because they provide students with a set of skills that cannot be learned otherwise, the most important of which is being agile. Today, these skills, among many others, can make or break a career.

On the way to 21st skills of the century

In order to bridge the gap between the education system and the needs of the new labor market, Riyada for Social Innovation SAL launched Shabab Lab in July 2021, the first social innovation e-learning platform in the Arab world. Shabab Lab offers schools and educational institutions a unique opportunity to complement their efforts to provide high quality education through validated and tested practical online programs that integrate technology, entrepreneurship and social good in a coherent way. and transparent. . Designed by professors from the American University of Beirut, the platform has already partnered with leading international schools in Lebanon and the Arab region. Some of the Lebanese schools that have tested the platform and signed up for the 2021-2022 programs include International College, American Community School, Brummana HighSchool, College of Saints Hearts Ain Najm, and Rawdah High School. Shabab Lab programs provide high school students with good preparation for future jobs as they require them to engage in teamwork, design thinking, market research, solution ideation. social and environmental issues in their communities, business planning, solution prototyping using newly learned technology and pitching. By following these action-based programs, young people become responsible global citizens who help make the world a better place. Through project-based programs offered in English and Arabic, students benefit from a life-changing experience by creating technological solutions for social good and becoming agents of change their communities need. In addition to schools, many companies, such as mobile operators, and INGOs, such as UNICEF and other United Nations (UN) agencies, are paying more attention to empowerment and development. young people as part of their program to prepare a pool of qualified talents. In addition, many governments in the Arab world, especially the GCC countries which have presented their strategic vision and which include innovation and the development of the knowledge economy as priority areas, are investing money and resources. to offer their young people similar opportunities to strengthen their entrepreneurial and digital skills. and become responsible and innovative citizens in their country, able to turn challenges into opportunities and turn social frustrations into solutions.

Schools subscribe to the Shabab Lab platform to provide their students with access to the full-fledged programs that are present on the platform for high school students from grade 10. Through programs titled “Web for Change” for 10th grade (already on the platform), “AR for Good” students for 11th grade and “AI for Good” for 12th grade (launch in fall 2021) learn to develop new technologies demanded by the labor market. In addition, they identify a problem under a specific social / environmental theme based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and develop a prototype and business plan to prove that their project idea to solve this problem is indeed. achievable and sustainable. Some of the main outcomes include an improved entrepreneurial mindset and a skill set that includes both technical and soft skills such as technological development, teamwork, communication skills, community engagement and business planning. The pitch decks created are evaluated by members of an expert jury where all the teams compete in a regional competition for precious rewards in kind and in money. To date, more than 50 social and environmental projects have been created and presented via the Shabab Lab platform in 2 editions of the “Web for Change” program with more than 180 participating students from more than 15 schools.

In addition to the educational offer, Shabab Lab is currently expanding its free content accessible to anyone who registers on the platform. This content includes courses on social innovation and design thinking, and in preparation for a series of online courses / videos on career counseling, neuroscience and learning, and open innovation to name a few. some. These courses expose students to areas that are normally highlighted in the curriculum and are prepared in partnership with world-renowned experts in their fields and will enable Shabab Lab to become the “Coursera for High School Students in the Arab World”.

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