RIYADH: The future of learning came under the spotlight as international and local education experts and leaders gathered at Princess Nourah Bint Abdurahman University in Riyadh on Wednesday.
The two-day Education 4.0 International Conference and Exhibition is themed “Teaching and Learning in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Einas Al-Eissa, president of the university, said: “Operationally we define education 4.0 here at the university as skill-based education, a competency-based education using the technology of the future.”
Al-Eissa, who also spoke about adaptive, hands-on and remote learning, said: “We are considering the jobs of the future, new demands; we have to equip our students with the skills required for the future, and we have developed a skills and values programs.”
She said that the university’s 2025 strategy is in line with Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to become a global leader in research development and innovation.
Dina Abdulaziz Al-Hammadi, scientific committee head at the university, said: “Education 4.0 transforms the future of education throughout advanced technology and automation. Smart technology, artificial intelligence, and mobiles are some of the main assets through which this innovative system seeks to empower the students and grant them the needed abilities to succeed in a global labor market.”
The conference will include eight lectures and eight workshops, as well as two panel discussions in which industry experts will share their insights, discoveries, challenges and opportunities on education practices, trends, digital technologies and the future of education.
“This is about transforming the entire education system to create major benefits in certain areas,” Al-Hammadi said.
“Technology is transforming everything around us and education is no exception.”
Through the conference, the university will also strengthen international relations and cooperation in the fields of teaching and learning.
Al-Hammadi said that the forum is part of the university’s commitment to keeping up to date with advancements in education and the adoption of best practices to prepare students for the future.
One of the keynote speakers, Nancy Gleason, director of Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning, New York University Abu Dhabi, discussed the fourth industrial revolution, and the importance of preparing for the changing and jobs of the future.
Another keynote speaker, Arumugam Raman, an associate professor at the Universiti Utara Malaysia, delivered his speech online.
Other speakers included Ilham Mansour Al-Dakheel, CEO of Dur Alkuttub Co.; Haifa Reda Jamal Al-Lail, president of Effat University; and Prof. Lilac Ahmed Al-Safadi, president of Saudi Electronic University.