F1 in Schools: Students Take Learning Live

Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 11th, 2011 – As part of its commitment as the presenting partner of the UAE F1TM in School Challenge, Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala), is giving participating students of this year’s F1 in Schools programme tickets to the 2011 Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The F1 in School Challenge is an educational programme designed to provide students with an in-depth experience of Formula One racing, in turn fostering a greater appreciation for engineering, science and technology, marketing and various other disciplines involved in the sport. Mubadala are giving the current F1 in Schools students.

Engaging Your Learners in 2012

No one wants to watch a movie in which the director yells “Lights, Camera…Multiple Choice Question” We are more excited with movies directed with the words “Lights, Camera, Action.” Multiple choice questions don’t reflect reality. In real-life we are seldom confronted with a multiple choice question, we are confronted with problems, decisions, and the need to be innovative. Not the need to choose the best answer out of four choices.
Action is what we want, it is what motivates humans. Kids can’t sit still, they need to move. We want to watch sports with activity and movement. Our jobs demand active thinking, complex decision making, and activity. Why should our learning design be inactive? Why should our online courses start with something as boring and pedantic as a learning objective? Why do we commonly create instruction with the page-of-text, page-of-text, page-of-text, multiple-choice-question format?
For the month of January as the New Year kicks off, I want learning and development professionals to think about action, activity, and innovation. I want us to make a conscious effort to force learners to do something. ..anything to get them mentally or even physically moving. Challenge your learners to interact with the e-learning and classroom instruction that you create.
Here are three tips to help you get started; some are borrowed from the field of video games which is an awesome place to look for inspiration for learning and development professionals. A term I like to use (while some others don’t) is gamification. We need to add gamification to our learning—more about that in a subsequent post.
So here is the list:


Start your learning with a challenge instead of a list of objectives or a lecture. Rather than state, “there are three things you should know about fraudulent claims”—start the training with, the statement “A potentially fraudulent claim has just been filed, you have 20 screens and 30 minutes to learn what to do. Proceed with caution.” As the challenge unfolds and you provide information to the learner, you should be providing more and more learning opportunities, introduce the fraud detection worksheet. Incorporate policy points into the feedback you provide the learner, add in exceptions. Too many courses are too easy. Yes, I said it…too easy. Humans don’t like or respect tasks that are too easy. Yet too many learning courses are built to the lowest common denominator. Create courses that challenger learners, they’ll learn more, remember more and, as a result, be able to do more.

Create training where more than one answer is possible, feasible, and acceptable. Rarely in life are answers cut and dried. There are typically shades of gray that must be dealt with and reconciled. In most e-learning, there are absolutely right and absolutely wrong answers. How does that prepare a learner for what she will encounter on the job? Present a situation where the customer is half-right and half-wrong…what do you do? Or an ethical situation which is filled with gray. Training needs to be more nuanced than its current form. Provide alternative endings, provide different levels of “correct” …don’t keep giving one right answer.
Thir Third
Force the learners to perform the activity they are learning about. Make them enter a customer order, make them calm down an irate customer, make them close out an account. Make them operate the machinery. If you want someone to learn to do something, they must practice doing it! We can’t tell them about being a good leader and then hope they’ll be a good leader, they have to practice being a good leader, or sales person or accountant. Practice is needed to improve performance. Athletes don’t just read about competition, they practice, work on fundamentals, play scrimmages, and then perform. In training situations, the learner reads about negotiation skills, takes a multiple choice test about negotiation skills, and then is asked to go negotiate with a customer. That’s it–no practice, no scrimmage. Immediately they go to the real thing. This is not good.

So, as the New Year starts, think about what you, as a learning and development professional, can do to engage the people for whom you are building instruction. Don’t passively hand them content, instead make them do something in 2012. Your action item from this post is to create at least one challenge or action oriented activities for your learners in the next 3 months.

Ziad J Azzam, CEO of Taaleem Talking to BBC about Private Education in the UAE ( video)

The annual scramble to secure places for children at the UAE’s private schools is over and children are returning to the classroom.

About 80% of the country’s population is expatriate so most youngsters are not entitled to state school tuition. 
And this provides a massive opportunity for private companies to enter the education industry.
Some schools charge £20,000 a year but offer five star facilities. Others come without the frills and have fees of just a few hundred pounds.
With such a wide variation in prices and facilities, how does the country’s need for a functioning education system stack up against the desire of these businesses to turn a profit?
Simon Atkinson reports.

The Delta English School Sharjah at the Indian Pavilion – Global Village (video)

Dubai, UAE, February 4th, 2011 – The Delta English School Indian Pavilion event took place at the Indian Pavilion- Global Village (Dubailand).  The event was a four-month planning process and drew in one the largest groups of spectators ever witnessed at the Indian Pavilion.
Event planning and execution was supervised by SSP (Student Success Program) a segment of DES (Delta Education System) which strives to create and promote student-centered initiatives that cover a wide range specialized areas geared on enhancing student life at school.

Delta English School (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates), founded in 1992, is one of the pioneering C.B.S.E. schools in the nation guided with a vision to provide differentiation to its educational endeavor. As one of the earliest schools, Delta English School possesses a rich tradition of excellence and a history of producing students who truly make a difference to the society. Delta English School honor the past for the foundation it provides to help create the future and with one of the strongest and most competitive academic programs in the country, this school prepares each student to meet the challenges of tomorrow.