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Embracing Remote Student Life
21-05-2020

Embracing Remote Student Life

The unprecedented global shift to
online learning over the past few months has seen educators and students across
the UAE quickly adapt to the “new normal”. While there are still challenges
ahead, there are also incredible opportunities for growth and development that
could help redefine the entire educational experience

We, as educators, need to broaden
our horizons and invest further in the remote learning experience as an
integral part of the post COVID-19 era. It is time for student life to expand
beyond the boundaries of the classroom, and embrace the limitless potential of
distance learning. Empowering an already technology-savvy generation, which has
made technology an integral part of their daily lives, we can create a new
educational environment that can thrive and emerge stronger than before 


With today’s students already well
prepared for this digital transformation, it is now up to us, the educators, to
do our part; investing our time in guiding them towards a secure, remote
learning community which will be the student life of the future. Traditional
education requires students to receive education on school or university
campuses, with technology largely sidelined and denigrated as platforms for
entertainment. But in today’s digital world, computers and mobile devices are
an integral part of student life, and it is essential for educators to step out
of their comfort zones; changing the way they teach and ensuring that their
students enjoy an enriching and fulfilling online experience, which

fosters
creativity and nurtures innovation

In this digital world,
institutions must play a more proactive role in helping students to form
individual identities and present them with a wider range of character-building
opportunities. Just as we did with traditional education, we must provide this
generation of students with a wholesome, remote student life, including
extracurricular activities, leadership programs, career guidance, job fairs,
and even entertainment. Today, more than ever before, we must fuse these
elements into an exciting, digital world where students can immerse themselves
in self-development and feel empowered to set short and long-term life goals.
This digital realm should be a unique opportunity for them to gain new
contacts, experiences, and skills to help them shape their future careers

Our role shouldn’t end with online
classes and lectures. We must continue to communicate with our students via
accessible channels throughout the day, providing them with a dynamic digital
platform for emotional support and guidance to help them overcome any
challenges they may be facing in their personal or educational lives. We need
to ensure the availability of programs that enable them to interact with their
fellow students, such as clubs and volunteer programs. There should be
platforms encouraging reading and dialogue, academic support with remote peer
coaching, and accredited programs teaching new skills and languages, as well as
outlets for entertainment and socializing such as sports, video games, and
contests


Today, educational institutions
have a rare opportunity to turn one of the biggest challenges of modern times
into something that enriches students’ lives rather than disrupts them. By
guiding students to invest their time productively

and encouraging responsible
online conduct, we can help to ensure tomorrow’s leaders are more resilient
than ever


Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi

President and CEO