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RIYADH: The Saudi Electronic University, led by President Dr. Lilac Al-Safadi, has established the Global Trends in E-Learning Forum to improve the future of education.

“The use of technologies in learning will not only improve the resilience of education, but deliver quality and affordable learning at scale,” Al-Safadi told Arab News.

The opening ceremony of the forum will be held on February 21 at 10 a.m. and will last for two days under the patronage of Saudi Minister of Education Hamad Al-Asheikh in Riyadh.

The GTEL Forum will bring together e-learning educators, policy makers, technology developers and innovators from different parts of the world to develop new ways to solve digital challenges.

“GTEL is an annual event on the most important developments, trends, technologies and practices shaping the future of online learning around the world,” said Al-Safadi.

More than 40 speakers and specialists from all over the world will participate in the forum and share their ideas through group discussions and seminars.

Participants will also look at current modern technologies used in online learning.

“GTEL promotes knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas and enables education policy specialists, educators and innovators to explore shifts and changes in online teaching and training methodologies,” added Al-Safadi.

The forum hopes to promote the use of new technologies as part of the digital transformation of e-learning, in line with the ambitions of Vision 2030.

“The digital transformation we are undergoing is a powerful tool that enables everyone to access the learning they need, how they need it and where they need it,” she explained.

There will also be a virtual aspect of the online forum where 50 global companies will participate to advance advancements in digital education and training methodologies.

Al-Safadi explained that the Saudi Electronic University is the first university in Saudi Arabia to exclusively adopt e-learning strategies and technologies in education. The university uses its knowledge and skills to host the forum.

During COVID-19, Al-Safadi pointed out that the university made a complete shift to 100% virtual learning in just 24 hours.

“Our mission is to transfer the latest trends and practices in learning to the Kingdom, and to share our experience in the successful transition of all education to virtual learning within 24 hours of the ministerial decision of close schools and universities,” she said.

“Despite the disruption of face-to-face activities during COVID-19, we have seamlessly transitioned to a fully virtual environment,” she added.

The president explained that with the move to full online learning, the university has not only been able to fully support its students, but has also extended its support, expertise and methodology to other universities. .

She pointed out that they can now help educational institutions that have always had traditional learning environments move to virtual ones.

“As a learning experience house, our mission is to transfer the latest learning trends and practices to the Kingdom,” Al-Safadi said.

“Today, KSA are recognized and seen as influencers and partners in shaping international digital learning policies and developing solutions to local burning issues,” she said.

Al-Safadi stressed the importance for educational institutions to incorporate modern technological advancements in their teachings to better assist their students.

“The opportunities offered by technology stimulate learning in ways that traditional learning methods sometimes cannot.”

During the two-day forum, international participants will also share their international best practices and training in innovative e-learning technologies.

“GTEL connects local and international public and private entities with pioneering ideas in e-learning and facilitates the development of education and training networks around the world,” said Al-Safadi.

This is just the start of the forum, which will take place every year, she added. “We plan to expand our reach in 2023 and invite stakeholders around the world to join the conversation, engage with changes in the education landscape, and drive even more progress and development in the online learning on a global scale in the years to come.”