WiFi changing the face of education in UAE

Teachers today can stream their sessions so that students can be anywhere on campus, where they can sit and see the lesson happening live or record it through WiFi.



By Bernd Debusmann Jr./senior Reporter

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:11 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

Dubai - The spread of WiFi and advances in technology are changing the face of education in the UAE, according to the regional sales manager of global WiFi technology company Ruckus Wireless.

In an interview with the Khaleej Times, Muetassem Raslan said that the increased use of WiFi can transform the way students interact with each other and with their institutions. “Previously, WiFi was just something that schools and universities gave their students just to browse and for social media,” he said. “But today, WiFi is becoming more and more the platform for IT departments and for most of the educational applications that they use in the facilities.”

“For example, teachers today can stream their sessions so that students can be anywhere on campus, where they can sit and see the lesson happening live or record it through WiFi,” he added.

Additionally, Raslan noted that facilities can be controlled through WiFi so that the temperature and fire systems, for example, can be controlled through WiFi platforms. Among the UAE’s greatest WiFi success stories is the American University of Sharjah, which, up until 2012, only had WiFi within select administrative buildings and was struggling to keep up with the demands of its increasingly-connected student body.

Now, with the installation of an additional 1,400 indoor and outdoor WiFi access points, the university’s 6,000 students and staff now are able to connect with essential IT services across campus.

Raslan added that increased connectivity allows educational institutions to work together at a distance.  “We saw the introduction of video-conferencing and that helped education institutes back in 2006 and 2007,” he said.

 “Using WiFi, in which you can provide students with a platform where they can have those discussions and those interactions, will definitely increase the usability of those applications.”

Raslan noted that other countries in the region are now following the UAE’s lead and taking steps to increase WiFi access in local educational institutions.

“Other countries are taking this as a priority, because it is saving the institutes money and is providing a lot of facilities they’ve never had before,” he said. “Saudi Arabia, for example, is a bigger user of WiFi, and Egypt is now coming up. But the UAE is definitely leading, I would say, but the rest are also...following suit.” -bernd@khaleejtimes.com


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