Pearson and EdSurge Launch Adaptive Learning Report and Tool in the Middle East.

Free resource will help Gulf educators navigate region’s digital learning market.
27th September 2016
Dubai: A new report on adaptive learning has been launched in the Middle East by Pearson and EdSurge. The report, Decoding Adaptive, defines adaptive learning in plain terms and examines how an adaptive learning tool can adapt to learner needs and promote learning outcomes.
The research is the first serious attempt to provide a useful definition of adaptive learning, and a taxonomy to describe how the many different adaptive learning products on the market differ from one another.

The report holds relevance for educators and school leaders across the Gulf, as adaptive learning tools are increasingly being taken up in schools as a way of improving student results.
Adaptive learning tools are described in the report as “education technologies that can respond to a student’s interactions in real time by automatically providing the student with individual support”.
The report is accompanied by an interactive decision making tool that helps teachers determine whether digital adaptive learning tools are appropriate for their students, and provides suggestions as to the category of tool that might be most suitable to their learners’ particular needs.
Report contributor, Michael B. Horn, a leading education thinker and author of the best seller Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, says:
“With the large number of adaptive learning tools now available in the market, it is important that educators and school leaders are able to identify the tools that best suit their learners’ needs. There is little merit in using adaptive learning tools that have no impact on improving learner outcomes. Many of these tools hold great promise for helping learners to achieve their potential. However, educators need to be given the skills and tools to navigate the differences between the thousands of different products on the market and select the best tool for their specific learner needs”.
Managing Director of Pearson in the Middle East, Karim Daoud, says:
“We are excited to bring this exciting piece of research to the Middle East, where adaptive learning tools are increasingly commonplace in the region’s classrooms and lecture halls. I believe the report, and the accompanying tool, will be of great benefit to our educators as they look to embrace the potential of technology in education. The report helps us all to better understand what adaptive learning actually is – and how it can make learning more personalised and ultimately more effective”.
The full report can be downloaded here:
The interactive decision making tool can be accessed at:

Pearson launches “Intelligence Unleashed: An Argument for AI in Education” in Middle East.

10th July, 2016
DUBAI, RIYADH: In a world where digital tools support virtually every part of our lives, why is it that the full power of such tools has yet to be unleashed to those who might benefit most – educators and learners? In the latest of its series of publications concerning digital learning, Intelligence Unleashed: An Argument for AI in Education, Pearson, in collaboration with the UCL Knowledge Lab, maps out how artificial intelligence in education (AIEd) can be used to create learning tools that are more efficient, flexible and inclusive than those currently available; tools that will help learners in the Middle East prepare for an economy that is swiftly being reshaped by digital technologies.

The paper addresses a number of important and provocative questions that hold pertinence for policy makers, educators, parents and students throughout the Middle East region as it rapidly takes up emerging digital innovations. Such questions include: How can teachers and learners benefit from AIEd right now? How might learner outcomes be improved by AIEd in the very near future? And, how can AIEd contribute to systemic challenges facing the education sector at large?
The authors, led by Professor Rose Luckin and Wayne Holmes of the UCL Knowledge Lab, highlight existing and emergent technology that could be leveraged to address some of the most intractable issues in education, many of which are felt acutely here in the Middle East, such as achievement gaps. For example, technology available today could be applied to support student learning at a scale previously unimaginable by providing one-on-one tutoring to every student, in every subject. Existing technologies also have the capacity to provide intelligent support to learners working in a group, and to create authentic virtual learning environments where students have the right support, at the right time, to tackle real-life problems and puzzles.
Pushing the bounds of practice and theory, the paper considers a future where teaching and learning is supported by the thoughtful application of AIEd. Imagine lifelong learning companions powered by AI that can accompany and support individual learners throughout their studies – in and beyond school – or new forms of assessment that measure learning while it is taking place, shaping the learning experience in real time.
Ultimately, the tools of AIEd help respond to the new innovation imperative in education – the need, in a jobs market re-shaped by technology, to help learners achieve at higher levels, and in a wider set of skills, than any education system has managed to date. However, that vision isn’t possible without deliberate efforts to elevate the conversation about AIEd.
“AI is already impacting education. To fully benefit from what AIEd has to offer, we must involve teachers, parents and learners to ensure that AIEd tools are grounded in learning, and that they deliver what is genuinely needed. We call for a radical change in the way that AIEd is currently funded, to break away from the today’s siloed and inefficient environment. It is our hope that this work will spark a positive and proactive debate,” commented Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design from the UCL Knowledge Lab.
In their recommendations, the authors hone in on three critical forces that must be managed as the future of AIEd in the Middle East emerges: involving teachers, students and parents in co-designing new tools so that AIEd addresses real needs of the classroom and other learning environments; embedding proven pedagogical techniques in the design of new AIEd-powered edtech products; and creating smart demand for commercial grade AIEd products that work.
Karim Daoud, Managing Director of Pearson in the Middle East said, “Countries in the GCC like to be ahead of the game when it comes to education, with many in the sector keen to embrace the latest and most innovative learning technologies available. Therefore, I think that it is likely that AIEd will have a great role to play in the future of education in this region. Equipping the large and growing population of young people in the region with an education that welcomes the role of AI and uses it to the advantage of learners is important, and this paper sets out ways in which this can be achieved”.
Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser at Pearson said, “There is no doubt that AI will significantly influence what we teach and learn, as well as how we do it. The challenge is to ensure that it truly supports teachers, learners, and their parents. Many important decisions will need to be made as these technologies develop, mature, and scale; this paper offers some concrete options that will allow us to realize the potential of AIEd at the system level.”
This paper is published as part of the Open Ideas at Pearson series. The series features some of the best minds in education – from teachers and technologists, to researchers and big thinkers – to bring their ideas and insights to a wider audience. Future pieces on digital learning will feature topics including adaptive learning and how we can build efficacy into learning technologies.
About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology.
Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives.
About the UCL Knowledge Lab
The UCL Knowledge Lab (previously known as the London Knowledge Lab) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
Our mission is both to understand and to design ways in which new digital technologies can support and transform learning and teaching throughout the life course, at home and at work.
We start from the belief that new technologies, when we fully exploit their possibilities, will change not only the ways we learn, but what we learn, as well as how we work, how we collaborate, and how we communicate. Based on research and evidence, we are devising new pedagogies, implementing innovative digital systems, developing new areas of knowledge, and informing policymakers and educational stakeholders.
Read the full report here:


Leading names in ELT separate fact from fiction in new report that has implications for Middle East ELT educators
Dubai, 22 May 2016: A new report from Pearson and ELTjam, ELT: Fact or Fiction has been released in the Middle East.

ELT: Fact or Fiction questions ten of the most prevalent global ‘myths’ within the English language teaching sector today – asking which are fact and which are fiction.  Some of the biggest and most influential names in English language teaching have been enlisted to tackle assertions such as: online language learning is inferior to classroom learning; advances in automated translation services spell the end of English language teaching; individual learning styles don’t matter, and whether computers can evaluate language proficiency as accurately or better than humans.
With growth rates of the Middle East ELT and digital learning sectors some of the highest in the world, the new report holds relevance for parents, educators and policy makers across the region. A study from Ambient Insight titled The 2013-2018 Middle East Digital English Language Learning Market found that in every Middle Eastern country analysed, mobile English learning ‘apps’ consistently rank among the best-selling ‘apps’. The countries surveyed consisted of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Yemen. The report attributed the high levels of growth in the ELT sector on a number of factors, including government-led initiatives to bolster English language proficiency and private sector demand for industry-specific forms of English (such as ‘Aviation’ English or ‘Oil and Gas’ English).
Karim Daoud, Managing Director of Pearson in the Middle East believes the ELT: Fact or Fiction findings will have a powerful impact on teachers and institutions in the Middle East, where English language skills are closely linked to employment opportunities and earning potential. He says:
“Improved English language capability has been proven to enhance earning prospects and improve living standards. English language uptake at a national scale is also linked to private sector development in key industry growth areas. With English language skills such an important aspect of an individual’s ability to secure meaningful work and earn a good wage, and widespread economic growth, it is only natural that a burgeoning number of people across the Middle East, from all stages of life, are looking to find high quality English language learning opportunities. It is therefore important that we continually assess ways in which ELT education can be improved and stay up-to-date with the latest global developments”.
New data accompanying the report highlights that English as a Second Language teachers feel the sector has been transformed by the digital revolution, but many are sceptical about its benefits and the capability of digital solutions. Whilst 79% of the 600 surveyed agreed that technology has transformed English language learning and teaching, just 20% thought that online learning could be as effective as classroom learning. Only 9% felt that computers are as effective as humans when it comes to delivering assessment scores.
Mr Daoud says of the statistics:
“Many countries in our region are finding it difficult to secure a requisite number of appropriately trained English language educators to meet rapidly increasing demand. Improving the quality of ELT educators, and the quality of the teaching tools available to these educators will therefore be an important step in ensuring all English language learners in this region have access to a high standard of English language education. This report is very helpful in demonstrating how technology can be used more effectively to enhance ELT learning, and which ELT teaching myths are helpful (and which are not) in promoting student outcomes”.
The full report is available to download at
About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology.

Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives.​ For more visit