Bringing the NETS to the Middle East and Beyond
Mahmud Shihab was like a kid in a candy store in 2003 when he attended his first ISTE conference. He had just been named head of educational technology at
International College in Beirut, Lebanon, and was sent to the
Seattle conference to explore technology tools, software applications, professional development opportunities, and integration techniques to share with teachers at his school.
“It was an amazing experience,” he recalls. Not only did
he bring great ideas back to the teachers at International
College, he says, but over the years he has shared resources,
ideas, professional development, and other information
gleaned from ISTE with educators around the world.
Shihab is in his second year as an ISTE Ambassador, a
program designed to connect international members to
each other and to the resources in their country or region.
Shihab, who represents the Middle East, has been a
perfect fit for the program, says Jessica Medaille, ISTE’s
senior director for membership development. “He’s a
highly respected ICT thought leader, conference presenter,
and champion of the NETS, and he’s been a longtime
volunteer contributor for ISTE,” she says.
Shihab is grateful for the opportunity. “The ISTE Ambassador Program has helped me reach more educators in my
local and international communities,” he says.
In addition to his home country of Lebanon, Shihab
has attended—often as a presenter—education conferences
in Greece, Thailand, Egypt, Qatar, United Arab Emirates,
the United Kingdom, Oman, France, Austria, and the
United States. When it comes to his success at integrating
technology—or advising others about it—Shihab says he
has many tools, but only one is indispensible: the NETS.
—Diana Fingal is senior editor of L&L.