Opening Conference Welcome and Key Notes
The welcome was provided by Antonio Garcia Ricos from the organising committee. He focused on the 10 Trends transforming Education as we know it report published by the EU in 2017. The 10 trends include:
• The earlier the better
• Graduation is not the end of learning
• Digital is the new literacy
• Humans are not the only ones learning
• From standardisation to customisation
• From Silos to Mash-ups
• Many (new) fish in the education pond
• Transition interrupted
• Media literacy wanted
• Growing global competition for Universities
This was a great outline for the two key note speakers to then continue.
The first Sylvia Martinez from Invent to Learn in the USA talked about how education is changing and computation enables students to engage in projects that were not possible before. The students of today in schools can engage in science projects and become agents of change. She spoke of the maker movement http://www.makerspaceforeducation.com/ and how this is disruptive but provides real experiences for students and active learning. As Piaget said “Knowledge is a consequence of experience”. We need to empower teachers to change the curriculum and remove outdated information to make way for new.
The second speaker was Jaime Casap who is an education evangelist from Google in USA. Jaime talked about the importance of education in changing destiny of students and disrupting poverty. The future is digitalisation although technology has been around for a long time. We know that good learning is about being relevant, engaging, active and thinking differently. AS robotics change and develop so will jobs and so children need different skills. These include problem-solving, teamworking, communications, critical thinking, creativity, literacy and digital literacy. There is no end point for learning. Collaboration is important for all and for the job market and yet we still assess students as individuals and we need to move away from this and assess collaborative endeavours.