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digital#lifelonglearning event – stay abreast of developments

Lifelong learning has become an increasingly important topic in educational policy debates throughout the world, particularly in the context of digitalisation. According to the European Commission, lifelong learning is “all learning activity undertaken throughout life that serves to improve knowledge, skills and competence”. Our world is changing around us at such a fast pace that if each of us does not continue to grow and develop, we are all at risk of being left behind. Each of us needs to keep our skills sharp and up to date throughout our lives. Lifelong learning helps us adapt to change, and enrich our lives.

Technologies to help learning

The digitalswitzerland/FSEA event on 27th November at the Paul Klee Museum in Bern is a mixture of theoretical and hands-on experiences with new technologies. While many Learning and Development managers are fully familiar with Learning Management Systems (LMS), which enable employees to access learning through technology platforms, new technologies such as avatars and artificial intelligence applied to learning are likely to change both recruitment practices and learning outcomes. With technology, there are many new ways to explore and learn.

Technology allows for a more individualised degree of interactivity in order to customise the learning experience based on the needs of the user, whether it is acquisition of skill sets or refining competences. Technology provides new resources for learning that overcome distance and time and facilitate repetition and practice. Technology does not replace learning objectives and outcomes, which must be set clearly in order to achieve goals. Technology is, in short, not an end in itself but rather a means to an end: to learn how to apply acquired knowledge.

Evolving skills and competencies

Switzerland far exceeds the adult learning target of 15% that the European Union set for 2020. In 2016, our country stood at 32% for the 25-64 age range. This is testimony to the concerted effort by academia, professional associations, government bodies and companies to include as many people as possible in lifelong education. As the workplace changes and evolves, so must skill registries such as the ESCO classification, which identifies and categorises skills, competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training. At a smaller level, the event will present the findings of a study on evolving digital skills in Romandie and which skills will be looked for in tomorrow’s employment market.

Sign up now! 

The programme is limited to 120 people. Please sign up now to make sure you can attend! For more information and the programme, please see here. To remain informed on what digitalswitzerland does, remember to sign up to our newsletter!

The first Campus seminar took place in Zurich last week, in partnership with digitalswitzerland. In front of a full house, interesting speakers each gave a different view of what innovation in teaching might look like, with a digital perspective, recognising that  teachers play an absolutely key role in inspiring children to be curious, to dare to experiment and to dare to fail.

Empowering teachers in a world of rapid change

(blog content provided by Cristina Riesen, We Are Play Lab)

Teachers play a key role in preparing our children with the breadth of skills needed for the future. In a world of rapid transformation, driven by global socio-economic developments and exponential technological innovations, supporting teachers to do a great job as educators of caring, responsible and well-educated future citizens is far from being an easy task.

Whereas reforming the education system to meet 21st century demands is important, we should not underestimate the power of small steps taken by a critical mass of people every day, inside and outside the classroom, to accelerate positive change in education. The key stakeholders in the life of a child (be it educators, parents, communities, or policy-makers) can lead by example and, through 21st century skills such as collaboration, creativity or critical thinking, design inspiring formal and informal learning environments for the next generation.

Exciting innovations in education are already happening all over the world. Switzerland is no exception. The challenge is that they are not equally distributed. How might we bridge this gap and leapfrog to new approaches to education? How might we empower teachers to become architects of change?

Promoting teacher innovation and excellence

Enter a global community of education innovators and Campus Seminars. Campus Seminars were born in 2011 in Finland, a country praised for its education system. The Finnish non profit organisation hundrED, which collects and curates  100 educations innovations in K12 around the world every year, launched Campus Seminars as exclusive events for teachers, to help them make sense of global changes.

After expanding to six European countries, Campus Seminar made its debut in Zurich, Switzerland, on September 19th, 2018. In line with the strong national focus on digitalisation and innovation, the event gathering a vibrant community of educators focused on Perspectives of Digital Transformation

The mission of Campus Seminar in Switzerland is threefold:

Support the development of the national education innovators community in an interdisciplinary environment fostering experimentation and informal learning. Through expert-led talks, best practice exchange and onsite immersive experiences, we demystify mindsets related to digital transformation and support teachers to discover exciting developments in education and society.

Today, to understand the world that has become highly digital, we must add computer science in schools. We have to educate children early on to the dangers and opportunities of computer science, robotics and AI tools through an understanding of basic mechanisms.” — Francesco Mondada, Prof. Dr. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, EPFL Lausanne

Recognise and appreciate that positive change is already happening in classrooms and schools throughout Switzerland. By sharing inspiring and authentic projects from educators who are already innovating, we can empower other teachers to bring change in the classrooms.

“If you don’t learn how to fail, you may fail to learn. Magic happens on the other side of failure. When you teach and design for failure, students not only learn deep knowledge and skills but they are also able to transfer that knowledge to novel situations. Through productive failure, students can best learn 21st century skills such as persistence, critical thinking or creativity. ” — Manu Kapur, Prof. Dr. Learning Sciences, ETH Zurich

Showcase local innovative educators and education projects beyond Switzerland. Through the global network of hundrED, we give international visibility to national innovators and add Switzerland to the global map of K12 innovators.

“We learn best when we are purpose-driven, when we think critically and ask questions, when we prototype, experiment and make mistakes, when we create and agree on explicit rules, when we value diversity, debate constructively and make robust decisions.” — Nadja Schnetzler, cofounder of Republik

We could not have wished for a better line-up of speakers and more insightful presentations for the very first Campus Seminar in Switzerland. You can watch all videos and discover exciting Swiss education innovations, from maker spaces in primary school to scalable game design or integrating virtual reality in teaching, here.

It was an inspiring, content rich and highly energetic event. A big thank you goes to all partners and amazing people who contributed to making it a success. Based on the very positive feedback from participants, we know that this is only the beginning 🙂 and look forward to future editions of Campus Seminar in Switzerland!

Campus Seminar Zurich 2018 is an event initiated and organised by We Are Play Lab with Schweizer Schulpreis. Part of digitalswitzerland Next Generation initiatives, it is supported by the Gebert Rüf Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator Schweiz. Outreach and communication partners of the event are the Zurich University of Teachers Education PHZ, Impact Hub Zurich, Swiss EdTech Collider and hundrED

Stay tuned to digitalswitzerland’s news by subscribing to our newsletter here.

digitalswitzerland and SVEB/FSEA have joined forces to create an afternoon event dedicated to digital#lifelong learning at the Paul Klee Museum in Bern on November 27, 2018. The conference will provide an overview of the digital transformation of the world of work, including an exploration of what this means for lifelong learning. The programme is based on research results on this impact, information on the daily life of digitalised companies, and a practical hands-on part. Participants will have the opportunity to try new technologies in the context of virtual training environments and 3D collaborative platforms. They will see a robot working as a teacher and learn more about artificial intelligence, simulation and digital recruitment tools.

A lot of talk but little understanding

There is a lot of talk about the new technologies – how they are changing the workplace, what the impact will be both short- and long-term – as well as a lot of fear. While technology is exciting, it does not stand alone; humans also have their role to play, whether in soft skills or in social interactions, hence the importance of lifelong learning. Indeed, underlying all work is learning: learning first in schools then at work, on the job and in class, online.

When in 1997 Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in a chess game and 19 years later AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol at the strategic game of go, it showed that machine intelligence could outrank programmers’ knowledge. The whole discussion about The Singularity (The Singularity is the hypothetical future creation of superintelligent machines. Superintelligence is defined as a technologically-created cognitive capacity far beyond that possible for humans) is a raging debate that no one can currently answer.

Notwithstanding, the whole point of the 27 November event is to help  C-suite and Learning and Development professionals approach these technologies in a fun and interactive way, thus enhancing curiosity and hopefully more learning in these areas.

And what about education and lifelong learning in all of this?

According to the EDK/CIDP, in the labour market, digitalisation and thus automation has become more widespread in the last twenty years, but according to the 2018 education report it is currently difficult to make forecasts regarding the scope and, above all, the speed with which these processes will impact the future. The process of tertiarization is likely to continue in Switzerland, even if less aggressively. According to FSO forecasts, by 2045 around 60% of the population will have a tertiary level education (university or higher vocational education) compared to around 40% in 2015.

The announcement this September that “the Federal Council wants Switzerland to exploit the opportunities of digitalisation to the full” includes the area of education and, hopefully, lifelong education. Everyone needs to be taken along in the learning curve, so that no one is left behind. Thus we encourage you to come and discover our event.

Sign up now! 

The programme is limited to 120 people. Please sign up now to make sure you can attend! For more information and the programme, please see here. To remain informed on what digitalswitzerland does, remember to sign up to our newsletter!

As part of the nextgeneration initiative, digitalswitzerland is supporting the first Campus event for teachers in Zurich in September 2018.

(Blog content provided by Cristina Riesen, We Are Play Lab)

The world outside schools is changing faster than ever. The less educators understand and embrace these changes, the more difficult it is to be excited and optimistic about the future.

The mission of Campus Seminars, launched by hundrED in Finland in 2011, is to inspire teachers and to get them excited about change by bringing together experts from different fields and showcasing best practice from innovative schools locally and around the world.

“Teachers play a key role in explaining the world to their students and preparing them for their role in society. Change must become a key theme in schools so that teachers and students can embrace it with excitement and see it as an empowering opportunity.”

Saku Tuominen, founder of hundrED and Campus Seminar

We are very excited to join forces with hundrED and to launch Campus Seminar in Zurich on September 19th, 2018.

Focusing on Perspectives of Digital Transformation, the very first Campus Seminar Zurich will explore how digital transformation is impacting education, beyond the hype. In an informal and inspirational learning and networking environment, the event will bring together a vibrant community of teachers to support gaining a deeper understanding of behaviours, motivations and aspirations that can help unlock more adoption of digital innovation in the classroom.

“We aim to inspire and to equip Swiss teachers with in-depth knowledge of the digital transformation happening inside and outside the classroom, so that schools can embrace change in a rapidly changing world.”

Besides best practice presentations from innovative fellow teachers, attendees will also be inspired by leading academics and ambitious entrepreneurs. Among the speakers at Campus Seminar Zurich on September 19th, 2018 are:

Nadja Schnetzler, co-founder at Republik, who has managed over 600 innovation projects for companies of all sizes and all industries.

Melanie Kovacs, founder of Master21, recently named Forbes 30 under 30.

Francesco Mondada, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at EPFL, creator of the educational robot Thymio.

Manu Kapur, Professor and Chair of Learning Sciences and Higher Education at ETH Zurich, who conceptualised the notion of Productive Failure.

Visit for the full list of speakers and more information. The event will be livestreamed on the website on September 19th, 2018 starting at 1.30pm.

Campus Seminar Zurich is an event initiated and organised by We Are Play Lab with Schweizer Schulpreis. Part of digitalswitzerland Next Generation initiatives, it is supported by the Gebert Rüf Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator Schweiz. Outreach and communication partners of the event are the Zurich University of Teachers Education PHZ, Impact Hub Zurich, Swiss EdTech Collider and hundrED.

Campus video trailer:

digitalswitzerland is pleased to say that the event is full, weeks before the date! Keep up to date with our news by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Lots of new skills, ideas and friends during the Codillion summer camps for kids

digitalswitzerland’s nextgeneration digital platform for summer camps is drawing ever more interest. One of the camps, Codillion, looks back on the summer and shares the experience.

(Blog content supplied by Marloes Caduff, Codillion)

During the past summer holidays, Codillion organised camps for children in Zurich, St. Gallen, Bern, Zug and Glattfelden. Codillion is part of  digitalswitzerland nextgeneration. With the opening of our own “Codillion Coding & Robots Studio” in June 2018, we were able to conduct courses in our own four walls for the very first time. Although the temperatures were high and we all were tempted to go swimming as early as possible, the camps were a complete success. Despite the heat, the children were very enthusiastic about their newly learned skills and ideas were streaming out of them, just like sweat. The children played computational thinking games, made their own paper laptops including RAM and ROM, and programmed robots to dance simultaneously, race a track and make lots of funny noises.

Little Codillions visited the mint&pepper camp

Some Codillions stayed with us during lunch and afternoon and had an exciting programme. They visited the Hello, Robot exhibition in Winterthur and also visited our friends from the mint&pepper camp in Dübendorf.

First time this summer: programming games in Python

Having already run over 30 holiday camps, we had a première during the last week of the summer holidays. The first group of 5th graders and above transitioned from block programming (such as Scratch) to Python. This course was such a success, we are adding Python camps to all our holiday camps located in Zurich.

Parents are astonished how quickly and easily kids learned their new skills

What computational thinking is and how children, from a very early age, can master these skills, are open questions many parents have. To address these questions, we are opening our doors in Zurich on Wednesday 5. September for all kids and parents to learn more about these 21st century skills.  Just come by and question us, the children can test our robots and laptops.

Our Zurich summer camps 2019 are already online!

Our camps are open during all main school holidays, and the summer camps 2019 are already open for registration. We are looking forward to the next holiday camps full of fun, learning, exploring and making friends!

Remember to sign up to the digitalswitzerland newsletter to keep abreast of all our news and activities.

In wealthy countries, the rule has till now been simple: get formal education at an early stage in life and for the rest of your career you are all set. With technological change accelerating, things are getting more complicated. Even employers don’t know what skillsets their employees will need in the future. What is clear is that learning and education are central to this change process and need to be rethought. All of us have to stay up to date with latest technological developments and never stop learning.

digitalswitzerland wants to take responsibility and be part of the conversation on how to shape education and lifelong learning in Switzerland. This is why together with the SVEB/FSEA (Swiss Federation for Adult Learning), the Swiss national umbrella organisation for adult education, we have created an event called digital#lifelonglearning, a programme that aims to present new technologies in adult learning. Participants will understand the evolving stakes in lifelong learning, the changes that are being effected in learning technologies, and the advances in lifelong learning approaches that these technologies offer.

digital#lifelong learning

On November 27, 2018, digitalswitzerland and the SVEB/FSEA are organising an afternoon event dedicated to digital#lifelong learning at the Paul Klee Museum in Bern. This first edition of the course targets C-suite, Human Resource (HR) and Learning&Development (L&D) professionals. The event will be a mix of plenary and hands-on sessions with exciting new technologies.

Still a gap in 35-65 year olds’ lifelong education

Formal education covers education and training in national and private schools, universities and colleges. Non-formal education and training includes all taught learning activities which are not part of a formal education programme. Switzerland is singularly well endowed with its apprenticeship and federal vocational exam system. Currently 62% of the population aged 15-75 have attended at least one lifelong learning course. 71% of paid employees followed a course of some kind. However, it is the 25-34 year olds which are the most motivated, with a participation rate of 76%. This means that the 35-65 year olds still have a long way to go and lifelong learning has to move up on the Swiss education agenda.

The Swiss Confederation published its updated plan for Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) in July this year, which states that Switzerland wishes to maintain its leadership in international ERI rankings. “The actors in the field of education, research and innovation must take the measure of their role as digital agents, strengthen their position, raise awareness in society at large and the economy, promote digitalisation and make them able to exploit the dynamic of innovation that digitalisation enables” (Federal Council International ERI Strategy, July 2018). We all have a part to play in pushing this agenda forward.

Save the date

The programme is limited to 120 people. Please save the date now to make sure you can attend! For more information and the programme, please see here. To remain informed on what digitalswitzerland does, remember to sign up to our newsletter!

The 2018 digitalswitzerland video competition is open: Prepare your smartphones and ideas!

Smartphones are often the first entry into the digital world, providing entertainment, communication and information. Whereas the written word dominated much of the twentieth century, images are now the main force. Take a look round wherever you are and you will see people on their phones – talking, listening, watching. At the same time, phones allow unbelievable digital creativity, using different apps.

Films prompt reality

Apple’s smartphone made headlines for the critically praised feature-length film, Tangerine, filmed entirely with the mobile device. In turn, director Steven Spielberg consulted with a team of futurists including computer scientists, philosophers, artists and architects to create the high-tech world in the year 2054 for sci-fi blockbuster Minority Report. The movie, released in 2002, creatively portrayed and accurately predicted several technologies, including multi-touch interfaces, retina scanners and crime prediction software. The movie inspired many entrepreneurs to develop new technologies based on the film’s vision. Such is the power of film!

This is why in 2017 digitalswitzerland, in partnership with LerNetz, launched a video competition for the national Digital Day. Last year, it was largely successful in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, with celebrities like Bastian Baker and Fabian Cancellara involved in the prize-giving. Schools in Sargans, Küsnacht and St Gallen were among the winners.

What does a playground 4.0 look like?

In 2018, we are running the competition again and are aiming for more schools in more regions of Switzerland. The theme this year is centred on what a digitalised playground (“playground 4.0”) looks like. Children and teenagers in primary, secondary I and secondary II can enter the competition alone or with their class. The idea is to produce a 90-second film, using a smartphone, with a vision of what a playground 4.0 may look like. Will it be completely connected? Will children spend all their time on SnapChat and Whats App? Will future playgrounds be no wifi zones?  A jury composed of teachers, teachers’ representatives and business executives will judge the films.

Pedagogic prizes

The first prize for all levels will be a CHF 2’000 cash prize. Other prizes include a workshop on computational thinking, and different guided visits such as to the Museum of Digital Arts in Zurich. The competition will close on September 30th and prizes will be attributed on Digital Day, October 25th.

Digital Day October 25th

Under the claim “Experiencing digital together”, the second edition of the national event will be the day to learn, try out and think of how new technologies are used today. Education, robotics, virtual reality, cybersecurity, eHealth and other hot topics will be presented and discussed in various locations throughout Switzerland. A great opportunity to understand that digitalisation is not a “Minority Report”.

Stay tuned for more news on our website and sign up to the digitalswitzerland newsletter here.

One of the stated aims of the digitalswitzerland nextgeneration programme is to develop talents for the future and foster passion in youngsters’ minds for ICT and STEM subjects. The six high quality summer camps that are offered by the digitalswitzerland next generation initiative, all offer slightly different courses at various times in cities across Switzerland.  ICT Scouts & Camps is focused on identification and recruitment of future talents during the year, for a first time they will run a camp for kids  in August.

Looking for young ICT/STEM talent
(content provided by Dominik Strobel, ICT Scouts & Campus)

In a normal week, ICT Scouts & Campus is a systematic recruitment (ICT Scouts) and continuous promotional (ICT Campus) programme for young ICT/STEM talents in and around Zurich. ICT Scouts visit every 7th grade secondary school class and invite talents to join a three year campus programme where they can engross their talents in a fun environment with peers of their own. This programme is aimed at maximizing the Swiss ICT/STEM talent pool and preparing them for an education in a STEM field.

It was not long before other interest groups came asking, “What about us?”! Genuine ICT education worthy of its name is not available anywhere in the Swiss school system, no matter what the “Lehrplan 21” may say.

KidsCodeCamp: One week of summer holidays well spend

For the first time this summer,  ICT Scouts & Campus is offering a one-week day camp from August 6-10 for primary school kids in Muttenz (near Basel).

Along with the experienced ICT Campus coaches, children age 8 – 12 experience just how fascinating, varied and fun IT can be. Integrate your self-developed secret codes and computer riddles into your own scavenger-hunt, programme your own computer game, build your own joystick with tin-foil, card-board and MakeyMakey, engineer a Lego Robot and measure it up against your peers in combat… These are just a few of the fun things you’ll do at KidsCodeCamp! Sign up here.

Besides KidsCodeCamp, ICT Scouts & Campus also offers basic programming workshops for teachers throughout the year. These are available online as well as life for groups of eight teachers and up:

Stay tuned on all ongoing projects of digitalswitzerland

digitalswitzerland has a number of activities other than nextgeneration. To find out more, stay tuned and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Among others, the institutions  of higher education SUPSI, EPFL and ETH are all involved in the digitalswitzerland nextgeneration summer camps, providing a guarantee of quality and solid science. A concerted effort is being made to include girls and boys in equal numbers. This week’s blog focuses on the EPFL robotics camp, one of many camps that the institution provides for young people.

How to build and code robots for Girls and Boys
(content provided by Farnaz Moser, EPFL)

The goal of this 5-day camp for the children aged 11 to 13 is to introduce young girls and boys to coding and robotics and arouse their interest for the fields of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and engineering. This camp is a part of a wide programme developed at EPFL to get youngsters aged 7 to 16 interested in science and technology and inspire them to go further in these fields. You can see more here.

EPFL Summer camps to acquire skills in the field of ICT

During this camp, the participants learn to design, build, and programme robots to carry out their projects. Participants will use the Lego Mindstorms educational platform to build and programme robots, which will then move in mazes, avoid collisions, dance, play music and perform some of the missions of the FIRST LEGO League competition (see

Participants acquire different skills in the areas of design, coding, problem solving, collaborative work, and presentation of results. The appropriate pedagogical approach is chosen so that girls and boys are equally encouraged and inspired, are fascinated and have fun. At the end of the week, they present their projects to their parents during a ceremony where they also receive their EPFL participation certificate.

Dates and registration

The camp will take place two times this year, in French, on the EPFL campus from 13 to 17 August 2018 and 15 to 19 October 2018. We aim to have an equal number of boys and girls attending. For more information and to sign up: Mon robot est malin

You can also see a short Video of a previous camp.

And don’t forget to keep informed about digitalswitzerland‘s activities, by signing up to our newsletter.

DanceBots, coding and creativity: learning more about future professional possibilities

Within the digitalswitzerland nextgeneration initiative, MINT&Pepper is running one of the six high quality summer camps offered to children and youth. The camps provide an array of attractive sessions built on previous experiences and new developments.

Experiential learning for amusing scientific insights
(content provided by Mint&Pepper)

How do I build a dancing robot? Which is the fastest fish and how do I imitate it? When does a Thymio-robot glow in the dark? MINT&Pepper provides some answers. While being part of projects, children and teenagers learn new things and combine this with their existing knowledge, making them curious for more MINT (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Technology) knowledge and experience!

Our vision is to give all children and young people in Switzerland a practical insight into MINT subjects. We offer them the possibility, independently of origin or gender, to select a profession that matches their talents. In the long term, this should lead to even more innovation and pleasure at work and to the strengthening of the overall economy in Switzerland by more diversity in a sustainable way.

Summer camps “Mission Rosetta”

The “Mission Rosetta” summer camps give key insights into robotics, medicine, materials and food sciences through fun projects based on a real space mission. During the “Mission Rosetta camp”, the children implement their own mission, which is like a real mission: the lander did not land as planned. The group therefore needs to programme each robot so that it finds its own destination on the comet. By doing so, the children get insights into topics that have come up through space travel and significantly influence our everyday lives.

How to join the camp

Each camp is a four-day programme from Tuesday to Friday and is best suited to children between 10 to 14 years old. All four days are full with programmes; the participants arrive at 8.30am in the morning and stay until 5pm in the afternoon. Up to 100 children can attend each camp. The camps are led by employees and students of ETH Zurich. Parents can sign up their children here and can also get reduced tickets with Kulturlegi

Professional practice: having fun counts the most!

Each season is a success, with hundreds of children learning to see the variety of MINT subjects of interest, and with camp graduates choosing to pursue MINT studies. The hands-on approach of the camp evokes reactions such as Joris’s: “First, the robot wasn’t programmed correctly, it was a defeat. But now everything is running perfectly, it’s a big success!” One parent commented: “The children learn that they do not just understand everything instantaneously and that solving problems can be challenging. During the camp week they had their success stories and I think that the mission is now fulfilled: they are very satisfied.”