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

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