EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Downside represented the UK at the Asia-Europe Foundation Conference last month in Tokyo.

1,700 schools from across Asia, Europe and Oceania applied for a chance to present at the policy-making event, which focussed on Educational Sustainable Development (ESD) and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the classroom.

The conference was attended by 51 countries in Asia, Europe and Oceania, as well as businesses, professionals and experts in the field of education and more specifically, technology in education. The event involved round-table discussions with representatives from the Japanese government, NGOs and other charities, looking at how Japan is implementing the 17 sustainable development goals set down by the UN, and how we, as educators, can shape the future. The three pillars of sustainable development are environmental, economic and social, and they underpin the strategy to change the mind-set of the human race and our impact on our world.

The goals for the conference were to expose teachers to ESD and AI. A key aspect was to gauge educators’ readiness on these subjects, and to explore the developing role of the teacher in this new age of digital technology and AI in the classroom.

During the conference, Downside Deputy Head Mike Randall, along with Alex Wright from ScienceScope, the school’s education tech partner, presented their exciting new collaborations project which aims to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) and ‘big data’ into classroom. The project will lead best practice in over 20 schools in Asia, Europe and Oceania, and to empower young people to be creative in dealing with real world issues, using ‘big data’ to make better informed decisions. For example, one aspect of the project involves the use of weather stations connected to the internet across the globe gathering data in real time to use in the classroom. Pupils will be able to track the progress of hurricanes or typhoons across countries, to see what is happening to global temperatures as well as using other sensors to monitor ecosystems and human effects on them.

Click here to find out more about ScienceScope.