Global Education Industry Summit: Education ministers and industry leaders call for new policies to improve teaching and learning
Education ministers and leaders of education-related private sector industries who participated in the Global Education Industry Summit emphasised that new technologies can help to improve teaching and learning. The conference, held in Helsinki, was organised jointly by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Commission and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
Conference participants discussed the need to redesign learning environments to incorporate technological innovations that could widen access to and improve the quality of education. Participants also signaled the need to support teachers, through professional development activities, as they adapt their teaching strategies to make greater and more effective use of digital resources.
High-level policy makers and industry leaders concluded that they held common views on the direction education needs to take in order to meet the demands of the 21st century. Innovation in technology, but also pedagogy and curricula should support schools and teachers to improve learning outcomes of students and ensure that they’re equipped with the knowledge and skills to work and live well in a rapidly changing world. They also agreed on the need for a better dialogue between public policy and the education industry, and welcomed the initiative of the OECD, the European Commission and Finland in having provided an opportunity for dialogue during the Summit.
Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Finland’s Minister of Education and Culture said: “We need to challenge our education systems in order to keep up with current social change and expectations to encourage people to learn continuously. As one of its key projects, Finnish Government supports the modernisation of basic education to meet the current and upcoming challenges. Our learning methods and environments will be updated by this age of digitalisation. The new national curriculum for basic education emphasising digital skills will be introduced in August 2016. We will also support our highly qualified teachers to succeed in our journey to the future.”
Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, said: “It is vital that teachers are active agents, not just in the implementation of technological innovations in the classroom, but in their design.”
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “Technology can be a great tool for teachers and students. While it is no magical solution and certainly not an end in itself, technology can help create more inclusive and interactive approaches to learning, responding better to students’ individual needs and stimulating creativity and innovation. That is why promoting open and innovative education and training systems is one of the new priorities we have proposed for strengthened co-operation at European level in the field of education and training.”
The next Global Education Industry Summits will be hosted by Israel in 2016, the European Commission in 2017, and Estonia 2018.