Projectors, interactive white boards, coding, robots, 3D printers: this and much more was at Didacta 2017, whose main topic was digital innovation. What will the school of the future be like? What market evolutions related to this will occur? Connessioni was there, and we sought to find out.
The first edition of Didacta, the first Italian fair entirely dedicated to the world of teaching, was held at Florence’s Fortezza da Basso from 27 to 29 September. A format that has been extensively tested in Germany (where it has been held for fifty years by now), the event represented a unique occasion in our country for discussing topics related to the relationship between technology and education, and the real benefits for both sides.
We spoke with Project Manager Giacinto Bosco: “we arrived at 20,000 participants, a number that includes teachers who attended the training courses, visitors, institutions, etc. It was a number that greatly surpassed our own expectations. For the exhibition part, we tripled our initial objective: we had 150 exhibitors for a total of 130 stands, with a net exhibition area of 2,500 sqm distributed over four pavilions. The provenance of the companies was very diverse: from Germany, China, Great Britain and Austria and from every part of Italy.”
The event touched on many areas, aiming at integrating the topics of digital innovation in the context of a vaster dialogue between the different parts: “the companies were distributed among the various industrial sectors very consistently, and we had furnishings, equipment, IT and technologies, publishing and services and articles for schools. Additionally, there was an indoor pavilion for the dozen territorial entities and institutions. The exhibition part was accompanied by a scientific program that had a noteworthy success: 93 events with educational credits for participants, all of which were sold out. Furthermore, we had another 40 events between conventions, seminars and laboratories, 30 of which were presentations from companies or associations. Another ten were conventions and “experience-based laboratories”.
The overarching theme of the next edition is yet to be established, but the interest aroused by the initiative surely gives cause for hope: “the 2018 programming will consist first of all of the relaunch (and likely expansion) of the exhibition area. The scientific partner was INDIRE (National Institute of Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research) and with great pleasure we are renewing this collaboration for the future. The first edition was dedicated to the topic of innovation, and we will continue in this vein. For decades in Italy we have seen school as a sector that has no need of support or innovation, that it walks on its own, that there is no need to discuss teaching, etc. Didacta wants to take the responsibility of guiding such a change, exactly how it happened half a century ago in Germany. There is a high degree of excellence in Italian schools, and even of pride among its employees, and they come to confirm this during Didacta’s events. They tell us: ‘we are already doing this in our own little classroom’, but perhaps they are isolated situations of excellence that could broaden with greater frequency. We all know that Italian schools have problems with buildings and security, however, at the same time we should be working on teaching and new technologies related to this, and the teachers who visited the exhibition definitely proved to be very interested.”
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This post is also available in: Italian