Learning 2030 conference kicks off in Waterloo

by | Sep 27, 2013 | News

By: Sarah Stinchcombe

Experts from around the world will gather in Waterloo this weekend to help map out the future of high school education.

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Members of the WGSI (courtesy of the WGSI)

Learning 2030, which starts Sunday and goes until Friday, is being organized by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative, a non-profit organization which promotes critical long-range thinking surrounding global issues.

According to WGSI’s website the goal of summit is to bring together a multinational and multi-generational group of experts to explore the best practices in education, and to potentially change the way students learn with technology.

Hayley Rutherford, Communications Coordinator for Learning 2030, said that it is never too early to start planning for the future.

“The reason we are holding the summit in 2013 is because children born this year will be graduating post secondary education in 2030,” said Rutherford.

According to Rutherford, Learning 2030, the second summit WGSI has organized, will have 34 participants, half of those under the age of 30.

Participants are coming from around the world to attend the events in Waterloo, spanning from places such as Brazil and Singapore.

“The goal of this year’s summit is to develop global scalable strategies that enables students to participate at a functional as well as creative level using the latest technology,” said Rutherford.

Rutherford also added that the organizers of the event are hoping to find a way to give students the tools in order to succeed in the ever-changing technological world.

Ryan Bird, a spokesperson for the Toronto School District School Board, said the use of technology has been consistently growing within Toronto classrooms. Bird added that there are a number of programs already in place to provide students with access to technology.

“There are thousands of new laptops in schools, as well as tablets. However, they are set up in more of a travelling kit so they are able to go to different classes. There is none that are permanently placed in classrooms,” said Bird.

Bird also stated that there has definitely been an increase in the use of technology by students recently.

“Technology is something that is constantly being looked at by better incorporating it into student’s lesson plans,” said Bird. “Although there are not any current overriding plans to expand technology, it is always something we can consider.”