Global Innovation Event

Global Innovation Event

On Wednesday 25 November Caterham School delivered its third Education Evolution Conference, this year in partnership with Croydon Council and Ada, the National College for Digital Skills. The conference continues to frame itself around the question of what schools and colleges need to do in order to best prepare students for the future of work. As with so much this year, we made the move to virtual delivery and met with the exciting reward of becoming an internationally-reaching event! Delegates signed up from all around the world, joining us from America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

We were delighted to welcome so many high-quality speakers who were able to share their experiences of the evolving workplace, as well as their interactions with education. The conference was opened by Theo Blackwell MBE, Chief Digital Officer for London who talked about the challenges and opportunity of building back better post-pandemic. We then heard from Eddie Copeland, Director of the London Office for Technology and Innovation and a former teacher. He explained clearly the skills that schools should be developing around problem-solving and collaboration, two things that we have put at the heart of our EDGE curriculum delivered to the First and Second Year, as well as the Lower Sixth.

Joanna Davinson, Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at the Home Office also expressed the vital importance of the human touch in a digital framework and gave an inspiring account of her own career and the work she does at the intersection of technology and the people it impacts upon at the Home Office.

Chris Rothwell, Director of Education at Microsoft gave us a clear vision of what schools can and are doing to develop digital literacy in schools whilst Nick Hynes, co-founder of SOMO shared his strategy for running a successful digital company and the need to hire T-Shaped people, who have deep knowledge of their own area, but broad understanding the roles of everyone else they work with.

The panel discussion at the end of the event drew together much of what we had heard and applied it directly to the work being down in schools. The panel consisting of Mark Smith, the CEO of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, Christina Coles from Amazon Web Services, Julia von Klonowski, Digital Director at Careers Colleges and Adam Webster, Deputy Head (Innovation) here at Caterham School.

The event was an inspiration to the diverse audience, the aim of which is to help develop the conversations happening between schools and the workplace, to find ways they can more effectively work together, but also to drive forwards the digital and innovation agenda in schools, something that Caterham School is proudly leading the way on. 

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