EdCrunch-2018: in the forefront of education modernization

Mikhail Kotyukov: #EdCrunch will allow us to be in the forefront of education modernization

On October 1-2, Moscow hosted the V Fifth International Conference on Educational Technologies #EdCrunch 2018, the largest specialized forum in Europe, under the motto «Data that Transform the World». Over 300 Russian and foreign experts and 5,000 visitors discussed the issues of the education system modernization using blockchain, bigdata and artificial intelligence. The conference was organized by National University of Science and Technology MISIS and "20.35" NTI University with support from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The media partners are Accreditation in Education Company and Higher Education Discovery.

Mikhail Kotyukov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, opened the #EdCrunch2018 and welcomed its participants. “It is very important to adapt and modernize educational technologies in the rapidly changing world. The rate of technological innovations is increasing faster than exponentially, and in light of this we should be ready to quickly convey new knowledge and skills to people of different ages, – said Mikhail Kotiukov. – The whole world is solving these tasks, and #EdCrunch, which traditionally breaks stereotypes, will allow us to be in the forefront of these changes”.

The main topics of the conference were studies and practical solutions related to big data in education: from data collection methods and educational statistics analysis to application of blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence in the learning process. The #EdCrunch2018 guests attended specialized tracks covering over 15 education areas including “Children and Technologies”, “Digital School”, “Digital University”, “New Technologies in Corporate Training”, “EdTech startups: Sales and Marketing”, and the exhibition of technologies and technological solutions in education EdTechAlley.

According to Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS, “over five years the #EdCrunch conference has evolved from an industry event into the largest European forum dedicated to new technologies and digital educational tools. Today, #EdCrunch has moved beyond the conference – this is the whole ecosystem of educational events and projects which are held throughout the year and cover all levels of education: preschool and primary, secondary, higher, supplementary professional education and corporate training”.

The central panel discussion “Data that Transform”, that opened the conference, brought together Dmitry Peskov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Digital and Technological Development; Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of the Higher School of Economics, Elizabeth Owen, Director of Learning and Data Science at Age of Learning, USA, Vasily Tretyakov, General Director of University of NTI “20.35”, Anant Agarwal, Founder and CEO at edX, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tanya Joosten, Director for Digital Learning Research and Development at National Research Center DETA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.

“In all appearances, in the coming years we will see that a great many subject areas that form a basis for present-day professional education will be abandoned. They will include numerous areas related to technology, engineering, economic and law because this is a huge volume of narrative knowledge which cannot be accumulated in a traditional form because it is useless now. And it seems to me that the search for new language to develop professional knowledge in high school will be able to become an answer to these challenges”, – said Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of HSE.

As part of the “Digital University” track the conference guests met with famous experts in learning analytics, pedagogical design, adaptive learning, creation and maintenance of digital tools from Russian and foreign universities and research centers: Stephanie Teasley, President of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR), Alexander Kuptsov, General Director of E-Learning Development Fund, Charles Dziuban, Director of the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Central Florida, USA, Dmitry Abbakumov, Head of the HSE Centre for Psychometrics in eLearning at NIU HSE.

The “Digital School” and “Children and Technologies” tracks familiarized teachers with the achievements in the field of data analysis and adaptive learning, with the possibilities of application of social media, Internet of Things and Big Data in the school and preschool educational process. The conference participants were offered the presentations and master classes of Koen Timmers, a Belgian teacher and writer, Global Teacher Prize 2017 & 2018 finalist, Isak Froumin, the Scientific Director of the HSE Institute of Education, Ger Graus, Global Director of Education at KidZania, UK, Marat Khairullin, coach and expert in Microsoft products, Alexey Kazprzhak, Director of the Artek International Children’s Center, and other famous speakers.

The “star” of the “Technologies in Corporate Training” track was Josh Bersin, an internationally renowned expert in HR and L&D, Founder and Principal at Bersin by Deloitte, who made a presentation "Evolution of the corporate training market. New technologies, new approaches, new reality”.

#EdCrunch2018 also presented the priority project “Modern digital educational environment in the Russian Federation” (“MDEE in the RF”) as part of which the event is held. On the first day of the conference, the automated service for psychometric analytics of online courses was presented. This service was developed by the NIU HSE specialists. It is integrated as a subsystem on the online.edu.ru portal. The service gives recommendations to the authors of the online courses for improving and optimizing the content based on the psychometric analysis.

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