Downside School, based in Stratton-on-the-Fosse near Bath, represented the UK at the Asia-Europe Foundation Conference last month in Tokyo.

1,700 schools from across Asia, Europe and Oceania applied for a chance to present at the policy-making event, which focussed on Educational Sustainable Development (ESD) and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the classroom.

The conference was attended by 51 countries in Asia, Europe and Oceania, as well as businesses, professionals and experts in the field of education and more specifically, technology in education. The event involved round-table discussions with representatives from the Japanese government, NGOs and other charities, looking at how Japan is implementing the 17 sustainable development goals set down by the UN, and how school can shape the future.

The goals for the conference were to expose teachers to ESD and AI. A key aspect was to gauge educators’ readiness on these subjects, and to explore the developing role of the teacher in this new age of digital technology and AI in the classroom.

During the conference, Downside Deputy Head, Mike Randall, along with Alex Wright from ScienceScope (pictured above), the school’s education tech partner, presented their exciting new collaborations project which aims to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) and ‘big data’ into classroom. The project will lead best practice in over 20 schools in Asia, Europe and Oceania, and to empower young people to be creative in dealing with real world issues, using ‘big data’ to make better informed decisions.

Downside Deputy Head, Mike Randall, at the Asia-Europe Foundation Conference

For example, one aspect of the project involves the use of weather stations connected to the internet across the globe gathering data in real time to use in the classroom. Students will be able to track the progress of hurricanes or typhoons across countries, to see what is happening to global temperatures as well as using other sensors to monitor ecosystems and human effects on them.

To find out more about Downside School, visitors are invited to attend the next Open Morning on Saturday 7 March 2020, or arrange a private visit at 01761 235103 / email hidden; JavaScript is required / www.downside.co.uk