On 7 October 2018, Cornelsen Verlag threw open the doors to this year’s EdTech Innovation Days. The theme of the event was ‘Smart Tech – Smart Kids’, and it focused on the positive contribution that artificial intelligence could make in primary schools in the foreseeable future. Children at primary school should learn to read, write and do sums, and teaching social and media skills and the ability to organise themselves is also important. The use of artificial intelligence provides promising opportunities for supporting the target groups of students, teachers and parents.
18 experts from the school, technology and educational sectors came to the STATE Studio in Berlin to tackle this question of how to put artificial intelligence to meaningful use in primary schools in the near future. The 18 primary school teachers, e-learning experts, game designers, educational game developers, AI consultants and data analysts were split into four interdisciplinary teams and participated in a moderated design thinking workshop where they were asked to develop hypotheses, formulate ideas, built prototypes and finally present their results to a four-person panel. Participants included Michael Dietrich, Senior Engineer at the DFKI’s EdTec Lab, as well as employees of Birds on Mars, Calliope, the HABA Digitalwerkstatt, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Urban Pockets, and Cornelsen.
The four teams made use of intense discussion and debate to develop inspiring ideas for the primary schools of the future and present them to a specialist panel from the fields of education, politics and science. The ‘PenAI’ handwriting analysis pen idea presented by Michael Dietrich’s team was judged to be the best and awarded first prize.