Regional EdTech event expands and moves online

Wednesday, 03 June, 2020

Regional EdTech event expands and moves online

STEM 2020 On Demand: Strategies for a Rapidly Changing World, is an innovative online and on demand event demonstrating the power of technology during these challenging times. It is an initiative of the NSW Department of Education through its Learning and Teaching Directorate.

Developed as a result of the cancellation of the original live event, STEM 2020 On Demand brings together experts on creativity, innovation and STEM. The online and on demand event is made up of a series of keynote addresses and online workshops that can be viewed at any time over a period of at least one month. Participants can also connect with colleagues through a range of digital media including the Whova app and through social media channels, in order to continue the professional dialogue.

The move online has expanded the event’s audience by five times the number of expected participants and has extended its program by two months. STEM 2020 had originally hoped to attract hundreds of primary, secondary and tertiary educators and representatives from business and industry to hear from and attend workshops delivered by national leaders in curriculum and technology.

Dr Scott Sleap, Project Leader of the department’s STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program, said having to change the event from face to face at four different NSW venues had immediately opened up new opportunities.

“Changing it to ‘STEM 2020 On Demand’ from April 27 to May 27 gave us much greater capacity than the 1000 people able to attend the Hunter, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Port Macquarie locations in person, and more options for more content.

“But even the organisers have been surprised by the take-up: more than 5000 registrations from every state and territory and from more than 30 other countries, with particularly strong representation from rural, regional and remote NSW,” Dr Sleap said.

The conference originally included world-class keynote speakers like Sir Ken Robinson, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith (Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador), Dr Alan Finkel (Australia’s Chief Scientist), Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and the founder of the tech girls movement, Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen.

Dr Sleap said the online event’s momentum enabled fresh content to be added.

“We’ve recently added additional content from Careers with STEM, the Mawson’s Huts Foundation and from Professor John Fischetti, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Education & Arts at the University of Newcastle,” he said.

The demand has been so consistent that registrations will stay open on the On Demand platform until 27 July 2020.

“We are absolutely thrilled that we’ve been able to share such a breadth and depth of expertise with so many educators, who will in turn be able to share it with many thousands of students,” Dr Sleap said.

Further information and registration is available at the STEM 2020 website.

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