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The Corona pandemic has resulted in kids and students taking advantage of the global edtech boom. New learning and teaching principles are reflected in the entries to this year's iF DESIGN AWARD.
The way we are in this world has changed. And so has the way we spend our daily lives. Not only do we work differently, but our children learn in a new way. While digital learning has already seen a surge in children’s education in recent years, the Corona pandemic stands as a key moment underpinning the global edtech boom that is vital for reconsidering new learning and teaching principles. Children are affected by partial or full school closures in order for the governments worldwide to tackle the fast spread of the coronavirus.
Homeschooling has suddenly made it necessary to accelerate the skills and technology for remote learning. This allows everyone to rethink traditional education: the kids, the teachers – and the designers who have made it their mission to find fun and innovative ways to learn new things. And especially the shift in teaching from classrooms to online learning will have a sustainable effect, for the long term, on the worldwide education market allowing designers to create new hybrid models of education. This ingenuity is showcased when we drill down into the category Service Design of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD. Among the award-winning entries are, for example, the "IBM Virtual Education" program, the education solution for developing countries "Intelligent Space" and the gold award-winning project "Design Movement Campus".
For a long time, playing and learning were considered two different activities – one was taken place in a classroom, the other one on a playground. However, many designers go along with the opinion by now that you can only reach children with a sustainable design language, introducing the mix of education and entertainment. This rather cultural design approach is reflected in studies showing that a child’s motivation towards learning increases through cleverly integrated games. By combining playing and learning, kids today can further take advantage of online teaching, from elementary school to college students. Standardized lessons are a thing of the past. This makes it possible to cater to children’s individual needs, personal learning pace, and comfortable learning environment. What’s more, digital learning teaches much-needed self-learning skills – giving today’s children the educational tools they need to navigate the world of tomorrow.
Design Movement on Campus | Manufacturer: Taiwan Design Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan – This gold awarded project aims to nurture students’ aesthetic sense through design and helped provoke conceptual transformation within the system, shaping an influential aesthetic ecosystem.
Cutting-edge technologies like AI and VR are creating a fun future for digital learning, from mobile app concepts to entire learning platforms. "reLEF" is an eye-catching, remote learning computer that connects to the TV and invites kids to do their homework with the help of its friendly face. "U+ Elementary World" features a colorful design and combines lessons with games for added learning fun. In addition to acquiring new skills, social communication is key to personal development. The “NEXT” social platform helps students stay in touch while studying abroad via a future-oriented video chat that allows them to come together virtually as a group and exchange ideas. Another exciting concept is the "Mobile Museum of National Palace Museum", which uses an interactive gallery to strengthen children’s aesthetic sense and cultivate an appreciation for art and culture.
The seemingly endless possibilities of digital learning offer a holistic approach to children’s education, making it more engaging and therefore easier for everyone.
(published in June 2021)