Monday, May 28, 2012 | 5:44 PM
“How are we going to learn?”, asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel in February 2012, as she launched a “Future Dialogue” with citizens. At this year’s Vision Summit in Potsdam, Google was able to play a part in supporting a rather unusual group of education experts: twenty pupils and students aged 14 to 22 trying to come up with possible answers to Mrs Merkel’s question.
The teams used used Chromebooks provided by us, Tumblr’s microblogging service and other online tools to keep track of their many ideas. The youngsters discussed dropping single-subject lessons from the curriculum altogether - instead, students should work on projects that combine maths, science, languages and other subjects in an integrated learning environment. They were also keen to integrate the web into their answers, suggesting collaborative working and information sharing - via online tools and wikis.
At the end of the event, the teams’ ideas were presented to the 1500 attendees at the Vision Summit. Afterwards, they spoke to an audience of another 300, among them journalists, photographers and TV crews at the Brandenburg Gate, just a few hundred meters from the Chancellor’s office. It was an appropriate setting to offer some potential answers to Chancellor Merkel’s question.