The 15th ASEF ClassNet Conference (#ASEFClassNet15) took place from 25-29 November 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, a country that is globally recognised as a leading hub for the invention of AI based technologies and research. It focused on the theme, “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and AI: The Role and Readiness of Teachers” and addressed 3 key questions:

  1. What roles do teachers need to play in classrooms to transform teaching and learning practices for ESD in the AI era?
  2. What level of knowledge on ESD and AI do teachers need to develop appropriate pedagogies?
  3. What kind of capacity building and partnership support do teachers need to integrate ESD meaningfully in the school curriculum and to enhance their readiness for the AI era?

The conference was co-organised in collaboration  with Sophia University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – Japan and the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS),  with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Development Education Association & Resource Center (DEAR), Ochanomizu University Senior High School and The Open University.

ASEFClassNet15 conference gathered over 100 participants, including secondary, high and vocational schools teachers, policy-makers, scholars, pedagogical experts, education and EdTech leaders.  The conference promoted a deeper discussion on ESD and provided a brief introduction on emerging AI technologies in education. It facilitated a robust action-oriented dialogue on ESD, AI, and the role and readiness of teachers by providing a multi stakeholder platform for secondary/high schools and vocational school teachers, researchers, policy makers and EdTech leaders to:

  • Raise awareness and build knowledge on the topic “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and AI: The Role and Readiness of Teachers” as an integrative element in teaching and learning in secondary, high, and vocational school education, through case-studies and practical tools
  • Encourage schools to join an active Asia-Europe network and to initiate collaboration and support for creating holistic and timely relevant future learning environments
  • Suggest policy recommendations based on discussions on ESD and AI during the conference to education policy makers and governments for better integration of ESD into school curricula with the help of AI tools.

The participants also had the opportunity to visit Ochanomizu Senior High School, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as well as the Institute for Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) as part of the study visits integrated in the programme.

This year, 6 outstanding ASEF ClassNet School Collaborations shortlisted from 45 Collaborations in 2018/2019 were awarded with Gold and Merit Awards at the 15th ASEF ClassNet Conference in Tokyo, Japan:

Gold Awards

Postcards from the Edge

“Postcard from the Edge” engaged students in a global writing community to experience the pleasure of writing and to express their thoughts with peers from Asia and Europe. This School Collaboration built empathy and a sense of urgency among young writers to develop a greater understanding of themselves, their own and other cultures. The writing journey began with hand-written postcards and ended with poems, essays and stories published on a joint blog.
Coordinator: Mrs Juliette BENTLEY (Australia)

Asia-Europe Cultural Heritage Games
“Asia-Europe Cultural Heritage Games” used the pedagogical method of gamification to broaden students’ cultural horizons and to enrich their knowledge in the areas of joint interest. Most activities were game-based tasks. Participants created games covering various topics (e.g. geography, history, literature, art, music, sport, traditions, etc.) and shared them with their peers from other countries. Through this collaboration, students learnt new things and had fun at the same time. At the end of the project, all participants took part in the online “Asia-Europe Cultural Heritage Games”.
Coordinator: Mr Adam STEPINSKI (Poland)

TeACh: Teens Actions for Change
“TeACh: Teens in Action for Change” invited students to support the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Participants took action by joining and participating in national and global campaigns and initiatives within the vision of a Human Rights-based approach and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Inspired by global programmes like Design for Change, Global Youth Service Day, Apps for Good, this School Collaboration helped students to find inspiration, information, identify problems, get involved and, finally, act to solve these problems and improve their local communities. The project also enabled participants to train creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills for life.
Coordinators: Mrs Maria DA SILVA (Portugal) and Mrs Arpita DUTTA (India)

Merit Awards

Climate change is impacting Asian and European countries in different ways. The project “The ARCTIC” exposed learners to different global issues and encouraged them to actively participate in raising awareness and proposing possible and logical solutions to the identified global plight of combatting climate change. The students documented how global issues are affecting their respective countries. A dedicated website published their personal blogs, vlogs, pictures, research, etc.
Coordinators: Mr Rodel PENDERGAT (Philippines) and Ms Masinah binti SAHID (Malaysia)

Great Minds in STEM, Bridging the Gap!
“Great Minds in STEM, Bridging the Gap” invited students from Asia and Europe to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in a holistic way rather than through four separate and discrete subjects. By addressing and discussing and finding creative solutions to real-world issues, students and teachers from Asia and Europe got a better understanding of STEM in general. Most importantly, the collaboration tackled misconceptions and gender biases surrounding STEM careers and contributed to the creation of a conducive and positive learning environment for students in the schools.
Coordinators: Mr Seppe HERMANS (Belgium)

Hacking Our Spaces
The project “Hacking Our Spaces” allowed participants to do research on how STEM subjects can impact their lives and to explore how STEM solutions can be leveraged to improve spaces like homes, schools, and communities around them. By acquiring some (block) programming using Microbits and through a common online platform, participants shared and collaborated with each other to study different spaces and worked on solutions to hack the spaces with creative ideas to find useful functionalities.
Coordinators: Ms Felicia TAY, Ms Sarah WONG and Mdm Siti Aishah ZAHARA (Singapore)

These 6 school collaborations mobilised a total of 756 students, 52 teachers, 40 schools in 24 ASEM countries.

Congratulations to these six winning team!

Check these out for more information on the ASEF ClassNet15 Conference: