During January 4th to 8th, 2019, Beijing Normal University Smart Learning · Design Education Academic Week, hosted by Beijing Normal University (BNU), organized by the Faculty of Education of BNU, Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University (SLIBNU) and co-organized by Elernity Education, was successfully held. As supporters, the Chinese Society of Education, Beijing Design Society and Beijing Design Week Organizing Committee were also invited to participate in this event. This academic week aims to break the boundaries of different subjects and promote the integration of science and technology. Through holding the forum of innovative education in science and technology, the exhibition of excellent works in “Design and Learning”, the 48-Hour Education Design Competition and the academic salon, the multidimensional exploration of design education in various forms have attracted teachers and students from more than ten universities in China to join in these activities.
On January 8th, the closing ceremony of Smart Learning · Design Education Academic Week and the award ceremony of the 48-Hour Education Design Competition were held as scheduled in Yingdong Academic Hall of Beijing Normal University.
Senior Prof. Mingyuan Gu from BNU congratulated the academic week on its successful holding. He pointed out that this year's academic week had taken a further step in integrating various resources and promoting the spirit of innovation. The 48-Hour Education Design Competition, which was an innovative attempt in the field of design education, provided many inspirations to the host and relevant educational institutions. The development of Internet education has actively absorbed the power of the way of thinking, and the “Design and Learning” course has put this exploration into practice while achieving fruitful results.
Hui Zeng, Chief Supervisor of Beijing Design Society and Associate Director of Beijing Design Week Organizing Committee evaluated the significance of this academic week from the perspective of the integration of culture, science and technology. This academic week was consistent with the concept of cross-border integration and allowed university students to integrate design and aesthetics in innovative thinking, promoting the thinking of design into colleges and universities so that the learning and living of university students can be closely combined with creative designs. The academic week is a good platform that focuses on innovative design and design education, which are the hope of our country in the future. At the same time, this closing ceremony was the first event that the Design Forum of Beijing Design Week has held in universities in 2019.
Dejian Liu, Co-Dean of SLIBNU and President of NetDragon Websoft Inc., said the smart learning academic weeks have been held for four consecutive years with increasing influence and outstanding achievements. NetDragon integrates design thinking into all aspects of its work. In early 2017, Design Methodology, an independently-developed course, was brought abroad and opened at Harvard University. The company attaches great importance to the experience of products and guides the development and innovation of products through methodology, constantly absorbing new ideas, technologies and thoughts from experts of all fields and making the smart learning better.
Prof. Ronghuai Huang, Co-Dean of SLIBNU, introduced the "ME310 Global" Project and the "Design and Learning" course jointly organized by BNU and Stanford University. Since September 2017, BNU has selected outstanding students to form a project team with the students from Stanford University to conduct the online and offline ME310 course lasting for 9 months. The course has covered the whole process of innovative design. The international composition of the team has not only improved various skills but also promoted cultural exchanges and innovative breakthroughs. In October 2017, the “Design and Learning” course was first opened at BNU. It was taught by Prof. Ronghuai Huang, Mr. Dejian and Zhiying Nian, Doctor of Education from BNU, as the teaching assistant. In 2018, the course was opened to masters and PhD students of relevant majors in ten universities in China, and has constantly explored in many aspects such as classroom boundaries changing, teaching time and space, relationship between teachers and students, knowledge production methods and teaching interaction. Mr. Huang also gave the guests a detailed introduction of all wonderful activities in the academic week.
Binglin Zhong, President of the Chinese Society of Education, made a speech on "Meeting New Challenges and Cultivating Innovative Talents". He pointed out that China's educational development has already been above the average across the world. He analyzed the new challenges faced by the development of tertiary education from the five fields of education, economy and society, science and technology, internationalization and ecology of educational development. He also put forward specific ways to deepen the reform of talent cultivation mode. Cultivating innovative talents is an important goal of education in the new era. He proposed that we should constantly expand our vision of running schools, strengthen systematic research and connotation construction, and seize opportunities while meeting challenges.
Hui Zeng, Associate Director of Beijing Design Week Organizing Committee, delivered the speech on “The Beauty of Design and The Philosophy of Daily Life Theme”. He put forward the big design thinking which means the deep integration of creative design and related industries. Based on the design thinking in ancient China, we should integrate design into our industry and life from the current perspectives and change the traditional design education. It was suggested that in the future, academic week can be extended to all kinds of colleges and universities. Cooperation with different experts can help to find more possibilities.
Award Ceremony of the 48-Hour Education Design Competition
Dean Dejian Liu, Associate Director Hui Zeng, Shugong Sun, Zhiying Nian and Mr. Mingyuan Gu presented awards to the winning teams.
Smart Learning · Design Education Academic Week Reviews
Opening Ceremony and Technology Innovation Education Forum
On January 4th, the opening ceremony and the Technology Innovation Education Forum were held. Mang Li, Vice Minister of the Faculty of Education of BNU and Min Xia, Vice Director of the Teaching Affairs Office of BNU attended the opening ceremony and expressed their sincere support for this event. Yonghe Zheng, Professor of BNU; Su Cai, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Education of BNU and LIM Yang Teck Kenneth, a Research Scientist from the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore gave great speeches to the guests and audience. Audience and guests discussed some topics such as the importance of science education in the training of design thinking and innovative talents, and using emerging technologies to promote the reform of science education based on design thinking. Then the academic week began.
The 48-Hour Education Design Competition
On January 5th, the 48-Hour Education Design Competition was officially opened, requiring students to complete the educational design work of the designated topic within 48 hours. Fifty-one students from more than ten universities across the country designed 11 works on future education as a result of their teamwork. Prof. Jixiao Zhang, President of Beijing Design Society, stated that in the Internet age, how to combine education with design and find the starting point of the combination requires long-term attention. Ronghuai Huang, Dean of SLIBNU, said that in this competition, by designs and ingenious ideas, participants explored the inner inspiration and creativity and expressed their deep understanding of education, giving a solution to the future education. Weizu Song, Associate Chairman of the Beijing Municipal Committee of China Democratic League and the founder of Beijing Design Society, commented on the great significance of this competition which was an innovation in the reform of teaching.
On January 7th, two wonderful academic salons were held. Compared with other events during the academic week, the main feature of these two salons is to explore the diversity of the content and form of future educational design from the perspective of performance art and audiovisual creativity. The first academic salon invited three teachers, Ping Li, Yuanhao Zhao and Yuting Sun from Beijing Guochangyuan Dance Team and the theme was to explore the future teaching art from the perspective of creative body moves. The theme of the second salon was smart learning and future video education. The guests are Jun Liu, Juan Shen, Zhongzhe Liu, Yike Shi and Jing Hu, five teachers from the China Film Education Research Center of Beijing Film Academy. Guests demonstrated their observation, understanding and practical experience of innovative education and tried to break down professional barriers using live demonstration performances, video broadcasting, audience participation in performances and other methods so that the audience can feel the important role of dances and videos in the field of design education.
Exhibition of “Design and Learning”Excellent Works
From January 4th to 8th, there was a display of the outcomes of the“Design and Study” course offered by BNU. This course has been open for two years with ten colleges and universities. This course aimed at developing students' collaboration skills, problem-solving skills and innovative thinking. There were more than 30 pieces of students’ design works in this exhibition, including works from students who attended the course, The Belt & Road Winter Program, BNU undergraduates, and design works and videos from students in School of City Design of China Central Academy, works from industrial design students in Beijing University of Chemical Technology and works of architecture from students in Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture. The exhibition was presented in various forms including design posters, prototypes, architecture models, video materials, etc. It lasted for 5 days and attracted more than 500 people from different schools and ages, which led to heated discussions.
In order to promote the development of innovative design education and enhance the training of relevant talents, SLIBNU has held three annual sessions of Design, Computational and Innovative Thinking Cultivation Forum and Smart Learning Academic Week from 2016 to 2018. This year's Design Edu cation Academic Week was a great integration of education and design, which combined the strengths of all fields including academia and business communities to explore the way of cultivating innovative design talents. It was a successful attempt to realize the integration of design and education.