Education as a global challenge
"As the world's largest – and Germany's most important – trade show for education, didacta 2018 will be a key dialogue platform for education sector stakeholders," commented Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member responsible for didacta. "The didacta show in Hannover is a well-established education 'summit' – and coming, as it does, at the start of Germany's new legislative period, it is an important first milestone for the new government as it seeks to realize our country's 'Education Initiative for a Digital Knowledge Society'," he added. "At the same time, the Hannover didacta show is more international than ever, with close to 130 of its 800-plus exhibitors coming from outside of Germany – specifically from a total of 50 different countries. didacta 2018 is therefore a prime platform for tackling education as one of the core challenges along the road to global competitiveness. The show's importance this year is further heightened by the record size of the group pavilion being staged by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad. Indeed, more than 60 German schools abroad will be participating in the pavilion this year."
Four theme clusters
This year, leading education-sector enterprises and institutions will be presenting their latest offerings for every stage in the lifelong learning journey, in a showcase featuring four theme clusters called "Early Childhood Education", "School / University", "Vocational Training / Qualification" and "didacta DIGITAL". "didacta 2018 here in Hannover will feature exhibitors serving every need in the education sector. That's classic education publishing firms like Cornelsen, Klett and Westermann, producers of classroom furniture and equipment like EinrichtWerk and Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken, global pioneers in the digitization of education like Google and Microsoft, and everyone else in between," Dr. Gruchow said. "didacta will demonstrate how lifelong learning can empower people to reach their full personal, both as individuals and as information-savvy citizens of the digital world." Dr. Gruchow also emphasized that this year's didacta will enjoy a new location at the Hannover Exhibition Center. "This year's show will fill some 33,000 square meters (355,200 sq. ft.) of net space within the spacious and modern halls 11, 12 and 13. This new layout will make it faster and easier for visitors to navigate the exhibits addressing the various stages of lifelong learning. Seamless integration of the various fields of education is an aspiration that will be mirrored by didacta's layout. This improved format was developed jointly with the show's co-promoters, Didacta Verband e.V. and Verband Bildungsmedien e.V., and will enhance the visitor experience while at the same time providing optimal infrastructure for exhibitors."
Premiering at didacta: "Startup Valley" pavilion for young education-sector companies
There is a wave of innovation sweeping the education sector at the moment, with more and more startups coming forward with completely new approaches to improving lifelong learning. didacta's response to this development is "Startup Valley" – a new 400-square-meter (4,300 sq. ft.) showcase that premieres this February. "The new showcase is an opportunity for the EdTech and startup segments of the education sector to connect with their target audiences and make contact with new customers, investors and strategic partners," explained Gruchow. The Startup Valley showcase is an open-plan area that comprises a coffee bar and lounge area plus a co-working zone. It will be home to more than 50 young enterprises with highly promising-sounding names like EduHeroes, SchoolFox and Robo Wunderkind.
Quality in-show events and forums for in-depth dialogue
"As the organizers of didacta 2018, we stand committed to creating the best possible framework for urgently needed discussion on education matters," emphasized Gruchow. "Therefore, at didacta 2018, hot issues like teacher shortages, inclusive education and the digitization of education will feature strongly in the exhibition halls, and will also be high on the agenda at around 1,400 special in-show events. The latter will include forums, workshops and lecture programs in which key education-sector players and stakeholders will be able to put their ideas and proposals forward for discussion. Thus, amid the current quest for greater lifelong learning opportunities, didacta 2018 will be the perfect place to find and marshal allies from all quarters – from politicians to producers of teaching materials."