The digital transformation in education is a topic of high importance for the Swiss, yet also the global, society. To enhance visibility and support the digital transformation in education, the Swiss EdTech Collider, a hub and center for EdTech startups and innovations based at EPFL Lausanne, has established so-called «test-bed/test-lab» collaboration framework with a few schools (mostly private and/or professional education schools) in the past, in which the schools addressed their needs and selected EdTech startups were able to test their solutions and innovations with the appropriate targeted group (teachers, students, administrators). This has posed to be an effective and impactful added value, not only for the schools/test lab partners for having the opportunity to ‘field test’ EdTech innovations, but also for the EdTech startups themselves for being able to receive real world feedback for their innovations – a win/win scheme for both sides that also aims to push generally digital transformation in schools and educational institutions.
However, an overall «National Swiss EdTech Testbed Program» – especially addressing public schools – is missing. The Swiss EdTech Collider is creating such a program, which will offer an environment to test and experiment EdTech solutions in a real-world setting.
The goal of this presented project is to establish a «Test and Learn» model and framework in Switzerland, which allows for fast testing and feedback loops by partnering with innovative schools that are open to act as «testbeds». In such testbeds, it is envisaged that schools, will be matched and brought together with EdTech suppliers based on their needs to rapidly test innovations and solutions in a real-world school setting. This will help the schools to address the challenges they face and identify possible/potential gaps in the EdTech market. It will also help startups with product design improvements through an iterative process at the same time.
The Swiss National EdTech Testbed Program was successfully initiated in Fall 2022 with the hiring of two new team members, namely the Project Manager C. Sieber and the Implementation Manager V. Rohrer. The conceptual design, development, and set-up of the overall framework structure has been finalized and the testbed program was launched during three events in November 2022: VSLCH Fachtagung, 15.11.2022
; 5 Year Anniversary Event Swiss EdTech Collider, 16.11.2022
and PH St. Gallen Netzwerktreffen «Blended Learning», 17.11.2022
. As of then, ‘testbed’ schools from the public-school sector could apply to conduct the first ‘EdTech testbeds’. Up until 31.01.2023, a total of 28 ‘EdTech Testbeds’ were conducted together with the Implementation Manager, whose role is to support and monitor those tests in classes. Public schools can currently choose from a total of eight (8) EdTech solutions to be tested based on their interests and needs – the list is continuously updated with additional EdTech solutions. Furthermore, schools and teachers can address their specific challenges and pain points, which will then be collected and analyzed by the Swiss National EdTech Testbed Team, based on which further potential EdTech / digital solutions will be selected and evaluated for the rapid test framework. Teachers and schools can register for a Testbed via the official website (see below).
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 13.07.2023