Meet the OEB2019 Speakers: David Toborek

Plenary Keynote David Toborek is responsible for developing the METRONOM Hub, the tech unit of METRO. He believes that many challenges faced in the world right now can be solved by investing into education and learning at an early age He shares his views in our speakers’ questionnaire.

1. Who, or what, was your most important teacher? 

Regarding individuals, the ones who believed in me. A professor in St Andrews told me once, whatever you do “Reach for the stars”. This is the one piece of advice I would like to give to everybody and I would like to highlight one more teacher who dedicated their whole summer to teach two German guys the basics of Polish Grammar and History.

I am grateful for the teachers who believe in the people and open new paths.

Regarding “What” probably the various start-ups I had, nothing teaches more resilience and focus than building something from scratch.

2. What were your best/worst subjects in school?

Sociology, History, Philosophy, Physics were my favourites and rather than to mention individual subjects, it is about the way they were taught.

When we had history, German, English etc. the historical aspect of these lectures was included so they were running in parallel. 18th Century Germany, vs 18th Century History, Music etc.

The worst one, probably Music, due to the fact that I was asked to sing, which is something that I should definitely avoid doing.

3. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Politician. Just to tell all the other Politicians during that one day that they should remove theoretical discussions and live the life in the shoes of the various social classes present in the country.

4. Which technology, in your view, had the biggest influence on the way we learn now

Without doubt the Internet. The way and ease things can be accessed is just immense, though its kind of surprising that this vast amount of knowledge is out there, but not fully used. Just looking into the numbers around course completion rates from Udemy or Udacity or other MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) gives you to think why so many quit. 

5. What is the coolest gadget / technology / tool you have seen lately?

Amazon Snowball

6. What current learning trend do you think will have a lasting impact

The move to self-paced learning, removing the concept of grades and teachers becoming facilitators of knowledge but with the focus for practical use. This works in many subjects, though not all.

7. What would be the title of your autobiography? 

Don’t Bother – Provoking Humans

8. Who would you recommend in the Learning World to follow on social media right now? 

Adam Grant and Jordan Peterson

9. What was your first thought about OEB 2019’s overall theme: Discovering Learning

Catchy! The theme discovering learning is very much multifaceted. Though we are supposed to learn something every day, there is the question of active vs. passive learning and with the line “discovering learning” is a very philosophical question.

My opinion: You cannot expect people to learn if you don’t provide the environment for that.

10. What do you hope to take away from OEB?

Provoking insights and opinions, exchange and debate on the most pressing topics and how these can and should be solved. In my personal opinion, so many challenges we are facing right now in the world can be solved by investing into education / learning at an early age.

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