Beth Havinga is the Managing Director of the European EdTech Alliance and the EdSAFE AI Alliance. She currently serves on the Digitisation Council of the state of Berlin in Germany, is chair of the advisory board of Kids.Digilab.Berlin, and serves on the board of the Children’s Future Foundation and the international advisory boards of both CoSN and ISTE. Beth represents Germany as head delegate to the European Committee for Standardization of Interoperability for Learning Technologies and EdTech, and has worked closely with multiple governments and data protection agencies on national definitions for data modelling and certification. As Beth will also be a keynote at this year’s OEB Global Conference, we caught up with her to let you discover the person behind the speaker.
Who, or what, was your most important teacher?
I have had a few important teachers in my life, but they all have something in common. They are the teachers who made me feel truly seen, who were truly interested in what my learning journey needed to look like to accommodate my strengths and weaknesses and they were the teachers who took my interests and gave them wings.
What was your most important lesson?
Results are just a snapshot of a moment and don’t have to dictate a path for the future.
If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?
I have been lucky enough to try so many different jobs and activities that I know I am in the right one for me.
What current learning trend do you think will have a lasting impact?
AI technologies have the potential to change some of the most ingrained methods of teaching, learning and testing, which could have a huge impact education. However, one of the bigger trends, which will also have immediate effect is the global lack of educators.
Which technology, in your view, had the biggest influence on the way we learn now?
The printing press.
What is the coolest gadget/ technology/ tool you have seen lately?
I am really excited by some of the developments in Ed3 which see entire communities empowered and paid for their learning (instead of paying to learn).
Who would you recommend in the learning world to follow on social media right now?
Lori Mazor, Beena Ammanath, Natalia Kucirkova.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
What was your first thought about our overall theme, ‘The Learning Futures We Choose’?
With newer technologies such as AI, there is a lot of new ground to cover in terms of how we protect our human rights, our privacy and safety and that of our children and young adults. The coming months and years will determine what kind of learning future we can experience and whether, on a global scale, we can envisage that together or become even more fragmented in our experiences. We have the possibility right now, considering the state of development and practice, to truly choose which type of learning future and environment we need and would like to experience.