By VisitScotland’s Rory Archibald
Innovation is a word that’s strongly associated with continuing success.
“Innovate or die” is the clichéd mantra that holds true even more in our ultra-fast moving technological era.
When it comes to Education as a sector, Scotland has always been at the forefront of innovation.
From the forward-thinking intellectuals of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century to today’s cutting edge researchers at Scotland’s famous “ancient universities”, Scotland has long held a reputation as a global leader in education standards.
Scotland’s universal provision of public education dates back hundreds of years and just three years ago, the Office for National Statistics released a report suggesting that Scotland was the best educated country in Europe.
But we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.
This week, the latest in our INNOVATETHENATION series of talks focussed on the classroom of the future and the latest state-of-the-art techniques employed in the Scottish Education sector. We experienced the pioneering virtual reality work of Viarama – which allows schoolchildren to hold human blood cells in their hands – and we heard from some of the most respected professionals in the Scottish education scene. How do we unleash learners as leaders of their own learning? Leadership isn’t leading from the front, but ‘looking after each other’ and schools that educate are vibrant, civic societies. INNOVATEEDUCATION was an event filled with inspiring new ideas and an audience who were passionate about educating our innovators of the future.
At VisitScotland, we believe that continuous debate and the sharing of expertise in education and all of our sector strengths is crucial to the promotion of business visits and events to our destination. If we are to continue to attract major education conferences and congresses to Scotland, we have to demonstrate our relevance to the sector and showcase our country as a centre for innovative educational ideas.
Likewise, the events that come to Scotland shine a light on the incredible work being done, they offer opportunities for inward investment, and strengthen the position of Scotland as a centre of excellence.
The Scottish forefathers of education may not have been able to predict the development of virtual reality. But they did recognise the value of meeting up to share ideas and debate best practice. The connection between education and the meetings industry has been going for hundreds of years and long may it continue and long may we INNOVATETHENATION.