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Last Saturday, Mathias Corvinus Collegium hosted the 2023 EdTech Summit-Hungary. The conference, which included exciting presentations and exhibitions, was held on September 2nd at MCC's main campus. This conference brought together nearly 200 educators and around 150 eager participants from throughout Hungary to learn about the latest developments in the field of education and share their experiences.
Gergely Fábián, Hungary’s Minister of State for Industrial Policy and Technology, gave the conference’s opening remarks. He emphasized that the competitiveness of education highly depends on the development of educational technology. Digitalization, and especially digitalization in education is not a choice, he stressed, but a necessity. Today’s students must possess strong digital competencies to fulfill the requirements of the labor market. According to Minister Fábián, the EdTech coalition aims to provide support to the different actors facing this challenge.
Flóra Rétfalvi, an educational researcher for MCC’s Learning Institute and deputy chief professional officer of TechEd Hungary Zrt, served as the event's host. The conference's opening presentation was delivered by Dr. János Setényi, Director of the Learning Institute. In his speech entitled Conservative Values and Innovative Technology: Hand in Hand? János Setényi claimed that MCC is an heir to the classical Greek pedagogical tradition. Acquiring knowledge following the T-shaped model requires depth, mentor-mentee relationship and hard work. Based on the principle "It is the machine that serves the human and not the other way around," János Setényi emphasized, "we see digital technology and artificial intelligence as a natural ally."
There were 20 speakers at the event, including Gergely Kitta, director for MCC’s research institutes, who spoke on Technological innovation in the MCC training program where he declared "A healthy mind in a healthy body" as a fundamental tenet of MCC. Mr. Kitta also spoke about the introduction of the Mental Gym, a tool based on cutting edge technology which promotes the balance of physical and mental health of students. Gergely Kitta emphasized the importance of youth for the prosperity of the country and the need for everybody to work together to advance their education. MCC is currently assisting in the education of more than 7000 talented students in 28 locations, both in Hungary and abroad.
To develop various mental and physical skills, he pointed out, MCC has created its own unique technologies such as a public speaking software for VR glasses. Since understanding other people's perspectives, exchanging arguments, and cultivating a culture of debate are essential goals for MCC, the development of public speaking skills is included in several training programs starting this academic year The results of the research in this area will be widely disseminated, the director concluded.
The last presentation of the event was delivered by Enikő Szakos on A macro map of innovation in education, a presentation of EdTech MCC research. The Learning Institute coordinator emphasized in her speech that even the most advanced technological advancements cannot substitute for the educational role of teachers and interpersonal relationships. However, she argued, their use as an educational aid should be encouraged. This is why innovative solutions that are tailored to the Hungarian curriculum and language are vital and it is everyone's responsibility to support Hungarian innovation and entrepreneurship. The Learning Institute's 2022 study, which evaluated the V4 countries' educational ecosystems in relation to the global market with a particular focus on the factors that influence the success of Hungarian EdTech startups, also supports this, she noted.
Alongside these presentations, the newest revolutionary digital educational tools and services were on display at 15 exhibitors. Visitors had the chance to try out the latest technology developed at MCC as well those that are currently available on the market, including Xeropan, Maker's Lab, H-Didakt, Innostart, Okosdoboz, and MCC’s Mental Gym,
MCC strongly believes that developing fundamental skills is a key element of education. In addition to the use of technology discussed at this conference, MCC also encourages students to read books, hone their writing, speaking, and debating skills, and cultivate their critical thinking.