3. London Book Fair and What Works conference

The main topic at the London Book Fair was of course Brexit, with quite a few seminars dedicated to the consequences. It is estimated that GDP will be reduced by 6 - 9% if there is no deal, but also by 1 - 5 % if there is a deal. Most attendants at the Fair, however, were resigned to just getting on with day-to day business - and the events since have proven them right. Even though the organizers don't publish attendance figures, it seemed that there were less educational publishers than in previous years.

The IPA organized an excellent Freedom to Publish Seminar and announced the launch date for the SDG Book Club (in Bologna). You can find out more about the UN initiative and the Book Club here or sign up for the newsletter here.

The "What Works" conference took place on March 12th and was well attended (better than in the last few years). The presentations have not been made available yet. Jane Mann, Director, Education Reform at Cambridge University Press, chaired the conference.
  • In a keynote on curriculum development, Lynne McLure, Director, Cambridge Mathematics, described the 5-year process of research and development corroborated by extensive data that is the basis of a completely new program.
  • This was followed by an overview on international schools (British and American!) and the rise in numbers - we ask ourselves if this might have to do with globalization? It was disappointing, though, that there were no glimpses into other types of school or any generalizations that might have given educational publishers in countries other than Britain or the US some ideas.
  • The next topic, "International publishing" was also very centred on the English speaking market, with case studies from Marshall Cavendish and Macmillan.
  • After the coffee break, the most interesting panel dealt with "How EdTech Can Assist Learning and Raise Attainment." You might want to check out these links:
  • Unfortunately, the discussions only managed to graze the tip of the iceberg. All in all, nothing was said that has not been discussed before. However, AI seems to become an important factor in assessment as well as development of materials. There was a general agreement that edtech is only useful when it is meaningful and purposeful. Teachers have to be empowered to work smarter and become more insights into the learning process.
  • The last session of the day was concerned with the "UN Sustainable Development Goals- How Can Publishers Support SDG4 in Improving Access and Equality in Education". While we are all aware that there is not a lot educational publishers can do to reach the goals, at least we can assist in promoting the right attitudes (about girl's education for example, traditional role models, etc.) and getting the right messages across in our publications.