The SMASCH Festival 2023

12 schools, 2 universities, 1 theatre play and 9 workshops

The SMASCH Festival took place from June 26 to 30, 2023: A week in which the different actors of the SMASCH project came together, networked and explored the intersection between digitality, creativity and school education. Participants were:

  • teachers from Belgian and German project schools
  • the research team from Hamburg and Leuven
  • students from schools in Hamburg
  • media educators and process coaches from SMASCH
  • other pedagogues and representatives of educational institutions

The festival program was developed in cooperation with Fundus Theater. The theater is an established cultural institution in Hamburg. Their participatory approach as well as their thematic focus on digitality made the venue a very suitable cooperation partner. Their premises, in which the festival took place, invited to think out of the box, to broaden horizons. The density of the workshops as well as the diversity of perspectives allowed participants to think about digital transformation outside of the sometimes constricting daily school routine.

The festival was organized in two parts:
In the morning, students attended the theatre plays WWW and ALL DAS. Here, the students received an initial impulse on topics such as the internet and gaming, their dangers and creative potential.

Trailer WWW and All Das
Fundus Theater Hamburg

Afterwards, each class was able to process and think further about what they had seen in one of the following creative digital workshops:

In the afternoon, various workshops on the topics of teaching and school development in the digital world were offered to educators. Here, too, colleagues could choose from a wide range of offerings:

Insights into the festival (German language)

Although the timing just before the summer vacations posed a major challenge for the participation of many schools, the program was accepted with great interest by both students and teachers. In order to facilitate participation as easy as possible, two crucial framework conditions were created: First, the afternoon program was offered in a hybrid format so that teachers could also participate from their desks. Secondly, the multilingualism was addressed with simultaneous interpreters in order to facilitate a lively exchange between Belgian and German participants. If you are interested in the interpreted format, a video can be made available in which we share the technical setup as well as the learnings of the multilingual event.

One of the main insights that emerged among the participants when discussing the intersection “digitality – creativity – school” was that it is a fluid construct and that there is much to discover that supports the students in their competence development digitally and creatively. One challenge, however, remained how to implement the experiences from the festival into everyday school life. The fluid intersection often stands in stark contrast to the fairly pre-structured school system. Therefore, a recurring question that accompanied the entire festival was: How can we explore new elements in a system that is not agile to the extent that the dynamics of contemporary education actually demand?

Impressions of festival participants (German language)

All in all, the intensive festival week awakened great motivation in many participants to work more participatively and creatively with their students, and it became clear how SMASCH can accompany them in this process. Experts from the SMASCH team were invited to schools, and follow-up events are already being planned at teacher conferences and pedagogical events. In addition, a number of thematic networks were established during the week. For example, an international student exchange is planned with the help of digitality.

We are happy about the successful SMASCH Festival, which focused on interdisciplinarity, participation, contextuality and networking in the spirit of the project.