Learning and playing at the FC Bayern Digital Campus
As well as the home match against Bayer Leverkusen, this weekend also saw the launch of a long-term initiative by the German record champions. Around 100 children aged eight to 11 from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, together with their parents, came to the Allianz Arena for the kick-off of the FC Bayern Digital Campus.
Diversity was a key element as a number of the children came from refugee or socially disadvantaged families. The aim of the project is to impart digital knowledge to children and young people in a playful way and to promote safe behaviour in the digital world. In addition, the parents were given tips on digital education in various workshops.
The initiative, supported by FC Bayern partners Allianz, adidas, SAP and Hylo, was conceived together with expert partners the ReDi School of Digital Integration and the JFF Institute for Media Education in Research and Practice.
After the participants attended the Bundesliga clash between Hansi Flick's side and the Werkself, the second day was all about communal learning. "It's great to see that FC Bayern takes a 'bit of both' approach. Today they were programming and building robots but then afterwards they could play football," said Dorothee Bär, state minister for digitalisation and member of the FC Bayern München eV advisory board at the opening event.
Judith Gerlach, Bavarian state minister for digital, who together with Bär has assumed the patronage of the FC Bayern Digital Campus, also praised the German record champions' commitment: "We can provide much of the framework as politicians, but for a partner as strong as FC Bayern to use its reach to prepare children for the digital world is incredibly important."
The children went through various modules, from programming their own football video game to learning how to use social media responsibly through the Kids Cam. "It's very important that children are careful with what they put on social media. Once something is online, it's hard to take it down again," said Bayern legend Roy Makaay, who accompanied the children through the different workshops.
For parents, there were various talks from digital experts and educators on the subject of media literacy and growing up with media. "This is what I mean by social responsibility at FC Bayern. We want to teach children and their parents about digitalisation in both a fun and responsible way," commented club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
"Digitalisation brings a huge number of opportunities and advantages but there are also risks we must be aware of," said Stefan Mennerich, media, digital and communications director at FC Bayern. "We want to take this responsibility seriously, show the kids what digital means for them, and teach them about it. We also want to involve the parents and answer any questions they have regarding digitalisation."