The Strength of the Community is in its People

It was nice to see so many EDEN members attending EDEN session „Meet EDEN Fellows to discuss Future of Learning” at the World Conference on Online Learning at the beginning of the November in Dublin. The room was not large enough for all EDEN members and those interested in EDEN. I was honoured that we also had former EDEN presidents with us: Alan Tait, Morten F. Paulsen and Airina Volungeviciene. At the session, Josep M. Duart, EDEN Vice President for Research and Diana Andone, EDEN Vice President for Communication and Communities of Practice were also present and the session was run by Lisa Marie Blaschke, Chair of the EDEN Fellows Board. We had been discussing who is the future learner in Europe as a whole, the role and benefits of micro and digital credentialisation for flexible quality education, and how EU and global education policy should facilitate HE in addressing global issues in HE curriculum. The discussion was vivid and productive and concluded with the aim to continue such discussions at upcoming EDEN events.

EDEN presidency and members at the EDEN Session at WCOL in Dublin

A week later we had the EDEN European Distance Learning Week. I had announced this week in my previous post so I will not further elaborate. But the involvement of the community in the sessions during EDLW was amazing. We had 6 webinars with 37 facilitators and over 1600 registered participants coming from 65 different countries including 37 countries from outside Europe from Canada to Peru, from South Africa to Nepal, encompassing all continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia) and demonstrating a strong geographical coverage and a substantial outreach. It shows the relevance and importance of the topics but also the strength of the EDEN community. We were very happy that USDLA and ODLAA joined us this year. Recordings of the sessions are available here. Until now, the recordings have been viewed 2279 times.

At the end of November, we have launched the Call for the EDEN 2020 Annual Conference. I’m very happy that it will be held in Timisoara, Romania from June 21 to 24. Besides attending the conference, it will be a good chance to visit this beautiful city which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2021.

The title of the conference is ‘Human and artificial intelligence for the society of the future’ and the Call for Contributions is open. Do take time and look at the Call, and see how you can contribute.

I’ll conclude this announcement with two quotes from EU documents:

Investment in education, training and skills needs to be promoted at European and national levels. There is a need for effective, innovative working methods, which foster a capacity-building approach and support the development of education and training systems through smart and strategic investment.

Resolution on further developing the European Education Area to support future-oriented education and training systems, Council of European Union, 2019

Technology is rapidly and continuously changing all aspects of today’s society and will continue to do so in the near future. Both digitalisation and further technological advancement in, for example, automation, AI, robotics, virtual reality (VR), artificial reality (AR) and big data, will have a significant impact on our lives and will require the development of new skills, irrespective of our age.

Summary of findings and the discussions at the 2019 Forum on the Future of Learning, European Commission, 2019

So it is the need and our duty to work together to make it happen in the best way. Do join us in June in Timisoara, present your work and experience and discuss and network with colleagues!

In the end, I wish you all nice, relaxing and joyful holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!


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