Jun 22, 2012

Video Interviews from the EDEN Conference

A camera-tema from Universidade Aberta conducted a series of video interviews during this year's EDEN Conference. The video, which is mostly in Portuguese, is available at  http://vimeo.com/44316614

Eva Suba e-mailed me some questions and Livia Turzo did several of the interviews.

These video interviews tend to be shorter and different from what we expect, so if you are interested in the "full story", here are the notes I made to prepare for the interview which starts 2 minutes into the video:

Q: This year's EDEN Conference focuses on the digital divide among generations. What is your advice for university professors, decision-makers how to deal with the new generation of learners?

A: Digital technology can both divide and join generations. So my advice to parents, university professors and decision makers is to join the new generation of learners in their exploration of new digital media. Young learners need adult role models that are present in digital media.

New social media such as Face-book, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are potential arenas for grandparents to join children and grand children. I like the title of Ingeborg Bø’s presentation, which is: Grandma, may I use your iPad, please? Maybe university professors can learn more from Youtube videos made by students with mobile phones and iPads, than students learn from professorial video lectures?

Q: New learning paths developed around learning methodologies thanks to the speedy technological development. Where do you see the role of public and private educational institutions in learning settings in the future?

A: The differences between public and private institution may be blurring. Tuition fees in public institutions are increasing and the European economy force the institutions to be more cost effective. The technological development make markets more competitive and international, but it can also facilitate more collaboration between public and private institution.

OER (Open Educational Resources) and PLEs (Personal Learning Environments) provide new opportunities and challenges for both public and private institutions. Students have free access to enormous online learning resources and competent people in their social networks. So far, however, they need to enroll in formal programs to get the certificates and diplomas that propel their career and the personal services that follow the tuition fees. The institutions need to find business models that work well in this open online educational environment. Institutions that succeed with this may excel in the future online education.

Q: What are looking forward to the most and what do you find the most interesting feature of this conference up to now?

A: Personally, I think that social and professional networking is one of the most important parts of the EDEN conferences. In addition, I’m really pleased to be back in Portugal – one of my favorite destinations. Therefore I’m excited about the Workshop hosted by e-learning Gurus Portugal. I have followed this Facebook group since it was started in 2009 and it now has over 1,500 members. I think that the e-learning communities in other countries my learn something from this.

As President of EDEN, it is always a pleasure to hand over the EDEN Fellow Awards. I also look forward to the announcement of the Best Research Paper Award at our conference dinner tonight.

For me, one of the most interesting features of the conference is the increased use of social media. It enhances the conference experience by allowing EDEN friends who are present in Porto to both follow and contribute to the conference experience. In the same way, people who are in Porto can share their impressions with the online community and enhance the impact of the conference with their online presence.


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