The EDEN Fellow scheme was established to honor distinguished colleagues and to provide validation and support through a respected scheme of recognition. The first EDEN Senior Fellow and Fellow Awards were presented at our 2007 Annual Conference in Naples.
In the morning, the following eye-opening keynote presentations were delivered:
- Sir John Daniel (one of the three founders of EDEN): Open Schooling: the Next Frontier for Distance Education?
- Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz: Developments and evaluation of the past decade(s) in ICT for education from an European policy perspective
- Andras Szucs: EDEN Developments from management perspective
- Marci Powell: An Overview of the United States Distance Learning Association
In my opening presentation, I pointed out that after the Award Ceremony at the Dublin welcome reception, there are 13 Senior Fellows and 40 Fellows in EDEN. Looking at the Fellows list, I count 18 women and 35 men. They represent 19 countries, and there are 4 countries with 4 or more Fellows. Both Greece and Norway have four, The United Kingdom has five and Germany leads with seven Fellows.
In the afternoon, each Fellow was invited to give a short flash presentation addressing three homework questions. I found the following answers especially thought-provoking regarding the question: “Over the last 5 years what have been the most unexpected developments in the distance and e-learning field?”
- All developments were predictable and in fact were predicted, although not by all. Even so, resistance to educational innovation persists.
- Developments are mostly substantial slower than foreseen because educational institutions inertia is much more effective than hoped.
- A new critical factor that will mark the coming decade will be the financial constraints and their impact on learner support, curriculum and the relationship between them.
Antonio Teixera concluded the meeting and summarized the outcome of the Fellows’ Day in the conference session titled: EDEN 20 Years. A personal account from the Fellows Day is available in Steve Wheeler’s blog and the event concluded with a Fellows’ dinner at the Fire Restaurant.
Finally, I would like to honor EDEN’s two Vice Presidents: Antonio Teixeira and Alan Bruce who instigated the first EDEN Fellows Day. Our intention is that this should become a sustainable event, and that there will be many more EDEN Fellows’ days in the future.