The year 2004 earmarks a development of great significance in the European Union: the ever-largest extension of the EU, resulting in the accession of ten new Member Countries.
The integrating Europe should benefit from solutions, which support the even more active modernisation of the continent. Enhanced by information and communication technologies and by the further development and deployment of e-learning in all sectors, innovative education is centrally positioned for contributing to this process. The EDEN conference will address the core questions of how distance and e-learning can best play a role in capacity building and support modernisation. The comprehensive perspective of regional development, working as a well-confirmed modus operandi of the European Union, will serve as a relevant framework to approach this complex process.
EDEN, established in 1990-91, in another historical period of the European development, has been dealing with the issues of European integration and East-West collaboration with special attention. The 2004 conference will be organised in the spirit of welcoming the new Member States and also for continuing, in a renewed context, the East-West co-operation and pan-European dialogue.
It has been a long way from the first mention of distance education in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 to the current e-learning programme achievements. The unique moment in 2004 offers also an opportunity to evaluate this far-reaching process, in which technology-supported learning has become mainstream. The EU eLearning Initiative Action Plan has already provided essential momentum for the modernisation process of education. The starting EU eLearning Programme will now face further challenges in the transforming situation. This leads to the need of rethinking how ICTs and e-learning can be best used for supporting modernisation and capacity building. On the other hand, it is worth assessing, according to our latest knowledge, what e-learning is worthwhile using for and what not?
In order to support a really efficient and beneficial European integration in the years to come, it is most timely and relevant to survey and evaluate the experience available, with the analysis of achievements of the numerous EU projects from the perspective of the joining countries and also, in a wider sense, in the context of the East-West collaboration and assistance.
A variety of themes are offered both in the general professional and the EU enlargement-specific context, which form the main strands of the conference.
Therefore, among others, you can attend presentations on:
- the link between e-learning and the modernisation process in the new Europe, on the state of the art in technology and methodology;
- the new challenges created by the EU enlargement for the human resource development;
- the consolidation and maturing process the evolution of discourse about distance and e-learning throughout the last decade;
- the ways how new markets, interests, collaborations help establish new kinds of partnership;
- success stories and best practices of distance and e-learning in the context of regional development, capacity building and East-West collaboration.