Bringing e-learning closer to lifelong learning is very relevant today. Education systems are seriously facing the modernisation challenge as a result of the Lisbon process. The importance of flexible delivery modes and institutions is increasing, the scenario is changing on all levels. Lifelong learning obviously implies intensive interaction between the world of work and the different educational sectors. Adult and lifelong learning represent a more and more essential part of the portfolio of traditional educational institutions. Higher education is specially positioned for producing, and disseminating knowledge, but also acting as an important interlocuteur in raising awareness, and promoting the culture of learning.
The integration of ICTs in the different sectors of education is an intensive ongoing process, accompanied by consolidation of the e-learning field. Professionalisation of methodologies and management plays an important role: with the increasing understanding and realisation of advanced concepts of learning and teaching and the proper use of technologies, e-learning is better positioned to receive new important assignments from the society than ever before.
All the above aspects emerge in an integrated context and make up a good basis to believe that this will lead indeed to increased uptake of modern educational methods. Improving e-learning services and products permit institutions to elaborate and implement well-founded strategies and new partnerships with the corporate sector. Academic knowledge and professional experience accumulated in the field of open, distance and e-learning should be highlighted with all its complexity and achievement in this important period.
The EDEN Annual Conference in 2005 will focus on open, distance and e-learning from the perspective of lifelong learning, with the approach of collaboration and knowledge transfer from all educational sectors, including adult and vocational education. The event intends to bring together and present the related experience of professionals and practitioners in ICT supported learning, introducing the state of the art and providing a survey of what we expect to happen in the next years. The conference will especially address the transversal and intersectoral issues, in particular the role of universities, as well as post-secondary and tertiary further education.
The conference venue and the host institution offer more than perfect conditions for the event. The Finnish economy is one of the best examples worldwide in realizing development and modernisation, in organic synergy with science and education. Dipoli and Espoo, with the campus of the Helsinki University of Technology and the Otaniemi Science and Technology Park is a symbolically important environment for a future oriented gathering of educational experts. The Lifelong Learning Institute of the University has pioneered at national and European levels a number of flagship initiatives in a range of various sectors of education and economy in Finland.
EDEN, continuing its successful series of conferences, invites you to join the European community of educational professionals with interest and experience in ICTs, open, distance and e-learning in discovering the state of art, innovative practice and future scenarios for the European agenda of lifelong learning.