No.2 – Sharing and collaborating our way out of the storm

10 May 2021, 17:00 CEST

EDEN webinar



During the last year, with education restrictions due to the global pandemic, when educational organizations across the globe were forced to move online under demanding timelines and with budget constraints, many educators have relied on open educational resources OERs to fill a critical need. Open education and OERs have been used for two decades at different education levels, not always gaining full traction in schools or higher education. In this webinar, we will identify whether OERs were a solution or being used in the last year in education; and how OERs may be used in the future. In our quest for shaping the future of higher education, do we consider open education a solution and OERs and practices as part of the education ecosystem?  What problems might OERs help educators resolve and how we can harness the value of OERs for higher education?  Can we consider the future of education is open and, if yes, what strategies can we use to make this happen? Three dynamic and insightful speakers with extended experiences and whose voices are valued and command attention in the education community, will try to inspire us for how to share and collaborate our way through the storm that has encapsulated higher education.


Diana Andone
EDEN Vice-president,
Director of the eLearning Center of Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania

Dr. Diana Andone is the Director of the eLearning Center of Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania, responsible for planning and implementing digital education, and the university award winning Virtual Campus CVUPT. She is also associate professor at the Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania, in the area of multimedia, interactive and web technologies. Since 1998, she teaches course modules in universities from UK, France, USA, Finland, Italy, Greece. She has extensive research experience with intense publication (over 17 books, 100 research papers, 11 Best paper Awards) and more than 30 research and educational projects, mainly funded by the European Commission. Dr. Andone actively promotes the use of OERs, MOOCs and the open education principles, training for digital skills, and digital culture and heritage, acting in international associations as EDEN Vice-President for Communication and Communities, and member in IEEE Education Society Board of Governors, and in IEEE Romania Section the Educational activities Chair. She is passionate about the ubiquitous access to technologies and how they can be used to improve people’s life.


Melissa Highton
SeniorCMALT, FCLIP, FHEA, Director of Learning,
Teaching and Web Services and Assistant Principal Online Learning at University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr Highton leads services and projects in support of the University’s strategic priorities for digital and distance learning on global platforms, blended learning, virtual learning environments, technology enhanced learning spaces, the digital student experience and use of the web for outreach and engagement. She has particular interests in digital skills, 21st century curricula, open educational resources, research led teaching and online media. She leads the continuing expansion and diversification of the University website and provision of digital AV technology services in over 400 teaching rooms across the campus. Melissa is strategic lead in the University for a wide range of technologies and support for innovative learning and teaching, including blended learning tools, bespoke  web development, online video, lecture recording, VLEs, open education resources,  partnerships with platforms such as Coursera, Edx, FutureLearn and Wikimedia. Her teams support a range of online provision including taught online Masters programmes, Micromasters programmes, CPD and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The Learning, Teaching and Web Directorate is one of the most successful and comprehensive learning technology groups in the UK, with diverse teams of multi-professional staff, student interns and expert consultants.  Melissa is an invited speaker at conferences about learning technology leadership, distance learning strategies, library and learning technology futures, learning innovation, equality, diversity and inclusion( EDI) and digital skills.

Stephen Downes
Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada

Stephen Downes works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada specializing in new instructional media and personal learning technology. His degrees are in Philosophy, specializing in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. He has taught for the University of Alberta, Athabasca University, Grand Prairie Regional College and Assiniboine Community College. His background includes expertise in journalism and media, both as a prominent blogger and as founder of the Moncton Free Press online news cooperative.  He is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course, has published frequently about online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software, and is the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily. Through a thirty-five year career Downes has contributed pioneering work in the fields of online learning games, learning objects and metadata, podcasting, and open educational resources. Recent projects include: gRSShopper, a personal learning environment; E-Learning 3.0, a course on new e-learning technologies; research and development in the use of distributed ledger technology in learning applications; and research on ethics, analytics and the duty of care. Downes is a member of NRC’s Research Ethics Board.

Alastair Creelman
Specialist e-learning, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Specialist in the field of online and distance education working in the section for higher education development at Linnaeus University in Sweden. Monitors developments in the field and is active in several national and international projects in areas such as distance/online learning, quality questions, open educational resources (OER), MOOCs, social media in education and virtual exchange/mobility.
Course leader on an open course for university teachers, Open Networked Learning, in collaboration with colleagues from 14 partner universities in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and Singapore.
EDEN Fellow (2017) and committee member of the Swedish network for IT in higher education (ITHU)
Very active on social media, primarily through two blogs on educational technology – a reflective blog in English, Corridor of Uncertainty, and a news blog in Swedish, Flexspan. Active on Twitter as @alacre.