This is the first entry in a new feature on the EDEN website, the President’s Blog. My aim through this blog is to be able to share with EDEN members and all visitors to this site more about the ways in which the role of EDEN as the premier professional and practitioners network for distance and e-learning in Europe is developing, and equally to offer the opportunity to learn from the comments and suggestions of readers of the blog about the services and features of EDEN you would like.
I was enormously proud and privileged to be elected as President of EDEN for 3 years at the annual conference in Naples in June. I follow Ingeborg Boe, who has worked tirelessly for EDEN as President for the last 4 years, the longest serving EDEN President in the Network’s history. Ingeborg has gained the respect and affection of all who have had the pleasure of working with her, and her calm and wise style of leadership gives me much to aspire to. It was on account of her huge contribution over so long that Ingeborg was elected by the Executive Committee to the status of Senior Fellow of EDEN (you can see here a photo of Ingeborg receiving the award from me in Naples). We shall through the status of Senior Fellow be able to call on Ingeborg for advice, and be able to ask her to act as ambassador for EDEN in the future.
We also appointed 5 other Senior Fellows, being a group of senior colleagues who have played a leading role in over the last 15 years of our existence, and they too will provide support in terms of advice to the network. You can find their names here.
At the same ceremony we awarded the title of EDEN Fellow to a cohort of 12 colleagues from all across the European Region, to mark their recognition as established and experienced contributors to the development of distance and e-learning. This cohort had achieved this by regular contributions to
The 2007 EDEN conference, which had more than 550 participants from some 49 countries, took place in a magnificent new conference centre at the Citta della Scienzia, in Naples, and we had the privilege of a great number of excellent keynote addresses and some 38 wonderful parallel sessions (see the programme and slides from the keynotes). The overall theme of the conference was Web 2.0, and I was very struck by the wide range of innovations taking place in Europe and elsewhere in the wide range of approaches identified by that term. You can find the conference papers on the “Downloads” page of the EDEN website.
Turning to the future, I am keen to use this blog to engage in discussion of how we can ensure EDEN serves its members: the more than 1000 individual members and the 187 institutional members, as well as all those who come to our conferences, read our journal and in other ways participate in the life of the EDEN community. Our next Executive Committee meeting takes place on 18-20 October and at that meeting we will be reflecting on how to develop the association over the next year or more. I would welcome your suggestions. Our main activities as they have developed up til now have been:
- the hugely successful annual conference; the equally successful focused conference every two years on research, which attracts some 200 colleagues; and also every second year the Open Classroom Conference which looks at the contributions distance and e-learning can make to schools and teacher education (the next meeting takes place in Stockholm 24-26 October 2007).
- We have the very popular journal EURODL, which publishes some 30 articles per year using the conventions of double blind peer review;
- we offer support in finding partners for projects, and in particular EC funded projects, through the EDEN website, and work in some 14 EC funded projects as a partner;
- we develop advice and support in terms of policy for distance and e-learning to the European Commission, often in partnership with other organisations such as the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).
What else would you like to see EDEN doing for our field and those who work in it? Do write to me here and we can discuss those ideas.
With best wishes,
From the Open University UK