Athens in late October was the perfect time and place for EDEN´s Open Classroom conference – Never Waste a Crisis. With the political and economical backdrop, I was intrigued by the optimistic attitude of the 206 delegates from 28 countries who focused more on opportunities for change than on the dire economic situation in Europe. Several of the presenters argued that an educational crisis will spur innovation and that the need for cost effective education will result in many opportunities for e-learning.
Our 9th Open Classroom Conference was certainly amongst the most successful in EDEN’s history, and the support, competence and commitment of Sofoklis Sotiriou and his excellent team at Ellinogermaniki Agogi was essential for the success. The private K-12 school celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and it was a special pleasure for me to hand over the EDEN Anniversary Award Plaque to Stavros Savas for the school´s leadership and contributions to the professional development and international collaboration in open, distance and e-learning.
|Stavros Savas receives the
EDEN Anniversary Award Plaque
|The Anniversary Award Plaque|
The active involvement of many delegates from the Greek professional community of school teachers was a special asset of the conference. The special treatment at the conference dinner – including Alan Bruce’ speech – and the interesting guided tour to the Acropolis Museum made my October 28th very memorable.
The Conference Program
The conference Proceeding CD includes 25 papers, 15 workshops, 5 demos, 6 posters, 5 case studies and 5 best practices. Among the highlights were the 7 highly appreciated Key Note Presentations, and personally I learned a lot from:
- Prof. Demetrios Sampson’s overview of Learning Object Repositories and Learning Design Repositories
- Dr. Alan Bruce’s excellent presentation on educational Visions, Challenges and Perspectives
- Prof. Erik Duval’s introduction to Learning Analytics
I was also pleased to see that the conference proceeding was available in EDEN NAP-members area shortly after the conference.
Tidbits from the EDEN EC Meeting
We usually have executive meetings along with the EDEN conferences, and this time we approved and welcomed the following eight institutions to the EDEN family:
- Globalskolen AS in Norway
- Eurasian Open Institute in Russia
- FAS eCollege in Ireland
- Linnaeus University in Sweden
- Center for CreativeTraining Association in Bulgaria
- Payame Noor University in Iran
- Fundacion Uvirtual in Bolivia
- Universidade do Vale do Riodos Sinos- UNISINOS in Brazil
We also discussed the upcoming EDEN conferences. We focused on how we can benefit more from social networking and virtual presence, and how we could utilize the fact that 2012 will be the European Year of Active Ageing and the Solidarity Between Generations. It was reassuring to see that the planning of the 2012 conferences is on time and that we now can look forward to the EDEN annual conference in Porto next June.