EDEN – so European and so much for Europe, in the context of management of change

EDEN, as Europe, is very rich in history, academy, innovations, openness and diversity.

EDEN, as Europe, is open by its nature. It is open for diversity, belief, not for one, but for many ways and scenarios. EDEN, as Europe, has been managing changes and force majores for many years (many as for an association!), with trust and maturity, and based on democratic values.

EDEN community, as European community, is very strong. Diversity built on the same values is the strength itself, it is already a great virtue. Openness towards solutions, towards diversity and humanism continue paving the path for human – based digital and networked society, where technologies serve human needs, where educational providers and education policy makers act upon ancient philosophical paradigms, being equipped with the latest technological solutions, to create prosperous real and human – driven future.

The first half of the year of 2017 was really intensive for EDEN in terms of important developments and activities. Having started with two international events, by ET2020 Working Groups on the Modernisation of Higher Education and Digital Skills and Competence, and Unesco – COL European regional consultation on OER in Malta, other global collaboration initiatives received high attention and EDEN contributions from EDEN EC members:

  • Open Education Consortium announced the year of 2017 as the Year of Open. EDEN was invited to support this initiative in Europe on the basis of collaboration existing between the two organizations. EDEN Vice President Lisa Marie Blaschke was delegated to be a member of Supervisory Committee of this initiative.
  • In reply to the initiative, EDEN organized Open Education Week in Europe. European webinars, EDEN chat and national associations’ events made important observations on the developments of openness, especially reaching for invited guests by national webinar of SRCE at University of Zagreb, organized by Sandra Kucina Softic, EDEN Vice President, who invited Cable Green, Director of Open Education and Creative Commons, to give the presentation on moral, business and policy cases on OERs.

This was just a start, continued by further contributions of EDEN Executive Committee members and Secretary General to international and global events, site visits and conference attendance:

    • Andras Szucs taking part in EDEN – ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) partnership benchmarking activities about international associations – February, 2017
    • Airina Volungevičienė took part in Croatian National Conference by SRCE on April 5, 2017, and contributed with the presentation on Validated Open Online Learning to OER17 conference with the recorded presentation
    • Lisa Marie Blaschke, EDEN Vice President, taking part at the conference Quality Assurance for Online Universities in Europe”, organized by Pegaso Online University, Napoli, Italy, on April 10, 2017, with the presentation and panel discussion
    • Mark Nichols, with the speech to dignitaries and staff celebrating ten years of the Institut Obert de Catalunya, Barcelona (http://ioc.xtec.cat), Title: “The future of online education”, 24 April 2017
    • Andras Szucs taking part in EADTU EU Summit in April, 2017
    • Airina Volungevičienė took part at EADL Conference in Copenhagen upon EADL invitation and had the meeting with the EADL board members
    • Lisa Marie Blaschke participated in ICDE Leadership Forum, in Paris, France, May 24, 2017, organized the one-day leadership forum: Visionary Leadership for Digital Transformation: Higher Education for the sustainable future we want. The Forum  hosted by UNESCO and co-organized with D-Transform and ICDE at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris 24 May.
    • Andras Szucs met the President of ARCASIA the Architects Regional Council, Asia, May 2017
    • Wim van Petegem and Ebba Ossiannilsson are EDEN representatives in Standardisation committee for ISO/PC288/WG1

The international work and policy work was implemented through developing leadership skills:

  • 1st Leadership School, 14-18 November 2016, Barcelona; 2nd Leadership School 19-23 May 2017, Nancy, as well as Paris on May 24, in the framework of D-Transform project.  EDEN was playing central role in gathering the high level attendance of the seminars and contributing to the premium quality programme.
  • EDEN expert contributions towards the development of D-Transform MOOC https://www.pok.polimi.it/courses/course-v1:Polimi+DTransform101+2017_M5/about

Several EDEN projects address directly or indirectly the promotion of (social) inclusion via using ICT (E.g.: archived: Learning at Home and in the Hospital, LeHo; running: Open Badge Network, OBN; submitted:  Digital Soft Skills development for inclusive schools, DiSk ).

Through sharing practices and contributing to the establishment of comprehensive strategic policy frameworks, EDEN representatives work in ET2020 Working group on Digital Skills and Competences:

  • Deborah Arnold, Airina Volungevičienė, Lisa Marie Blaschke – ET2020 WG DSC members, attended the following events since March, 2017:
    • iGeneration Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 5, 2017
    • A television spot on the conference can be found here: https://vimeo.com/212617448
    • Mobile learning 4.0 in as Peer Learning Activity in Vienna, June 7-9, 2017
    • Andras Szucs, Vice President of the Lifelong Learning Platform Steering Committee, also a member of the working group

These international contributions once again prove the positioning of EDEN, its projects and the initiative of open professional collaboration as a European reference for teacher digital skills development, recognising how leadership academies are important to meet system challenges of transformation of teaching and learning in the digital age), .

This recognition of the organization proves that EDEN community becomes more and more a reference organisation when speaking about good practices in open education, digital skills and competences, teacher training and leadership development.

Well, many things at hand, but it is important to mention – all the contributions were made during changes – managed changes – by new Presidency, new Executive Committee, new members at the Secretariat – wonderful people at the governance, serving for the wonderful people in the community. We are all doing it together for our European association.

Ready to report more on this during EDEN Annual General Meeting – see you there.


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