10 Key topics in European Learning Technologies

The ten key topics in European learning technologies discussed at the Training in Action” conference in Italy recently were:

  • Learning communities and social networks.
  • Introducing skills, competencies and portfolio based development in corporate education.
  • Interoperability standards.
  • Blending S1000D and SCORM for industrial maintenance and training.
  • Learning through wearable computers.
  • Virtual worlds for technical workflow.
  • Serious games: using edutainment and game based learning in corporates.
  • Blending business intelligence, process workflow, search and data mining with corporate knowledge.
  • Large LMS/ LCMS deployments in worldwide organisations.
  • Business TV and TV-delivered learning.

Fabrizio Cardinali, the co-chair of the European Learning Industry Group said;

“Many of these issues can be addressed through the application of learning technologies, especially through games, simulations and virtual worlds. Innovations in learning such as these should help European organisations to remain competitive in the world economy, despite increasing competition from elsewhere in the world.”

MySpace & Facebook research

 I’m not sure about the  validity or underlying assumptions that have been made in this research reported on the BBC news site http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6236628.stm What do you think?

“Fans of MySpace and Facebook are divided by much more than which music they like, suggests a study.

A six-month research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites.

The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college.

By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education. This division is just another way in which technology is mirroring societal values.”

Stephen Downes, Web 2.0 and Learning

Stephen Downes in his presentation http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5431152345344515009 talks about web 2.0 and learning. This is a summary of the empowering messages linked to learning  that I have taken away from Stephen’s session. I wonder how these will be different from the messages that others retrieve ?

“To gain from self-directed learning, you must be self-directing”

“You are at the centre of your own personal learning network”

“Pull is better than push.” It’s better to retrieve what you want rather than receive what others want you to have

Make sharing knowledge, experiences & opinions a habit and a priority

“If opportunities for interaction aren’t there, create them”

“Take charge of your own learning.” Be clear about how you learn. Use your own words & examples to categorise, make sense of and to store knowledge.

Relevance is about getting what you want, when you want it. If you don’t need it now, delete it, you’ll be able to find it somewhere on the web later. 


DocuBurst, a Really interesting model & concept highlighted by Joan Vinall-Cox http://eduspaces.net/vinall/weblog/177751.html

“Imagine being able to examine books by looking at a pinwheel of tags, and see, in a visual style, which keyword and its synonyms, dominate. Then, if any part of the book touches on what you’re interested in, clicking on that tag and being taken to the page (s) with the information your looking for.”


Future of Education 2007

I took part in a number of sessions in the recent future of education conference. http://umanitoba.ca/learning_technologies/conferences/foe/schedule.php

The speakers presented their own perspectives on the future and this was discussed during and after the session.

I really enjoyed participating and am in the process of reflecting on the sessions in order that I can make sense of what was discussed and apply to my own context.

Something that struck me during the live sessions that may be missed when revisiting the content was the amount of humour that was shared between participants on the discussion board and via private messages sent from 1 participant to another. I felt a real sense of community and belonging during the sessions. Thanks to everyone involved.

Learning- A poem

My Dad sent me this poem, as he did to Eve. I don’t know the source but love the sentiment.


After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises –

And you begin to accept your  defeats

With your head up and your eyes open

And with the grace of an adult, not the

Grief of a child

And you learn to build your own roads today

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain

For your plans

After a while you learn that even sunshine

Burns if you get too much

So you plant your own garden and decorate

Your own soul – instead of waiting for

Someone to bring you  flowers,

And you learn  that you really can endure,

That you really are special,

And that you really do have a worth,

So live to learn and know yourself,

In doing so you will learn to live.