Kees-Jan van Dorp, Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), Research Director

"Adding Value to Open and Distance Education in the Post-2010 Decade"

The end of the decade is approaching. Europe's universities are getting ready to materialise their strategies for post-2010. How well equipped are today's universities for tomorrow's demands? In face of enormous socio-economic and demographic challenges, Europe requires more advanced educational performance, which better contributes to innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. Educational systems and associated business models must be agile enough to respond to, and survive, the changing external factors. Universities are faced with high demand from STEM occupations, against lagging student numbers and unpleasant changes in national funding schemes. Ascertaining ones role and place within the knowledge society is pivotal not only for conventional (research-based) universities, but also for open and distance teaching universities (education-based). Whereas traditional universities commence strategies on serving the lifelong learner, open and distance teaching universities learn that sole education delivery without acts of innovation and entrepreneurship is draining. To be ready for the next decade, universities must search to create added value and accordingly innovate their business models. The year 2009, proclaimed to be the year of creativity and innovation by the European Commission, should lead the exploration of new entrepreneurial possibilities. In this conference address, the open and distance teaching universities in particular, are assessed on their potential to innovate beyond flexible education: generating new modes of academic and commercial entrepreneurship including the launch of new generation (networked) business incubation. It is evident that universities cannot do without creativity and innovation: it is the engine of (long-term) prosperity not only for universities, but for enterprises, economy and society as a whole.

Dr. ir. C.A. (Kees-Jan) van Dorp
Research Director  (EADTU)
tel. +31 45 576 2745
mob. +31 6 14 829 106
fax. +31 45 574 1473
PO Box 2960
6401 DL, Heerlen
The Netherlands
e-mail: kees-jan.vandorp@eadtu.nl
URL: http://www.eadtu.nl                                                      

Peter Dolog, Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University, Denmark

"idSpace: Interactive Social Web Based Learning Support for Creativity in Distrubuted Teams"

idSpace project aims at development of tools for creativity and related informal learning support in distributed settings. Participants in creativity sessions learn from their peers about generated ideas and they would like the other peers who do not participate in the sessions to learn about them as well. The distributed team context create number of challenges for development of such tool support. First, creativity sessions are quite interactive. Therefore, the tools need to reflect that.
Second, creativity sessions can last over a longer period of time. Therefore, idea management is an important aspect of such tools.
Third, the creativity processes are unstructured, supported by different creativity techniques. Therefore, a flexibility is necessary in composing a tool set for different situations. In this talk, I will outline what we have proposed in the FP7 EU idSpace project to overcome these challenges.

I will touch upon collaborative real time editing, topic and idea maps for idea management, transformation, and service oriented architecture for flexible tool composition for different creativity sessions.

Assoc. Professor Dr. Peter Dolog,
Intelligent Web and Information Systems,
Department of Computer Science,
Aalborg University,
Selma Lagerlöfs Vej 300, DK-9220 Aalborg, Denmark,
Tel: +45 9940 9974, Fax: +45 9940 9798,
mail: dolog@cs.aau.dk, www: http://iwis.cs.aau.dk www:

Diem Ho, IBM, Manager University Relations EMEA, Member of the IBM Academy of Technology

"Challenges in Skills Development"

The advent of the internet, broadband communication, open source collaboration, and the rapidly improving computing capacity has changed our society and the world economy drastically. The world is becoming flatter, smaller and smarter. Our education and skills development are facing with a challenging task of adjusting to the new job demands, in particular, in the service-oriented-economy. We will cover the higher education reforms necessary to rapidly develop skills to address current/future business needs and to align with current business priorities.

Dr. Diem Ho is Manager of University Relations for IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). His mission is to build and manage relationships of mutual value for IBM and the academic community.

He manages all IBM University Programs relating to skills development, technology access and collaborative research. He drives the IBM Academic Initiative to provide IBM software for free for faculty members and students for research and education purposes.  

He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and an associate editor of the journal of Computational Economics (Springer). He has published widely in physics, mathematics, image processing, remote sensing, engineering, optimization, finance and datamining.

In recent years, he has lectured intensively on Higher Education Reform and is a member of the peer review teams for the EFMD-EQUIS and EPAS accreditation programs and a member of the EPAS committee

Prior to this current position, Diem was a certified practice leader with the IBM Management Technologies Consulting Group, specialized in leading edged scientific and analytical consulting services and solutions for clients in Banking and Finance sector.

Diem obtained two Master degrees and a PhD in Magnetospheric Physics at Stanford University, California.

Arthur Edwards, University of Colima, Mexico

"Mexico: A Case Study of Education, Broadband Penetration and a Local Proposal for a Local Problem"

Mexico is arguably the most advanced Latin American country both educationally and technologically. However, relatively little is actually known about Mexico in many parts of the world because many comparative instruments do not actually make direct comparisons between Mexico and other specific countries. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is one of the few organizations that directly compares Mexico with many, primarily European and North American countries (USA and Canada).
This talk will primarily employ data from the OECD to directly compare Mexico with regards academic achievement and broadband connections, two important indicators providing information about the direction an economy is taking in the global information society.
After this analysis, this talk will go on to discuss a sustainable virtual internet research program at the University of Colima that can serve to bridge the gap between the great minority who have computers and broadband internet connections and those who must wait for economic and political realities to drastically change before they can have access to computer and communications technologies.

Arthur Edwards Block
Facultad de Telemática
Universidad de Colima

Kumiko Aoki, Center of ICT and Distance Education, Open University of Japan

"E-Learning in the Fantasyland: Myths and Reality of Education in Japan"

Japan is known to be a technological powerhouse, being noted for its automobiles, consumer electronics, laptop computers, portable gaming devices, and more recently healing animal robots. Anybody who lives outside of Japan may think that Japan must be well advanced in the application of those technologies in teaching and learning as well. Japan is also noted for its popular culture; manga, anime, novels, films, character goods, game programs, cosplay cafes, karaoke and so on. Because of the recent popularity of the Japanese pop culture, the number of enrollment in Japanese language programs in universities overseas increased 26.5% from 2003 to 2006.  Followers of the Japanese pop culture may think something interesting must be going on in Japan even in the field of education. In reality, the application of technologies in education in Japan is far behind of other developed countries. Especially in higher education, apathy of students towards their study prevails and teachers continue ignoring such student attitudes. Young people turn to fantasy-seeking activities as the reality is too boring for them. I believe that's the reason why the Japanese pop culture is escapist-oriented. E-learning, which is supposed to revolutionalize the way people learn as it has potentials to enable more student-centered learning, has not been realized in Japan and mostly used to perpetuate the teacher-centered teaching in a different format. In this talk, I will discuss myths and reality of education in Japan focusing on its application of technologies.

Kumiko obtained her Master's degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Hawaii in 1995. After her doctoral work, Kumiko was Assistant Professor of Information Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology from 1995 to 1998 and Assistant Professor of Communication at Boston University from 1998 to 2003. She is currently Associate Professor at the Center of ICT and Distance Education (its former name is the National Institute of Multimedia Education), the Open University of Japan (OUJ), as well as Associate Professor of Cyber Culture and Society, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI). Her research interests include learning designs, the use of ICT for fostering intercultural competence, international distance education, and quality assurance of e-learning.

Kristijan Zimmer, Information Support Center, University of Zagreb, Croatia

"Why are isolated islands only good for vacations ( …and not for e-learning IT infrastructure)"

Although some vendors and software developer teams live in the illusion that their products are close to perfection, it is obvious that even the leading learning management systems in their "tools", "modules" or "blocks" do not contain all the functionalities needed for modern and successful e-learning, especially when it comes to wider institutional needs. So, in a typical higher education institution, other systems such as information portals, e-libraries, student information systems, learning object repositories, social software, multimedia servers, financial systems, etc. should be used as well.
Adding more and more mission-critical systems, applications and databases to the "archipelago" in an unorganized way can create a growing problem for everyone involved in teaching and learning at a higher education institution and slow down wider institutional adoption of e-learning.
Connecting those isolated "islands" is the first step to make all of the systems and applications more useful and bring a new life, meaning and simplicity to each and every one of them. In some cases systems will "trust" each other enough to let users move from one to another without a need to re-authenticate, or at least enable users to use the same usernames and passwords everywhere. In others, they will exchange and synchronize useful data and reports, or provide automatic remote management to each other.
Such integration projects in the past were considered among the most complex and risky software engineering efforts. But, there are good news - things are much easier now than just a few years ago.
It is because today most of the mentioned "islands" come with the pre-built "harbors" and "ferry boats", in the form of APIs and web services. And/or have a (software) license open enough to allow you to do it yourself!

Kristijan Zimmer, Head of Information Support Center at FER, University of Zagreb

Paulo Wollinger,
Director of Higher Education Accreditation, Ministry of Education Brazil

"Challenges in a developing country for interactive education – Brazilian efforts"

In developing countries, education has become a critical issue for social development in contemporary society. How to use communication and information technology as an instrument to improve education quality? Which are the appropriate methods to be used in different cultural environments and grade levels? How to prepare teachers to use new technologies in the classroom? Global education: the interaction with other people and cultures towards mankind issues: Ethics practice, environmental protection and access to social opportunity.

The mains topics to be discussed are:

    * The use of computers in regular education
    * E-learning: regular education and updating programs for continuous learning
    * Statistics of Brazilian education and population
    * Interaction with Latin American Countries in education issues
    * Interaction with Portuguese speaker countries in education issues
    * Main challenges for the near future in developing countries

Paulo Wollinger
Director of Higher Education Accreditation                        
Higher Education Secretariat
Ministry of Education

Seth Norberg, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm;  Consultant for the Intel Education Initiative, Sweden

"Let the ICT development in school have a holistic view!"

When introducing and developing school with ICT there is a need for a holistic view. We need to see the entirety of the challenge. If we focus either on the pedagogy or the administrative benefits in the implementations the efforts will limp. Of course it might be a to big bite in the apple, to grasp everything from the start. But, indeed we need to have the full picture as the guiding vision and goal for the striving. If not, there could be backlashes that might be hard to overcome.
ICT in school falls in to four areas:
    * Infrastructure
    * Administrative Basics
    * Administration of Learning
    * Enhancement in Learning

This session will give examples of how the administrative and pedagogic-administrative framework supports learning as well as how we can reach "Enhancement in Learning" through the support of ICT. This makes the school to be an updated, challenging and inspiring world of learning. An adventure for both pupils and teachers! The examples will mostly be from ROSS-Tensta upper secondary school where we now move in to the seventh year of our 1 to 1 computing journey. The focus and examples will mostly be from the topics of "Administration of Learning" and "Enhancement in Learning".

Seth Norberg,

Tensta High School Stockholm;
Lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology; 
Consultant for the Intel Education Initiative