OnlineEduca Berlin 2008

On Thursday and Friday I had the opportunity to go to the OnlineEduca Berlin. It is a huge combined congress and fair with over 2.000 participants from more than 90 countries. For my taste, this is way too big – it creates an atmosphere of restlessness and anonymity where meeting people is possible, but you do not really feel like spending enough time on really exchanging ideas. Breaks are too short, sessions too many. But it appears that others do not share this opinion – otherwise they would not come to the event repeatedly.

Well, apart from that, there were interesting keynotes on the first day: Michael Wesch, a anthropologist from Kansas presentedwho managed that his home-made YouTube video became an incredible success (and he has since then produced several interesting ones! – my colleague Valentin already recommended one of them in his recent blog entries), but also Norbert Bolz (who was less entertaining, but also had interesting ideas) like the importance of self-branding.

While there was no single big conference theme, I gained the impression that the two big topics were serious games and (with some distance) mobile learning. There was some reference to personal learning environments (e.g., by Fronter) and the obligatory reference to Web 2.0,  but few consequences could be seen.

I myself presented MATURE from an (almost) non-technical perspective, highlighting new approaches to guidance via the gardening metaphor and the necessity of a participatory culture:

Additionally, Gilbert Peffer from CIMNE organized a session on serious games for the financial domain (both for private financial decisions and for professional trader training), and provided a possibility to look into the upcoming xDELIA project (where FZI a is also involved both from the sensor side and from the perspective of experimental economics).

On the day before OnlineEduca, I participated in the ICOPER event on Competencies as the Currency for Learning, which aims at bootstrapping a standardization effort on competencies. More about that in the blog entry on the MATURE blog.