perjantai 8. joulukuuta 2017


 Today I am in Berlin for Online Educa, or OEB Conference. This is due to my two projects in innovative procurement of learning technology: IMAILE & Learntech Accelerator (LEA).
 IMAILE became a part of an interactive session called:

Opportunities and Challenges for Education Start-ups in the European Market: Understanding Your Customers' Needs

In this session, we the panelists told our various stories of connecting with the users. Having supply & demand on the same page would be something that would make software projects succeed... However, specifically in the field of Education, this is rarely the case. One of the reasons is that in the field of education, the buyer is very rarely the user. Whatever learning technology you are buying - it's usually the city or the municpality or the school or the parent who pays... and the teacher/learner/student/pupil that uses... Perhaps this is a simple case of broken phone: Developer to seller to buyer to user... That's a long journey and the information gets lost in the middle. The users also do not know what they want or what they could be asking for... And on the other hand the developers can't really spend enough time thinking of the user's needs... They are busy coding. It's someone else's problem to collect the user needs... And when none of these people in the chain speak the same language... well, that's when money and time gets lost... That's why there's many-MANY learning (and other) technologies out there, that never simply get used.

The discussion was so vivid that it went on for one hour after the panel ended with the audience joining in... People just simply were not leaving. It is rare that I have been a part of a conference program item with this much depait, interest and it's simply a very satisfactory experience. It told me that there is clearly need for European projects like IMAILE and LEA, supporting the learning technology innovation within Europe.
 This was my first visit to Online Educa, even though of course my colleagues have been going for years.

 I also had the privilage to attend my professor Jan Pawlowski's learning cafe workshop on using OER in Public Administration.
 Conferences like OEB are always a good idea. To meet all the key players in the area - I figured that in the 4-5hours that I invested today in talking to all the PLEs in the market, I save about 2 weeks of my time next year trying to map who is on what level of innovation...
Run into some familiar face...

 So basically I had the whole Friday to go through stand to stand, asking about learning analytics - about adaptive learning paths - gamification - virtual reality - augmented reality... And so on.
 I had also the privilege to listen in to some innovative speakers. This panel was on open education. It is interesting to see people still talking about OER - even though the buzz on MOOCs is long gone and the field has somehow moved on...
  I also thought to myself that perhaps Germany it's a bubble of its own... It promotes certain topics beyond the rest of the world.
 Still, Online Educa... Very much worth to visit...
 I sneaked into virtual reality to shoot some classroom walls even.
 It was also quite amazing to see so many Finns here. When walking the corridors, almost at all times, you can hear Finnish spoken.
 My little spying scouting trip turned out much more useful than I could have ever imagined...
 Today only in English...

I am sorry my Berlin friends, to have disapointed pretty much everyone for not being really up for more than work here. It was my intention to do more, but I have been under the weather with a cold. Still - Good times. See you again shortly!

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