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).
Opportunities and Challenges for Education Start-ups in the European Market: Understanding Your Customers' NeedsIn 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.
I also had the privilage to attend my professor Jan Pawlowski's learning cafe workshop on using OER in Public Administration.
|Run into some familiar face...|
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!