Future Challenges for the EU in the Field of e-Education

Dr. Lieve Van den Brande
European Commission, Directorate General Education and Culture, Directorate Lifelong Learning Policies and Europe 2020

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One of the priorities identified as the Education contribution to the European 2020 Strategy focuses on the importance of e-literacy for all and how education and training can enhance this core 21st century competence. This priority is integral part of the cooperation initiatives with other policies under Europe 2020.

Education and training have a unique role to play in enhancing the use of ICT education and should take up a leadership role.

The presentation will start from the outcomes of a study prepared for DG EAC on the 'Future of Learning' highlighting three main objectives to work upon. Several related actions by DG EAC will be presented:

  • For increasing digital competences, work in progress will be given, such as on the recent EURYDICE Report.
  • For modernising teaching and learning through innovative methods and to support integration of ICT in national lifelong learning policies, a Policy Handbook for leaders and policy makers "Learning in a digital world" will be published and a European-wide initiative on 'Creative Classrooms/Creative Learning Environments' will be launched.

This is a new initiative to support EU Member States to enhance the systemic use of ICT in educational and training systems. One of the problems to tackle is the implementation gap of ICT in formal education. A description of the initiative and a roadmap will be put forward for discussion.

For improving e-skills qualifications of ICT professionals, support to a multi-stakeholder forum and awareness raising campaigns.



Pandora’s Box – the Implications of New Social and Participatory Media

Grainne Conole
Professor of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

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New social and participatory media have a range of affordances which offer immense potential for learning, teaching and research. They enable learners and teachers to peer critique, share and discuss in a range of ways. Learners and teachers can be part of a global, distributed network of peers and can get access to just in time information anywhere. The talk will consider the implications of these technologies for education. In a world where content and expertise is free what is the role of formal educational institutions? It will consider in particular the notion of openness and will look at examples of adopting open practices (in terms of design, delivery, research and scholarship). The talk will argue that pandora’s box is truly open... we cannot ignore it and indeed need to take full advantage of the opportunities these new technologies provide.


Is this the Future of Learning? Yes – and It’s Already Here

Helen Keegan
Senior Lecturer - Interactive Media and Social Technologies Programme Leader, University of Salford

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The rise of social software, often termed Web 2.0, has resulted in exciting opportunities for creative and innovative approaches to learning and training that are afforded by network technologies. Social software platforms and emerging pedagogies are now part of the learning landscape both for those who learn formally within institutions, and for those who learn informally via web-based learning communities. Within vocational and adult education, the opportunities for communication and collaboration on a global scale are unprecedented.

What are the processes, challenges and tensions in implementing Web 2.0? What practical skills are needed to engage in Web 2.0 pedagogies?

In this presentation, I will explore these topics and present powerful examples of serendipity and opportunity alongside barriers and risks in the use of Web 2.0. Taking a long-term view of the use of Web 2.0 in education and training, I will highlight key areas including: digital identities; open education; students as producers; peer mentoring and behaviour modelling; making connections and the power of the network.

Is this the future of learning? Yes – and it’s already here.


Organisational Policies, Governance and Processes as Barriers to the Use of Social Media

Mark Stiles
Professor of Technology Supported Learning, Head of Learning Development & Innovation - Staffordshire University

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Universities and colleges, whilst being centres of innovation, can be organisationally conservative, change resistant and risk averse.  This results in tensions between innovation and control and reveals disconnections between goals (strategy), rules (policy), processes and decision-making (governance). The same issues can also exist in large corporate organisations.

In the context of vocational and work-based learning, these problems can manifest themselves in the IT management context, in the ownership of data and processes, in quality assurance and enhancement, in assessment, in planning, and in the creation of partnerships between institutions and employers amongst other things.

The addition of the use of social media (often web based) to the mix can present practitioners wishing to innovate their practice with a complex and demotivating set of challenges.

Mark will discuss all this and attempt to highlight both dangers and opportunities to overcome them.  He will draw on his own experiences and research, and lessons learned from the JISC ENABLE project, which is working on producing flexible course planning, design, development processes.


Participatory Learning and Working in Vocational and Educational Training

Francesca Carmagnola
ENGIM Piemonte – Artigianelli Torino

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Adopting Web 2.0 and Social Web technologies in Vocational and Educational Training, such as building online collaborative learning communities, will foster innovation by creating a new way of training based on interactivity and knowledge sharing. Since Web 2.0 and Social Web technologies quickly evolve, finding out latest trends in adopting these approaches in training and co-workers cooperation is extremely relevant.

The talk will provide an overview of our experiences in exploiting collaborative Web 2.0 and Social tools in vocational training organization for supporting teaching and participatory learning, promoting inclusion and equity, managing educational organization, internal and external communication and marketing,  research and projects development, co-workers collaboration and sharing of materials and knowledge with the final aim of making organizational processes more efficient.


Teach What You Preach, Exploring Social Media Myths

Tom Wambeke
Programme Officer DELTA Learning and Communication Service
International Training Centre of the ILO (United Nations)

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The session will evaluate in a participatory way the impact of Web2.0 trends in the field of learning and training. The rapid growth of social software or web 2.0 applications and supporting technologies (E.g. blogs, podcasts, wikis, social networking sites, social bookmarking, mobile learning),  leads to the fact that the phenomena are also increasingly being used for learning and training purposes. As it enables different types of learning and training settings, it is an important driver of innovation in learning and knowledge sharing. This innovation discourse often faces challenges when it comes to practical implementation.

The session starts with a general overview of the basic ingredients of the participatory web which moves beyond the technology and links up with fundamental aspects of successful learning and training. With this overview in mind the presenter will explore challenges and statements about social media implementation myths in interaction with audience.

During the session several cases from the International Training Centre of the ILO will be used to illustrate the different challenges, barriers and benefits. 


How to Overcome Barriers in the Use of Social Media? Show, Small, Close, Comfort and Listen

Steven Verjans
Lecturer in Learning Technologies
Open University, The Netherlands – Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies

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During the past years, the speaker has used social media in a number of courses and projects with adult learners. He has also provided workshops and trainings for his colleagues. Based on these experiences, he will suggest a number of tips for overcoming barriers in implementing social media in lifelong learning situations. These tips will be discussed in an interactive session. Four suggestions are made: Firstly, show the benefits of social media by illustrating how you or others use it with learners. Secondly, start small, take small steps, one at a time. Thirdly, stay close to actual practice of trainers and learners. Fourthly, stay as close to an individual’s comfort zone as possible. Make sure not to lose your audience by suggesting very wild tools. Finally, listen to what your learners are saying, evaluate, and take the next step accordingly.

A trip through the SVEA Project

Lara Marcellin
Area Manager, CSP – Innovazione nelle ICT

Petra Newrly
SVEA Project Manager
MFG Baden-Württemberg mbH

Dr. Tony Toole
Project Manager, Coleg Sir Gar


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The SVEA project addresses the collaboration and web 2.0 skills of trainers in VET and adult training institutions with a special focus on personnel and organisational development. Personnel and organisational development plays a significant role in the strategic development of every organisation. Especially for organisations whose business concept is based on the knowledge of highly qualified employees such as training institutions depending on innovative personnel and organisational management concepts. To strengthen the trainers’ competences in the use of web 2.0 in their trainings, SVEA has developed a training programme to train the trainer on how to integrate web 2.0 tools within their trainings. Parallel to that, a collaborative open source based platform has been set up allowing the trainers to learn and to work collaboratively together and to use the platform to offer more learner-centred teaching methods by using web 2.0 applications within their courses.
The SVEA presentation focuses on the newly developed collaborative online platform and will both outline how it can increase virtual collaboration within VET and adult training, but also how it can innovate the management processes within training institutions. During the presentation not only the technical functionalities of the platform will be presented but also the lessons learned of the blended learning trainings offered in the SVEA partner regions as well as to the training concept and how the training modules and platform can be used in an effective way within the organisation and the trainings.

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Funded by

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.