The agenda for the Online Educa Berlin conference which takes place 3 - 5 December 2008 in the InterContinental Hotel, Berlin is now available online. It includes lots of new features and a real emphasis on networking as well as plenty of opportunities for discussion on topics like how well prepared trainers and academics are to deal with Gen Y learners, what the implications are of moving to Moodle and the impact online learning has on cultural identity.
The agenda also includes a variety of pre-conference events taking place on 3 December, ranging from hands-on workshops on practical topics like Quality Enhancement Processes and Building an Open Global Learning Infrastructure to topics like Designing Informal Learning and Technology Assisted Learning and Training for Defence, Security and Emergency Services. Visit the conference web site to find out more about Online Educa Berlin, the largest international event dedicated to eLearning.
For the third year in a row, Mathy Vanbuel was invited to serve as a judge in the Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Awards this year. Judging for these awards is now completed and the winners will be announced later in September. These well known awards have been in existance for 14 years now and recognise the best in innovative learning content, technology, and initiatives in workplace learning. For more information about these Awards, see http://www.brandon-hall.com/awards/awards.shtml
The latest book by Jef Staes is now available in English. Called 'My Organisation is a Jungle', this is the latest publication in Jef's Red Monkey Innovation Management series. In it, Jef tackles questions like How do you create an environment in which new ideas can survive and thrive? How do you increase the innovative power of your organisation, its teams and its employees? What is strangling creative entrepreneurship in our company?
As a leading expert in the fields of learning and innovation management, Jef analyses the way in which people resist and even obstruct change processes in his usual highly attractive and provocative manner. You can order Jef's latest book here
The Web-Sat DVB S2 development project has now been concluded successfully. ATiT staff supported Web-Sat in the management of this project which begun in June 2006, testing and piloting with the service have been on-going since July 2007 and were completed at the end of February 2008.
As a result of this development project, the forward link has been upgraded to the DVB-S2 standard, leading to an immediate increase in capacity and the potential for future increases using the ACM (Advanced Code Modulation) option. Suitable DVB-S2 data receive cards have been sourced and satellite trials performed successfully to date using 8PSK modulation. The return link has also been upgraded with the development of a new transmit card. The new transmit card employs a digital signal processor (DSP) and provides greater flexibility in terms of the supported modulation schemes (BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK etc..). It has been designed so that software/firmware upgrades can be easily applied when new features are required.
One of the key advantages of the development is that the new transmit card’s firmware can be upgraded remotely in a matter of seconds to add new features such as SCPC (single carrier per channel) mode.
These developments have been integrated into the overall service chain to include all the necessary software services necessary to operate a full end-to-end service. Further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mathy Vanbuel described his experience in the provision of educational services to remote schools in Europe in a keynote presentation given on 15th May during an International Conference held in Athens. This conference called "Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural Communities; Practical Solutions and Policies'' brought together project leaders of several pioneering projects many of which are using the latest developments in satellite technology to provide solutions for remote and rural school communities in Europe and elsewhere. Organised in the Ellinogermaniki School in Pallini, this event brought together policy makers, academics and field practitioners from Europe and beyond who share an interest in promoting the use of ICT by rural citizens of all ages. See the Conference web site for more information.
The LOGOFIND Project of the Department of Finance in the Philippines collaborates directly with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) to set up and manage a distance learning service, the Distance Learning Network. The research and training arm of the LMP, the Mayors Development Centre, is charged with the effective management and operation of this DLN.
The aim of the network is firstly to maximise on previous investments in development of training materials by extending the reach of these training courses to more and other trainees within the LGUs (including their Technical and Administrative Staff), and secondly to further explore and develop new methods of training and learning, in order to evolve towards more effective, personalised, flexible and affordable learning, using innovative learning technologies and sound pedagogical approaches.
In this initial phase a small network of Distance Learning Sites is installed in hosting institutions across the Philippines (Mindanao, Visayas, Northern Luzon) in order to accommodate the courses. During the month of May 2008, Mathy Vanbuel worked with the LOGOFIND, the LMP and the World Bank Institute in order to further define the programme and to move this deployment forward.
A recent article by Mathy Vanbuel carried in the eLearning Africa News Portal puts forward his views as to why ICTs are crucial for the Continent's development. It traces the evolution from small scale pilot projects in different countries to large-scale implementation actions, with the potential to provide a basis for sustainable change. It highlights the fact that Africa is leading the world in finding ways to utilise mobile phones, wireless networking, solar energy and reusable energy sources, but also points out the need to be realistic given the many demands on Africa's limited resources. The forthcoming eLearning Africa conference, http://www.elearning-africa.com taking place 28-30 May in Accra, Ghana offers an important opportunity to further this discussion and more specifically to focus on the importance of ICT in education and training within this perspective.
To read the full article, visit the eLearning Africa News Portal.
The RURAL WINGS project offers e-learning services to users at school, at work or at home in regions in Europe that are difficult to connect by means other than by two-way satellite technology.
A network of over 120 DVB/RCS satellite terminals has been deployed all over Europe. The pilot sites are located in really isolated and remote villages in rural areas and geographical locations such as mountainous regions or islands where broadband Internet access (by means of ADSL or Cable) has never been possible before.
13 European Countries (Greece, Spain, Sweden, France, Romania, Cyprus, Estonia, Poland, UK, Israel, Armenia, Georgia, and Switzerland) participate in this EC funded project that promotes the use of satellite telecom technology for the bridging of the digital divide. Furthermore over 25 locations will be equipped with WiFi networks to provide access to even more remote users in these villages and locations.
Thanks to the RURAL WINGS project, eLearning services are provided amongst other services to people who otherwise would be left out and isolated.
On 12 to 15 March 2008, ATiT visited sites in rural Greece, more precisely in the village of Valtetsiniko, and spoke with the Mayors of Valtetsiniko and Mesta, both small towns that are enthusiastic users of this promising technology.