This post is a summary of my visit to the LEARNTEC Conference and a reference to my background in adult education.
The conference basically covered up two areas: school learning and learning within an organizations and presented such innovative products as:
- An Internet platform for managing the communication between the school administration, teachers, parents and students (Comjell Company). This system allows entering marks, notify parents and gather signatures with the help of e-mail.
- A social network that makes it possible for teachers and students in school classes to communicate with each other and exchange information about the school courses online (EDYOU).
- A new open-source platform for producing and sharing online courses on any subject (Open Knowledge Worker).
- A software tool allowing creating interactive learning content (Raptivity).
- All-in-one software used to create content and track the learning activity of the students both by teachers and by parents (xAPI).
- Virtual classroom systems (e.g. Reflact).
- Mobile learning solutions, such as that from Fraunhofer Academy or Zettwerk.
- Adaptive learning systems, e.g. Erudify (the system allows to measure the learning progress and adapt the contents accordingly).
- Various types of content production such as educational videos (Simpleshow), serous games (Zone 2 Connect or Yeepa), visualization tools (Dialogbild), etc.
- New learning hardware such as PowerClicker (a wireless gadget for trainer-to-learner communication with light, vibration and sound), interactive multimedia desks, etc.
These technological products reflect the requirements to the educational systems of the future:
- Flexible, independent of time and space used for learning;
- Diverse in methodology, and learning formats, not boring or repetitive;
- Involving games and interactive activities to simplify the understanding and memorizing of the material (learning by doing);
- Social, allowing for instant interaction between the instructor and the participants or among the participants;
- Individual and learner-centered, adapting to the learner’s needs and progress;
- Automatized where appropriate, thus reducing the paperwork and simplifying the classroom management;
- Keeping the knowledge fluid and available to the community, allowing everyone to participate in knowledge creation.
The precondition of these changes to take place across our educational systems, however, is the open-mildness of instructors and learners and the ability to embrace the changes in learning methods and tools. Shortly speaking, the empowerment of life-long learning.