Introduction

ECER 2009

October 9th, 2009 by Dirk Stieglitz

The annual European Conference on Educational Research was held in Vienna in late September, 2009. Pontydysgu worked together with VETNET in a small project to provide a video and audio archive of the conference, which attracted over 2000 delegates. We undertook a series of interviews with keynote speakers, presenters and delegates to the conference. The aim of the project was not only to provide a digital record but to explore the use of new technologies to open up the ideas from the conference to a wider audience.

Over the next week we will be posting further videos and audio recordings to this page. In the meantime here is an initial selection of our work.

Many thanks to Maria Perifanou, who undertook many of the interviews, to Dirk Stieglitz who was technical director and to Jo Turner-Attwell and Emma Roso who undertook much of the hard work behind the scenes work in  editing the material. Thanks to to Ludger Deitmer and Pekka Kämäräinen form VETNET and Angelika Wegscheider from EERA for their support for the project.

Impressions from the ECER Conference 2009 in Vienna, Austria.

Martin Lawn, the past general secretary of the European Educational Research Association and editor of the European Journal for Educational Research, talks about how the European Conference for Education Research has evolved over recent years.

Peter van der Hijden from the European Commission talks about mobility in research amd how the European Commission are supporting the development of the European Research Area.

Interview with Joana Duarte (Postgraduate Network) at the ECER Conference 2009 in Vienna.

Hans-Rolf Vetter from the Bundeswehr University Munich talks about tacit work and how this is transforming companies, and how education and training should respond to this challenge.

Jeroen Onstenk from the INHolland University of applied sciences discusses the ways that research in vocational education is changing and the main themes for research and development he sees in the future.

Marg Malloch from the Victoria University (Australia) talks about professional docterates and work based learning and the intersection between them. In addition to looking into evidence based policy and policy based evidence.

Philipp Grollmann from the “Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, BIBB” discusses the differences between the way that companies handle the process of induction and how quality of induction can be improved.

Susan Wright from the Danish School of Education talks about the reform of higher eduction and the issues this raises, and how looking at the situation in Denmark in particular can benefit Europe as a whole.

Rainer Bremer from ITB, University of Bremen discusses the relationship between science and policy through to evidence based policy and policy based evidence.

Ludger Deitmer from the University of Bremen and convener of VETNET reflects on the ECER conference 2009.

Pekka Kämäräinen from ITB, University of Bremen reflects on the ECER conference 2009.

Ji Lin and Tian Ye from the Institute for Vocational and Adult Education (IVAE), Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences (BAES) talk about their visit to the conference and what could be learnt for the future development of Education and Training in Beijing.

Professor Michael Young, Institute of Education, University of London, presents Alternative Educational Futures for a Knowledge Society, raising issues such as the relationship between school and everyday knowledge.

In this extract Susan Wright from the Danish School of Education presents ‘Evidence and Imagination:on Policies for University and Reform`and in this extract talks about evidence-based policy.

Roland Reichbach from the University of Basel, Switzerland, presents from ‘Two Solitudes: Educational Research and the Pedagogical Realm’ in his Keynote Speech.

Podcasts

As well as the videos, we recorded a series of audio podcasts in Vienna. Below you can listen to interviews with

  • Anne Varinowsky, Finland.
  • Eduardo Figueira, Universidade Lusofona de Humanidades e Tecnologia, Portugal.
  • Ingrid Gogolin Professor of Education at Hamburg University, Germany,Interim President of WERA, and Immediate Past President of the European Educational Research Association (EERA), and Felice Levine, Executive Director of the American Educational Research Association in Washington and Interim Secretary General of WERA.
  • Herbert Altrichter, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria
  • Jane Kenway, Monash University, Australia
  • Lorenz Lassnigg, Institute for Advanced Studies, Austria
  • Mari Broberg, University of Turku, Finland
  • Marit Hoveid, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Palle Rasmussen, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Tina Hascher, University of Salzburg, Austria

ECER 2009

Impressions of the European Conference on Educational Research

October 12th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

We have produced a series of videos and audio interviews from the European Conference on Educational Research. We will be posting these on the Pontydysgu site over the next few days. Here is a taster: Impressions of the Conference. many thanks to the production team: Dirk, Maria, Jo and Emma.

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How can we best use technology at conferences?

October 3rd, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Last weeks video adventure at the European Conference on Educational Research (#ECER2009) – where we interviewed some 40 or 50 participants on video plus more on audio – has provoked quite some discussion on how we can use educational technology to support conferences. First lets provide a little background information.

ECER is a long running and popular conference. It attracted some 2050 enrolled delegates and covers a multitude of themes in educational research, organised by semi autonomous networks and coordinated by the European Educational Research Association (EERA). Whilst interest and participation in ECER is growing fast in terms of size, the conference is probably at its maximum. As ex EERA Secretary General, Martin Lawn explained to us on video, ECER is traditional hosted in university accommodation and few – if any – European universities have space for many more delegates than 2000. And talking to delegates – whilst they appreciated the breadth of the conference and the chance to talk to researchers from different areas of educational research – the very size of the conference was felt to be problematic. With many sessions running in parallel it was difficult to select sessions from the 229 page paper based programme.

ECER has done little with technology in the past. The web site (based on Typo 3) provides access to a PDF version of the programme and to standard information on travel and accommodation but little more. Although the use of technology for learning is obviously a theme in some of the sessions and networks (notably the Vocational Education and Training Network) and there is a relatively small network focused on ICT and learning (Network 16), Technology Enhanced Learning has never been a major theme at ECER.

There are four main arguments for embracing more technology. First is to ease the undoubted difficulties in administration and managing the conference. Second is to provide timely updated information to participants. Thirdly is to make the face to face conference more accessible, for instance through interactive programmes. Fourthly is to facilitate networking between delegates. but perhaps the most compelling argument for the use of technology is the idea of Open Education. Technology could allow the conference to turn itself outwards and to allow participation by those unable to afford either the time to attend or the quite expensive delegate fee. Access is obviously particularly problematic for younger researchers – who possibly might benefit most from a conference of this nature. Rather than being an episodic event on the educational research calendar, ECER could be at the centre of what is called by the European Commission the European Research Area. At the same time this would allow ECER to grow, whilst remaining limited in terms of physical attendance.

So at a practical level what technologies could be used?

First and most important is to set up a social networking site for the conference. Cloudworks, BuddyPress, Ning or Mixxt are all possibilities. However, in my mind CrowdVine is probably the best for the ability to create individual conference programmes. If this was done, I am sure it would encourage more delegates to attend network events, other than those of their own immediate network.

Attention needs to be paid as to how to provide rich information about sessions. I posed this question in a previous blog post about the #AltC conference. Seb Schmoller from ALT put forward a number of interesting suggestions in a comment on the post:

“What is it about a session that you need to know to make a decision about whether to go to it?
Inclusion of a micro-abstract – 140 characters max?
Themes addressed?
Type of session (demo, workshop, symposium, etc)?
Level of experience aimed at?
Where on tech/learning spectrum it lies?
Extent to which it has a strong data or numerical component?
X?
Y?”

Other comments and suggestions included encouraging presenters to make a short video or audio about their contributions. In terms of the participants to ECER (for the most part non-techies), this would require a very simple web based facility to do this – maybe CrowdVine could consider this?

Thirdly stream the keynote sessions and other selected sessions and publicise this in advance. Encouragement and support could also be provided to the different networks to consider streaming some of their sessions. A second screen should be provided in streamed sessions for allowing feedback from those participating remotely.

Fourthly continue what we did this year in producing videos and podcasts from the conference (probably with a little more organisation and preparation than we did this year 🙂 ).

Fifthly, consideration needs to be paid as to how to easily allow presenters to upload their papers and presentations to a central or distributed repository. ECER does not require full papers to be produced and this is a weakness of the conference. However, VETNET has now over 60 of the 90 or so presentations on-line and other networks should be encouraged to follow suit.

One small but key measure would be to adopt a common hashtag and publicise this in advance. As far as I can see only four or five delegates twittered this years conference – but it may be that different people used different tags.

One way of encouraging more use of Twitter – or whatever microblogging service is trending next year – would be to distribute large screens around conference spaces. These could not only be used to show real time aggregated feedback, but also to provide information on upcoming conference sessions.

This is of course only a starting point. But if these steps were taken, they could allow ECER to turn itself outwards, not only to researchers in Europe but to researchers in other continents. With the announcement of the formation of the World Education Research Association at this years ECER, it would be a timely move forward

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