All things bright and dutiful....

I´m looking out over the river Drau, here in Villach, Austria. We´re in the Congress Centre for ICL 2007 - an impressive international conference focusing on all aspects of computer based/supported education and training. Villach is a beautiful little town in the South of Austria, and is nestled in between the mountains. Some of the papers so far have been challenging, others have been a little lacklustre, and one or two have been fairly dutiful in their presentation if not content. It is still death by powerpoint, but yesterday, Graham Attwell refreshingly came up with an image laden presentation which was laced with wit and incisive ideas. I did a podcast interview with him this morning in which he asked me about my current Second Life project. I will be meeting up with him and colleagues later in November, to present a panel about SL for Online Educa in Berlin.

Today the highlight was undoubtedly the keynote address by Nicholas Balacheff, who guided us through a tortuous journey (similar to the one by train yesterday that took us two hours up into the mountains from Ljubljana, Slovenia up to Villach) in which he covered formal and informal learning, computer aided didactics, computational intelligence, and a general overview of all that is currently live and kicking in eLearning. The situated contexts of learning are important, he argued, as we cannot learn complex ideas without first ´knowing´. Hmmm... interesting, when you put this into the context of problem solving, choice making and negotiation of meaning. With theorists like Nic Balacheff around, the future of eLearning, although somewhat uncertain, is as bright as the sun that is currently shining through the windows of this wireless zone.

More from the conference tomorrow.... for now, auf wiedersehn.


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