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Location: Meensel-Kiezegem, Belgium

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Afternoon plenary session - "Development"

*. Umberto Paolucci (Microsoft Italy)

Modest talk about "a new world - a new world of work - a new world of learning".
Interesting to see the corporate viewpoint of the 'information age': information is simply a means to achieve better outcomes, not more and not less. Knowledge workers transform ideas into value.
Not really the 'educational' viewpoint.

He presented three distinct domains where software would - in his viewpoint - support us in this goal:
- adaptive filtering and pattern recognition (software would filter our mails, goals & tasks, messages...)
- unified and integrated communication (short text messages can be read to us, phone messages can be mailed to us. Strange.)
- collaboration-supporting software (yesterday we also heard the rhetorical question how many of us - elearning enthousiasts - are using this kind of knowledge sharing software - a lot still needs to be done in order to get usable and productive tools).

*. Wim Veem, Delft University of Technology, "Net Generation Learning".

This talk was quite nicely given: a visual and entertaining mix of image, audio, movies, text and links. His story was comparable to the talk Diana Oblinger gave at the Educause conference.

He talked about the 'homo zappiens', young people who zap their way through information in order to get the highest possible information flow they can use (simultaneously watching television (on three channels), chatting, studying and listening to music).
He sees several skills will be critical for their functioning in tomorrow's (today's?) society:

- multitasking
- quickly scanning websites for relevant content
- processing discontinued bits of information
- using nonlinear approaches

He also used the analogy of Marc Prensky "Digital immigrants versus digital natives", and concluded that schools are boring analogue places for digital kids.

He, also, mentioned that 'content is no longer king'. MIT is giving its content away for free. It's the support, interaction, customization... that counts, not the content you use to support the learning.


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