Brussels (BE), September 2009 - In 2007, Dr. Claudio Dondi was elected president of EFQUEL during the annual General Membership Meeting at the EDEN conference in Lisbon. The commitment is Dr. Dondi's third: The very experienced European professional also plays leadership roles in SCIENTER and MENON. The same year, Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers assumed EFQUEL's vice-presidency. He works at the University of Duisburg-Essen, which is one of the founding members of EFQUEL. The organization was established as one of the end-products of the TRIANGLE project in 2004.
Dr. Dondi, what makes the EFQUEL Innovation Forum 2009 so special? Why should I participate?
Dr. Claudio Dondi: The Forum really is a must. It already consolidated itself in its first edition. At that time, as a medium-size event, it was able to gather some of the most innovative thought leaders and policy-makers in the field of LLL. The event offers an informal and friendly environment where open-ended discussions and long-term priorities for action can be identified, and consensus-building at the European level can get a start.
It's a place where old notions of eLearning and quality assurance leave the floor to more open and developmental concepts that open the door to exploiting the full potential of ICT and help make LLL reality for all. It's a place where you can really develop new ideas and establish excellent contacts.
Dr. Ehlers, could you give us an overview of the Forum's structure?
Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers: The program presents opportunities for interaction and dialogue with thought leaders. We are searching for common visions in our parallel sessions. Every participant will be able to take part in enriching and valuable discussions! In small workshop discussions, delegates will develop statements to be discussed during the second day in rotating groups. In the end, an expert roundtable will reflect and comment on those statements.
If I would like to participate but am not able to fly to Helsinki, what should I do?
Dr. Claudio Dondi: That's no problem at all since we are streaming the conference live on the internet. Furthermore, you can actively engage in discussion with the keynote speakers in our Twitter backchannel. We are starting our broadcast on 23 September at the HEXTLEARN workshop and show there how educational communities can be built successfully.
Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers: Apart from the keynotes, I can advise you to watch parallel session 4 about universities 2.0. You know that a growing number of students need to be educated, academic staff need to be up-skilled, and solutions need to be invented to address the pressing development challenges embodied by the Millennium Development Goals.
The seminar is very interactive and will explore the different facets of this question with the participants. eLearning can be a powerful innovation agent provided that it is considered strategically in relation to the whole university system, integrating technological, pedagogical, organizational, and economic dimensions and their interrelation.
How can eLearning provide the lead to transform educational institutions into global learning organisations? The participants will search for solutions, and we are documenting it for you.