Berlin (GER), March 2020 - In Berlin this December, thousands of experts from all over the world will try to agree on the true purpose of education. They will be taking part in Online Educa Berlin (OEB), a global, cross-sector conference and exhibition on technology supported learning and training. The overarching theme of the conference is "Making Learning Meaning", and the organisers are explaining to potential participants that like a star above the horizon, the event will help point the way to our destination.
"OEB this year will get people to focus on the real purpose of learning in a world in which education is changing radically and where new possibilities are opening up all the time - in schools and colleges, but also in the workplace," says Astrid Jaeger, OEB’s Event Director.
Ms. Jaeger added, "In the midst of this storm of change, we all need to think carefully about where we are going. We need to consider what we really want and what our ultimate objective is. What do we want education to do for us? What do we expect it to do? How do we see it fitting into the society of the future? What will its role be?"
OEB has announced a call for papers, and full details of the themes to be discussed at the event have now been published on the conference website.
"We talk a lot about 'transformative' change in the world of education, training, and technology," says Rebecca Stromeyer, OEB’s conference chair, but she also observed, "We say that technology is opening up exciting new possibilities and that everything will be different. But old problems still remain, and I’m not sure that we really understand what we mean when we talk about 'transformation'.
"Do we really understand what we mean when we say we want ‘to put learning at the heart of life’? Have we really thought through the implications for economies or societies of a massive extension of educational opportunity or lifelong learning? Do we even know what our real goal is? Do we actually know what we want or what might realistically be achievable?
"That’s why we have chosen 'Making Learning Meaning' as the theme for this year’s event. It’s all about our ultimate objective. And we need to think about it both individually and collectively. We need to do more than scan the horizon - we also need to look up at the stars.
"So we’re going to be asking the thousands of education experts, L&D, practitioners, policymakers, and edtech entrepreneurs who come to OEB to think about where we want to go and how we get there. How do we make learning mean something? And how do we give real significance to education and training?
"The three words we have chosen for this year’s conference theme represent some of the most important issues for educators to consider, as society continues its rapid technological evolution.
"Learning is not simply a means to an end. It will increasingly be an end in itself and a central feature of human existence. People’s lives, and the fulfillment they find in them, will be intimately connected with intense, personalized, continuing learning experiences.
"We’ll be looking at all this and more, with a bigger line-up of keynote speakers and more sessions than ever before. I hope people who would like to contribute to this important discussion will contact us via the Call for Proposals form on the conference website."
OEB, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin from 02 to 04 December 2020, will include an exhibition featuring new products, services, and innovations from the world’s leading learning technology solutions providers. The event has developed a reputation as a first-class networking hub and one of Europe’s leading forums for the discussion of new thinking and planning in technology assisted learning, making it one of the best vantage points from which to glimpse the future of education and training.