Wednesday, May 7, 2014

EdReNe 11th Conference

The 11th EdReNe Conference took place on 6/5/2014 at the premises of the Computer Technology Institute and Press "Diophantus" in Athens, Greece. It was co-organized by Agro-Know and CTI, while Angeliki has put a significant amount of time and effort in finalizing the agenda of the meeting, taking care of all the practicalities/logistics ensuring that everything will flow smoothly. It was my 3rd participation in a row in an EdReNe Conference and this time I had the honor to make the introduction and welcoming (short) speech!

Introduction to the 11th EdReNe Conference

Despite the fact that traditionally EdReNe takes place by the end of each year, this time we explored the opportunity to host it a little bit earlier; this would allow us to collocate it with other events and also to investigate funding opportunities in the context of the Horizon 2020 programme. Indeed, the EdReNe 11th Conference took place a day after the ARIADNE foundation General Assembly for 2014 and a day before the LRE Sub-committee meeting, a fact which allowed members of the two networks to attend the EdReNe Conference as well, actively contributing to the agenda of the event and bringing an alternative approach to it.

This time the EdReNe Conference consisted of the following sessions:

  1. Learning Resource Exchange panel 
  2. Social Data & Analytics: Social Data aggregation for learning recommenders and analytics
  3. Linked Data in Educational Repositories
  4. Exploiting Data for Educational Purposes
  5. Training Academy for Content Providers: An Open Discovery Space session aiming to provide the basic principles to people who wish to create and operate their own repository/metadata aggregator
  6. News from Members
Partial view of the 11th EdReNe Conference participants

You may find more information about each session in the agenda of the Conference. What I liked in this Conference is that it included (as usually) a wide variety of topics related to learning resources and repositories within each session; 
  • ongoing EU projects, 
  • linked data for repository managers (e.g. ARIADNE linked data exposure) and applications of linked data (e.g. Europeana Judaica), 
  • social data, platforms and tools (e.g. the demo of the AgLR tool), 
  • presentations aiming at repository managers, 
  • presentations aiming at content providers, 
  • initiatives at national level (e.g. Photodentro) and at international level (e.g. Terena OER aggregator), 
  • presentations through Skype (Enayat Rajabi/UAH) and Webex (Karin Whooley), 
  • portals (Scoilnet & Green Learning Network / Organic.Edunet), 
  • visualization of metadata management workflows (elastic search / Kibana), 
  • discussions, panels etc. 

All these in just one day - from 09.00 to 19.30! It is obvious that the day was full and the agenda was packed with presentations, demonstrations and discussions; in order to stick to the program we needed to make several adaptations on the fly and in the end we managed to finish only 30 mins later than planned; however, the discussions were so interesting that noone complained. The day ended with a dinner at Scholarheio restaurant, only a few minutes from the meeting place.

I was really glad to see friends from the previous EdReNe meetings (Henk, Elena, David, Manon), meet new people (such as Elina Megalou, our hostess) as well as to be able to participate among friends and colleagues; it was this collaborative work that brought the nice results of the Conference. Big thanks also to Enayat and Karin for their remote participation! It is nice to see this dedication from the network members to EdReNe, especially taking into consideration that there is no funding for traveling and participation to the events. Overall, the meeting was a success, managing to bring together people from different networks, initiatives and projects, both old EdReNe members and new potential ones, blending the experiences with new ideas.

There was no discussion about the hosting of the next EdReNe Conference; however, there is an opportunity for Italy (which was not represented in this event) to host it - more information to be available soon.