Monday, March 03, 2008

PROLEARN Final Review

Last week, I attended the PROLEARN final review meeting in Hanover, Germany. The review went extremely well and was a real success for the entire network. Our reviewers were very satisfied with the achievements of the network during the past 4 years. These achievements have been summarized in this press release (.pdf). Here is an excerpt:

The Network of Excellence PROLEARN focuses on technology enhanced professional learning. In the period 2004-2007 it brought together the most important European research groups in the area of professional learning and training, as well as other key organizations and industrial partners. In this document we summarize the main outcomes of PROLEARN.
Research in PROLEARN has focused on four main topics that are highly relevant for professional learning: interoperability, competencies and personalization, collaborative learning, and business processes and learning. The results include standards for publishing and querying learning resources as well as a SECI-based framework for learning processes at work. PROLEARN has provided several tools for collaborative learning, with the multifunctional FlashMeeting videoconferencing tool as one of the highlights.
PROLEARN has organized several events that were targeted at different communities. Three main events will be sustained in the coming years. For Ph.D. students in the field of technology-enhanced learning, there is the highly popular PROLEARN Summer School. The annual EC-TEL conference series provides a strongly recognized forum for European research that brings the leading experts in the field of technology-enhanced learning together. The Professional Training Facts series offers a forum for information and exchange to potential users and developers targeting industry.
A large number of tools will remain available to the community after the end of PROLEARN. In addition to FlashMeeting, this includes the Conzilla concept modelling system, PROLEARN TV and the eMersion system for deplyoing innovative pedogical scenarios and flexible learning resources.
In March 2007 the core partners of the PROLEARN established the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning (EATEL) (see The objective of EATEL is to promote education and continuing education in the area "Technology-Enhanced Learning" (TEL) and to support science and research in this area.
Finally, PROLEARN created a roadmap toward professional learning in 2020. Our vision can be summarized as follows: “To support knowledge workers with technology-enhanced learning by promoting motivation, performance, collaboration, innovation and commitment to lifelong learning.”
What I most gained after 4 years in the PROLEARN NoE is the extension of I would call my personal knowledge network with:
- Explicit knowledge nodes, e.g. information in deliverables, reports, research papers, surveys etc.; outcome of face-to-face and virtual meetings; results of brainstorming sessions etc.
- Tacit knowledge nodes, i.e. excellent PROLEARN researchers whom I got to know and work with in the last years. I really enjoyed talking and collaborating with great researchers like Ralf Klamma, Erik Duval, Ambjörn Naeve, Vitali Fedulov, Marcus Specht, Milos Kravcik, Martin Wolpers, Wolfgang Nejdl, Gunnar Martin, Paul Lefrere, Peter Scott, Fridolin Wild, Margit Hofer, Barbara Kiesinger, Denis Gillet, Effie Law, Tomaz Klobucar, Vana Kamitisou, Katherine Maillet, Volker Zimmermann, Paul De Bra, Alexandra Cristea, and many many other great people.

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