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Education
Conferences – melting pots for vanguards

EDULEARN is one of the most prestigious conferences open to lecturers, researchers, and other professionals in different spheres of education and technology.

Published : 30.09.2022

The 14th annual international conference on Education and New Learning Technologies – EDULEARN 22- was held in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) in July 2022. This year more than 570 participants took part in this impeccably organized conference from 55 different countries. Included were four of us from Haaga-Helia with the aim to promote some of Haaga-Helia’s achievements and to strengthen its profile as a pedagogical vanguard.

Happy pedagogical vanguards.

Anna and Katri presented their joint paper Using player types to develop implementation of educational game, while Pia Kiviaho-Kallio and Ana submitted the paper What happened to us? The effects of online learning on embodied encounters during COVID-19.

Keynotes to remember

Three keynote speakers shared their views on three distinct topics consequently: learning spaces, artificial intelligence, lifelong learning.

Stephen Heppell has been working with educational agile spaces and learning in a community of purpose. He noted few simple and practical changes that can positively affect the learning outcomes. For example, minimizing CO-emissions and adding possibilities for activity and movement as slides or climbing walls in schools or offices can improve the learning outcomes. The Golden Generation as Heppell called younger people, the changes in work life and demographics as well as the digital transformation challenge us to review old habits.

Wayne Holmes debunked the myth of the almighty AI (artificial intelligence) and emphasized the importance of educational institutions teaching students soft skills (i.e. collaboration, problem solving, playfulness and creativity). He noted that AI has had immense achievements as automatically identifying diabetes, retinal scans, protection against fraud. AI can also bring amazing possibilities to education for example: Intelligent Tutoring Systems , Dialog-based Tutoring Systems, Automatic writing evaluation, Learning Network Orchestrators (Smart learning planner), language learning apps, chatbots, VR/AR and simulations.

However, Holmes noted that there is no AI that support teachers, and that AI is aimed to replace the teacher. He outlined that the almighty AI has yet to be sculpted and prepared for life with humanity. Holmes focuses on the human values and the ethical consequences created by AI, suggests binding the technological dimension and the human dimension when learning about AI.

Michelle R. Weise spoke about lifelong learning, and presented her book Long-Life Learning, 2021. She pointed out, when life expectancy is increasing and new professions keep emerging, we must keep learning new, specific skills throughout life. In addition to learning new skills, recognition of prior acquired knowledge is important, in order to create a functional ecosystem among employers and employees. 

Take-aways and appreciation

The EDULEARN22 conference underlined the importance of meeting, collaborating, and getting together to recharge the batteries and share gained experiences and knowledge. Technology, education, learning, human rights, software, platforms, variety of experiences in the field of education were few of the presented topics. In addition to oral presentations and posters, we appreciated interactive sessions for knowledge sharing, ideating, and experimenting.

Our main impression was that we have been implementing many of the presented methods at Haaga-Helia on some level. For example, design sprint, gamification, and different educational games, flipped learning, virtual courses are methods and practices that we use.

It is important to understand, that we should not let ourselves regress to the pre-pandemic contact teaching, to forget development of methods, or to focus on just subject related knowledge in our curriculum. As Heppell said: The train is leaving; let’s get on the train, save the world and have fun!.

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