Online Educa Berlin so far…

Berlin is bitter cold. The locals say it smells of vodka outside: the storm is blowing in from the east. I put on my long johns to brave the cold.

My favorite restaurant in all of Europe is the deli floor of the KaDeWe Department Store. Unbelievable quantities of great produce and wines. I lunched on oysters and champagne.

Then to the Christmas market in front of the Europa Center. The ornaments at Wohlfahrt are utterly charming.

Please click around for additional photos.

Harold Elletson opened the 16th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning & Training, Online Educa Berlin. People from accountancies, national government, retail sector… a very broad diversity of participants. Last night we had found 108 countries are participating this year. Highest representation are Germany, Netherlands, UK, and Norway.

Talal Abu-Ghazaleh. United Nations. “Greatest benefit in life is that idiots are sometimes right.” Coming soon., March 2011: web-based equivalent of GPS. Education for all in the Digital Age. Universities still lagging behind digital age. Arab world is most wired in the world. Qatar GDP growth > 20%. Saudia Arabia a success story, dedicating 20% of its federal budget to education, something like $55 billion a year.

Learning, not teaching. It’s time for all of us to talk about this. Current educational system was good for the past. We need invent the system for the future. Moving from adhocracy to action. Address employability gap. Reinvent vocational training in a digital environment. Need to reinvent continuous innovation; degrees should come with expiration dates.

Adrian Sannier, vp of Pearson eCollege. When you walk around an event like this, you can convince yourself that the future has arrived. Of 100 9th graders, only 9 complete bachelor’s degrees. His professorial colleagues say technology is just a slideshow. Imagine if we treated books the same as tech: don’t bring them to class.

“Faculty members, we find, now tend to be resistant or apathetic in their attitudes toward instructional technology.” Said by Eric Ashby in 1972.

Adrian exudes energy. He is pacing the stage, hands waving in the air. Preaching a gospel I happen to believe. Human beings are now telepathic; we can instantly transmit our thoughts over a distance. We all have photographic memories.

Charles Leadbeater says your vantage point determines what you’ll see. Finland has the best education system in the world. Educational tourism accounts for a significant chunk of the Finnish GDP. Charles says Australia and California make wine for people who drink Coke. I’m going to have a difficult time listening to this character after a statement like that.

Story of 16 year-old in Brazil faced with a choice: school or drug trade. He chose drugs, had 200 employees, was raking in $250,000 a week until he was put in jail, where he learned he wanted to become an educator.

Girls in Africa. Primary lesson is not to become HIV positive. Mobile phone is the salvation. Sixteen-year old girls in India stand out because they are not married. In India, 25% of teachers do not show up and 50% of those who do, don’t teach.

Conclusions from Charles’ trip around the world. Education + technology = hope. Education is a global religion. Everywhere around the world, access to education is fundamentally dysfunctional.

High system to Low system, Low to High Empathy