On December 5 - 7, EDIA attended the Online Educa Berlin 2017 (OEB) event. At the event, we encountered 2,000+ international learning professionals from over 80 countries, 100+ exhibitors ranging from established global market leaders to emerging EdTech startups as well as 100+ sessions in various formats, from hands-on workshops to discussions and debates, labs, demos and performances.
The conference gave us new insights on opportunities and challenges that are currently changing the world of education. We got to meet, discuss and network with, policymakers, higher education leaders, chief learning officers, technology & learning experts, learning and development professionals, and many more.
What stood out during the conference?
Online Educa Berlin has a unique, cross-sector focus, fostering exchange between the corporate, education and public service sectors. Attending the OEB gives you an excellent overview of the EdTech world(map). During the conference, we generated a lot of new leads and got inspired by some great talks by Jeff Merriman (MIT), Marieke de Witt (SURF) and Francesc Santanach, to name a few.
Companies such as Examus, an innovative proctoring solution, Costner, Xebic, WooClap, in-class participation application and Altissia, language learning platform, are amongst a couple of the most interesting companies we’ve come across during the conference due to their vision and innovative character. Also, we’ve experienced the interaction with others exhibitors as very positive. Did we mention that the German Currywurst isn’t to bad either? Most definitely a plus when visiting Berlin.
The preconference day was a bit to slow for our taste and looking back the conference felt somewhat crammed. Having more time in between sessions could create a more relaxed atmosphere.
Although we did attend some interesting sessions, most talks about AI in education were at a basic level, discussing questions such as ‘will AI in education take over the job of the teacher?’ There were some talks about student support chat-bots - talks that focussed mainly on the interpretation of the chat input of the students - but we did find it surprising that there were hardly any talks about actual applications. The majority of the talks were quite predictable, unfortunately. We would love see a higher level of innovation during the next conference.
Overall, we had a great time during Online Educa Berlin. Surely there is room for improvement, but the conference offers a platform to an international audience in online education. We hope to be back and are looking forward to the 2018 edition!
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