EDEN Digital Learning Europe Conference is Coming to Dublin in 2023

We are pleased to share the news that the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) has been selected to host next year’s 2023 EDEN Digital Learning Europe Annual Conference. 

Established in 1991, EDEN has been serving the education sector for three decades with a strong and active membership from over 50 countries across Europe and beyond. This will be EDEN’s 32nd Annual Conference, with Dublin previously hosting this major event for future-focused educators in 2011. 

In 2019, EDEN evolved with the UK’s departure from the European Union to become EDEN Digital Learning Europe to reflect an increasing focus on new digital models of teaching, learning and assessment. As a non-governmental professional body, EDEN’s mission is to foster developments and a strong network of educators in open, online, and digital learning. EDEN has a motto of being…

A ‘smart’ network for the professional community and professional community for smart learning. 

Next year’s EDEN conference will take place 18-20 June on DCU’s St Patrick’s campus and will be co-Chaired by Dr Orna Farrell and Professor Mark Brown. Mark and Orna report that Dublin City University (DCU) is committed to staging a truly engaging and impactful conference, especially as educators throughout Europe increasingly look to shape our post-pandemic futures. 

Speaking of the future, the EDEN conference will be designed to challenge participants to “dream big” as we put a critical lens and more inclusive spotlight on creating better digital futures – for all. While almost every aspect of today’s society has been significantly impacted by digitalisation, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the uncomfortable reality of the digital divide.

There are many big and small challenges that we can’t ignore in building a more inclusive digital future. At the same time next year’s EDEN Conference plans to focus on how we can untap and harness the opportunities and potentialities that digital education provides for reimagining better futures. We hope to encapsulate in the conference theme the spirit of hope and optimism through the enabling language of “yes we can”. 

While the phrase “yes we can” was popularised by President Obama in his first election campaign, it first came into prominence in 1973 in a song by the Pointer Sisters. As the powerful hook line says,

We got to make this land a better land than the world in which we live”.  

Of course, the phrase went viral in 2008 in an inspirational music video released by Will.i.am on YouTube. It’s a strong message of transformation and the power of the human spirit.

So, watch this space for more information over the next few months as we develop our conference plans. We welcome suggestions of suitable keynote speakers and innovative ideas of how we can design this major professional learning event to directly talk to the conference theme. If we do our job well, then…

Dublin is going to be the place to be in ’23!

You can also expect lots of famous Irish craic too! So, we hope to see many old friends from the EDEN community, new European colleagues and educators worldwide in Dublin in June 2023.

Successful Launch of ENCORE+ Project to Create a European Network for Catalysing OERs in Education

A team from the NIDL comprising of Dr. Orna Farrell, Dr. James Brunton and Prof. Mark Brown is pleased to be representing DCU as an active partner in a new EU Erasmus+ funded project called ENCORE+: The European Network for Catalysing Open Resources in Education. 

The project aims to create a European network that supports innovation and entrepreneurship with Open Educational Resources (OERs). While current evidence suggests there are pockets of engagement with OER in European academic and business contexts, there is no fully integrated European OER university-business ecosystem able to identify, catalyse and share best practices. 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

The ENCORE+ project seeks to address this gap. The scope of the initiative also includes promoting Open Educational Policies (OEPs1) and Open Educational Practices (OEPs2) through business and academia by sharpening value propositions and implementation strategies for OER use in higher education and the world of work. 

During the next 3-years, the initiative aims to use its funding (€993K) to create four strong European networks which will consolidate a new vision and understanding of how OER and OEPs can foster innovation in higher education and business.

ENCORE+ aims to bring about an overarching consensus through sharing expertise across business and higher education; and will sustain community ‘Circles’ that will apply, validate and disseminate outcomes. The goal is to build a stronger foundation for a European OER Ecosystem which can best support:

  • Innovation and inclusion in education and training;
  • Improve digital skills; 
  • Improve employability; and 
  • Share the benefits of open online learning with as many Europeans as possible.

Some of the project outputs and deliverables include:

  • Developing a validated, shared vision and roadmap for OER in Europe;
  • Providing a sustainable European collaboration model which responds to authentic needs;
  • Working with diverse stakeholders to create and pilot the ENCORE+ OER Quality Framework;
  • Establishing European OER Strategy Guidelines for higher education and businesses,
  • Establishing a well-connected European OER Ecosystem of technologies and communities.

The project team has committed itself to a really innovative and collaborative approach to sharing knowledge and practice about open education, which was evident in our recent series of kick off meetings. DCU is leading a work package related policy and strategy and the Padlet image above from our recent envisioning and information sharing workshop offers some initial thoughts. 

Project Partners:

  • International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), Norway (Project Coordinator)
  • Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHWB), Germany
  • Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland
  • International University of La Rioja (UNIR), Spain
  • Joubel AS (JOUBEL), Norway
  • Knowledge 4 All Foundation Ltd (K4A), United Kingdom
  • Instructure Global Ltd. (CANVAS), United Kingdom
  • The Open University (OUUK), United Kingdom

If you would like to hear more about this exciting and ambitious project, then members of the ENCORE+ project team will be contributing to a panel discussion as part of EDEN’s Webinar Series during Open Education Week. You can register for this webinar scheduled for Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 16:30 (CET) through the EDEN website.