About the tracks and sessions
Track A: Thematic sessions
Breakout sessions divide into two categories: Best practice and innovative ideas is Track A. It caters to entrepreneurs, planners, teachers, education managers and others with an interest in the practicalities of learning transformations. The Track A breakout sessions will follow the themes of the keynotes and plenary discussions. All sessions will have a host and a prepared agenda, but also remain open in order to define its course of discussion. The over-arching theme is: Virtual.Visual.Viral.
We will be exploring Blockchain and related learning/policy issues, Nordic EdTech collaboration, work-life learning, and more.
Track relevance: Teachers, EdTech entrepreneurs, Business leaders, Public sector officials, School managers.
Track B: Research and publication sessions
Research oriented attendees are invited to join sessions focused on project development, papers in progress and publication. These sessions are organised around received abstracts, with a set number of papers/presentations on a theme. Presentations will all have an assigned discussant. There is no requirement to present a paper or project in order to attend these sessions but we ask you to send us an email below to let us know your interests. All B Track sessions will have prepared discussions as to possible project collaboration. We will also explore the framework of a virtual media playbook for learning interactions in the areas of relevance to our venue host: The Archives Foundation.
Track relevance: Researchers, research interested media and other publics. Publishers. Student counsellors.
Sessions September 19th
A1: The challenge of life long learning: New policy?
Session host: Donna Kidwell
"The future of learning is the future of work". This was a theme at the Oslo Roundtable held in June at Litteraturhuset. But what does it mean and how does the future of life long learning challenge politics and policy? What issues, questions and concerns ought to be more clearly emphasised in policy and it is possible to talk of general as well as common concerns in a future learning political agenda?
Beginning a dialog that will continue in the second break-out session (A2) the ambition is to sketch out key points to a formulation of an agenda: 1) What key issues and challenges define the "life-long learning" framework for the future in the Nordic countries?
Those who sign up to the session may benefit from keeping with the A track also for session A2, after lunch, where the same general framework is applied particularly to blockchain perspectives.
A2: Blockchain and the transformation of learning
Session host: Phil Komarny
Bitcoin and the Blockchain technology behind it, is currently a hot topic in discussions of digital transformation. What does this technology or these technologies imply for learning, educational institutions in the ways in which they relate to the workplace? Key issues are "decentralising technology", or "distributed ledgers". Key consequences may have to do with impacts on societal institutions that rely principally on institutional trust and verification, like banks, social services, and hospitals – all managing sensitive information.
To guide us through this discussion, Phil Komarny will explore concrete issues on the basis of his keynote. This session has also been opened up to a general audience not participating in the entire conference.
At the end of the day, the aim and purpose is that session A2 like A1 produce content for the WLS 2018 publication of a playbook.
B1: Rethinking learning spaces
Session host: Oddgeir Tveiten
The over-all theme of the conference is NEXT GENERATION LEARNING SPACES. We begin by asking what is behind that title. The session builds on submitted projects and papers abstracts, drawing connections back to the Oslo Roundtable in June 2018. Typically, the concept of next generation learning invites cross-disciplinary and explorative perspectives. To frame the session, we will begin with a perspective on the hosting venue of the conference: Stiftelsen Arkivet. As a venue for "problem-based" and "situated learning", Arkivet is by definition a "learning space".
We continue with developing the Future Learning Lab "playbook" that was begun in Oslo, in June. A playbook for media-rich, high-tech and low-tech learning interactions is meant to be a joint project for returning members to the conference and a way to introduce new members to that ongoing discussion. Depending on results, our collaborating Publishing House, Logos Verlag, in Berlin, is ready to work with us.
B2: Design thinking -- research ideas and prospects
Session host: Michael Shanks
What is design thinking and how does the idea of "design" connect with pedagogy, course construction, our approaches to organising classrooms, teacher-student relations, and more? How can social science and the humanities incorporate design thinking more comprehensively?
Michael Shanks heads off the discussion in his keynote, extending it in this session. Placed towards the end of the day, the session lays a basis for the discussions to come on the conference Day 2, where Kristin Ingólfsdóttir will talk about her experiences as president of the university of Iceland. Jarmo Viteli will reflect on his Finnish context, and Rosan Bosh about her approach to the design of learning spaces.
A powerful session that by purpose breaks barriers between academia and practise. The session will also introduce ongoing collaboration to set up a a joint Nordic EU project with deadline in February 2019.
Sessions September 20th
A3: Nordic EdTech in transition
Session host: Eilif Trondsen
Across the Nordic countries there have been movements the past decade to spur networks in Education Technology and Entrepreneurship. During the past two years, the Nordic EdTech Alliance and the N8 networks have shown up, pushing agendas similar to EdTech Oslo, EdTech Sweden and others.
What is the Nordic status? How does Nordic collaboration move forward? What patterns do we see in terms of collaboration and also global outreach of Nordic EdTech? How do EdTech companies pursue strategies for connecting with- or branching out from universities and research clusters?
The session presents a number of past projects and networks, relating them to current issues and challenges. The legacy here is past conferences and summits at our Future Learning Lab since 2012, when we first began these deliberations.
The session will include several initiatives like the N8. It will include perspectives and initiatives from the private sector, as for instance banking. We are working to the last minute to present new cases based on information through our network. If you have anything to present, this is an inclusive session where initiatives and suggestions are met up until the very last minute.
B3: Transforming education: High and low
Session host: Maurice Ghislain Isabwe
Institutions of learning at all levels are in the midst of a transformative adaptation to new technologies but little attention is given to the common challenges of new media as they disrupt not only education but our entire knowledge eco systems and understandings of what knowledge is. In this session we will invite papers and projects that move at the forefront of institutional transformation, international networking, practical uses of new technology and more.
The session will begin with presenting the FUTURE EDUCATION LAB at UiA: Opening in 2018, the University of Agder is opening its EdTech Lab at Campus Grimstad. A suit of software and advanced technology has been set up in a full scale learning lab to investigate and probe uses of mixed media in teaching and education at the university level. The breakout session will feature a presentation of the Lab, by Associate Professor Ghsiain Maurice Isabwe. Future Education Lab is built, owned and operated by the UiA Facuty of Science and Enginering through their Multimedia research group.
Based on the presentation of Future Education Lab, the workshop session will also invite a discussion of potential research projects and issues that might follow from investments such as these.
A4: Entrepreneuring work-life learning
Session host: Donna Kidwell
Life-long learning is key to the future workplace, in a world of accelerating time and global networking. Yet, it seems hard for education institutions, industrial clusters, small and big companies, and the public sector to find better means of collaborating on a new eco system. Accordingly, can we find and develop some best cases?
How do we go about it? Returning to the challenge of policy, how does one create an Open, Collaborative and Creative life-long learning Commons?
In this session we include projects and perspectives relating to work-life interacting with higher education. Generally, this is a topic "on the rise", one that also invites discussions concerning practical realities and approaches. If time permits, the session will include a presentation of the project Nordic Futures: An online learning tool that may serve to illustrate an approach to work-life learning and life-long learning.
B4: Globalisation, education: Exploring networked narrative
Session host: Oddgeir Tveiten
North-South co-operation, conflict mediation in the Global South and new challenges of managing a multi-cultural local society in the Global North are all parts of the emergent global eco system of learning. In this session we invite papers, projects and ideas that seek to move the learning narrative out of the classroom, away from screens – seeking interactions between real life and learning designs that develop as "we go." Based on the exhibitions at Stiftelsen Arkivet we seek to move the idea of a "Future Learning Playbook" one step further, by exposing ourselves to the sounds and emotions of this place – a curated Gestapo Headquarters, set up to teach critical awareness to the younger generations.
The session is organised as an "idea-sprouting session", where a brief tour of the venue will be followed by an open dialoge along the lines presented above.
Sessions September 21st
Nordic Futures (am) / EdCast Session (pm)
Session host: Future Learning Lab team
At the Oslo Roundtable in June Future Learning Lab did a "kick-off event" to launch the project Nordic Futures. In short, Nordic Futures is an attempt to create a Nordic space for collaboration on digital transformation -- focus on learning, training, capacity-renewal and "up-skilling." In order to manage this, Future Learning Lab renewed a contact with the online learning provider EdCast, in Silicon Valley. A platform was set up and it is functional. What it requires is a shared purpose, a critical assessment and potentially a reorientation.
To build it, Future Learning Lab is seeking seed funds through several instances, towards a research proposal aimed for Erasmus+ in February 2019. Key stakeholders present at the World Learning Summit in 2018, were contacted ahead of time to solicit collaboration. With a team now forming, the object with this session is simply to introduce more comprehensively the idea and the uses of the EdCast platform in the way that it has been set up for this project. Workshop members will be invited to join the Nordic Futures project either as key stakeholders, interested observers or general users.
The morning session labeled Nordic Futures continued after lunch in the more practical "how to" session called EdCast Session. With some attendees returning home before or after lunch, this session may be for the "select few" but it is a highly promising platform session well worth checking out.
PM Sessions, winding up
Session host: Future Learning Lab team
As announced in the calls, WLS 2018 will result in a publication based on papers received in full text by the given deadline. Since this conference is small in format, the publishing team of authors is potentially able to meet for a brief session to discuss practicalities and collaboration on finalizing publications contributions.
Logos Verlag in Berlin will again be our publishing platform. A peer review system will be in place, working "manually" - since the preselection has already been made.
Parallel to the publication session, the Future Learning Lab team will continue the EdCast presentation from the morning session, with a view to setting up users and making a go"go" of it for everyone present.
A business session concludes the day. There will be an evaluation of the event and a presentation of ideas concerning WLS 2019 where we ill return to a more ambitious format. Venue and main theme will be announced, and a team set up to plan it on a more committed international scale.