E-Learning? Ja!

Last month I attended the Didacta education fair in Hannover, Germany.

I knew it was a big event, but I had underestimated just how big.

It was MASSIVE.

Five cavernous halls – each larger than several football fields – promoted the full gamut of the education sector: child care, primary school, high school, further education, workplace training and accreditation.

Each hall hosted stalls, exhibitions and lectures, and every square metre was crawling with people. It reminded me of the showbag pavilion at the Royal Easter Show on Children’s Day.

Didacta education fair, Hannover, Germany, February 2012

My primary purpose for attending Didacta was to gain an insight into the practice of e-learning in Germany, and to compare it to that in my own country, Australia.

E-Learning was a focus topic of the fair this year (hence my presence), so I made a beeline to the “eLearning Joint Stand”.

I can report that the state of e-learning in both countries appears to be very similar.

Didacta logoAmong the recurring themes were:

• Online course development
• Online training delivery
• Learning Management Systems
• Interactive whiteboards
• 3D animation
• Immersive virtual environments

One of the big differences I noticed, though, was a general lack of mobile. Train By Cell was the only vendor on the floor, and they’re American!

Anyway, I’m glad I visited Didacta, if only to validate that we Aussies are cooking along all right.

I recommend the fair for educational professionals, but I advise that a little bit of German helps a lot. Although most of the delegates speak English, the lectures, take-aways and simple things like signage are not bilingual.

I can’t compare Didacta to Online Educa because I’ve never been.

Maybe next year!

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6 Comments on “E-Learning? Ja!”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    To see more of Germans’ eLearning activities, visit Learntec, the main congress and exhibition on technology enhanced learning in Germany. It is small but focused on elearning: http://www.learntec.de/cgi-bin/x-mkp/start.pl?language=2&kind=10&eve_id=12

  2. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Thanks Anonymous, another one to add to the list :0)


  3. Sounds interesting and reassuring Ryan. Was there any discussion around the issue of Flash and iPads? It’s a topic on my mind at the moment and I’d be interested to know how others are managing it

  4. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Come to think of it, no. From my limited observation, it appears we Aussies are way more addicted to iPads.

    Something I’ve done to “iPadise” videos in online modules is to put in a script that recognises whether the user is on an Apple device, and if so, to switch the FLV with an MP4.

    I suppose a similar thing could be done for regular SWFs (like animations). i.e. If it’s an Apple device, switch the Flash object for a static image.


  5. Hi Ryan & rebekahmcbrown

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I have a colleague who is successfully using the iSwifter app to play Flash courses from an externally hosted LMS. You use the app to open a browser, and it apparently plays Flash courses okay. I don’t have an iPad, so I haven’t tested it myself.

    I would really like to go to the interactive South by SouthWest conference one day http://sxsw.com/interactive . I have heard about it from Jim Hopkinson but recently heard a rap from the Click podcast (see March 15 http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/digitalp) Just an awsome opportunity to see just where technology is taking us, and how differently we will work and learn as a consequence.

  6. Ryan Tracey Says:

    Thanks Alison for the iSwifter tip, and if the backchannel is anything to go by, SXSW is easily one of the best conferences in the world for emerging technology.


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